When I was a little kid in Norwalk California we used to go to the movie theater every chance we got.  While we were waiting for mom we'd check out that local stores.  Once day a little store opened up called "Vans".  We immediately loved the shoes and became big fans.


Now you know Vans shoes from Fast Times At Ridgemont High.  The checkered shoes that Spicoli had were a part of the movie, the posters and even the Soundtrack.  The reason the shoes were so popular was they were part of the skateboard culture that was just blowing up (urethane wheels for skateboards came out not long before that).  The sticky soles and waffle pattern on the Vans shoes made it easier to stay on a skateboard.

We found out that you could go in the store and for five bucks more, you could get a pair of shoes made anyway you want.  In fact, the left shoe didn't even have to match the right shoe.  My favorite pair was blue/white/red and the other shoe was red/white/blue.  I actually have a picture of my daughter when she was a baby next to those shoes.

It costs quite a bit more to have  pair of custom Van's made these days, but the options are pretty much endless.   Here's a link to design your own and if you don't like 'em, don't buy 'em.  It's a 'no strings attached' design engine.  Still it's pretty cool that you're "making" your own shoes.