It’s been a good year for Vans. No, scratch that. It’s been a GREAT year for Vans! The collaborations were top-notch. Every sub-brand had something cool to offer. Vault by Vans pumped out a lot of epic collaborations, and Vans Syndicate finished off their first 10 years strong with some of the best retros and re-releases we never thought we’d see. The GR collaborations were just as epic, speaking mainly of Disney and the Young At Heart collection. It’s no surprise that Vans’ Instagram followers show more enthusiasm and response than all of the other shoe brands out there. I always get asked to form my own list of top sneakers of the year, and for this year I wanted to share my personal 5 favorite pick-ups. I’ve also created a little back story for each shoe, so enjoy!
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My top 5 Vans pick-ups for 2015 (In no particular order)
Vault x Blends “White Christmas” Sk8-Hi Reissue Zip LX
The latest and cleanest rendition of the highly sought after Blends “Bones” shoes were released as a surprise drop, with no prior public knowledge, and no official release info, that went viral amongst the Vans collectors.
Vault x Sole Classics “A-8SC” Sk8-Hi Reissue Zip LX
This was Sole Classics second collaboration with Vault by Vans, and this shoe might be contender for the best Vans shoe of the year. Themed after Ohio’s history with space exploration, the design looked like an early model spacesuit, complete with a nylon white upper, sky blue soles, a clear bottom, and some caution hangtags to finish off the look. People queued up in the freezing cold weather for these!
Vans x Pabst Blue Ribbon Sk8-Mid “PBR Vans 2.0”
This was PBR’s second Vans collaboration, once again being offered through various promotional giveaways, including spending $150 on their webstore, then at checkout you got to add a free pair to your cart, thus securing a pair at the expense of a few random PBR goodies.
Vans x All Nations Skate Jam “2015” Sk8-Hi “Sunrise”
The All Nations Skate Jam Vans just seem to get better each year, and for 2015, they brought out two separate Pendleton blanket designs, but with the light grey nubuck suede, and eye-popping red, orange, and blue patterns, the Sunrise colorway was the clear winner in my eyes.
Vans Syndicate x Wtaps Authentic “S” “Yellow Wings”
This was the year of the retro for Vans Syndicate, with a special campaign that showcased some of the best releases over the past 10 years, leading up to arguably the most hyped up Vans Syndicate shoe, the Wtaps “wing” Authentic “S”. This colorway was paying homage to the elusive 003 “goldenrod” model that only saw a release in Japan, and was rumored to be a sample, but it was an actual release. Tet of Wtaps opted to make this retro version slightly darker for today’s fashion color palettes, which I agree with. Once again, I feel that Vans designers, including Tet, were listening to us, and knew what would make for an epic send off, and he succeeded with this release.