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Vans Anaheim Factory: Home of the OG Custom Sneaker

Vans Anaheim Factory: Home of the OG Custom Sneaker

The bespoke Californian shoemaker returns to its homegrown roots, with a new Pack of classics.

A Brief History

On the crisp overcast morning of March 16, 1966; Jim and Paul Van Doren opened up the Van Doren Rubber Company’s doors at their Anaheim factory, 704 East Broadway. They welcomed 12 customers – a healthy mix of friends, and friends’ friends – who placed orders for their own customized pair of VDRC Style #44s (later introduced as the Vans Authentic).

Each pair was assured to be completely different than the next, offering endless personalization of the colours, materials, prints and soles on the Style #44. The shoes were customized, but a few things were uncompromised on each iteration: workwear quality 10oz canvas, soft 100% cotton laces, high gloss foxing tape, and crazy-durable vulcanized soles. View the Vans Anaheim Factory Pack

1966 - 1982

For the next few years, Californian skaters caught wind of the ultra-sticky soles and super-tough canvas coming out of the Van Dorens’ Anaheim corner store. By 1970, they coined it the House of Vans – and by the late ‘70s, Vans had opened 70 shops throughout California – mass producing simple styles with international intentions.

Originally dubbed the Style #48, the Vans Slip-On was released in 1977, and it was steeped in custom Californian skate shoe inspiration. The now-iconic checkerboard print had been born, as the Van Dorens noticed young Cali skaters drawing on their soles with school supplies. In 1982, the shoe was catapulted into American history, as Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) rocked the easy-to-wear Slip-On in ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High.’

By this time, the Old Skool and the Sk8-Hi had been gaining a popularity of their own. Continuing with the customization theme – these styles (#36 and #38) were direct responses to BMX riders’ and vert skaters’ needs for a more supportive piece of footwork. The famous ‘Jazz stripe’ had been applied to compete with Nike’s successful Swoosh design.

2000 - Onwards

Fast forward to the new millennium: Vans is dubbed one of “America’s Best Small Companies for 2000” by Forbes Magazine – after the skate shoe customizers kicked and pushed themselves out of a brief stint in chapter 11 bankruptcy.

You’d think the innovation would slow here, but Vans was just getting started. Their legacy was soon cemented by ‘Dogtown and Z-Boys’ (2001), the Vans Triple Crown Series, the Vans Warped Tour (2002), and a grip of high-profile ambassadors ranging from Olympic Champions to Hollywood stars.

Vans Anaheim Factory Pack (2021)

Today, Vans honours their deep-seated roots with the coveted Anaheim Factory Pack. A collection of classics, combined with modern comfort, for those who appreciate the details.

Named after their original style numbers — from the Old Skool 36 DX, to the Slip-On 98 DX and everything in between — the Vans Anaheim Factory Pack features an elevated construction standard across the board. The same uncompromisable standard which changed the game forever in 1966.

Vans fans will notice the extra glossy foxing tape, the style number printed to the shoe, the soft cotton laces, the original drill lining weight, and of course, the newly added OrthoLite and UltraCush technology. Further... super durable canvas uppers and OG colourways are all part of what makes the Anaheim Factory Pack so needed.


Shop the Vans Anaheim Factory Pack

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