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The Vans ATCQ is simply too cool to keep to one gender. The unisex shoes are available in sizes measuring from 3.5 to 13. However, these sizes are based on men’s foot measurements, and women who want to enjoy these awesome shoes would have to pick a pair a size and a half smaller than their regular shoe size. The high-cut profile of the shoes ensures that feet are securely locked down while the unique laces keep the fit adjustable.
The Vans ATCQ SK8-Hi is an eye-catching footwear that needs no further adornment. Women can keep it simple and cute by pairing the sneakers with black shorts, a sexy blouse, and a denim jacket. Men, meanwhile, can go for a relaxed vibe by matching their kicks with black pants, a white shirt, and a sweater on top.
The Vans ATCQ SK8-Hi is a celebration of art, style, and music. The shoes are unique from the outside in. Dressed in either white or yellow colorways, the shoes are full of references for the hip-hop group’s famous track, “Bonita Applebum,” from the embroidered words “Bonita Applebum” on the lateral sides of the shoes to the woman’s 38-24-37 body measurement on the inside collar. The lyrics of the song are printed on the laces, and embroidered stick figures can be seen on the heels.
The SK8-Hi model is one of Vans’ most popular silhouettes and probably the shoes that most define the brand. According to Steve Van Doren, the son of one of the company’s founders, Paul, the shoes tie into all of the brand’s tenets which are “art, music, skating, and street culture.”
The iconic sneakers were first seen on the scene in 1976 and were known then as Style Number 38. Vans wanted to create a new silhouette that would provide ample ankle protection and the SK8-Hi accomplished this. Combined with the brand’s signature waffle soles and their famous canvas-leather construction, the SK8-Hi became an especially big hit among skateboarders.
The original Style 38 came out in three colorways: navy and light blue, cinnamon and rust, and brown and beige. However, in the company’s early ages, they sold shoes individually (because skaters would sometimes wear through one shoe and have another still in good shape), so people were free to mix and match.
Consumers took advantage of the additional panels of the high-cut profile and chose to express themselves in the form of doodles and drawings on the shoes. This distinguished the SK8-Hi from other skating shoes. It’s also the first to sport the famous Van Doren jazz stripe that now adorns every Vans shoe.
The construction of the SK8-Hi has not changed much since then although a few SK8-Hi iterations have come out, they don’t veer very far from the original design. However, a few minor tweaks have been made to the silhouette including a wider eye row and slightly smaller toe holes.
This latest iteration of the Vans SK8-Hi, the ATCQ SK8-Hi, is a collaboration between legendary hip-hop collective, A Tribe Called Quest, and Vans. The silhouette references one of the group’s famous songs, “Bonita Applebum,” and this can be seen in the numerous details dotting the entire uppers of the shoes. The ATCQ SK8-Hi is part of a wider collection that was released as a tribute to the late Phife Dawg.
- The Vans ATCQ SK8-Hi collab is part of a collection which had a general release on April 6 of 2018 and featured several other Vans silhouettes, namely the Authentic, Era, Old Skool, and Slip-On.
- The Vans high-tops have leather uppers, reinforced toecaps, padded collars, and signature rubber waffle outsoles.