I grew up in No. Orange Co. CA where Van’s got started. Van Doren Rubber Co. was the company name. Van’s weren’t a fashion statement in the 1960s. They were a value product that significantly undercut the big names of the day (Converse, P.F. Flyer, etc.). They had their own Van’s stores. The Van’s “store,” where I grew up in La Habra, was a tiny shack sitting on a tiny lot that was essentially a traffic island where Whittier and Harbor Blvd’s intersected. The basic Van’s shoe was the only style they made (in about a dozen solid colors) and they were $9 a pair. Mom would give me the 9 bucks and I would ride my bike and get fitted for shoes. They would last just long enough to outgrow them, which was perfect. Mom didn’t have to spend more on the shoes than she was going to get out of them.
Totally fine, they're just canvas and rubber, man. Not meant as heirlooms. The Vault stuff is more sturdy than the regular line, and I think the designer collabs like EG use nicer materials at least for the uppers. The Lites are fantastic to wear, but blow out within a few months.
Slip ons for life. I buy a pair pretty much every season. The most durable, and I wear them hard, ime, are the suede ones. They don't really fray. They start to break down when the sole peels away from the upper where they flex most. Oh, and if you can, get a leather lined pair. A leather insole, like they have on the Takayuki collabs, are so much more comfortable on the bare foot.
Authentics and Slip-ons only for me as well. I've always had at least one or the other on hand since the 80s. Currently I have a pair of white suede slips and some black authentics from the Our Legacy collection. + new standards and an ocbd and that's my "don't want to think about it" uniform.
I've never owned Vans but have been thinking about a pair in burgundy or the tan suede joints below. Do any of them have any degree of cushioning or arch support? I tried Converse once years ago and hated them.
Vans are comf-ier than Converse imo. I dunno about arch support. I have pretty flat feet. A few models have Cush insoles. And the Lites have a spongy feel, sorta like Nike Frees. I like the suede versions. esp navy.