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May 4, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Shoes in by design

It’s spring and feet want to be loose. And who can blame them – especially seeing these fabulous designs created for Van’s blank canvas shoe contest? You’ll feel like dancing – or creating – or getting out there. Enough yackin’. Start the walk through:

Colorful shoes with crayons images on front. Art Category entry by McNary HS., Keizer, OR (

Color in the lines. Art Category entry by McNary HS, Keizer, OR (


shoe with artistic design. Orange HS.ORange, CA (

A shoe’s in for art. (Orange HS. Orange, CA.


sculptural shoes in art category. (Entry by Friendswood HS Friendswood, TX.

Trippy to wear, but function is brushed off here. Contest rules say shoes do not have to be actually wearable. (Art category entry by Friendswood HS, Friendswood, TX.


Shoes to take note of. (Music category entry by Friendswood music entry. (

Shoes to take note of.  One shoe plays the electric tune while the other is the speaker spreading the sound. Really. It works. Heard the tuneful pair.If kids can turn shoes into instruments, don’t tell me we can’t rocket to other stars, cure diseases, feed the hungry, live in tandem with the earth and solve so many problems. Maybe adults are not reading the score? (Music category. Friendswood HS. Friendswood, TX.


musical themed shoes.(Music category entry by James Pace Early College HS.Brownsville, TX.

Take as step and get in tune. Get a group together. Think local. (Music category entry by James Pace Early College HS.Brownsville, TX.

Are you noticing anything yet? 

  • These shoes were all created by students
  • There are categories: Music, Art, Local Flavor, and Action Sports
  • It’s a contest! Schools can win big money and students can win individual prizes. Sometimes students find jobs and careers.
  • Vans has been running this creative design contest for a number of year. (The video interview explains it better than I.) Article:  “Vans kicks off the sixth Annual Custom Culture Art Competition”
  • vanscustomculture.votenow. It’s down to the final 50 schools. YOU can help a school make the final cut. VOTE HERE. Contest entries might be from schools in your area. They need the money. Besides if you  VOTE for the designs you love, maybe they will go into production by VANS.


Shoes with seagulls and ocean scenes. Local color Enrty by Catoctin HS THurmont, MD.(

Sail away with a smile on your feet. (Local Flavor entry by Catoctin HS.Thurmont, MD.


Shoe group by island design (Entires by Moanalua High. Honolulu, HI (

Island time!(Entries by Moanalua High. Honolulu, HI.


Shoes with corn design Local color entry by Fort Calhoun HS, Fort Calhoun, NE. Van shoes. Custom Culture Contest)

Not too corny for Nebraska fans.(Local Flavor entry by Fort Calhoun HS, Fort Calhoun. vanscustomculture.votenow.)


shoe entry group by Northwood HS. IRvine, CA (

Ready to step up into the final round! (Group by Northwood HS. Irvine, CA.


shoe with waves. Action Sports entry by Station Camp HS. Gallatin, TN (

Make a splash in these. (Action Sports entry by Station Camp HS. Gallatin, TN.


shoes with VW, going outdoors, and campingUniversity. (Local Flavor entry by HS. Irvine, CA.

If these don’t make you want to get out there. Do it. Get out there. Oh, and get out there and vote. (Local Flavor entry by University HS. Irvine, CA.

No better way to get happy feet: delightful designs, kids and schools getting support.

Tie one and tippy toe over to vote for your favorites until May 11.

You can vote multiple times and in multiple regional areas.

Stomping it.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

(The art car crowd is bound to be taking note!)



  1. easyweimaraner / May 4 2016 8:35 am

    I love the splash-shoes… that’s just great! many moons ago I created my own shoes too… because my parents refused to buy me expensive adidas canvas shoes I tried to make my own… I thought it’s easy to make 3 simple stripes on shoes… but I was wrong and I only could keep the laces, all other parts ended in the trash can :o)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 5 2016 1:56 pm

      Oh, Easy. That early shoe attempt sounds a little like the first attempt at cutting bangs (Noooo, not before school pictures – oooooh, noooo. Nothing can disguise badly cut bangs). But is does sound like you were ahead of your time with that primitive shoe art. IT is amazing what these kids are doing. Thanks for running in and not chewing on the shoes


      • easyweimaraner / May 6 2016 12:21 am

        I’m with you… I tried to get the ABBA hairstyle that way and cut a triangle in my bangs… and my heartless mother sent me to school anyway… :o(((


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 6 2016 8:47 am

          My bangs looked like porcupine quills. Needless to say those school pictures (pre-paid) were not proudly displayed…and the annoyance about the chop job went on forever. Forever.


  2. D. Wallace Peach / May 4 2016 8:59 am

    Wow, those are so cool. I couldn’t pick a favorite. What a great idea. I’m going to pass it on to our local arts committee and to the HS art teacher.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 5 2016 1:52 pm

      Schools can win $50,000.00! And more prizes. Certainly worth keeping an eye on it for next year’s competition….let the design planning begin. Thanks for handing off the information and for stopping by to gaze at these amazing shoes

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy / May 4 2016 9:00 am

    These are awesome! Not my general style of shoes, but for some of these, I might make an exception (or put them on display).

