Vans Skate Classics Collection: 'Blackout Pack'
Combining heritage with skate-centric performative function, skatewear powerhouse Vans introduces its latest ‘Blackout Pack’ TecTuff enhanced ‘Skate Classics’ collection inspired by modern-day necessity and the demand for improved endurance. Maintaining all the much-loved charm and character associated with age-old favourites such as the Vans Old Skool, Vans Authentic and Vans SK8-Hi, Vans’ rebranded Core Store Exclusive instalment is both classic in composure and committed to providing everyday skaters with the live-through footwear they deserve.
Founded by Van Doren brothers Paul and James, Vans’ Waffle-soled legacy is one that is often attributed to the duo’s decade-long affiliation with Randy 720 curators ‘Randolph Rubber Manufacturing Company’. Parting ways in ‘66 to form the ‘House of Vans’ titled Anaheim-based ‘Van Doren Rubber Company’, the pioneering brand rose to success through its revolutionary #44 Deck Shoe styled with soles ‘twice as thick’ and uppers crafted from Duck Canvas #10, ‘the strongest one could buy’. Seizing an opportunity to address a wider mainstay in the given era, Vans swiftly joined forces with Z-Boy team-riders Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta in ‘75 to release the padded #95 Era’s, with Universal Studios reaching out just five years later asking for sneakers to use in the coming-of-age comedy film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. With Sean Penn’s character Jeffery ‘Jeff’ Spicoli boosting the brand’s existence via a showcase of the now infamous checkerboard slip-ons, there’s no real surprise as to how the brand grew in popularity amongst evolutionary skate and street culture in such a short period of time.
After a brief, and unsuccessful, stint at trying to conquer alternative corners of the market, via releases such as the Vans 5000 Running Shoe and Vans Breaker, the brand turned its attention whole-heartedly to skate with the celebrated signature release of the Vans Steve Caballero in 1988. Actively providing skaters with the attributes and elements they actually needed, Vans opened its ears to the ever-growing skate market whilst still honouring their own pre-set goal to manufacture a shoe so strong that people would jump at the chance to ‘show it off to their friends’. Unchallenged, the brand continues to team-up with influential skate-scene heavyweights such as Chima Ferguson, Elijah Berle and Rowan Zorilla to provide energetic and unrestrained skaters with re-invented interpretations of the classic silhouettes they grew up wearing.
Celebrating their 55th anniversary in 2021, the time seems fitting for the brand to introduce its revolutionary new ‘Skate Classics’ blackout pack. Honouring their legacy for manufacturing ‘the best thick-soled American made sneakers around’ and listening to the contemporary needs of modern-day skater’s, this remastered and reengineered curation of classics brings new light to all-time favourites such as the #44 Deck Shoe/Vans Authentic, #95 Era, #36 Old Skool, #98 Slip-On and the 1978 debuting Style 38 Sk8-Hi profile. Water-repellent TecTuff materials originally found on the brand’s ‘Mountain Edition’ (MTN) sneakers find common place for increased all-season function, whilst advancements on the brand’s iconic Waffle sole showcase increased tread depth and sharpened sickStick vertical-tread extensions for better boardfeel and control. Revisions to the OG DURACAP overlays and the now re-moulded heel counter keep long-lasting stability in mind, with the double-up foxings and the double-up PopCush sockliner installing twice as much comfort and twice as much durability to suit the demands of any active street or park-based skate session. A new undercut to all designs serves a more ‘classic’ side-profile, whilst the revised perimeter shape across the bottom-plate keeps the Core Store Exclusive collection on its toes. Inspired by the ‘80s era trend of checkerboard etchings and a subtle throwback to the design’s debut in Amy Heckerling’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the original side-wall brand tab is now replaced with a checkerboard flag and the iconic heel-scab now debossed with collection-specific ‘Vans Off The Wall: Skateboarding’ details. Across lace-up variants such as the Authentic, Era, Old Skool and Sk8-Hi, the usual canvas tongue is replaced with those styled with ‘lock-in’ straps for a more reliable and resilient sense of security.
Shop all Vans at Flatspot.