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The Vans Story:
Shoe Dreams As many companies are, Vans was birthed from a dream of one of its founders, Paul Van Doren. He had learned how to make sneakers in a factory on the East Coast. His dream seemed fairly simple--to manufacture shoes that could be sold directly to the public. Paul decided to move west to Southern California along with his partners, Jim Van Doren, Gordy Lee, and Serge D'Elia. All of them had experience in the shoe manufacturing business, but none of them knew anything about retail.

March 1966
The first Vans shoe store opened at 704 East Broadway in Anaheim, California on March 15, 1966. They offered three styles, priced $2.49, $4.49, $4.99, as display-only shoes. Twelve customers came into the Vans store that morning to purchase shoes. Since their weren't any shoes in stock, Paul and Gordy asked the customers to come back in the afternoon. They then rushed back into the factory to make up the selected shoes. When the customers returned in the afternoon to pick up their shoes, they needed change for their purchases. Paul and Gordy hadn't thought of this (remember, they didn't have any retail experience), so they didn't have any change available. They just gave them the shoes, asking that they come back the next day to pay for them. All 12 customers showed up the following day to pay for their shoes.

Fast Reactions
The first Vans shoes had a diamond pattern in the sole, but they discovered that it would crack along the ball of the outsole. Vertical lines were then added to the ball area to make it stronger, a design which is now Vans' proprietary waffle sole.

In 1976, skateboarders began wearing Vans shoes. On March 19, 1976, Vans came out with the first Vans Era in red/blue, designed by pro skaters Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta. Over the next few years, many different color combinations were introduced into the Vans line. The Slip-on was added in 1979 in a multitude of color combinations, and it quickly became the craze of Southern California. That craze spread across the nation when Jeff Spicoli, a California surfer dude in the hit movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", wore a pair of Vans checkerboard slip-ons.

Growing Pains
By the early 1980s, Vans had become a successful and profitable company. Paul Van Doren decided to step back and take a lighter role. The new administration started increasing the Vans line into new territory. All of these new designs required a different type of manufacturing process that other shoe companies were doing in Asia. Vans tried to do it in the United States where labor was much more expensive. Naturally, this had an unfortunate effect on the company. The bank that was financing Vans called its note, but Vans did not have the money to pay. They filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In December of 1986, Vans came out of Chapter 11 and once again became a stable and profitable company.

Going Global
On February 16, 1988, the original owners sold Vans to McCown DeLeeuw Co., an investment banking firm. Vans expanded and gained recognition across the nation and around the world. Vans later made public offering of Vans stock, and the stock is now traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Vans expanded manufacturing overseas in 1994 in order to produce specialized footwear incapable of being made in the United States. The Vans footwear collection now features over 60 styles, ranging from classic deck shoes and slip-ons to high performance skateboard shoes, snowboard boots and sandals.

Vans are distributed through over 190 company-owned retail stores and outlets as well as through a nationwide network of independent shoe, sporting goods and apparel stores.
(Taken from is your shop for Vans shoes & snowboard gear. We carry a wide range of Vans products including Vans Snowboard Boots, Vans Women's Snowboard Boots, Vans Kids Snowboard Boots, Vans Snowboard Jackets, Vans Women's Snowboard Jackets, Vans Snowboard Pants, Vans Women's Snowboard Pants, Vans Skate Shoes, Vans Women's Skate Shoes, Vans Sandals, Vans Women's Sandals, Vans T-Shirts, Vans Hoodies, Vans Caps, and Vans Backpacks & Bags.

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