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Introducing the Vans Sk8 Hi

In 1978, Vans introduced the Sk8-Hi, a classic skateboarding footwear item that combined functionality with a distinctive style that has transcended its original context to become a staple in fashion and subcultures.

The skateboarding world inspired this high-top sneaker, which offers enhanced ankle protection and support. In the debut colorway, 'Black and White' were used to emphasise the sneaker's sleek design and silhouette while ensuring its versatility.

Vans' Sk8-Hi is not only iconic for its design and functionality, but also for its cultural significance. In addition to skateboarding's performance features, it was equally embraced by musicians, artists, and fashion-forwards due to its distinctive aesthetic.

Sk8-Hi's ability to serve as a canvas for countless collaborations, special editions, and customisations has cemented its status as a timeless icon.

The Design of Vans Sk8-Hi

Vans Sk8-Hi's enduring popularity is a testament to its unique design elements that combine both form and function, making it a beloved choice among a variety of subcultures. Its striking look is complemented by its high-top silhouette, which provides ankle support crucial for skateboarding. With a canvas and suede construction, the silhouette is durable and resilient.

The reinforced toecaps are designed to withstand repeated wear, and the padded collars enhance sneaker comfort and support. Skaters appreciate Vans' waffle outsole's exceptional grip, which has also gained popularity off the board. Vans' brand identity includes the iconic side stripe, or 'Jazz stripe', adds a recognisable visual accent.

Sk8-Hi colorways cater to a wide range of preferences and styles. The classic 'Black/White' remains a classic due to its versatility and timeless appeal. The 'Checkerboard' offers a bold and distinctive look that captures Vans' playful spirit and skateboarding heritage.

The Origins of Sk8-Hi

The Sk8-Hi, originally released as Vans Style 38, is deeply rooted in skateboarders' needs in the late 70s. In the same year as their release, skateboarder Allan Ollie Gelfand created the iconic 'Ollie' trick.

This led to shoes wearing off around the ankle and multiple injuries among skateboarders. To solve the growing problem, Vans created the Sk8-Hi design, which through its padded collar protects the wearer's feet and supports them as they perform the classic trick.