Call Us Posers, but These Pre-Cooked Vans Are Kinda Sick

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You’ll land that kickflip one day, we promise. 

Call Us Posers but These PreCooked Vans Are Kinda Sick

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When it comes to sneakers, cleanliness isn’t always next to godliness. Sure, there are entire cottage industries dedicated to preserving the box-fresh look of your kicks, an endless morass of woo-woo soaps and specialty inserts that prevent creasing. But there’s also a vocal contingent of sneaker fanatics that treats their shoes less like precious commodities and more like, well, shoes: meant to be roughed-up, dirtied, and above all, worn

If you fall into the latter camp, you probably own a pair of Vans, the sturdy skate shoes introduced by the Van Doren brothers in the late ‘60s—and you can probably agree that they look way more rad when they’re thoroughly trashed. (Hell, most people prefer their Vans with a certain degree of lived-in sauce.) So in 2023, the Anaheim-based company is saving you the grueling work of sullying your kicks yourself: a few months ago, it started churning out pre-distressed versions of its most famous silhouettes, cooked to perfection straight out of the box. 

Bianca Chandon x Vans Vault Authentic LX sneakers

For years, pre-distressed sneakers were the proverbial third rail of the market, anathema to enthusiasts skeptical of buying shoes that come with the type of scuffs and scrapes most people earn the hard way. But these days, once-scorned signs of patina are becoming covetable signifiers in their own right; some of the hottest sneakers of 2022 were old-school silhouettes outfitted with yellowing soles and cracked uppers. 

These are Vans, after all, not some exorbitantly priced designer riff for people who only touch gravel moving from their Porsche to pilates; they’re not just cosplaying as normies to garner relatability points online. Every pair—from the checkerboard Authentics to the collaboration designed in conjunction with Bianca Chandon, the Alex Olson-helmed skate imprint—is made from the brand’s signature humble canvas, a fabric that only looks better the more wear it accrues.

Vans Vault UA OG Authentic LX sneakers


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Vans Vault UA OG Old Skool LX sneakers


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In that regard, they’ve got a lot more in common with a tenderly-worn work jacket or a fraying pair of double-knees than they do an impossibly rare sneaker going for 10x its retail price on StockX. Unlike the vintage Carhartt garms you excavated from the bottom of a bin, though, these Vans simply look pre-loved, which means they’ll still mold to your feet the way any good canvas kicks should, sans the residual funk left over by their last three owners. If that isn’t reason enough to withstand a little gentle ribbing from your one homie who can actually ollie we don’t know what is. 

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