To some skateboarders, the aesthetic of a skate shoe matters more than its performance. But with the resurgence of ’90s and early ’00s style trends, we’ve seen brands picking up classic silhouettes and adding new technologies that make riding more comfortable without losing out on style.
Although some of the more classic skate brands such as etnies, Lakai, and éS maintain solid skate teams, their product has fallen behind giants such as Nike SB, Converse, and Vans, all of whom collaborate with up-and-coming brands regularly.
The following roundup of the best skate shoes on the market today is a reflection of where skateboarding is at right now, with some riders and brands staying rooted in heritage and others pushing the boundaries of what a typical skate shoe should be.
Ranging from West Coast staples to silhouettes featuring the latest technology, here are 10 of the best skate shoes available to buy right now.
Vans x Yardsale Authentic Pro
This collaboration between Vans and London skate crew Yardsale is a great example of taking an OG silhouette and adding a little bit of tech to create a modern classic. As worn here by the Yardsale team.
Nike SB Air Jordan 1 “Craig Stecyk”
Nike’s Air Jordan 1 has a solid heritage in skateboarding, having been worn by members of the Bones Brigade in the ’80s. This collaboration between Nike SB and Jordan Brand, designed by artist Craig Stecyk, is an exciting nod to the shoe’s skate heritage, with a layered colorway that rubs off over time.
DC Shoes x Dime MTL Legacy OG
This collab between Montreal skate brand Dime MTL and veteran DC Shoes is a throwback to early ’00s skate culture. Extremely chunky and robust, these shoes are a bold move. Plus, Dime MTL’s ad for the collab is hilarious.
Converse CONS Louie Lopez Pro
This new pro model for US skater Louie Lopez keeps things clean and simple. The low-key shoe looks great both on the deck and out and about town. Check out the shoe in action on Lopez himself here.
Converse CONS Jack Purcell Pro
Originally designed for badminton, the Jack Purcell is a Converse heritage product in the vein of the Chuck Taylor. Converse’s CONS skate line has recently adopted the model, adding Nike’s Zoom Air tech to the heel, ensuring it performs. The shoe has become a favorite of skaters such as Bobby De Keyzer, as seen here.
Nike SB Blazer Low GT NBA
This collab between Nike SB and the NBA has produced another interesting version of Grant Taylor’s pro model. Like the Nike SB Air Jordan 1, this version features a “skate to reveal” colorway. See the product in action here on Nike SB rider Cyrus Bennett.
adidas Campus ADV
Another modern take on an old-school staple, this time by adidas. The Campus ADV has been enhanced by features such as reinforced suede and a “bounce-cushioned” heel to ensure it can hold up to the rigors of skating. Worn here by Heitor da Silva and Blondey McCoy.
This is a new adidas model with plenty of modern tech, placing the shoe comfortably at the forefront of skate shoe performance. The likes of Thrasher’s 2018 Skater of the Year Tyshawn Jones have shown how good it looks on-foot here.
Louis Vuitton skate shoe
We’ve seen people skate in shoes like Nike Foamposites in Bronze videos. Here, Lucien Clarke shows how to recontextualize brands with little relation to skateboarding. It’s a big flex. Watch Clarke bang out a nose blunt in a black colorway of the still-unreleased (yes, this is cheating) Louis Vuitton skate shoe here.
Converse Fastbreak Mid
Originally released in 1983, this shoe is a well-executed adaptation of a heritage product. This shoe fits into current skate style trends while still delivering on comfort with an added Nike Lunarlon sock liner. Seen on Polar Skate Co. and Converse CONS rider Jamie Platt here.
Nike SB Dunk Low Pro
This shoe proudly wears its crown as one of the most iconic in skating. Nike SB has recently issued a small collection of new Nike SB Dunk Lows, a model that is still held in high regard by skaters and sneakerheads alike. As skated here in a white colorway by Nike SB and Palace rider Kyle Wilson.
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