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Long before Nike Skateboarding tweaked old basketball sneakers into new skate shoes, Vans was the go-to brand for athletes who maneuvered on top of wheels. Founded in 1966 by brothers Paul and James Van Doren, the Vans sneaker line launched in Anaheim, California with a unique made-to-order approach. Starting in the '70s, cyclists and skaters built Vans to where it is today: an international footwear and apparel company focused on action sports.