Bottom of vans

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Sometimes even the most innocuous aspects of product design provide fodder for those intent upon finding disturbing meanings worked into the ordinary fabric of things. Procter and Gamble, for instance, has for decades battled the rumor that it supports Satanism, a belief fueled in part by what some were determined to make of the beard curlicues of the company’s old-fashioned “man in the moon” logo, and numerous Canadians thought they spied the Devil in the Queen’s portrait on the banknotes issued by that country in 1954.

Vans, the athletic shoes most frequently associated with the California skate scene, has inadvertently engendered a similar belief thanks to the design of its product. Those who stare long enough at the sole of a Vans shoe will eventually see a pattern of interlocking six-sided stars in the honeycomb portion that supports the ball of the foot. While six-sided stars have been used for other purposes across the span of human history, that figure is now most commonly regarded as the “Star of David,” a symbol that represents Judaism.

This appearance has led to the development of the product-related rumor that Vans shoes have an anti-Semitic message worked into them, and thus buyers of this type of footwear are, whether they know it or not, participating in “walking on the Jews” (i.e., symbolically killing them). Our earliest print sighting of this rumor dates to 1998, but the belief was likely around well before that:

What do you know about Vans sneakers? I bought a pair for my daughter and a friend said, “You know they put Jewish Stars (the Star of David) on the soles”, meaning “Stomp the Jews”. Sure enough I looked at the bottom, and in the rubber soles, plain as day is this pattern of Jewish Stars.

Yet resemblance between the pattern worked into part of the sole and the Star of David notwithstanding, there is nothing to the rumor that the company’s owners “hate Jews,” “are neo-Nazis,” or have pulled a fast one on their customers by tricking them into “stepping on, and killing a jew” (statements that have come to use over the years from those who’ve encountered the rumor). Rather, the six-sided motif was placed there in all innocence: The honeycomb shape of that portion of the sole provides more secure footing for the skaters who have come to favor this brand (in part for that very reason).

Those who worked on the sole’s design didn’t even recognize the Star of David in what they were fashioning — that this honeycomb or hexagon pattern has come to be regarded as bearing an anti-Semitic message caught them, well, flat-footed.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says this about the Vans Shoes rumor:

An e-mail rumor long circulated on the Internet suggests that the maker of Vans skateboarding shoes is anti-Jewish because some of their shoes come with a pattern resembling a Star of David on a portion of their outsole (bottom). Some of the more conspiracy-minded e-mails suggest that this pattern was created by the company to put Jews down (“step on Jews”) or that the company was “founded by neo-Nazis.”

ADL has concluded that there is no truth to any of these allegations.

While ADL understands that the use of the Star of David pattern in this context may be offensive to some, there is no factual basis to believe that the maker of Vans shoes incorporated the six-pointed star design in an attempt to insult Jews. Over the years the company has sought to reassure inquirers that the trademarked pattern is just that — a pattern — with no intended anti-Jewish message.

After contacting the company in the 1990s when the rumor began spreading, ADL was reassured by the chief executive office of Vans that the interlinking six-pointed star pattern on their shoes dated from the founding of the company and “was not done with even any awareness that it was the Star of David.”

The League accepts the company’s explanation that the design is in fact just a design.



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How are Vans Shoes Made?


How long do Vans Customs take?

Vans prints custom patterns, photos and designs onto all iconic styles, including the Old Skool, Authentic, Slip-On, Era and Sk8-Hi. In 2017, Vans unveiled a new, innovative machine that allows custom designs to be printed on to shoes in less than 15 minutes.

Vans vice-president of creative Jamie Reilly told Fast Company that the new customisation machine allows Vans devotees to express themselves, which has always been a key focus for the brand:

“The checkerboard is an iconic piece of Vans branding but it originally came from kids drawing on their shoes,” Reilly said. “So this is just another cool way we can see what people want. The new machine fits into this as just another experiment to help us connect better with our customers and give them another platform for their own creativity and expression."

Vans’ tradition for making custom shoes goes back to our beginnings in California in the ‘60s. As the story goes, a customer walked into the shop on the very first day and asked for shoes in a colour which wasn’t then available. Paul Van Doren told her:

“Bring me the fabric you want your shoes made out of and I’ll make them for an extra 50 cents."

The rest, as they say, is history.


How to Fix Vans (Early) Sole Separation

How can I tell if my Vans are fake?

Legit Check: Vans Old Skool
Counterfeit vs. Real 

How do you know if vans are fake?Does zumiez sell real vans?

10 ways to spot fake Vans Sneakers

How do you know if Vans are fake? Today we have two pairs of Vans Old Skool sneakers: a real pair of Vans shoes purchased directly from the Vans Outlet and a counterfeit pair imported from South China. We will examine the small details that show the big story of counterfeit Vans, and you will learn how to tell if a Vans shoe is real or fake. The secret to a Vans sneaker authentification check is in the quality of the shoemaking and the vulcanized construction.

