In the design of this model, Vans added a padded collar to address the ankle injuries sustained by skaters. Many kids were hurting themselves in skateparks where their boards would fly off the sides of the ramps.
The classic "Off The Wall" outsole was durable, but the toe ventilation system stopped the foot from getting too hot and sweaty. The suede side protection on the front section stopped the upper getting ripped, while the canvas side panels kept the shoe flexible.
As well as being an excellent shoe for skating, the Vans SK8-Hi is also regarded as a classic item from the hardcore punk and rock kid's wardrobe. This is a basic model, but one that doesn't need any alterations.