Skateboard shoes or skate shoes are specially manufactured and designed for skateboarding. The designs of the skate shoes are meant to minimize injuries towards one’s feet and allow skateboarders to acquire higher control over their board.
Designs vary tremendously between manufacturers but standard features are as followed: a flat polyurethane or rubber sole and a tough material within the upper shoe area as well as double or triple stitching in the connection areas.
When skateboarding there can be a great impact on the underside of the foot, which can be responsible for stress injuries in one’s arch, ankle, and the heel. Skateboard shoes are created to help you to skate better and they help.
With regards to skate shoes, everybody wants to have footwear which looks somewhat fashionable. These shoes can be trendy and fashion-forward, no need to worry!
But nevertheless, in this particular sport, we also require the shoes to be sturdy and long-lasting. Different brands bring different styles, looks, advantages, and trends. We want to stick with what’s been around for decades and avoid the non-branded choice.
- Best Skateboard Shoes and Brands
- What to Look for in Skate Shoes
- Skate Shoes Style Guide
- Get your Skate on
Best Skateboard Shoes and Brands
Below are some of the best Skateboard Shoes. All these shoes have different benefits that can fit each person uniquely depending on one’s style and taste.
Above is an old school vans shoe. This Vans Old Skool has lasted as long as anyone in the Skateboarding world can remember. They are rubber-soled and have a cushioned insole for comfort and shock absorption.
These shoes also have a lightly padded collar and tongue which offers added comfort, in a skate style fashion.
Vans Skate Shoes were originally created in 1966 by two American brothers Paul and James Van Doren. Since then Vans have become one of the most famous skate shoes in the world, and for good reasons. Vans are super reliable, with good cushioning, and are unlikely to fall apart quickly.
A breathable, flexible, eco-friendly contemporary low top, suede skate shoe design made on a lightweight cup sole sole provides excellent grip and protection without ever compromising board feel. It comes in many different colors like black gum, navy and brown.
Just like Vans, Supra was founded and branded in California, USA. Supra shoes are constructed for skaters, by skaters. Starting off as an underground idea shared by a discrete few, this brand blew up after 2006.
From Osiris’s Private Reserve Collection comes the NYC 83 VULC sneaker, a performance skate shoe which has street-ready exquisiteness.
Built with a sturdy upper, a textile lining, as well as a removable cushioned insole and grippy rubber outsole, this special technical shoe offers an appropriate ride in style.
Nike offers one of the best skate shoes along with a classic skate silhouette that actually sets the tone for the boards to feel, durability, and comfort. This collection of Nike’s Stefan Janoski Canvas has a wide variety of different colors, patterns, and styles. Check them out now!
Nike shoes were adopted by skaters in the 80’s because of their durable materials and essential flat soles. However, Nike didn’t actually start making shoes designed for skateboarding until 1996. However, their first attempt failed and a successful skate shoe line didn’t start until 2002.
The Nike SB represents the company’s attempt to rebrand their line of skate shoes to a modern audience. In our opinion, these shoes are a match enough to rival even more establishes skate shoe brands such as Vans, or Element.
These are very great quality skate shoes. This is a low-cut skate shoe with a durable seamless toe and wraparound bumper sole, there is a synthetic sole and a lightly padded collar and tongue.
Rick Howard (Lakai Founder) Skate Footage
Lakai are another relatively new, California based company. Lakai was founded in 1999 when Mike Carroll and Rick Howard both decided to leave DC Shoes and start their own brand of skate shoes. Created by professional skateboarders, these shoes are a great choice.
Adidas Men’S Seeley Skate Shoe has a classic style, with individuality. They also present some use of alternative materials to skaters while carving away from the technical craze.
Adidas are relatively new to the world of skate shoes. However, using new technology and superb design, even this brand care a good contender for your new skating shoe!
Another great skate shoe comes from a brand called New Balance. The very stylish skateboard shoe from New Balance promotes a confident stride. This skate shoe has a completely padded tongue and collar which provides all the necessary protection that one requires.
The New Balance All Coast is one of the best and most durable skate shoes you can get in 2021.
Fallen shoes are innovative, long-lasting and fashionable. It is heavy-duty suede and this skate shoe strives to provide high-quality skate gear in every way.
Yet another US based brand in California, Fallen Footwear were relatively recent in their establishment (2003). Professional skateboarder Jamie Thomas founded this brand after leaving Circa.
The Etnies Marana highlights the best of both worlds, it has a rubber cup sole and has an injected EVA midsole. It also has a grippy vulcanized outsole.
The Etnies brand was launched in 1986, and professional skateboarder Pierre André Sénizergues worked tigourously on the design of these classic shoes.
Etnies continue to sponsor professional skateboarders, and in 2003 opened their own skate park in Lake Forest, California.
Grippy tread and standard cushion have a sleek look designed by Emerica. This skate show has high-rebound lightweight cushioning foam insole with a stabilizing support carriage for those hard ollies and flips.
