We use skate shoes to protect our feet when we’re skateboarding; and although some of you might think that any pair of shoes would do, we really have to disagree. When it comes to skating, regular shoes don’t offer nearly enough protection or flexibility. This is because skateboarding tricks cause quite a bit of a strain on your feet, so without proper support, you will not only experience a lot of discomfort but you might also cause your feet a lot of harm.
When choosing a pair of skate shoes, one should first consider how much they skate and their skating style above everything else. As soon as you figure out what type of shoes would best meet your needs, you have to then consider their availability and whether you can find a pair that is both comfortable and durable long-term. That might be a bit tricky considering how many different models are out there and how well advertised even the sub-par versions can be.
After taking into consideration everything the market has to offer on the subject of skate shoes, we focused in on a few that stand out from the rest not just through their construction but their design as well. Seeing how even the best of shoes can be unappealing for people with a peculiar taste in shoes, we should perhaps find out what characteristics good skate shoes have before delving into the exact brands. Let us then find out what are the ten best skate shoes the market has to offer and what exactly makes them so good to begin with.
Best Skate Shoes – Reviews
10Vans Unisex Authentic Skate Shoe
Known for their durability and performance, Vans Unisex Authentic Skate Shoes are made from 80% high-quality canvas and 205 rubber. Featuring a Maui inspired design on the upper part of the shoe, they come with a specially padded ankle that adds to the comfort levels. Featuring a waffle outsole, these shoes offer optimum grip and control and are light in weight and extremely durable and long lasting. Available in a variety of funky designs and patterns, these shoes are ideal for all seasons and suitable for both men and women.
9Reebok RB1910 Skate Style EH Safety Shoe
Designed and crafted with premium grade imported leather, Reebok RB1910 Skate Style EH Safety Shoes comes with a heavy-duty, reliable rubber sole. Featuring a steel toe for added protection, it comes equipped with a special electric hazard guard. Thanks to its anti-slip rubber sole, it helps with added grip and friction and provides stability. Offering optimum comfort levels, these skate shoes come with a cushioned midsole made from EVA that can be easily removed along with a rubber heel wedge that is made from soft, durable sponge.
8Vans Unisex Authentic Skate Shoe
Made from canvas with a rubber sole, the Vans Unisex Authentic Skate Shoe features a shaft that measures approximately 1.78 inches from the arch. Featuring the authentic, original Vans style and design, these shoes are constructed with a simple lace-up profile with a heavy duty upper made from durable canvas material. Equipped with eyelets made from metal, these shoes are designed with a sturdy rubber outsole that offers optimum grip and control while skateboarding.
7DC Men’s Anvil TX Skate Shoe
Available in a variety of color combinations, DC Men’s Anvil TX Skate Shoes are uniquely constructed with high-quality textiles and imported durable material. Designed with a reliable rubber sole, it features a vulcanized construction with a shaft that is fairly low. Featuring vent holes that adds to the breathability and comfort, and a soft padded tongue, its rubber outsole is resistant to abrasion and offers optimum grip. Offering comfort, durability and known for its stylish designs, these shoes can be utilized for daily wear as well as skateboarding.
6Globe Black Men’s Skate Shoes
Available in a variety of different designs and color combinations, the Globe Black Men’s Skate Shoes are made from premium quality leather and synthetic material. Featuring a classic round-toe skate shoe construction, these shoes come with a wide lace profile with specially drilled underlays. Equipped with an inner sock that is included, it comes with a heavy-duty, durable synthetic sole that offers a good grip and is anti-slip.
5Adidas Originals Men’s Seeley Skate Shoe
The Adidas Originals Men’s Seeley Skate Shoes are heavy duty shoes by most standards, the type that are made from premium quality imported synthetics. These lace-up shoes come with an anti-abrasion upper covering with its unique 3 stripe logo on the sides and a midsole with a wraparound pattern. Thanks to its special vulcanized rubber outsole, these shoes offer a high grip level and sticks to the skateboard with ease, giving you a better, more stable control. Available in an assortment of vibrant colors, these shoes are light in weight and stylish to look at.
4Globe Men’s Fusion Skate Shoes
Featuring a padded tongue made from foam and a collar that adds to the comfort and support levels, the Globe Men’s Fusion Skate Shoes are uniquely designed with high quality imported leather. With a variety of color combinations and designs to choose from, these skate shoes feature a heavy-duty rubber cup sole that offers proper grip and vent holes that help with breathability. With a low top shaft, these shoes are light in weight, stylish, and durable.
3Vans Unisex Old Skool Skate Shoe
The Vans Unisex Old Skool Skate Shoe features a classic vintage skate style one that is made from rubber with a vintage upper made from high-quality canvas materials. Featuring a shaft that measures 2.21 inches from the arch of the shoe, these shoes are low top and are designed with a vulcanized construction that adds in comfort and durability. Like most of Vans’ designs, these shoes come with a waffle outsole that is known for its flexibility and traction while skateboarding.
2DC Men’s Court Graffik SE Skate Shoe
Featuring a variety of color combinations, DC Men’s Court Graffik SE Skate Shoes are available in an assortment of designs and patterns to match any skateboard. Made from imported fabric, these shoes feature a shaft that measures 3.5 inches from the arch and comes equipped with soft action leather and a nubuck upper. To add to the comfort and support, it comes with a special padded tongue and collar that is made from foam. Durable, reliable and offering a good grip, these shoes are light in weight and ideal for skateboarding.
