Whether you're an expert or just finding your feet on the board, having the right pair of shoes to skate in is highly important. And finding the right balance between aesthetics, performance, and comfort in a shoe is no easy feat.
There are a lot of options to choose from out there; from the more classic skate brands such as Etnies, Lakai, and éS to the hi-tech big fish such as Nike SB, Converse, and Vans, all of whom collaborate with up-and-coming brands regularly.
Plus, 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.
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.
Shop some of the best skate shoes of the season below.
Vans UA Old Skool 36 DX PSDE
Vans' timeless Old Skool 36 silhouette might be the most well-known skate shoe around. Updated with a smooth suede upper and an Ortho-lite foam sock liner, you'll feel the difference on and off your board.
Nike SB Dunk Low Pro
Along with having an all-star-level skate team, Nike's proven it can create some of the best-performing footwear around. Originally a basketball sneaker before skaters started adopting it, this Dunk has been upgraded by Nike's skateboard-oriented subline.
Converse x Fucking Awesome Louie Lopez Pro Mid
Channeling in your inner Louie Lopez is a sure way to increase your style points. As for your skating though, his signature version of Converse's Pro Mid sneaker is a good place to start.
Vans Half Cab CP VR3 LX
If you're aiming to really capture that skater aesthetic or are seasoned and just want to switch things up, it's hard to go wrong with a pair of half cabs — especially this crispy all-white version.
Nike SB Blazer Low Pro GT Premium
Low-cut blazers are a joy to wear when it comes to having proper board control. Plus, this tonal beige colorway and gum sole complement each other perfectly.
Before venturing into the skate world, the Superstar was the premier basketball sneaker simply because of its signature shell toe, which provided protection on the court. We’ve come a long way since the shoe was first released in 1969 and adidas has changed the model ever so slightly so it works for skating too.
New Balance 272
The 272 is a skate shoe that won't let you down. It's a performance sneaker that looks great — the holy grail for those of us who reside on the fence between skater culture and streetwear. The New Balance skate shoe has a distinct retro aesthetic, giving the shoe a more timeless feel. All the staples of a highlight shoe are here, including durable materials, a comfy and reinforced midsole, and a rubber cup outsole. You really can't go wrong with these.
Stepney Workers Club Dellow S-Strike
Although Stepney might not be popular in the skate scene or even have a team of riders, the brand does boast a wide lineup of vulcanized sneakers. Thick, but not too thick soles are key to skating, and the Dellow has a rather comfy insole as well.
Vans Classic Slip-On 98 DX
The Vans Slip-On will always find its way onto "best of" skate lists. The checkerboard detailing is a stone-cold classic at this point. The iconic upper sits comfortably on top of Vans' best-in-class patented waffle sole. Chiefly, the sneaker perfectly straddles the line between skate performance and style.
adidas Busenitz Pro
If you know skateboarding, you know Dennis Busenitz. The man is a legend, revered for incorporating his own unique style into the sport. Busenitz and adidas Skateboarding was a no-brainer. The sportswear brand has taken its iconic indoor squash model from the '80s and repurposed it for high-performance skateboarding. It features durable and flexible perforated suede and nylon overlays which fill out the classic two-tone colorway.
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