LBIFBACK Shoe Review: Vans Vault x Taka Hayashi “Horween” TH OG Sk8-Mid LX (Bison/Natural)

Another great and informative video review by the homie akamedaniel, aka LBIFBACK.  No frills.  No fuccboi shit “all up in the video”.  The way we like to see a video review done!

UTP Review: Vault by Vans x END Clothing – “Nordic Wool” OG Old Skool LX


It’s been ages since I’ve been able to sit down and write up a personal review on a sneaker release, but you’ve caught me on a good week and I’m in the mood to do one, so here goes!

Today we are reviewing END Clothing’s first official Vault by Vans collab, as far as I know.  I’ve been sharing Vans collabs for many years and I don’t have anything documented, and THE Google doesn’t find anything either!  With that being said, we are seeing the results of a brand that knows things.  END has been a Vault dealer for a long time, and they have to have a pretty good finger on the pulse of what Vans enthusiasts want, as well as what their clientele want.  They’ve managed to create something that’s unique, timeless, and high fashion without adding any gimmicks or trends.  Unique, because of the material and patterns used.  Timeless, because of the simple black and marshmallow colorways chosen, and high fashion because of the premium soft supple leather that was chosen for each shoe.  Not to mention, the packaging.  Each raffle-drawn winner received their pair in a custom velveteen wrapped box, with the custom knitted V print and END Clothing logo front and center.  Another unique aspect of the release.  One of my favorite subtle features, is the white contrasting foxing stripe, set in between the marshmallow sidewall foxing.  There is also minimal END branding on the footbed, just to let you know whose collab this is.  Each pair comes with a set of wide flat nylon laces, as well as a set of nylon paracord laces.  Either one is fine with me.

I’d like to say that this release kind of just showed up out of nowhere.  No big hype behind it, but END released both pairs through their online raffle system, and they sold out!  Congratulations on that one!  These are one of those pairs that you don’t really give it a thought, until you either see some up close detailed shots of the material and true colors, or you see them on somebody’s feet.  Either way, you’ll have to wait to find your pair through the grubby little hands of a reseller now.  I’d like to thank Simon at END, and Nick at Vans UK for the always appreciated support!

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A Day At The New Vans Corporate Headquarters (8.30.17)


I know it’s been a few weeks since we were invited to tour the Vans Corporate Headquarters, but life has really been in the way and I haven’t been able to really sit down and write.  I mainly wanted to share with you, some random photos that I was able to take while touring this amazing new facility.  Situated right off the 405 freeway in Costa Mesa, just West of Harbor Blvd., perfectly visible from the freeway, stands this gigantic checkerboard wrapped building, with an even more giant Vans logo on each side of the building.  It’s even more magnificent from the inside courtyard, where you’ve all seen that big red staircase that connects all 3 floors together.


I started out my day meeting up with the Strictly Waffles fam Eddie and Joey in the parking lot.  We arrived inside to all of our Vans PR friends, and a few familiar faces I’ve met at past events.  We were provided with some breakfast items and Stumptown Coffee which is the coffee of choice throughout the main cafe, and the coffee kitchens situated on each floor.  I was all about that nitro cold brew that was on tap, served up by their very own barista Brandon.  This was too awesome.


The day of course started with a nice introduction from Steve Van Doren, and his sister Cheryl, talking about what was important when asking employees about what they wanted the new building to have, as well as making sure it was a place that made you love being at work.  There are private think spaces throughout the entire building, an outdoor courtyard complete with a bell that can be rung and heard throughout the entire place, when you make a significant achievement, and there’s even a game room loaded with air hockey, foosball, and shuffleboards to blow off a little steam on.  Vans memorabilia is on display almost everywhere you look.  Band collab shoes, custom Fender guitars, and even the Vans Born Free 9 motorcycle that was built by Thompson Cycles. Read More

Vans Vault x Taka Hayashi – TH Sk8 Skool LX (LBIFBACK Video Review!) #LBIFBACK

Our homie Daniel @akamedaniel aka LBIFBACK has a new video review out, on the new Vans Vault x Taka Hayashi Sk8 Skool LX in BLue Graphite.  This is a new silhouette from Taka, and it’s super dope.  Check out the video and subscribe to LBIFBACK on Youtube.

MassesMY Reviews the Vault x Our Legacy Old Skool Pro ’92 LX (Video) @massesmy #massesmy

Just wanted to share this video of Bryan Chin from Masses Malaysia, of the Vault x Our Legacy Old Skool Pro ’92 LX.  He first shared this video on the Strictly Waffles FB group, but it’s really good, entertaining, funny, and he calls the Vans models by their actual names!  Take notes all you young cats doing sneaker vids online.  Our Vans community will put you on blast for stuff like that!  Great video Bryan!

Vans Vault x Blends – Sk8-Hi Decon LX (UTP Review!) #blendsvans @blends


Here it is folks.  The 6th “Bones” release by Blends and Vans Vault is finally upon us.  I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a pair a day early, so that I could do what I do, and that’s provide you with a unique perspective, a simple one, complete with a few real world photos, un-doctored, and in natural sunlight for that realistic effect.  Enjoy the pics, and good luck getting a pair tomorrow morning at 9AM online, or at each physical location when they open, including the new store located in the Larchmont Village, over near Melrose and the Paramount Studios!

