Saturday Deluxe / 6 April 2019

Vans launch their David Bowie collaboration

California shoe manufacturers Vans yesterday launched their new David Bowie ‘Off The Wall’ range in the UK with a collection of footwear that draws “inspiration from some of Bowie’s most influential works”.

This collaboration is officially endorsed by the Estate who have previously approved a David Bowie watch made by Raymond Weil.

Six individual shoe designs are available including the ‘SK8-Hi’ (pictured above) which places the ‘classic’ Vans checkerboard pattern and Diamond Dogs era ‘Bowie’ logo on a ‘high top’ boot; some white ‘Old Skool Shoes’ with Aladdin Sane detail and logo and SDE’s favourite, some Blackstar plimsols, which are quite understated. There’s also some modish dotty blue ‘era’ shoes based on the 1969 Space Oddity/David Bowie album cover design and perhaps the runt of the litter, a yellow/black Hunky Dory design which are rather slipper-like, with a furry checkerboard pattern at the front and rear.

Click image to enlarge

Whether you view this as a cheap cash-in or groovy collaboration most sizes are already sold out via the website and demand seems to be extremely high in-store.

If you’re interested you can find more details on the shoes and where they are stocked over at the Vans website.


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I was all for getting some until I realised they didn’t have a matching flat peak baseball cap that I could wear with them at a jaunty angle.

Well, that and the fact that I’m in my 50s and don’t want to look like a skateboardist.


In the US they also have a pair of red hi-top platform shoes styled after his Ziggy Stardust boots:

This is the only style not sold out on the US Van’s website but only available in two kids sizes.


They will keep the ebay chancers/ flippers/ scalpers occupied until record store day!


…aaaand still no Low super deluxe edition. Maybe after releasing Bowie Low knickers…Hope so


Others have mentioned the Beatles, but Vans has also produced “limited edition” shoes for Led Zeppelin and Slayer. Those are all sold out as well, I believe.


No wonder DB wanted to be cremated, the constant rolling around in his grave would have been exhausting.

paul wren

How do I play them on my turntable? Is there a hidden track?

Peter liveesy

I’m 50 on Sunday so I had to get the space oddity vans. If you sign up to offspring via email you get 10% off.mine came to £58.49 free post

Tom from FIN

Oh dear, look kinda clumsy or poor too in design. What would Mr. Bowie himself thin of this dancing on his grave? Perhaps widow and estate is willing to grab any after death sales possible.

Sad! I stick to music and a few so called band shirts (not Bowie’s) as blasts from the past.


Unless the artist had specifically not want to have his/her name or music associated with specific merchandise or company or any of them, then basically the estate can do just about anything. From t-shirts to underwear to food to whatever.


Went for the Space Oddity shoes. So, can we ask which ones you bought Paul?

Daniel Lalla

Bowie has all kinds of ventures going when the I tenter was new. He pushed the envelope with special editions with Ryko records and so on. Maybe I’ll be the dissenter here but I think he’d be ok with pushing his iconic brand/personas.


I rather liked the Black Star slip-ons but they had sold out. I do find vans very comfortable and at least they make them in my size (UK13).
Reminds me of the acres of stuff that the Warhol estate endorsed… but if you want a real shock have a look at the American King Crimson site DGM – Islands shower curtains ($120), lamps, cufflinks, bracelet ($110), bathroom accessories, tie ($65), anyone? (all oddly unavailable on the UK site). I hate to think what the forthcoming ITCOTCK prints (in matching numbered pairs) will cost…

Steve W

I had a look at them in person on Friday. Personally I think they are pretty naff.. although I had a sneaking admiration for the BlackStar ones but it wasn’t a boot, just a slip on. Having said that I don’t wear Vans anyway. From what the staff told me they are flying off the shelves though so I guess some people like them.


Good grief, they are all really quite horrid. In an odd way it makes me rather ashamed to be a Bowie fanatic… This looks like the sort of tat Kiss endorse about every 14 seconds.


I’ve bought Old Skool Shoes’ with Aladdin Sane detail and I love them.


Oh dear. Not for me.


They’re probably made in sweatshops by little China girls…

Jorje Chica

Made in Vietnam, actually…

Wayne Olsen

Blue blue electric blue that’s the color of my shoes.


Put on your fluffy Vans ‘Hunky Dory’ slippers and dance the blues…


I’ll skip the shoes but a Bowie weekly pill container would do particularly well for me and the rest of the SDE crowd.

bruce kelso

you gotta be kidding.


