A symbol of skate subculture, teenage youth, and Southern California, the Vans Checkerboard Slip-On has transcended shoe ranks to become what few have managed to attain: a classic. Originally known as “Style 98”, this iconic sneaker has roots in the ’70s skateboard and BMX scene. Steve Van Doren, son of Vans founder Paul Van Doren, watched teens coloring the rubber sole of their shoes to create a checkerboard pattern and boom!—inspiration struck. The design went into the next Vans slip-on and quickly the shoe became an totem for skater youth.
This classic design is cooler now more than ever with brands like Saint Laurent drawing direct references from the shoe and its subculture. Perhaps its the effortless way the slip-on casualizes a glam look or how absolutely comfortable they are (we all gotta give our feet a break sometimes!). Either way, the fashion sect has been reaching for them over and over again, and we’ve taken notice.
Whether you’re on a skateboard on Sunset or city sidewalk in Manhattan, slip into a pair of Vans sneaks that have shaped the history of style from the bottom up.
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