Vans, the popular California skate shoe company, is known for creating such iconic footwear such as the checkered slip-ons Sean Penn famously wore as “Spicoli” in the ’80s coming of age film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. The company has also come to be known for working with equally iconic rock bands on collaborative shoes, producing branded shoes for the likes of Pearl Jam, Iron Maiden and Bad Brains.
Now Vans has announced a special commemorative collaboration with heavy metal pioneers Metallica and skate legend Steve Caballero on a series of branded shoes.
“I’ve been wearing Vans on stage my whole freakin’ career (and way before that!),” said Metallica bassist Rob Trujillo in a press release. “Whether I’m walking the streets of Venice or San Francisco, Vans provides the funk in my stride!”
The collaboration will be spread across three releases. First up is a limited edition Vans x Metallica 20th Anniversary Half Cab, a branded update of the shoe he designed back in 1992.
“In ’91, I noticed that a lot of street skaters were cutting my shoe halfway down and wearing them that way,” Steve Caballero remembered on the Vans website. “So in ’92, I gave Vans the idea to make a lower cut shoe and call it the Half Cab.”
The Metallica version of the shoe is canvas and suede and features song lyrics embossed in the side, a Metallica/Caballero patch and see-through soles revealing the band’s Kill ‘Em All artwork on the bottom. The shoe is due to hit stores in the next few weeks.
“To have Metallica, my all-time favorite metal band, collaborating with me on this 20th anniversary Half Cab shoe is an honor and a dream come true,” enthused Caballero in the press release. ”I’m very stoked that Vans is working with such a legendary band and the Half Cab is just the beginning.”
The second phase of the collaboration is termed the Metallica “Passion Projects,” with each member of the band given “free reign” to pick any Vans shoe style and reimagine it however they like. Those shoes will be released in January, when Metallica MetClub members get first crack at purchasing a pair. The public get their shot in February.
The third and final release (due in March) will be two different shoes – the Classic Slip-On and Sk8-Hi – given the full Metallica Kill ‘Em All makeover to commemorate the 30th year anniversary of the release of the band’s storied debut.
–Scott T. Sterling, CBS Radio