Star of David Appears on Vans Shoes So Wearers can “Step on Jews”-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
The Star of David appears on the bottoms of Vans so that people can “step on Jews” while they wear them.
This urban legend is a hoax.
The claim that the Star of David appears on the bottom of Vans shoes so people can “step on Jews” first began circulating in the 1990s. It refers to a crisscross rubber pattern on the soles of Vans shoes that appears to form the Star of David.
The Anti-Defamation League said in 2006 “there is no truth to any of these allegations” in a statement:
“While ADL understands that the use of the Star of David pattern in this context may be offensive to some, there is no factual basis to believe that the maker of Vans shoes incorporated the six-pointed star design in an attempt to insult Jews. Over the years the company has sought to reassure inquirers that the trademarked pattern is just that — a pattern — with no intended anti-Jewish message.”
The ADL said that it first contacted Vans about the Star of David rumor in the 1990s. The chief executive said at the time that the six-pointed star pattern on the shoes “was not done with even any awareness that it was the Star of David.”
The Van Doren Rubber Company was founded in Anaheim, California, in 1966 by brothers Paul and James Van Doren. James designed a “high-grip shoe, conceived as a boat shoe, that would hold the wearer firmly to a pitching deck,” according to his obituary:
“Mr. Van Doren collaborated with a chemist to develop the rubber recipe used in the sole. A mechanical engineer by training, he also devised its characteristic tread pattern: diamonds interrupted by a band of tiny six-pointed stars at the ball of the foot. Together, rubber and tread made the sole clingy.”
Although the shoe was initially designed for boating, it’s high-grip rubber sole made it a popular choice for skateboarders in Southern California in the 1970s. Today, the Van Doren Rubber Company is known simply as “Vans.”