Every so often, a viral challenge comes outs of nowhere and, albeit briefly, takes the social media world by storm. Sometimes it's as simple as performing a dance to Drake's latest hit single. Other times they require participants to shovel spoonfuls of cinnamon into their mouth and record the inevitable struggle. The latest challenge is making people toss their pairs of Vans sneakers into the air to see if they land upright.
The appropriately-titled "Vans Challenge" is a rather simple one that appears to have been started by Twitter user @Ibelievethehype.
Since the initial post, many others have recorded videos of themselves tossing their pairs around to prove (or disprove) the theory. Most have been successful.
Others with some particularly "cooked" pairs didn't get the result they were hoping for.
Complex reached out to Professor of Physics at Temple University, Jim Napolitano, for his insights into the viral challenge. As it turns out, this might not be all that crazy of a phenomenon. "The left shoes roll over the left. The right shoes roll over the right. That would make a lot of sense," he explained. "The shoe is getting designed to pivot over that part of the shoe. And that’s what you’d expect. If you look at your foot, the inside is concave and the outside is convex. There must be something about the way the mass is arranged in the shoe."
It really comes down to basic physics. "The only way this would be anything fancy is if it was powered or there was moving parts inside," said Napolitano. "If it’s just rubber and canvas, it has to just be the way the rubber is distributed in relation to the canvas."
Despite being the focus of the challenge, Vans are not the only sneakers that have been proven to land upright either. Complex has tested other shoes including pairs from the latest Adidas Spezial collection, which also settled properly after being thrown into the air.
Vans has not responded to Complex's request for comment at this time.