Paul, you wrote this post 5 days late! Right?

John 79

I think I will stick with my Sex Pistols Dr Martens boots, I was going to buy a pair of the Bowie Vans UNTIL I saw the designs, absolutely horrible, very disappointing.

Gary Hunter

The world’s gone mad!


Wow. Just wow. There was a reason Bowie didn’t sanction this type of thing during his life time. What in the world is this? A new Low.


What is so ‘Hunky Dory’ about the Hunky Dory slippers/shoes? They look more NY taxi to me. This range of shoes is like something from a bad dream.

Paul Kent

The Hunky Dory design is based on the coat Bowie is wearing on the cover.


You know what… I never noticed that coat and it’s in my Top 3 favourite albums of all time.

Call myself a fan etc… :-)


All nearly sold out from the Vans website in just two days .

But all available on eBay of course at twice the original price ;-)


Is his estate in need of cash? There’s indication he would not have wante this. I hate vans shoes. Now if they made Nike running shoes id buy them. Its still wrong tho


I would only buy these if each pair acted like left and right speakers for the respective album. As soon as you have both on and start walking the album starts. Stop to pause. Run to fast-forward. Run backwards to rewind. Skip to skip.

You heard it here first.

Charlie Waffles

Just awful…


I’ve got Joy Division oven gloves.


Ha ha. Really???


Chris, sadly not, it’s the title of a great song by legendary Birkenhead comic popsters Half Man, Half Biscuit.

Kevin Sims

Vans have history with this type of special edition. They produced a rather nice Yellow Submarine set of shoes about four or five years ago that I could never find in my size.

Seth Hollander

No vinyl?!?!

Michael Leek

I’m waiting for the SDEs with different colored laces ;-)


I love the Aladdin Sane Old Skool Shoes… sadly sold out in my size by the looks of it. As for the rest of them…. oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.


Cash grab? Yes, it is.
Did I order? YES!
But I will wear the shoes, as Vans are my preferred brand anyway.

By the way, there are Joy Division/New Order Doc Martens, too.


Sex Pistols ones as well were out recently. As a Pistols fan, I didn’t like the designs much.

I liked the white Bowie vans with the Ziggy slash on them, didn’t like the others too much.


I forgot to mention the recent Led Zeppelin Vans. They were quite good designs, nearly sold out as well.


I bought the New Order Technique boots from Doc Martens.
They are awesome!

Julian Hancock

Not that it matters, but Joy Division were hardly synonymous with DMs, as can be seen in any of the more famous pics from the time. I guess we might as weĺl have JD oven gloves


Some Bowie inspired carpet slippers would have been nice to appeal to us older fans.


The Hunky Dory ones are a bit like slippers, they’re furry at least!


What about a German trilogy of Jack Boots?




Master of re-invention becomes a shoe .


The Blackstar one is totally rocking.

andrew R

i am sure David is up there thinking “just what i wanted my legacy to be”
Aladdin slip ons . Crass!


Is there a CD included?

Steve C

To give context, Vans is a California brand that targets the California skater (skateboarder) and surf culture. They’ve been around for years and were especially massive in the 80s. Sort of an alternative to hip
Hop Sneaker culture, still massively popular. But in a California, that slipper style shoe is very, very popular in warm weather but that as a massive Hunky Dory fan, I wish that the shoe was better. Too old to pull off the skater thing… :) here, they’re selling out fast. This isn’t a cash grab – I applaud Vans for recognizing a pure F-g legend!


Seriously horrible, no thanks!

I wonder if people are buying them to wear, to collect or in the hope of selling on for a fast buck…

Matthew Langhorn

I’ve ordered mine, I know I’m alone in this but I like them!

Kevin Galliford

Is Bowie gonna be the new Stones where literally everything with a surface gets a logo / design on it? How long before we get a Bowie wine? Where I live I’ve seen a bottle of Stones wine for 40 quid! Will I buy it? No, would I buy a new Stones album or rarities volume 2 ? Hell yeah. Proper “product “ as the marketing army would call it.

Not Available

I’m not positive, but I think KISS licensing is probably more wide spread than the Stones. Whatever the case, this is in really bad taste and devalues the work that Bowie did.

Tom Walsh

Wow, they look bobbins.


I was expecting a Young Americans “plastic sole” design…