Talkin’ some new kicks, ones like you ain’t never seen!

By: Rockpique (, @rockpique)

2 Van Halen.jpeg

Eddie Van Halen. Everyone knows him. Everyone has dissected his playing style and his influence for decades. He is my personal lifelong guitar idol, and I have spent many an hour not only soaking in the music, but looking at pictures of him performing. Of course, like most people, I notice in photos the guitars, the ever present grin, and the stage. However, I want to point out a little discussed aspect of his wardrobe over the years…his shoes.

4 Van Halen.jpeg

His shoes? Yep. I remember noticing in live videos of him back in the eighties his habit of constantly tapping his foot as he played. I joked with a friend that if you were to hold his foot down, his fingers would suddenly fumble and his fluid cascade of notes would spiral into a jumbled mess of feedback and general awfulness. But there was something else I noticed about his feet. He was always wearing some random form of sneakers that I had never seen or heard of before, and to this day have never seen anyone else wear.

Is this because I don’t shop at “Rock Stars R’ Us”? Does my firm middle class status preclude me from wandering into the types of places that sell shoes that are somehow both high quality enough to appeal to a millionaire and obscure enough that no one else on Earth has ever donned a pair?

I think I have the answer. The shoes are the source of Van Halen’s power. He somehow stumbled upon this sorcery and of course had to wear these various unique brands of footwear from 1978 to the present. It’s the only logical explanation. Look at the accompanying pictures, and take note of the various shoes. I will venture that none of you own a pair of any of them.

If you do see a pair that you own, for the love of God put them on, run down to the nearest guitar store and buy a Les Paul.

5 Van Halen.jpeg
1 Van Halen.jpeg

This article was originally published at and is contributed to When It Was Cool by Rockpique.  Anybody that likes and writes articles about Rush is pretty much a guaranteed friend of When It Was Cool so be sure to check them out at

If you found this article interesting consider becoming a Patreon supporter.  That is how When It Was Cool keeps our website and podcasts online, plus you get lots of bonus content including extra and extended podcasts, articles, digital comics, ebooks, and much more.  Check out our Patreon Page to see what's up!

If you don't want to use Patreon but still want to support When It Was Cool then how about a one time $5 PayPal donation? Thank you!