There was a time when legit skate shoes were identified by an iconic symbol - the Vans Sidestripe.
In a world that encourages individuality, a trademark that would distinguish a company from its competitors is a must. Nike has its famous swoosh logo, Adidas with it's three stripes, and Le Coq Sportif with its cheeky rooster.
Among the most recognisable is the Vans Sidestripe. The founder of Vans, Paul Van Doren, originally referred to it as the "jazz stripe", with the iconic trademark first appearing in 1977 when it graced Vans first ever leather skate shoes, the Style 36 or more commonly known as the Old Skool.
It was incredibly popular; fans loved the Old Skool. While manufacturers back then were cramming every available feature into their sneakers, Vans opted to cut out all unnecessary designs to keep the Old Skool simple. It was eventually overshadowed by other models but it still managed to hold a place in many sneaker lovers hearts.
Fast-forward to 2017 and now we have the latest Vans Old Skool in Canvas Black/Light Gum for review. Is it good enough today?
The Old Skool has a monochrome look to it. However, it's flexible style-wise; the black canvas makes these shoes look great along with a variety of outfits.
The signature rubber gum sole of the Old Skool adds a bit of colour to an otherwise industrial and conservative design.
The Sidestripe is minimal, with the glossy glint and the seam serving as the only indicators of the iconic trademark. The Old Skool is undoubtedly Vans even at first sight; It follows the same design formula as all the other Vans shoes making it very easy to spot.
Overall, the Old Skool's timelessness is clear. Vans struck gold with their design and it would be foolish for them to change the design which has served them so well over the past 20-30 years.
A legendary myth about Vans shoes is the break-in period.
It has been a widespread opinion among users on the Internet about getting blisters if you are a first-time Vans customer. Fortunately, the Old Skool shoes that we have for review did not give us any pain despite extensive use.
The Vans Old Skool is fitted with the standard waffle gum sole, a feature that would be criminal to not include. The soles provide excellent grip since it is made from high-quality rubber. A great benefit if you are a skater.
To make things better, the sole is almost immune to wear and tear even after extensive usage. Eventually, the soles will start to slowly wear out; even if it does, though, it still retains its exceptional grip and balance.
The Vans Old Skool still packs a punch and can easily hold its own against its modern counterparts. The timeless design is nicely in contrast with its versatile personality.
Shoes like these are classic for a reason. They look great and feel great. Vans zero marketing of the Old Skool's are a testament to that; all of the work is done by the shoes themselves as people know how to appreciate a good shoe when they see one.
For us, we think that the Old Skool is a great choice especially if you are first-time sneaker buyer, plus they age so well over time, and there is nothing quite like a pair of well worn in Vans.
Priced at a modest $119.95 AUD, the Old Skool is available now at Sole Finess.
UPDATE: This product is out of stock, but you can find the latest Vans sneakers here.