Sneaker technology was a lot different in the 1970s, when Vans introduced the skate shoes that are still core to the brand. The spongy, marshmallowy foams common in today’s soles weren’t around. The Era, Vans’s first-ever skate style, designed by skate pioneers Tony Alva and Stacey Peralta, was basically a slab of rubber with a canvas upper stitched on top. It offered great traction for sticking to a skateboard, but not a lot of cushion. Vans has since blown up from a small operation in Southern California to a global business targeting $5 billion in annual sales by 2023. It’s a brand for outsider kids that’s hit on mainstream appeal. But Vans’s core styles, such as the Era and Old Skool, haven’t changed much since those early days as far as how they feel to wear. They’ve largely been going by 1970s standards of comfort. Vans aims to change that. Read more at Quartz.