The best skate shoes not only give the skateboarder a sense of style, but they also help them protect their feet during various skateboarding tricks. It doesn’t matter if the skateboarder is doing something as basic as a Tic-Tac, a Drop-In or a Switch, or something as complex as a 180-degree Ollie, they are going to want a shoe that is flexible yet tough. Oh, and one that looks good, too.
Finding that perfect shoe can sometimes be frustrating, however. After all, there are dozens of different shoes that are marketed towards skateboarders. Some of them are really good, and others don’t even qualify as real skateboard shoes. That’s why we’ve decided to do our own research, and uncover the ten best shoes for skateboarding that are currently available.
Best Skate Shoes Of 2019
10Osiris Men’s Protocol Shoe
Available in a variety of stunning colors and with a very iconic design to them, these skate shoes are ready to transform any skateboarder’s look. The colors in which these shoes are available are black, white, light grey and blue. They are made with a rubber sole and have a low-top fit. The areas that skaters usually have to worry about becoming scuffed are reinforced with extra material to increase their durability. Another key feature on these shoes is their lightweight collar which makes them comfortable without compromising any support they give. And since they have a rubber outsole, these shoes are designed for performance and extended wear.
9Etnies Jameson 2 Eco Skate
These quality skateboarding shoes are made out of canvas, so they not only are extremely comfortable but also allow oxygen to get around the foot. Although this means that they may not be suitable for high-end tricks, they do make a good cruising shoe or a shoe that’s ideal for beginning skateboarders. They’re equipped with a rubber sole, have a padded collar and have a wraparound midsole. Inside, this shoe has an EVA midsole that helps to absorb incidental concrete impacts and keeps the skater’s arch comfortable. And since it’s available in colors which range from grey to navy or red, there’s one for just about any skater.
8Van’s Men’s Bearcat Shoes
These shoes are so comfortable that the skater often forgets their even wearing them at all. That’s because they have an upper portion that’s made from the perfect combination of suede and canvas. This combination makes it comfortable enough for them to be worn by casual skaters, but flexible enough to be worn by professionals. These shoes are also extremely durable and have a waffle gum rubber sole that gives the wearer a great board-feel and also gives them the grip they need to perform excellent flicks. All of which makes these shoes one that some skaters are going to want to add to their shoe collection.
7Osiris Men’s D3 2001 Shoes
Although some skaters may feel that these shoes are a throwback to the era when dial-up modems were still a thing and flannel was all the rage, they’re actually a shoe that provides many of the features that skaters need nowadays. They have a chunky style that protects the foot very well but doesn’t sacrifice the feel of the board in the process. Another key feature is their lacing system that helps to keep the shoe on the feet more securely. And since they’re available in a wide assortment of colors, there’s a color that will fit in with almost any skater’s personal style.
6Puma Adult Suede Classic
These skate shoes have a classic style that makes it easy to see why they were so popular for so long. This style shoe was originally designed as a basketball shoe in the 1960s, but over the years it began to be fit to a variety of other activities, including skateboarding in the 1990s. Although it seems like this style shoe did disappear for a while, it’s now back with a vengeance and ready to give modern skaters that retro look they’ve been searching for. These shoes have a rubber sole that has a unique design and gives the wearer the board-feel they need to take their skating to the next level.
5Adidias Men’s Busenitz Sneaker
Designed with the help of Dennis Busenitz and manufactured with a blend of leather and synthetic materials, these shoes are not only designed to be durable but are also designed to give the skater the flexibility to handle just about any course. These shoes are specifically designed for all-terrain skating and are equipped with a customizable tongue that allows each individual skater to adjust them to their own fit or style. They also have a durable rubber sole that absorbs ground impacts quite well, and they have a low top shaft that gives the skater the flexibility they need to perform just about any trick.
4Vans Unisex Old Skool Classic
Equipped with a waffle tread, vulcanized construction, and a canvas upper portion, this shoe will provide just about any skateboarder with the flexibility to really shine out on the street. And since they have a unisex classic design that has never really gone out of style, these shoes are ready to make a big impression on the wearer’s skateboarding friends as well. Its vintage design also provides the board-feel and the comfort that many skaters are looking for when they try on a new pair of shoes. All of which are good reasons for serious skaters to consider strapping on a pair of these shoes and trying them out.
3Globe Men’s Tilt Skate Shoe
Not many shoes can double both as a skate shoe and as a daily casual shoe, but this pair of shoes sure can. That’s because they have many of the features that skaters want out of a nice pair of shoes, but they’re comfortable enough to be worn for virtually any activity. They are made with a unique blend of synthetic and leather materials, which not only makes them extremely durable but also allows them to be somewhat flexible as well. They are also equipped with a quality rubber sole that absorbs impacts very well and has a nice bounce to it.
