“Taking cues from high fashion and urban exploration,” the new designs update the skate brand’s SK8-Hi Reissue LX and Authentic LX by adding Vibram’s chunky Bristol sole, Vans said. The shoes, available in black and white, also feature Vans’ UltraCush insole.
The collection marks the latest release from the VF Corp. brand’s premium Vault by Vans division. Prior collaborations have seen it pair up with Tokyo-based label Wacko Maria, New York City men’s clothing brand Noah and Boston-bred retailer Bodega. Like its previous releases, the Vault by Vans x Vibram collection is available at select Vault by Vans retailers only.
According to the fashion retail analytics platform StyleSage’s recent activewear report, global searches for fashionable athletic shoes are growing at a higher rate than performance styles. Searches for “chunky” sneakers, specifically, grew 150 percent compared to April of last year.
The Vibram collaboration comes less than a month after Vans released the EVDNT UltimateWaffle. Created to preserve the durability and function of a skate shoe while incorporating the comfort and cushioning of everyday footwear, the design incorporates the resilient outsole construction of the former while also embedding an UltraCush insole and internal stabilizing shank for more support.
Vans also launched its Eco Theory collection last month. Described as “one of the first steps in a journey to more sustainable footwear,” it rebuilt some of the brand’s most iconic Surf Classic silhouettes—the Authentic, Slip-On and Style 36 Decon SF—using responsibly sourced materials, including organic cotton, natural rubber, jute laces, cork-lined footbeds and water-based inks and glues.