The high-top Vans Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue is wrapped with the traditional high-wearing suede and canvas upper. The forefoot and heel regions may feel firm during the first few tries locking the feet down with its flat cotton laces, but its durable textile cover will soften up through constant use. The longer the feet stay inside the shoe, the more flexible this sneaker becomes. This high-top runs true to size and available in women’s sizes that spread out from 9.5 to 14.5 US and men’s sizes from 8 to 13 US.
Vans fused two iconic styles into one shoe with the release of the Vans Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue. The checkerboard motif that has been showing up in the archives of Vans since it was wedded to the Vans Classic Slip-On over four decades ago, surprisingly offers a fresh twist when merged with all-time favorite silhouettes such as the SK8-Hi.
What makes the Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue distinct from a pile of retro-inspired sneakers is the choice of colors that replaces the vintage black and white theme. The solid suede panels on the forefoot and heel give a stunning contrast to the square pattern that runs from the base of the midfoot to the edge of the collar. The design itself instantly tones up a simple pair of graphic-layered shirt and slim-fitting denim, creased tees and zipper track pants, or solid colored tank tops and distressed jeans. This high-top, checkered SK8-Hi variety also pumps up any unbuttoned, patterned polo over white round-neck shirt and pin-rolled cotton pants, or thick sweatshirt matched with tapered bottoms.
The Vans Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue is a testament that the old school charmer still has a growing network of followers. Vans simple formula of sticking to its roots is one of the reasons why its decades-old silhouettes remain to be hot commodities generations after generations. For the high-top Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue, Vans managed to retain the supportive components of earlier iterations, which includes the quilted collar, reinforced toe, and well-fortified heel. The feet also get adequate protection with the use of durable suede and canvas cover. These attributes make this SK8-Hi reinterpretation suitable for skateboarding or merely styling up.
The ever-prevalent checkerboard design first appeared on a Vans slip-on sneaker, initially named as the Vans Style #48. This checkerboard-bearing slip-on sneaker was introduced to South California skate and surfer’s market in 1977 on the same year the Old Skool was presented displaying for the first time the Sidestripe (formerly Jazz Stripe) leather on the sidewalls, which subsequently became a trademark of the brand.
The silhouette of Style #48 was inspired by a slip-on shoe produced by the Randolph Rubber Company, where Paul Van Doren was an executive vice president of before he co-founded Vans with his brother James Van Doren and colleagues Gordon Lee and Serge D’Elia.
The checkered concept was pitched in by Paul’s son Steve Van Doren, who was inspired by the creative expression of young teenagers doodling alternating black and white square pattern on their Vans shoe, specifically around the rubberized midsoles. He tweaked such idea by applying the same motif on the canvas upper to come up with a design that eventually became a long-standing symbol of skateboarders and surfers.
From the SoCal West Coast district, the design earned international attention with the launch of Sean Penn’s 1982 film, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” In the movie, Sean portrayed the stoner character of Jeff Spicoli who was seen flaunting the Vans Style #48.
The checkered pattern later became an enduring style used in some of the classic sneaker models of Vans, including the SK8-Hi, or the Style 38 as it was formerly called when it was unveiled in 1978. Its black and white retro checkerboard pattern added character to the plain canvas façade of the SK8-Hi which was later refashioned into tons of color options.
After Vans released the SK8-Hi Reissue Pro sneaker during the brands 50th year anniversary, it dropped the Vans Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue which gives the nod to the vintage style. The launch of this modified form is a testament to the undying global popularity of the checkerboard style and the SK8-Hi model.
- The Vans Checkerboard SK8-Hi Reissue bears the Vans logo on the tongue and heel.
- This sneaker is made with a vulcanized outsole that allows skaters a lower-to-the-ground
- During the 50th anniversary of Vans in 2016, it released the Vans 50th SK8-Hi Reissue Pro, a checkerboard-designed version with upgraded elements such as UltraCush HD sockliner and DURACAP reinforcement on high-wear sections.