Summer may be on it's way out for us, our autumnal vibes don't need to be squashed by summer blues because Vans are lacing up to celebrate the indisputable heritage and classic cool of the Sk8-Hi. 

The Sk8-Hi has forever been one of my favourite footwear choices, I have numerous pairs all in different stages of wear. The Sk8-Hi is a silhouette that will never not be in my footwear rotation and I'm so excited that for the season ahead, Vans presents an expanded selection of Sk8-Hi styles. They're revisiting classics and paying a well deserved homage to this icon with all-new colourways, collaborations and fabrications.

Introduced in 1978, and formally referred to as Style #38, the Sk8-Hi was Vans’ first high top sneaker. Created in response to the growing popularity of Vert Skating, the Sk8-Hi offered the cushioning, support and protection demanded by this new breed of skater. In the late 1980s, skateboarding went back to the streets. 

The literal rise of ollie and flip tricks saw skaters wearing through shoes faster than ever, and so a reinforced ‘ollie patch’ was added to the Sk8-Hi: improving durability and keeping skaters in their favoured shoes. Since then, the silhouette has remained largely unchanged. Later, as street skating took hold, the Sk8-Hi was adopted as the footwear of choice for the Bones Brigade: a crew established by Stacey Peralta and Craig Stecyk, and undeniably the most competitively dominant skateboard team in history. As pioneers of modern technical skating and breaking new ground with video edits that were truly ahead of their time, the Bones Brigade were incredibly influential and a force to be reckoned with.

The Sk8-Hi’s popularity extended far beyond the skateboarding community, and has become a firm favourite of sneakerheads, artists, musicians and many, many more. Throughout the 80s, the Sk8-Hi was offered in custom colourways and fabrications, allowing customers to bring their own style to the shoe and express their creativity without limits. Designers such as Marc Jacobs, Opening Ceremony - and more recently Gosha Rubchinskiy - have also used the Sk8-Hi as a canvas for their collaborations with Vans, as have streetwear giants including Supreme, WTAPs and Stussy.

This legacy is currently celebrated at The Sneaker Museum in Cologne, Germany, with a specially curated exhibition looking back at 'Style #38'. Running until September 30th, this ode to the Sk8-Hi features rare, archival pieces and never-before-seen editions, set to a narrative of undiluted street culture and alongside curios and memorabilia from across the decades. This is definitely something worth checking out!

Today, the Sk8-Hi – with its understated aesthetic and enduring style – has rightfully earned its place amongst Vans’ classic Icons. Now available in its reissued Classic form as well as Sk8-Hi Lite: offering enhanced comfort and flex, Cup Sole, Deconstructed and Zip styles, the legacy continues.

For AW15, Vans adds two special colourways of the Classic Sk8-Hi, fabricated from abrasion resistant XTuff leather, and available exclusively online and from selected Vans retail stores. Everyone needs a pair of these.


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