The story behind the shoe


Nick Einig

Vans are very popular among students but one student took it upon himself do make something of his own.

Eric Nikolaisen, Staff Writer

This year is the Van’s Skateboard Company’s 50th year anniversary, and nearly impossible not to find the company’s shoe on students walking through the halls.

The company sells numerous styles of shoes, but the most popular shoe is the “Authentic” style. The shoe is a simple canvas shoe with a single colored base. The styles first appearance was in 1966, and define all the characteristics of a “Vans Classic”.

Senior, Jason Kuehn, has eight pairs of the authentic style Vans. He has been wearing them since the sixth grade and in his eyes, sees more than “just a shoe”.

“The authentic Van is more than just your regular sneaker,” Kuehn said. “You can have the shoe for years, and as beat down, as they may get, most Vans supporters can agree that it only gives them more character.”

Unlike most people, Kuehn has used the authentic Van as his own canvas. Turning the basic shoe into something more abstract and his own. Kuehn paints, bleaches, and draws on his Vans to separate himself from the rest of the pack.

“My hobby with creating art from shoes started when I spilled bleach on my all black vans in eighth grade,” Kuehn said. “Little did I know that the shoe would later turn into what looked like it had drops of lava flowing from it.”

Vans trademark making their shoes your own. Often a beat up, worn down, shoes help create character in the eyes of many Vans customers.

“I really do think that giving the shoe wear only makes it better,” Kuehn said. “I think that was my first attraction to the shoe and the brand, I was able to take something simple and make out stories in the soles, literally.”

The authentic Vans is a legacy shoe that is continuing to grow in popularity, it’s nearly impossible to walk through the halls and not spot a student with them on, and just like Kuehn’s, they probably have a story too.