1DC Men’s Pure Action Sports Sneaker
Featuring a low top shaft, the DC Men’s Pure Action Sports Sneakers are made from premium quality leather with a sturdy, robust rubber sole. Designed with a lace-up profile with multiple brand logos on the tongue and the side, these shoes come with unique drainage ports on the side. Equipped with a mesh lining for added breathability, it comes with a cup sole and an anti-abrasion outsole made from rubber, offering skateboarders with the perfect amount of grip and control.
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What To Look For In A Pair Of Skate Shoes
Even though most skate shoes are designed for the same general purpose, their inbuilt particularities make them differ from one another ever so slightly. You can always tell what specific design a skate shoe has based on its outsole, tongue, and height. Presuming that you already have a good idea of what a good skate shoe should do for you performance-wise, you shouldn’t have too many issues finding a pair to suit your needs. Then again, given the sheer variety of skate shoes the market has to offer, you might feel a bit overwhelmed if you don’t possess the know-how to distinguish between exquisite designs and run-of-the-mill models with a more basic outlook.
Style Dictates Form
One thing to remember when buying skate shoes is that your skating style determines the type of shoe to wear and that there isn’t a universally reliable skate shoe to depend on. In this respect, if you are an ‘Olli’ skater, then you need a shoe that will help you with your tapping and foot shifting. When performing tricks where all the wheels are lifted off the ground, you need shoes with a good support on the sole and heel above everything else. With slides, however, you need a shoe with a great deal of adherence, mostly because they have to keep you firm on the board as the tailslide touches any ledge.
Types Of Skate Shoes
As far as skate shoes go, there are two main type of shoes – vulcanized shoes and cupsoles, each with their own particularities. One of these shoes is designed to provide a heavy defense against any sort of impact while the other is aimed at providing a greater control of the board. Seeing how each shoe type differs in function and looks, it again comes down to first figuring out your riding style before making a choice.
- Vulcanized Shoes – These shoes are thinner in shape akin to casual shoes to some extent. Design-wise, they boast a thinner, lightweight, more flexible form, one that is aimed at offering more maneuverability and board control when performing tricks. Interestingly enough, these shoes aren’t as cushioned as some people would expect, meaning that you might expose your feet to a fair bit of abuse if you’re not careful.
- Cupsole Shoes – Cupsoles are designed to offer more cushioning and thus, greater comfort for the wearer. Given their increased cushioning on the sole, they are perfect for riders who enjoy jumping from reasonably tall heights. It is also the reason why these shoes have slightly larger soles, mainly for their increased protection when performing Aerials. Bear in mind that these shoes are also slightly heavier than vulcanized shoes, yet what they lack in the weight department they certainly make up in durability.
The cushioning of a skate shoe should be a lot more protective than what regular shoes have to offer, not just for performing tricks but because of the general stress your feet are subjected to when skateboarding. In this respect, most skate shoes enjoy a lightweight EVA foam midsole construction which is supposed to reduce the impact damage your feet take every time you land your skateboard. Although midsoles made from PU foam last a bit longer and are more durable, they aren’t exactly protective against pain. On a related note, we should point out that some of these shoes have a dual heel cushioning to make up for their thin soles, mostly vulcanized shoes.
Another thing you need to think about when buying a pair of skate shoes is whether they will withstand the test of time or whether they will falter after just a couple of months. You may think that this is an issue with most shoes, yet skate shoes are undeniably subjected to a lot more abuse than say, your average walking footwear. What you want is a pair of shoes with lace guards to prevent any lace chewing. You also want a pair of shoes with an added upper layer of material to help with the wear & tear, mostly due to the constant contact the shoe has with the skateboard. At the same time, keep an eye out for a sturdy outer sole to help with all the friction.
While it may be indeed difficult to figure out what makes a durable pair of skate shoes, you should first and foremost think about shoes in the general sense and derive what you already know from that piece of knowledge. If, for instance, you don’t really skate that much, then there is no reason for you to prefer practicality over form, in the sense that a more comfortable pair of shoes would suffice. Keep in mind that skate shoes, by construction, are a lot more durable and thus reliable than most sports shoes.
It may not be true when talking about other products, but brands definitely matter with skate shoes. You see, reputable companies have a very rich history of making comfortable, flexible, and reliable shoes, which is why you are advised to opt for a renowned brand even if the alternative is a lot cheaper. For the most part, cheaper models may look right, but their build is largely sub-par by most standards. Not only that but big brands also spend a lot of resources on research and development in order to ensure that they manufacture highly durable shoes.
Last but not least, remember that big brands don’t sell cheap, for obvious reasons of course. Like we said, you are better off buying from a reputable manufacturer more often than not, not just because of the build quality in itself but also for the support they offer. As such, consider a pair of skate shoes as an investment into your own future and the limits of your skateboarding experience. You cannot be a good rider if you don’t use the proper gear, and all the good shoes command a price tag to reflect their overall quality. All things considered, you should perhaps set a skate shoe budget that takes your experience into consideration.