All you need to know about our custom Vans

When our first shop opened in 1966, a customer asked for a trainer in a certain colour. Founder Paul Van Doren quickly replied that if they could bring in some fabric, he would make a pair from it. The idea stuck. The chequerboard design began initially from the desire of our customers to decorate their trainers using their own ideas.  Now it’s part of what makes vans such a hit with creative types.

Nowadays, you don’t have to bring in your own fabric. We have a limitless number of customisation options available for five of our most popular trainers, plus kids’ trainers. All you have to do is dream up your design and submit it online, and we’ll do the rest. What do you need to know?

Which Vans can be customised?

At present, you can have custom-made Vans in:

  • Authentic
  • Slip-on
  • Sk8-Hi
  • Old Skool
  • Era
  • Kids

They are all genuine Vans awaiting your inspiration!  Check out this link to see the styles listed above

You can choose a basic shoe or add various extras such as Comfycush soles, Skate Designs or Platform, which comes with reinforcement on the toes and collars for extra support. These options typically add a few pounds to the cost, but if they’re what you want, we’re not going to deny you the choice.

What parts of Vans are customisable?

Every single component of Vans can be designed by you. There are dozens of colours and patterns for you to choose from for the foxing (rubber side pieces), the vamp (upper), quarters (sides), heel counter, collar lining, elastic gore and laces.

Designing your Vans online couldn’t be simpler. You get to try out more than 25 colours and materials, about 40 patterns (including chequerboard, of course), and you can have lettering embroidered on the back in black or white, with different lettering for left and right. You can even spin, zoom and inspect your designs from every possible angle thanks to the brilliant 3D engine.

How long does it take to get custom Vans?

Depending on the specifications you choose, it normally takes between 5 and 7 weeks for a pair of custom Vans to go from your online submission to delivery. Each custom pair will undergo the same manufacturing expertise and rigorous quality control that our customers expect from Vans, whether regular or customized.

All our Vans are manufactured with a combination of our superb machinery which automates many of the processes and a real human touch to ensure everything is looking great.  To customise a pair of Vans is a slightly longer process because we need to be certain that each one-off pair is exactly what the customer ordered.

Can I choose my own design for custom Vans?

As well as being able to choose from thousands of potential designs from the list of colours, patterns and materials, customers can also upload their own designs and turn them into a truly unique pair of Vans, thanks to some sophisticated printing machinery.

We reckon 373 million possible permutations of colour, pattern and material over all the components just isn’t enough to satisfy the creativity of our customers. That’s why you can send us your very own designs and we’ll turn them into beautiful, fresh and 100% unique trainers that are ready to wear.

Are there any restrictions on custom Vans designs?

You cannot use any imagery that breaches copyright law, and you cannot use logos or celebrity photos. Also, you may not use anything that is defamatory, insulting, discriminatory or harmful to any person or group, or that invades someone’s privacy. Image files sent cannot exceed 10MB.

A full list of restrictions can be found on our FAQ page under the question “What are the terms and conditions for image use on Custom shoes?” These rules are to ensure Vans stay within the law and to protect our employees, as well as to maintain our good reputation. Be creative, but make sure any submitted designs are your own work.

Your Vans, your way

Millions of people buy Vans trainers off the shelf every year and are delighted with the quality, choice and comfort on offer. But we hope that by offering this customisation service, you can get the pair you’re dreaming of. Go and have a play with the design tool and see what you come up with!