Skate Culture

Vans Skate Shoes In the 1980s Skate CulTure

Vans Skate Shoes in Skate History

Vans skate shoes are intimately tied up with the history of skateboarding. 

Whether you wore them or not, if you were into skateboarding you certainly recognized that classic Vans logo. Through skateboarding magazines and through the Vans stickers, the Vans logo appears on a so many skaters’ boards. It was just part and parcel with skateboarding, much like certain punk bands like Black Flag were.

Why are Vans Skate Shoes so popular for skating?

1. Vans Skate Shoes are Practical

Part of Vans’ popularity amongst skaters was practical of course.

The rubber soles of Vans shoes gripped well and so they were certainly one of the shoes of choice amongst skateboarders.

Getting a good grip on your board is important whether you are skating banks, street skating, or skating pools.

2. Vans Skate Shoes are associated with epic skate brands

Vans skate shoes were also intimately tied up with the history of the legendary Dogtown skateboarding scene

The Zephyr skateboarding team, who hailed from Dogtown and who helped to pioneer what would become modern day skateboarding, had blue Vans as part of their team uniform. 

Seeing these guys, who so many held in awe, wearing those shoes was bound to have an influence on others who wanted to emulate them. 

That influence can still be felt today — and to it you can now add a bit of history and nostalgia about the roots of skateboarding.

3. Vans Skate Shoes identify skaters as part of The Skater Tribe

Aside from those aspects, it’s important to understand that skate culture is one that is intimately tied to individuality and creative self-expression while also having a strong sense of community. Vans shoes, with their wide variety of colours and patterns gave skaters, I think, the ability to show themselves as part of a “tribe” if you will, while also giving them plenty of room to express their own particular style. The only other brand of shoe that I would consider even remotely close to Vans in terms of their prominence in the skate culture would be Converse. While those were really popular too, I don’t think anything had quite the same level of iconic penetration into the skateboard culture that Vans did.

4. Vans Skate Shoes are Well Priced

Vans skate shoes are, on average, about half of the price when compared to other popular skate shoes such as Converse Chuck Taylors and Etnies which makes them very popular for skaters who want to look the part, but don’t want to hurt their hip pocket.

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