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Vans Is Spreading Positive Vibrations With Its New Weed-Themed Sneakers

These 4/20-friendly sneakers, collectively called the Positive Vibrations Pack, feature hemp uppers and embroidered pot leaves.


Over the years, there have been several successful cannabis-themed sneakers: the Nike SB Dunk High 'Skunk,' Nike SB Dunk Low 'Green Hemp,' Supra's classic S1W 'Tree Camo' and a few one-off Vans covered in an all-over cannabis leaf print.

But these kitschy sneakers didn't die off once weed went mainstream. Vans is back, this time through its sub-label, Vault by Vans (or Vans Vault), which the brand uses to reissue archival designs, collaborate with other designers and drop ultra-limited releases for specific holidays or events, with another weed-themed release.

Collectively called the 'Positive Vibrations' Pack, these sneakers are not shy about their position on pot. Each of the included sneakers, of which there are three of them (the Authentic, SK8-Hi and Old Skool), features hemp uppers with leather and metal hardware and overlays. The colors — natural hemp as the base and orange, red and green as accents — remain consistent from pair to pair, and so do the motifs: large, embroidered cannabis leaves on the SK8-Hi and Old Skool's side panels, and all-over on the Authentic.

The graphics are an obvious nod to the annual April celebration, 4/20, but also acknowledgement of the complex laws that govern both the hemp and cannabis plants, which are nearly identical but differentiated by the compounds within them. (Cannabis is psychoactive, while hemp is the same plant with 0.3 percent or less THC.)

Until 2018, hemp was listed under the Controlled Substances Act because of its close association with the cannabis plant, which remains illegal at the federal level. While hemp could be imported and used in textiles before 2018 — see: Jungmaven, for example, which uses hemp almost exclusively — uncertainty always followed. Now, brands are free to experiment with the durable material. Hopefully, in the near future, cannabis will achieve similar ubiquity.

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Vans Vault UA Authentic VR3 LX '420'
Vans Vault UA Old Skool VR3 LX '420'
Vans Vault UA SK8-Hi Reissue VR3 LX '420'
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