Vans Challenge Goes Viral

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Vans Challenge Goes Viral

Avery Brown-Renfro, Remy Nolasco

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Vans sneakers have a history of going viral and trending on Twitter.  In 2016, the series of “Damn Daniel” videos went viral. Since going viral, Daniel Lara and Joshua Holz have been recognized by talk show host Ellen Degeneres and Daniel won a lifetime supply of Vans.

“Did you know it doesn’t matter how you throw your Vans they will land facing up?” stated  Twitter user @Ibelievthehype. Days later and millions of retweets after, everyone started flipping over the #VansChallenge.

Many people have their own views on the viral Vans like Junior Tyrone Cothow Jr. who expressed his uncertainty. “I’ve kicked my Vans across the room 1000 times and sometimes they land sideways. It’s just a hyped trend because of how cool it looks on Twitter.”

Despite the few occasions in which Vans don’t land upright, there is no denying that thousands of people find the appeal in the trend. With the #VansChallenge trending, many are taking the opportunity to create short funny videos similar to the style of Vine back in 2013. Because of the quick entertainment of the videos, students such as Jaliyah Maxwell enjoy the trend. “I untied my Vans and threw them across the room and they landed facing up. I was a non-believer at first, but now I can’t stop throwing my Vans!” said Maxwell.

Many are questioning why Vans flip upright, and there is a good reason. Vans started as a brand deemed for skateboarders, meaning the heavy soles of the shoe are designed to help weigh down on the skateboard and help support the force from the impact of skating. The heavier waffle iron design might explain why Vans almost always land top-side up.

Many physicists are also aware of the trend and offer their own insights on why Vans flip upright. Jim Napolitano, a professor at Temple University, suggested to Complex magazine a scientific reason behind the trend. The design of Vans is made to pivot in the direction of its respective foot; so, the right shoe will flip to the right while the left shoe will flip to the left. Since shoes are produced to match the general shape of a human foot that means that the mass arrangement of Vans may be the reasoning behind the upright phenomenon.

Viral challenges such as the #VansChallenge arise every now and then on the internet. From Damn Daniel to the Salt and Ice Challenge, such challenges can range from harmless to potentially risky. Some are used for charity donations such as the Ice Bucket Challenge, which was used to bring awareness to ALS Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The #VansChallenge is another one of those harmless and mildly entertaining internet sensations that will pass by without a second thought, however, that doesn’t make it any less entertaining.