Vans is a Southern California based manufacturer of sneakers, skate shoes and other shoe types catering primarily to the skateboarder/surfer youth market. Founded on March 15, 1966 by Paul Van Doren in Southern California, it was originally known as Van Doren Rubber Company.
The shoes were made right in the store. Vans would take the order of the customer, however he or she wanted it, then have it ready for pick up in a few days. In the beginning, Vans designed the shoes with solely diamonds, as seen on the top and bottom of the soles. Later on, the middle part of each shoe was falling apart/cracking because it was the most walked upon and used during skateboarding. Vans later decided to add in vertical lines in order to increase friction and grip. This was then officially named the "waffle-sole". They market heavily in the surfing, skateboarding, urban, and punk areas. In more recent years, Vans has marketed additional items such as clothing and skateboarding accessories. They also are heavily involved in the snowboard industry as well.