Vans is releasing its first running shoe through a collaboration with Columbus, Ohio-based boutique Sole Classics. The Sole Classics x Vans Vault OG Runner LX was announced through a folklore titled “The Story of Kitchi,” shared on the retailer’s website.
The folklore revolves around an adventurous protagonist named Kitchi, who reunites with his family after miraculously crossing the Ohio River upon being chased by a black bear.
The retro runner uses a combination of leather and neoprene to execute its bright blue upper, and is completed with a white midsole. The clear soles of the sneakers reveal the native word “O-Y-O” printed on the bottom of both shoes — which means “the great river” — and is how the Ohio River originally got its name.
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The Sole Classic logo is embossed on the right shoe’s right side of heel, while the left shoe’s outer heel features an embossed bear paw, just how Kitchi’s heel had been slashed by the bear in the folklore story. Matching the mustard-colored heel tabs with embossed Vans logos, an “x” stitched onto the shoe alludes to the boutique’s 10th anniversary.
This year also marks Vans’ 50th anniversary, who has celebrated by releasing a variety of special edition collections like its 50th Era Pro ’83 Stripes/Checkers rerelease and its Nintendo collection. Although this is the first collaboration between Vans and Sole Classics, the boutique retailer has stocked other limited edition Vans collections like Murakami x Vault by Vans.
The Vans Vault OG Runner LX will retail for $150 and will be released on Saturday exclusively through Sole Classics in-store and online.