Vans has launched a new range of sensory shoes for people living with autism

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Vans has launched a range of sensory-inclusive footwear ahead of Autism Awareness Month in April.

According to the company, the collection of sensory-friendly sneakers, created in partnership with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, includes elements such as a “calming colour palette and design features that focus on the senses of touch, sign and sound”.

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As reported in the Independent, sensory issues such as hypersensitivities often accompany autism, according to autism advocacy organisation Autism Speaks, and can be triggered by stimuli such as light, sound, smell or touch.

“For example, many people on the spectrum are hypersensitive to bright lights or certain light wavelengths such as fluorescent lights,” the organisation states.

New collection

The first in the collections is the ComfyCush Old Skool, with blue suede uppers, a checkboard design with red velvet hearts, and a message on the back of each heel.

Vans has launched a range of sensory-inclusive footwear ahead of Autism Awareness Month in April (Photo: Vans)

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There’s also a ComfyCush Slip-On PT style that has squishy check uppers in a grey tone with a heel-pull, to make the shoe easier to get on, and another with holographic water printed on top.

ComfyCush Slip-On PT style (Photo: Vans)

Specifically for children, there’s the ComfyCush New Skool V, with a rubber toe cap for durability, a single-strap hook-and-loop closure for tightness and fit, as well as a heel pull tab and a foam padded collar.

Rounding off the collection, the company has also included an assortment of short and long sleeve t-shirts for kids that showcase graphic treatments in cool, calming colour palettes.

Portion of proceeds donated to charity

A minimum of $100,000 (around £86,000) from Vans’ Autism Awareness Collection will benefit the A.skate Foundation, which introduces skateboarding to kids with Autism through acceptance, therapy and education.

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In a statement Vans said, “Since 1966, Vans has stood as a champion of individuality and self-expression. The brand’s commitment continues with the release of sensory inclusive footwear designs as part of the Autism Awareness Collection.With this project, Vans celebrates the unique aspects of all people. “

The new range is only available online from US and UK stores now, with prices ranging between £20 and £80.

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