Vans skate shoes, like most other things these days, began with the dream of one person. This person was Paul Van Doren, and with his dream of manufacturing shoes and selling them directly to the public.
Paul Van Doren actually began to make sneakers when he worked in a factory on the east cost.
He also teamed up with people who had experience in the business of making shoes. They were Jim Van Doren, Gordy Lee, and Serge D'Elia. Unfortunately none of them actually had any experience in retail.
Despite that little setback they managed to open their first store in the year of 1966 on the 15 of March. That was the very first Vans Shoe store and it was located on 704 east Broadway in Anaheim, California. At this point they only offered three styles of shoes. They were priced at $2.49, $4.49, and $4.99 but they were sold as display only shoes.
The very first day that they were open they got 12 costumers. Since they didn't actually have that many shoes they asked the costumers to come back later in the afternoon and then rushed into their factory and made each of the selected shoes. There was one little problem. When each of the 12 costumers came to pay for their newly made shoes they needed change, and since nobody on their group had retail experience they didn't actually expect this, so they gave the costumers their shoes and asked them to come back later and pay. Luckily fir them, all 12 of their costumers were good honest people who did indeed come back to pay for their shoes.
In the beginning the Vans shoes had a diamond patter sole, however it was quickly found that that case them to crack around the balls of the outside easily that way. They didn't lie this, so they decided to try something different. It was decided that the ball area would have vertical lines added so that the shoe would be stronger and able to handle more. The waffled like sole design of Vans shoes set theirs apart from others.
In the year 1976 skateboarders began to use Vans shoes as skate shoes. On March 19th of that year the very first Vans skate shoes were designed and made. The were the Vans Era and they were in red and blue.
The pro skaters Tony Alva and Stacey Peralta are the designers of these early Vans skate shoes. Pretty soon there were new colors and even slip on Vans skate shoes, and they became the latest craze of California. And, after the nation saw Jeff Spicoli the Californian surfer dude wearing a pair of their checkered slip on Vans Skate shoes during the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" they were a must have across the United States.
Today you can find Vans shoes and Van skate shoes distributed in well over 190 different companies and you can find over 60 styles.