This skateboard show also provides a well-vulcanized gum rubber outsole with an Emerica triangle tread pattern for grip. See all their variations here!
This Cole Pro skate shoe features a lace-up leather with a padded tongue and topline for added protection and comfort. Beneath, this high-walled rubber sole skateboard shoe delivers great grip on or off the board.
The DC’s Trase TX Unisex has a vulcanized construction and has an abrasion-resistant Sticky Rubber Outsole for a flip, after a flip.
Adio Skate shoes is a global brand and has been nominated ‘best skate shoe’ with innovative style and unsurpassed persistent quality. This is one of the most affordable of all the skate shoes out there.
This skateboarding shoe is a low-rise skate shoe with triple-stitched toe reinforcement and wraparound sole with toe bumper, padded breathable mesh tongue, and collar. This is one of the most popular skate shoes out there. Comes in many colors and variations, check them out!
What to Look for in Skate Shoes
When heading out to buy a pair of skate shoes, it’s important to know what you’re actually looking for.
In our view, the three most important things are style (how they look, and what function they serve), cushioning (how good they are at protecting your feet and ankles when moving) and durability (how long they will last and how much abuse they can handle).
Generally speaking, there are two different styles when it comes to skate shoes.
Vulcanized soles are more similar to casual shoes. They are slimmer, lighter and more flexible. However, they sacrifice their cushioning.
Cup sole shoes on the other hand are much more protective of your feet. These are designed for skaters whow ill face more impact, performing harder tricks, and jumping from heights.
Next, we think it’s important to learn about cushioning. Most skate shoes come with a midsole made from EVA foam. This helps with impact when your foot or board hits the ground.
If you want a more durable midsole, go for PU foam as it may last longer than PU. It does come at a greater cost, though.
Another thing to look out for is dual heel cushioning. This is often featured in vulcanized shoes to make up for their thinner soles. Another feature is a heel collar for added stability.
Finally, in order to get a product you’re happy with, it’s important to check out the durability of different items.
Lace guards, for instance, are a good feature which stops all of the impact from skating ruining your shoes.
The upper part of your shoe is obviously really important, so look out for the material on this part of your shoe to make sure its of good quality. Triple stitching and a gum rubber outer sole are also things to look out for.
Skate Shoes Style Guide
The question remains, what else can you wear with these type of shoes? We’ve compiled a helpful guide to give you tips on what else to wear with your brand new shoes!
You’ve definitely seen skaters at every park rocking these shoes with a baggy checkered flannel shirt. Below are a couple we think are comfy, and look sick!
This shirt from Billabong is super comfy, and pretty much goes with anything you can think of. Take your pick from the shoes above and rock them with this shirt!
If you’re going for a bit more of a smart vibe then this Volcom shirt might be the way to go. Volcom are a super reliable and reputable brand and this shirt, like the Billabong one above, pretty much goes with anything.
This flannel is more of a hybrid between a shirt and a hoodie. You might be looking for something surfer-esque that will keep you warm at the skate park during your evening sesh, if so this one might be good for you!
These beanies are another item of clothing that are basically quintessential to skate attire. Below we’ve got two of our favorites, one for guys, and one for gals.
The element skate beanie is a really authentic and stylistic choice for keeping your head warm! Like most skate clothing, it goes with pretty much anything, and will look great if you match it with these element shoes.
This Brixton beanie is super comfy, and is baggy enough to get all your hair in no problems. It’s made of super comfy material and is great for keeping your head warm.
Skate jumpers (nice warm jumpers from popular skating/surfing brands) are another great way to complete the look that you started by investing in the shoes in this article.
This jumper from popular skate brand DC is suitable for guys and gals because of it’s comfy, extra-baggy material and design. Its reeeeeaaally comfy but it’s also fitted enough to not get in the way whilst skating.
Thrasher have always been a brand who produce insanely popular pieces of clothing every now and then. This jumper is one which you’ve probably seen around all the time at skate parks. You can get one for a damn affordable price on Amazon!
Get your Skate on
Every single skateboarder has their own unique style. Your feet and shoes, in general, suffer a lot! Especially if you are a skateboarder or longboarder. Selecting the right skate shoes is very critical and crucial. You need protection, comfort and if you want to go that extra mile, whatever is trending!
Find the balance between personal style and experience with skating to find the best skate shoe that suits your needs, whether it’s a self-balancing hoverboard or skateboard you’re riding!
If you didn’t find what you were looking for here, and you need something more functional, maybe check out our hiking boots article!
Otherwise, we just hope that everything in this article has been helpful and that we’ve covered all the bases. Happy skating!
James Haden is one of the owners of the Active Thrills community, together with Nash Gibson – his co-owner. He works as a full-time copywriter for a private company and also a true adventurer. He is an avid reader, writer, traveller, and extreme sports junkie. During his free time, he researches interesting content for their blog and continuously writes for their audience.