Vans was started by Paul Van Doren in 1966, and he opened his first store in Anaheim, California. His business partners were Jim Van Doren, Gordy Lee, and Serge Dâ€™Elia. The day they opened the store they only had displays for show, and the customers had to pick what shoe they wanted. After that, they asked them to come back the next day to pick up their shoes. Thank God we donâ€™t have stores like that today. Vans are known for their popular "Slip On" shoe with the waffle sole, and in 1976, skaters starting skating in Vans. The skaters demanded that the Vans come in multi colorways.