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 5 2016 1:50 pm

      If you had a pair of these, you could put them on the shelf as art when not in use. Happy feet that are bound to make anyone smile. Thanks for strolling over to chat

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Carrie Rubin / May 4 2016 9:29 am

    Fabulous! A visual feast for the eyes and a treat for the feet. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 5 2016 1:48 pm

      Kids are capable of so much when interested and let loose to run. Totally wonderful final products. Thanks for stepping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ally Bean / May 4 2016 10:29 am

    Love these. Coolness. I used to sketch & color on my white canvas Keds, but I never achieved anything this wonderful.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 5 2016 1:46 pm

      Marks-a-lot on worn left over Keds’gym shoes in the summer never got to this level. I bet some shoe design studios are taking notice. Thanks for shoo-ing a comment this way


  6. sustainabilitea / May 4 2016 11:20 am

    Oh, man, I thought I saw Cornhuskers shoes in there. Although I’m a big fan, I think I’d not be wearing them, but what fun this whole thing is and what talent!!



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 5 2016 1:43 pm

      There was another pair of corn themed shoes from another HS in Nebraska. So many cool shoes and so little space. This broad splash of creativity should make anyone smile. Thanks for stopping by to lace in a comment


  7. Kate Crimmins / May 4 2016 12:47 pm

    Pretty cool!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 5 2016 1:42 pm

      How could anyone wear something like these and not be happy – just look down and you’d have to smile. Thanks for slipping a comment this way

      Liked by 1 person

  8. RKLikesReeses / May 4 2016 12:55 pm

    Wow!! So creative! Amazing designs! What a wonderful contest, makes the world seem like a better place than it was 5 minutes ago. Thank you for sharing this!!! 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 5 2016 1:40 pm

      What struck me was the high quality of these works. And the shoes certainly would encourage anyone to dance wild and free. Real joy. Thanks for sketching out a comment to tack on these walls

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Paul / May 4 2016 6:22 pm

    Very cool Phil -whoda thunk?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 5 2016 1:34 pm

      So inventive – and professional looking. These cool shoes are the perfect accessory for art cars! Great move by the company in support of education and creativity. Who know what these kids could come up with if only the educational system stepped away from scripted teaching and multiple choice teaching…obviously the young free thinkers are ready, willing, and able to wander among open-ended questions. Thanks for strolling by to leave a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  10. angelswhisper2011 / May 5 2016 2:08 am

    Very arty shoes, Philmouse. I think I was just looking in the eye of the tiger…lion..need four of them 😉 Double Pawkiss 🙂 ❤


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 5 2016 1:20 pm

      We think you should have the ones with the rosy-cheeked cherubs in the sky painted on them…or some nice Hawaiian floral ones to attract more butterflies! Paw waves and thanks for pawsing to chat

      Liked by 1 person

      • angelswhisper2011 / May 6 2016 9:41 am

        Do they make birds, Philmouse, cause if they do, I go for birds 😀


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 6 2016 12:28 pm

          You could step out lightly with feathered bird shoes! (Must send suggestion to one of the teams for next year) Paw waves!

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Jill Foer Hirsch / May 5 2016 7:17 am

    LOVE these. Too old/not hip enough to pull them off, not to mention that I need another pair of shoes like I need a hole in my head, but…they are so awesome!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 5 2016 1:16 pm

      While the high top style might not run with me, the others? I’m game – Vans are perfect for everyone and any occasion…especially if you’re “well seasoned”- people leave the old and crazy ones alone HA HA. Thanks for walking this way to spend some time

      Liked by 1 person

  12. heylookawriterfellow / May 5 2016 9:35 am

    I love ’em, but I’d be too afraid to get them dirty.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 5 2016 1:13 pm

      Good point…wonder if they offer body and sole touchups? That would get them well down the road. Thanks for tromping over to chat


  13. Littlesundog / May 5 2016 6:56 pm

    These are exceptional! I want some with hooves on them. Yes, and maybe a little magic so I could run and leap like a deer… and sneak up on people/animals.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 6 2016 8:36 am

      Sounds like you need ones like Mercury with little wings on the heels. Some little deer ones would be dear. Thanks for hoofing over with an intriguing comment (maybe next year’s entries will team with NASA or enchanted folk to make cool dreams come true)


  14. shoreacres / May 5 2016 7:42 pm

    The shoes are great — that is, the artwork is great. Now, it’s confession time. I never have heard of Van’s shoes. I went to the website and looked them over, and decided that, if I’m going to pay $50 for a pair of shoes, they’re going to be high-end Sperrys or hiking boots. Still, they look comfortable, and the contest is terrific. I think I’d cover mine with love bugs: paired and unpaired. And maybe a VW beetle on each toe: the original love bug!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 6 2016 8:41 am

      I can just see those buggy shoes. Fun. Everything seems to cost so much now – even the ordinary (and the ability to last does not seem to match the prices?) I like that Vans as a company looked around and is reaching out to kids often left out at school and their support of creativity and art education. More value there than meets the eye. Thanks for decorating a comment to toss in this shoebox


  15. Larissa Thomson / May 5 2016 9:11 pm

    Those are some fantastic shoes! Makes me want to proclaim that “I would walk five hundred miles…” in shoes like those!!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 6 2016 8:43 am

      Oh, that’s a great musical link. I started with an idea to link the shoe contest to YouTube songs, but it got too cumbersome and probably would have taken too long to load. But who couldn’t hear tunes while wandering in those happy feet? Thanks for leaping by to sing along

      Liked by 1 person

  16. jmmcdowell / May 14 2016 5:00 pm

    Those are some amazingly talented students! I don’t think I could bring myself to even put them on—they’d go right on display!


  17. patriciaruthsusan / May 19 2016 6:35 am

    Fantastic! 🙂 — Suzanne


  18. design2themax / Aug 31 2016 2:35 am

    Wearable art at it’s most artistic. Love them, this kind of design makes people smile 🙂


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