2Adidas Men’s Seeley Skate
These shoes are designed to offer the wearer a low profile but do it while ensuring the skater’s maximum performance level. They’re made with an abrasion-resistant upper that can take the knocks and pings of skateboarding quite well, and they have a vulcanized outsole that gives the skater the on-board grip they need. And unlike other types of shoes made for skaters, this one doesn’t sacrifice board feel so the wearer can have a more durable shoe. This brand of shoes is available in a number of stylish colors, too. These colors include black, ash grey, burgundy, scarlet, and khaki.
1DC Men’s Court Graffik SE
When the skater is ready to hit the street, then this shoe is ready to provide them with the comfort and the performance they need. This is one of the more popular skate shoes currently available, and that’s with good reason. It’s because these shoes have the quality and the design to go the distance they need to go to make skaters happy. These shoes are manufactured using leather that’s reinforced for extra durability. They also have a lightweight foam-padded tongue and collar that allows the perfect fit. And finally, these shoes have a rubber sole that absorbs all impacts and allows the skater to really feel the board.
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How To Choose Skate Shoes
Anyone who is trying to choose the best skate shoes for their skating style is going to want to check out this guide. That’s because we’re going to go through the basics of choosing the best skate shoe for your skating style. So let’s jump right into it and get started.
Step One: Choose Between Vulcanized or Cupsole
When it comes to skate shoes, there are two basic varieties to choose from, Vulcanized or Cupsole. Each of these different types will impact the way that you skateboard. For example, some skaters may need a shoe that helps to absorb heavy impacts, and other skaters may need a shoe that gives them a better board feel. Below is a brief explanation of each type, as well as their pros & cons.
These shoes have a softer feel to them and are usually more flexible than cup-sole shoes. They also have a smoother finish and may have foxing stripe.
- They are easily broken in
- They are very flexible
- They give the skater great board grip
- Not as durable as cup-soles
- They need to be equipped with a proper insole
- They often lack heel support
You can tell these shoes by their design features. They usually have a one-piece rubber sole, are stitched at the edge and have a textured rubber finish.
- They’re extremely durable
- They provide the skater with heel support
- They provide good impact absorption
- They are harder to break in
- They aren’t as flexible as vulcanized shoes
- They don’t have the same board-feel as vulcanized shoes
Step Two: Consider Ankle Support
The next thing that should be considered by the skater is whether he or she needs a low-top, a mid-top or a high-top shoe. Below are the basic characteristics of each of these three styles.
- Low Tops: What these shoes lack in ankle protection, they make up for in maneuverability. They sit right below the ankle.
- Mid Tops: These shoes offer a higher protection level for the ankle, but allows the skater to preserve some of their mobility. They sit right at the ankle level.
- High Tops: These shoes offer the most protection to the skater’s ankles, but many skateboarders complain that they’re too restrictive. These shoes sit right above the ankle.
Step Three: Think About The Shoe’s Cushioning
One of the things that are really going to determine whether the skate shoe is going to be comfortable to the wearer is the midsole. The difference between a comfortable midsole and an uncomfortable one can be the difference between a skater who can push his limits to one that can barely stay on his board. Let’s take a look at some of the materials that modern skate midsoles are made from nowadays.
- EVA Foam: Midsoles with EVA foam are lightweight, but they do a good job at absorbing most board impacts. However, they don’t last as long as PU foam midsoles.
- PU Foam: These midsoles certainly last longer than EVA foam midsoles, but they don’t usually absorb impacts as well.
Step Four: Think About Shoe Material
The last thing that you’ll want to do is choose the right material for your shoes. Generally speaking, these shoes are usually made out of Canvas, Suede, Synthetic Leather or Full-Grain Leather. Let’s examine each of them more closely.
- Canvas: This material is comfortable, is light and allows air to circulate around the foot. However, it’s not very durable and isn’t the best suited for doing tricks. This shoe is best for casual skaters and those who are just beginning to skate.
- Suede: This material is soft, durable and gives the skater the flexibility they need to perform flicks and other tricks. All of which makes it one of the more preferred materials that skate shoes are made out of.
- Synthetic Leather: This material is durable but it doesn’t breathe very well. However, it does tend to flick better than full-grain leather, so some skaters will prefer it over that material.
- Full-Grain Leather: This is the most durable of all of the materials listed above, but it doesn’t provide the same type of grip as suede shoes.
One Final Tip
Before buying any pair of shoes, it’s important that you properly measure your feet or have them measured by a professional. This will enable you to purchase the correct size, and that will enable you to get the best performance out of your shoes. No skater wants to deal with shoes that are too tight or loose or shoes that don’t give them the board-feel that they want or expect out of a pair of shoes.