Vans - Off the Wall! Back in March 1966 the van Doren brothers Paul and James opened their first skate shop in Anaheim, California. At this time Paul also developed the first shoe particularly designed for skateboarding – the “Hi-Top”, later called “Sk8-Hi”. For more than 50 years Vans shoes are worn by skaters, musicians and almost every other subculture you could think of. Besides their famous and colorful shoes, Vans offers a whole range of good quality street wear including t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, bags, beanies and accessories. Since the age of the Dogtown Boys huge names like Tony Alva, Christian Hosoi, Geoff Rowley and Chima Ferguson rode and ride on the classic waffle pattern. So when to it comes to skateboarding, Vans is just like skinned knees - it wouldn't be the same without it.