STOCK HUNTING 101; lessen 4 ¬ MADE IN USA VANS homework assignment

in lesson 2 we looked at the crossover period between 1994 & 1995 & the ways to distinguish the inferior made in china vans from their superior made in usa predecessors. we now turn to our attention to an example of a 'lace deck' during the aforementioned time when the style #95 reference was forgotten in official preference for the name 'era'.

even the most distinguished diggers & refined (re)searchers amongst us have been fooled into paying for what after a quick gander appeared to be a made in usa original, & turned out being made in china (after a) proper gander. on 1 such occassion we were somewhat justified in our prejudice whereby the pair in question eventuated not to be pure breed all-american, nor well-re(a)d chinese.... but a mixed race chinese-american. incredibly it seems the pair were perhaps switched at birth, resulting in 1 made in usa style #95 & 1 made in china era!

as such, this unlikely outcome now provides a perfect opportunity for you to test your knowledge of the nuances of original vans in our first stock hunting homework assignment.
after the leap you will find 10 sets of scrambled pictures of the mixed race couple complete with irreconcilable differences based on their genetic origin. it is up to you to use your knowledge of the anatomy of an original vans style #95 to distinguish the made in usa from the made in china!
complete your answers as a comment (see example) under this post & a correct entry picked at random will win a pair of 1980's original vans sunglasses with free shipping worldwide! conditions apply.
a. toe

 answer a ¬ Left picture.
just like many parts of an original vans shoe, the toe edge is more contoured on an original compared to the china version. the original midsole is shapely & curved & ribbed for your pleasure.
b. toe box

 answer b ¬ Right picture
the toe box saw the most dramatic changes implemented during the china crossover whereby the more pointed toe of an original was replaced by a broader, flatter peak.... which doesn't flatter anyone.
c. lace profile

 answer c ¬ Left picture
the lace profile reveals the oversize vans vamp tag of the original compared to the downsized china mutant. not actually intelligible by sight, however unmistakeably realised during use, the durable nylon stitching utilised when made in USA gave way to poor cotton materials.
d. full profile

 answer d ¬ Right picture
the full profile shows a distented figure not dissimilar to the block of wood beneath it while the original on the right comes complete with contours, ergonomically hugging the foot.
e. sole

 answer e ¬ Left picture
again we can see the tapered silhouette of the original on the left complete with natural full crepe rubber waffle sole. the waffle sole on the china variant looks less dense with a plastic-ish appearance & less tapered shape.
f. size

answer f ¬ Left picture
 the next few are obvious however do offer some identifying marks. the size on originals is always found on the left side inner collar of both shoes sometimes accompanied by a width marking (N/W) & the serial number.
g. heel tab

answer g ¬ Right picture
again a no brainer, however not if the original is used & the usa markings are worn away. notice the bloated heel of the chinese post-1995 offerring made with too much MSG.

h. heel pad

 answer h ¬ Right picture
the easiest & most immediate way of recognising an original, however these markings can again can be invisible after use. on originals the 'V' from vans is always at the heel end whereas on some later chinese productions the 'V' can at times be at the toe end, thus facing the other way.
i. aerial

answer i ¬ Left picture
again if the markings are visible then its an easy choice. try to get in the habit however of traning your eyes to spot the pointed toe & tapered silhouette of an original MADE IN USA van. of course the proof is in the pudding & the best way to tell the difference is to try a pair for yourself. take a stand.... in original VANS!


  1. which shoe is MADE IN USA?
    leave your answers here in the following format;
    R = Right picture L = left picture (ie not Left foot but Left picture)
    example ¬ a.R b.R c.R d.R e.L f.L g.L h.L i.L
    limit 1 entry per person.
    check back tomorrow for correct answers & to see if you are a lucky winner.
    check also our facebook page tomorrow for a second chance to win!

  2. a.R b.R c.L d.L e.R f.L g.L h.R i.L

  3. you can also leave your answers on the facebook picture here