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Slip On Vans were first made in 1977, though at the time they went by the name of the Vans Style #98. From its beginnings, the Slip On Vans shoe was adopted by the rapidly growing skateboard scene in Southern California. This came off the back of the popularity of the Vans Era, then the Vans Style #95, released the year previous in 1976. As with so many of Vans’ early releases, such as the Vans Old Skool and the Era, the skateboarders were drawn to its grippy waffle sole and sturdy build.
The popularity of the Slip On Vans skate shoe may have its roots in the mid-1970s, however, it wasn’t until 1982 that the Slip On, specifically the Vans Checkerboard Slip On, really took off in a big way. Star of the 1982 cult film, ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’, Sean Penn happened across a pair of the checkered Vans Slip Ons at the Vans store in Santa Monica. From there Universal Studios made contact with Vans PR, ordering in several more pairs to be included in the film. Penn’s character, slacker icon Jeff Spiccoli, wore the shoes throughout the film, leading to a huge increase in demand and cementing them in the minds of generations to come.
Fast forward to the modern day and the Slip On Vans remains a constant in Vans’ skate shoe range. Though the modern iteration is somewhat more technically advanced than its predecessors. Modern skate Slip On Vans come with the specially designed UltraCush HD insole to improve comfort and ward off heel bruises. The Pro Vulc Lite construction is intended to maintain the level of board feel that first attracted skateboarders to the shoe way back when. They’re also tougher nowadays, with DURACAP underlays in key wear areas, which improve the shoes’ durability in the long term.
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