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Breaking Down Vans' Sneaker Categories

vans old skool old photo

With embedded in skate and surf culture, Vans have evolved over the years to become one of world’s most ubiquitous and popular sneaker brands. Born in 1966, the Californian company now have their soles well and truly entrenched in the realms of action sports, music, art, and fashion.

They’re the undisputed champions of effortless cool, thanks largely to a legendary core sneaker lineup, but there’s way more to these So-Cal stalwarts than just the classics.

Here’s a breakdown of Vans’ most prominent sneaker categories. 

Cool to the Core

An iconic quintet makes up Vans’ core lineup. All born between 1960 and 1980, each of these silhouettes continue to fill rotations and retailer shelves across the globe. The Authentic (1966), Era (1976), Slip-On (1977), Old Skool (1977), and Sk8-Hi (1978) are never too far from the sneaker headlines, continually reimagined thanks to wild collaborations from everyone from Supreme to The Simpsons. Constructed with canvas and suede, then grounded with the classic waffle sole, these sneakers form the backbone of Vans.

From the Vault

In 2003, Vans officially launched the Vault by Vans collection, which remixed their classic style to create unique collections and colourways inspired by contemporary street fashion, art, music, surf and skate culture. Simply put, it’s Vans’ premium label, pulling from over 40 years of the brands classic designs and silhouettes.

MTE Ready for All Weather

Vans let you rock classics in all conditions via the All Weather MTE lineup. Making use of premium weather resistant leather and suede uppers, warm linings, and heat-retention layers between the sockliner and outsole, MTE joints are designed to keep your feet warm and dry. With their experience in creating snow boots, the brand has constructed lug outsoles for the MTE line, which delivers improved traction.

Syndicated Sneaks

Launched in 2005, Vans Syndicate was a unique line exclusive to skate shops. It was created with skaters in mind, however, sneakerheads took notice as well. The releases were highlighted with premium materials and next-level packaging, which included robust black slide out boxes, dust bags, stickers, and special toys/knick knacks. Giving creative freedom to the skaters, designers and boutiques, Vans managed to create memorable collaborations, all blessed with their own distinct character.

For the Pros

Staying true to their roots, Vans continue to give their rider team amazing signature Pro models, while also re-releasing favourites from the past. Iconic models like the remain skatepark staples, while newer additions like the Rowan Pro are fast-becoming mainstays in the Vans lineup.

Be sure to check out all the latest Vans drops in our Releases section.

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