My Vans special edition Descendents shoes. They're well-worn and well- loved.
James Van Doren, co-founder of Vans skate shoes, has died at the age of 72, leaving behind a legacy of iconic shoes and devoted followers. What began as a simple skateboarding shoe in 1966 turned into a symbol of the burgeoning Southern California skate culture.
Vans were the shoes of a beachside counter-culture; the thick, rubber-souled lace-ups and slip-ons were not mean to be kept clean. They screamed to be scuffed, ripped and worn until a telltale hole appeared on the toe. Vans were used to do ollies and kickflips, protect your feet in mosh pits and carry California's youth wherever they wanted to go.
The holy moment of the company came with the creation of the checkered slip-on. Originally created only in black-and-white, these flexible, sturdy shoes remained suitable for skating but with an aesthetic that appealed to a much larger crowd. People became obsessed with the shoe, which was later rereleased in an assortment of updated colors, including neon pink and black or electric blue and black.