Vans Heritage is Celebrated with Retro Checkerboard Designs


With a nod to the past and eyes on the future, Vans celebrates its rich history with a range of footwear and accessories featuring Vans’ iconic Checkerboard motif. Originally inspired by the creative spirit of Southern California’s youth culture and Vans grassroots design contests, Checkerboard is synonymous with Vans’ irreverent and unique style.  “Vans are a natural canvas and in the late ‘70s we started seeing Vans fans sketch all over their shoes,” recalls Vans Vice President of Events and son of the founder, Steve Van Doren. “Before we knew it, checkerboard was everywhere so we wanted to introduce our own version and make sure it was ‘Off The Wall’”





Decades later, Vans continues to release updates to the timeless pattern on a range of Vans products. From the new women’s Dazie-Hi, the Camper Hat and Checkerboard Backpack to legendary Vans silhouettes like the Sk8-Hi, Old Skool and Classic Slip-On, retro vibes take center stage on these styles staples conveying the perfect canvas for creativity. The extensive footwear offering highlights elementary tones reminiscent of the brand’s Southern California roots with colors like Spruce Yellow, Rhubarb Burgundy, Citadel Blue and Espresso Brown—painting a vibrant image of the Checkerboard history.





Vans Checkerboard gained international attention and appeal when actor Sean Penn donned a fresh pair of black and white Checkerboard Slip-Ons as the eccentric Jeff Spicoli in the 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. A true “Off The Wall” moment, it comes as no surprise that Checkerboard would remain a mainstay in Vans’ seasonal collections for years to come. 



The Vans Checkerboard collection is available now at Vans retail locations and online.