Founded in 1966, Vans, Inc. is an American company which provides action sports footwear, apparel, and accessories. The company offers sandals, boots, surfsiders, and skate shoes, as well as provides apparel for men, women, and kids. Vans serves its customers worldwide. Vans is owned by VF Corporation.

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Looking to stay true to their roots, skaters, Vans wanted to give their customers an unparalleled online user experience enabling them to customize their shoes; everything from style, texture and color of every detail of the product.


The first version of Vans Custom Shoes was launched in 2004 before the acquisition by VF Corp. This cool implementation was written up in IBM Systems and described as a smart business decision that differentiates Vans from Sketchers, Nike and other life styles footwear.

The first version of Vans Custom Shoes was ahead of its time, but Vans did not stop there. Zobrist helped implement the second version in 2009 and a third version in 2018. Why did Vans keep investing in this endeavor?

Custom Shoes goes beyond typical online shopping experiences – the feature gives shoppers the ability to create and view their own finished product with efficiency and ease. The enhanced user experience for online shoppers does not stop with customization. Not only are consumers able to interact with their product, they are also able to interact and share with others through other virtual means like chat, and social media across multiple devices.

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Vans has become the darling of VF Corp with the highest growth rate of all their brands growing 36% year to year. Zobrist started working with Vans in 2005 before the brand was purchased by VF Corp. From a humble start of $396 million business, Vans now posted $2.3 billion dollars in revenue and the brand seems unstoppable. Everybody is wearing Vans shoes including celebrities, skaters, young and old.

Vans relentless pursuit of the best customer experience bring us back to the table again and again to discuss how we could improve the way shoppers interact with the tool, how they could select the right detail, customize it, see it render, rotate it, and spin it around. Vans could not achieve the success they have if they lose sight of what the brand stands for, authenticity, honesty and stay true to their roots, the skaters.