Your shoe, your style: Vans or Converse?

Which side will you choose?


Photo by Alyssa Urayanza

Slick black and white Converse or cool and collected Vans? Which do you prefer?

By Alyssa Urayanza, feature writer

If you watch any 90’s movie or any movie that your parents grew up watching, you will have noticed one thing: all the coolest guys in the movie are wearing the coolest sneakers. Every Grease fan knows that in order to be considered “cool” you gotta have the shoes to match, and back in those days (when the movie was made in the 70s, not when the movie was set in the 50s), Converse were the way to go.

Immediately after that, Vans started making a name for its skater shoes, and its popularity as a casual sneaker soared in the 80s after the famous black and white checkerboard shoes were worn by Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Recently, in the new age of “swag” and “hipsters,” Vans have been resurging, and they have made their way into every high school, middle school, elementary school, and yes, even some adults still wear them.

Vans and Converse are both American shoe manufacturing companies that are widely known and sold. Their products appeal to all ages, and with a variety of styles and prints, they make the perfect shoes to reflect your personality and sport your true colors.

Now the question is which one do you prefer: Vans or Converse?

“I like them both equally,” Kupono Aguirre said. “I like Vans because there are many different styles, but I like Converse because as they get older they still look nice.”

Vans was founded on March 16, 1966, in Anaheim, California, by Serge D’Elia, James Van Doren, Gordon Lee, and Paul Van Doren, but was originally founded by the Van Doren brothers and called The Van Doren Rubber Making Company. Since then, the company has opened up factories in California, China, and Vietnam and has also started selling apparel such as t-shirts, hoodies, socks, and backpacks.

You can find two Vans stores here on Maui: one at the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Kahului and one along Front Street in Lahaina.

Vans shoes are all manufactured through the vulcanized shoe making process. According to, vulcanizing is the process of heating raw rubber to cure it. This process creates cross links inside the rubber compound bonding it together. Before the rubber is vulcanized it is stretchable, gummy, and easy to tear. After being vulcanized the rubber is tough, stretchable, and ready to wear.

Converse was founded in February of 1908 by Marquis Mills Converse and manufactures their products under other brand names such as One Star, Chuck Taylor All Star, and Jack Purcell. The Converse brand is now owned and produced by Nike.

Click here to find out more about how Converse shoes are made.

Although there are no Converse stores available on Maui, other shoe stores such as Journeys and Famous Footwear at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Kahului also carry and sell this brand.

“[I prefer] Converse because Vans break easier and Converse last longer,” Kaho Mateaki said.

Whether it’s a pair of brand new Vans or your lucky pair of Converse, in the end it is all the same — a casual shoe in great varieties that are comfortable and affordable.

Click to visit the official Converse website.

Click to visit the official Vans website.