Is the price right?

When shopping for authentic Vans shoes you should expect to pay real Vans prices. If you find Vans at a price that is too good to be true… then it IS too good to be true. Low prices and beat up boxes are your first clue that you have a fake, copy, cloned, counterfeit or illegally smuggled-in B-grade Vans shoes.

Make any mail-order or E-Bay purchases from trusted retailers. Remember, slightly used does not mean the shoes were real Vans to start with.

Legit Check Your Vans Sneakers: What to look for?

Is the Vans stripe real or fake?

The first thing to look at is the sole stripe. The stripe on the rubber foxing tape is a trademark styling cue for the Vans classic. Study the stripe carefully; the authentic Vans shoe stripe is molded-in color. Vans makes the stripe with solid colored rubber that has clean and straight edges. The fake Vans have a painted stripe. You can see the paint job here is not perfect, and you can even see a dab of paint slopped onto the toe foxing.

Real Vans outsole foxing tape.

You can see where the toe tip rubber part is attached to the shoe on the authentic pair of Vans. Meanwhile, the counterfeit Vans sole has a very different surface texture, and the toe foxing is molded directly to the sole unit. This is very suspicious! This outsole may not have been made by vulcanization. On the real Vans shoe, you can see the tiny gap where these two parts come together. The authentic Vans toe tip is glued on, NOT molded together as one piece like the counterfeit Vans shoe.

Counterfeit Vans upper construction

Let’s have a look at the real and the fake Vans upper details. Look at the back edge of the vamp where the shoelaces attach; you can see the counterfeit Vans has alignment nibs to help the workers assemble the shoe. These are not necessarily a bad thing, but the real Vans old Skool does not have them. 

Look below here; you can see the white “Jazz Stripe” on the fake shoe has the same “nibs.” The real Vans side stripe is free of these ugly notches. Now, look just below the stripe; you can see the real Vans shoe has a kink in the accent stitching line while the fake Vans shoe has a smooth curve in the stitching line.

Looking at the heel view, you can see the real Vans has a smooth topline while the fake shoe has a central peak. You can also see more “nibs” on the fake red shoe’s heel counter from the side view.

The toe profile of the real Vans skate shoe is very low. The vamp runs flat. The copy Vans shoe has a rounded toe.

Vans makes outsoles with three layers of rubber foxing tape glued together. While the fake Vans in red may look cleaner, it’s not correct. The real Vans rubber outsole shows how the layers of rubber foxing tape come together in a bulging pileup of overlapping parts. While this may look like poor shoemaking, it is authentic to Vans sneakers.

Is this Vans outsole a fake?

  • How To Spot Fake Vans Shoes: 10 Ways To Tell Real Sneakers 3 Ways to Tell if Your Vans Shoes Are Fake - wikiHow How do you know if vans are fake?
  • How To Spot Fake Vans Shoes: 10 Ways To Tell Real Sneakers 3 Ways to Tell if Your Vans Shoes Are Fake - wikiHow How do you know if vans are fake?

Now it’s time to look at the distinctive Vans waffle bottom sole. First you should look for the secret country code. Vans makes shoes is several countries including China, Vietnam and in South America. Vans may my also use more than one factory in each country. The real Vans shoes will have a letter code in hidden in the diamond pattern. In this Case the fake sneaker does have the code. But looking at the sole closely you can see several other problems with the fake sole.

The fake sole has rubber color bleeding between the white and gum rubber. The real sole will have a clean crisp edge. You can also see the fake sole has a strange straight line alone the edge of the gum rubber perimeter. Finally on the fake sole you can see the bottom area of the waffle sole is not flat. The fake vans shoes has a cheap mold made quality and not to high quality standards, poor workmanship is typical of mold used to make fake shoes.

Look inside authentic Vans shoes

It is time to start cutting! Looking inside the real and fake Vans, you can see some huge problems! The counterfeit Vans are not made by the vulcanization process. The counterfeit Vans outsole is a one-piece rubber cupsole. The factory producing the copy Vans shoe is using the cold cement assembly process. The real Vans waffle sole is made from several assembled parts that have been bonded by vulcanization. (You can read about vulcanization here and in our book How Shoes Are Made.)

  • Look inside Fake Vans Sneakers

In this cutaway section of the Vans shoes, you see blue and grey sponge rubber inside the real Vans shoe. Inside the fake Vans, you see a green lasting board, white Strobel layer, and EVA footbed. Wrong!

Inside the heels of the shoes, you can see the fake shoe is made by Strobel construction. This process is not bad; it’s just not how Vans classics are made! You don’t have to cut open your shoes to check this feature – The real vans shoe will have the footbed glued in securely. The counterfeit Vans may have a removable EVA footbed. In this case, a flat, die-cut piece of EVA.

You can learn more about counterfeit Vans shoes here:
The Counterfeit Report: Vans Shoes

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How to Fix Vans (Early) Sole Separation

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