The Internet Can’t Decide Whether These Vans Are Gray or Pink

Photo: Getty Images

Two and a half years ago, #TheDress, a controversy over whether the color of a dress was black and blue or gold and white, ruled the internet. Now, a new clothing item is dividing the internet: a pair of shoes.

Recently, a pair of Vans sneakers went viral for their confusing color. To some, the shoes are gray with teal laces and accents. To others, they’re pink with white laces and accents. The Twitter user who originally posted the shoes sparked the debate by classifying them as gray and teal. Though, she also noted that the picture isn’t originally hers nor does she own the shoes.

Though a majority of the internet agreed with her (in a BuzzFeed poll, 88 percent of voters saw the shoes as gray and teal), there were a vocal group of pink and white supporters in the group. Some on the internet even claimed to see the shoes’ change colors right in front of their eyes.

Per the sneakers’ official listing on Vans’s website, the shoes are in fact pink and white—or as they’re labeled, “mahogany rose” and “true white.” So, it looks like the original photo had the bulk of the internet duped. Some users even re-colored the photo to show what the shoes should originally look like.

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Though experts haven’t come out to explain the confusion behind #TheShoes, the scientific reasoning behind 2015’s #TheDress debate might shed some light.

The dress, which is originally black and blue, was perceived as gold and white to some due to a lighting trick, according to eye surgeon Paul Dougherty. “It’s a perception issue,” Dougherty told “Today in 2015. “It’s the way the brain processes information that comes in. Everyone’s brain is different.”

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Though we were once again fooled by poor lighting, there’s nothing better to bring the internet together than a color controversy. See you in two years when #TheHat will be a thing.

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