Rise of Vans at Grady


Elena Hubert

Junior Zahna Jenkins rocks her flame-emblazoned Vans at Grady.

If you pay close attention to the footwear of Grady’s students, a common trend seems to emerge: Vans. The iconic stripe and red logo can be found anywhere around the school.
Vans are no longer exclusively for skaters. The shoe brand has grown increasingly popular amongst Grady students due to its many variations. The trend is spreading rapidly and doesn’t seem to be dying down any time soon.
According to a survey of 64 Grady students, 59 percent own a pair of Vans. For sophomore Jorge Navarrete, it is easy to spot a student sporting the brand.
“When I’m walking down the hallway, I usually see three to five people wearing some sort of Vans apparel,” said Navarrete.
The variations of the shoe seem limitless because of the endless amount of styles and colorful designs found both in stores and online. With an average price starting at $55, Vans aren’t the cheapest pair on the market, but sophomore Elliot Wilner believes that they are worth it.
“I like wearing Vans because they’re very comfortable and so versatile because all of the outfits that you can wear generally have a colorway of Vans that will go with it,” said Wilner.
The now well-known brand was formed in 1966 in Anaheim, California and became popular with skateboarders. In fact, the popular “Sk8-Hi” style with a height that reaches the ankle was designed to protect skateboarders’ ankles.
“If you skate, and you see someone wearing Vans who doesn’t skate, then you’ll probably get mad,” said Navarette. “For most people, I think they see it as another shoe to wear.”
The favorite style of Vans among Grady students is “Old-Skool”, with 47 percent favoring it. The low-top shoes feature the infamous wave stripe and either a solid color or checkered pattern as the background. The black and white shoes seem to be the most popular at Grady due to their simplistic style.
“There’s a joke around my friends … people with blue and black [Old-Skool] Vans because so many people have them,” said junior Lindsey Schroeder.
Other styles favored by Grady students include “Authentic”, “Slip-On”, and “Sk8-Hi”. Both “Authentic” and “Slip-On” are low-tops, however, “Authentic” has laces while “Slip-On” does not.
“Whether its ‘Slip-On’, ‘High-top, ‘Low-top’, whatever, there is a shoe for you,” said Wilner.
The results of the survey showed that 63 percent of those who own Vans purchased their most recent pair during the last six months. In fact, the Vans Corporation was predicted to reach a revenue of 5 billion dollars by 2023 after achieving a revenue of 2 billion dollars in its lifetime.
“It is really the only thing I wear to school,” said Schroeder.
53 percent of students with Vans have one pair while 47 percent have two or more pairs. The aforementioned range of options allows for a flexible shoe collection.
“If I’m leaning [towards] more warm colors, I wear my red ones,” said Schroeder. “If I’m leaning [towards] more cool colors, I wear my blue ones.”
Vans is set to release a new collection that showcases embroidered designs such as tigers, skulls, and snakes on its original styles such as ‘Sk8-Hi’ and ‘Authentic’. Perhaps these will become the new hot pair of shoes at Grady.
“Vans are so iconic,” said Wilner. “They have such a great ‘skater-esque’ look that will never go out of style.”