The Sk8-Hi Decon LX is a model we rarely see.  As most of you may know, the Decon models come stripped down with minimal padding and for the most part the uppers are of a one-piece construction.  Blends added their signature minimalistic style with the use of black premium leather throughout, with off-white contrast stitching.  Their trademark Bone jazz stripe is the only panel that stands out on the smooth one-piece upper.  This is the first time Blends has stepped away from the zipper for a Bones release, and substituted it with a heel-pull tab.  It’ll mostly go unnoticed underneath a pair of pants though.  The vulcanized outsole is sort of an off-white, but not entirely of the marshmallow colorway, and the black foxing stripe ties off the classic aesthetic Vans is known for.  The tongues are once again muted, and the only branding on the shoe is by way of a footbed print.  Finally, the inside lining is canvas, and not pigskin, so that’s good news for some.  Oh, and there’s a dustbag and drawer box like the rest.

These are probably the most polarizing pair for any Blends purists, strictly because they didn’t follow suit with the prior models, but who cares right?  It’s still a Bones release.  It’s black.  It’s got premium leather throughout.  It’s got white soles with a black foxing stripe.  They definitely won’t come and go with any trends.  Don’t let anyone try and talk you out of trying to pick these up, because they’re probably just trying to increase their odds of scoring a pair.  Thanks to the Blends fam for always looking out for Under The Palms.  Appreciate you guys as always.

tons more pics after the jump

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Vans x Pass~Port – Old Skool Pro (Available @silostore on 8.13.16)


It appears that Vans and Pass~Port have been working on a little collaboration that has been kept tightly under wraps, which is just awesome.  Too many times, we get early leaks on product, and that just takes away the fun sometimes.  This one came out of left field for sure, and the end result is just amazing.  For those of you unfamiliar with Pass~Port, they’re a brand from down under, and their style represents their travels, their friends, and their local Australian/New Zealand heritage.  If you look at their apparel, you’ll notice a lot of browns, oranges, and off-whites in the mix, giving an earthy vibe if you will.  For their inaugural collab, they chose to construct an Old Skool Pro in two colorways, brown, and white.  Each one consists of a mixture of hairy suede, and washed canvas, featuring an embroidered slogan on each heel that reads “International + Solidarity”.  Pass~Port branding can also be found on the tongue, as well as the UltraCush HD footbeds.  Both shoes feature brown leather linings, which are a nod to their brown top and bottom veneers that are featured on all Pass~Port decks.  I’m really digging the simple style of these, and the materials they chose will surely make for a comfortable Old Skool.  Flexibility & breathability are key.  Great job Pass~Port, and even GREATER job at keeping these under wraps for so long.  Surprises are always fun!

(I’ve added my own personal review pics of the brown pair, as well as Silo’s much more professional pics for a dual perspective on these, so enjoy!)

Silo has links up already for these, and will be releasing this upcoming Saturday the 13th.

pics and info via Silo


tons more pics after the jump

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Vans Vault x Blends x Born Free – OG Old Skool LX (UTP Review!)


This past weekend was Born Free 8, Southern California’s premier motorcycle builder’s show, where Blends released their latest classic Vans shoe, in collaboration with Born Free.  The OG Old Skool LX that they went with, is simple, and designed for the classic Vans enthusiast, which includes many folks in the vintage bike builder crowd.  To most of these builders and fans, they could care less about rare and limited shoes, with fancy materials, colorways, but they do like classic, time-tested, designs like the classic black & white Old Skool.  Blends and Born Free wanted to create something specific to this crowd, and the customization was kept to a bare minimum.  Hardly noticeable, are the slim red and blue pieces of leather protruding from the top and bottom of the classic white jazz stripe, giving off a truly Americana aesthetic.  The only other customized part of the shoe, would be the translucent sole, with checkerboard bottom, and custom branded footbeds, both which are hardly seen, but are there to let you know these aren’t your typical pair of Vans Old Skools.  Materials are the same as you’d find on any pair of Vault OG shoe, including the pigskin lining.  These shoes were a must for me and a few others, thus the reason about 9 of us got to Born Free 8 early in the morning, about 3 hours before the gates opened, just to secure pairs for ourselves and friends from all over the globe.  It was a surprisingly easy release, but online pairs sold out instantly.  I hope you enjoy a few personal unfiltered pics I took, and be on the lookout for any pairs that go up for sale!

more pics after the jump

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Vans Vault x Taka Hayashi – TH Buffalo Trail LX (Simply Taupe) (Video Review by LBIFBACK @AKAMEDANIEL)

Vans Vault x Blends – Sk8-Hi Reissue Zip LX “Peacoat” (UTP Review) @blends #blends #blendsvans


Daaaamn Blends!  Back at it again with the Bones Vans!  This is the 5th release of the wildly popular “Bones Jazz Stripe” Vans to come out of the Blends camp, and this time we’ve got another banger.  Always known for keeping things clean, simple, timeless, wearable, and trendless, this time Blends chose a Peacoat navy colorway, with a black jazz stripe and laces.  The shoes have such a dark dye, that they appear to be almost black except for the natural suede on the edges of the premium leather panels, and on the back side of the inner zipper flap, where you can see a much more pronounced blue color.  That slight contrast makes for a really cool design, and I could see this sort of treatment being a new trend in higher quality releases.  The construction and make-up is still the same as all the other Blends Bones releases.  Thin non-removable footbeds with minimal branding, and muted leather tongues, with no tags or branding.  A white foxing, with black foxing stripe, and waffle sole complete the look.  I hope some of you were fortunate enough to pick up a pair, as these are pretty much still the only Vans shoe that commands an over-night camp out.  As you read this, I’m probably in line with the homies, waiting for Blends to open up.  You might think I’m crazy for doing this stuff still, but this is one of the reasons why I do the Vans thing.  The passion and the old school vibe sneaker culture is still there, and that still makes it fun for me.  Thanks to the Blends family for always making it easy for me to get my hands on these.  I’m forever grateful!  -Guamstyles

tons more realistic pics after the jump Read More