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Meeting the demand for high-top shoes, in late 1977 Vans introduced their Style 38, a design classic also known as the “Skate Hi.” To endorse their new model, Vans went all out and signed man-of-the-hour Stacy Peralta as their sponsored athlete of choice. At the stroke of a pen, Stacy Peralta became the first skater ever to receive endorsement checks from a skate- boarding shoe company. And not a bad sum, either. Vans was paying young Stacy $300 a month, which equals nearly $1000 today, making the trailblazing pioneer one of the best-paid men in skateboarding at the time. Did Stacy Peralta have any idea at the time that skate- boarding shoes would continue to grow into the biggest gravy train in any pro skater’s salary? “My current bank account would reflect it had I known,” he said. Next to a reinforced ankle with sewn-in padding and the signature waffle-grip sole, the Skate Hi also featured an early version of an ollie pad on the side. Staying up-to- date with the demands posed by riding technique, Vans would continue to involve their sponsored riders into the design process of their shoes, with models like the first “Era”, designed by Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta. This formula for implementing hands-on experience into the design process later found its extension in pro skaters starting their own shoe companies, such as DC, Lakai and Etnies. 76 Style #38 - Taking it Higher 90sversionofVANS Style #38 with a largerollie pad and flattened stripe