Are You Off the Wall?


Yesterday was a bit of a nostalgic day in our house.  Especially for Sandra.  After months of putting it off, she finally decided she was ready to treat herself to a brand new pair of Vans shoes.  Not that it was a momentous occasion mind you, but Sandra doesn’t often splurge on fun things for herself.  I’ve been telling her to get them, and so maybe she finally caved to my charm and suggestion.  It wouldn’t be the first time…Ha ha ha.  Ahem.

Anyway, she and I went to the Vans store.  It was like high school all over again.  The loud music, the loud clothes, the young staff eager to help.  One thing I will say about a Vans store, you don’t get ignored.  After 47 years, Vans still does three things better than just about anyone else;

  1. Offer great customer service.
  2. Stay young, hip and relevant
  3. Offer iconic shoes that never go out of style.

Seriously, name another shoe brand that is more of a lifestyle than a shoe?  In California, Vans are like the Ferris Bueller of shoes.

“Oh, he’s very popular, Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebies, dickheads, they all adore him. They think he’s a righteous dude.”

EXACTLY.  Walk down any street in southern California and you can spot people from all walks of life wearing a pair of Vans.  Not bad for a company who didn’t have change to give to their first twelve customers so they gave them their shoes and asked they return later to pay for them.  All twelve customers returned.  And what made Vans really stand out in 1966 was that they were selling custom shoes.  You could walk into the store, pick out your color and style and return later to get your shoes.  Nobody was doing that, and a legend was born.  That’s what was so nostalgic about yesterday, as Sandra was remembering the last time she had purchased a pair of Vans.  She was in Junior High, and had ordered a custom pair.  LOVE it…

The Vans store is on Route 66.  Get your kicks, huh?
The Vans store is on Route 66. Get your kicks, huh?

Yesterday she bought from the rack.  BUT…She did buy a limited edition color (coral), so it wasn’t like she was there to be practical.  I love her new shoes, I think she looks AWESOME.  It was a treat for me to see her in the store, treating herself, having fun picking out her new kicks.  We’ve been in that store off and on for years with the kids (both loyal Vans customers), so it was nice to be there for the adults.

I was jealous a little, if I’m being honest.  Maybe after the first of the year I’ll treat myself to some new Vans.  Of course, I already have a pair in my closet I bought a few years ago.  Organic & Recycled.  Yep, you read that right folks.  Vans used recycled plastic bottles and organic bamboo to build my shoe.  They teamed with the Surfrider Foundation to help a beach clean-up program that was supported through sales of that style of shoe.  It was the reason I got them a few years ago.  Classic style with modern sensibilities.  Still young, still hip and still relevant, after all these years. Sandra Full with Shoes

My beautiful girl is like a kid again.  After a few years off, she’s back in the tribe.  Although, I just realized I may have created a monster.  Now that I’ve encouraged her to get the shoes, she may want more.  Much more.  She may want a whole closet of shoes.  She may want a whole closet JUST FOR SHOES.  She might go crazy.  She might go Off the Wall!

Naaaahhh…My wife would never do that.

Do you remember your first pair of Vans?  What style and color where they?

5 thoughts on “Are You Off the Wall?”

  1. Love the coral color! My first pair were Hawaiian print slip on’s, from the original Van Doren store in Lakewood. I brought my own fabric and two weeks later I had an awesome pair of shoes.

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