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founded in 1966 by Paul Van Doren, the company was originally called the Van Doren Rubber Company. Today the company is known simply as Vans, based in Southern California and manufactures sneakers (or trainers), skate shoes, snow boots and other shoe types catering for the active youth market.

Vans niche is in the young market for performance shoes for urban sports like skateboarding and BMX, as well as water sports like surfing. The company supports young surfers, skaters and riders in the Vans Team. The special thick rubber soles of Vans shoes make them ideal for tough urban sports like skateboarding. The original design of the Vans sole was a rubber diamond shape, today the soles retain the diamond shapes, with the addition of lines across the middle of the shoe where the most stress is placed walking or boarding- this makes them ultra durable.

Vans are also worn as fashion shoes, particularly in the punk/ska scene and every year since 1995 Vans has organised the Vans Warped Tour, which is a punk/Ska music and extreme sports festival. Vans has recently re-introduced the slip on style shoe, particularly in the popular diamond checked design, which is a nod to the company’s retro roots.