When you’re a skater, you don’t simply own a pair of shoes. You’ve got your casual shoes, and then you have your skate shoes—the pair that’s taken a beating across many hours-long sessions and is ready to do it again, despite their dried suede and chewed-up laces. Every skater is different, but if you know what works, then stick with it. However, if you’re in the market for a new pair of skateboard shoes, here are a few options that we recommend.
Kick, Push, Coast Into Your Purchase
Here’s what to look into before buying:
- Cushion: Every skate shoe you come across is likely to employ the same waffle cone, rubber sole for maximum traction. On the cushion side of your shoes, however, that can vary. Some skaters prefer minimal padding in order to move free and comfortably. Others prefer the extra cushion for hard landings. Your preference for padding could go either way, depending on the kind of skater you are.
- Weight: On the flip side of all that cushion is how heavy your skate shoe is going to be. This is another question of movement. Of course, you will want to be as light as possible on your board, but a heavier pair of shoes does have the added benefit of offering you a stronger chance to land with your feet firmly planted.
- Design Style: You should also seek out a pair of shoes with a design that doesn’t just bring you comfort but style, too. It’s the difference between lace-up sneakers and slip-ons or between black canvas that doesn’t show the scuffs and white suede that sparks conversations by the minute. Shoot for a balance of panache and practicality.
The Reigning Champ: Vans Men’s Low-Top Sneakers
Of every skate shoe name out there, only one doubles on the board as easily as it does for daily streetwear. Its name brings us back to the days of Dogtown renegades, long hair, and reckless abandon. With a pair of Men’s Low-Top Sneakers from Vans, you wear an entire history of rebel cruisers on your feet. This pair offers skaters a combination of durable canvas and soft suede for longevity and easy maneuverability on the ride. Its padded collar provides riders with extra comfort and ankle protection, while its vulcanized waffle outsole goes hand-in-hand with every kind of board.
Vans Men's Ward Sneaker, Black Suede Canvas Black White C24, 6.5
This pair of skate shoes has history, style, and durability on its side.
The Newcomer: Adidas Originals Men’s Seeley Sneaker
While it’s still a fairly new addition to the skate shoe community, Adidas has been slowly earning the trust of skaters over the last few years. The brand with stripes is offering more than an ordinary sneaker here; the men’s Seeley Sneaker is “driven” by ingenuity. With its abrasion-resistant synthetic suede, you can skate all day without worrying how your ankles will hold up after repeated landings and falls. Its textile lining will also keep your feet comfortable whether you’re on the board or on a walk. This is a pair that was designed to blend in but just can’t help standing out.
adidas Originals Men's Seeley Sneaker, Solid Grey/Navy/White , 3.5 medium US
While the brand may not often be associated with skating, this skate shoe embodies the traditional and comfortable aesthetic you're looking for.
The Eco-Friendly Purchase: Etnies Men’s Jameson 2
In the case of choosing your most ideal skate shoe, in addition to finding one that’s a trusted name brand, you should also consider a shoe that’s considerate of more than the soles of your feet. This pair of Etnies’ skate shoes offers your typical rubber and faux vulcanized cupsole, but at its core, it’s made from entirely recycled materials. From its open-cell polyurethane foam insole to the rubber outsole, this pair of shoes is crafted from recycled rubber for conservation and consideration. More than that, this pair of shoes is part of Etnies’ “buy a shoe, plant a tree” reforestation program, so a purchase would go to cause just as well as protecting your ankles.
Etnies Men's Jameson 2 ECO Skate Shoe, Navy/Gum/Gold, 10 Medium US
This pair of shoes offers skaters a comfortable footing and a way to better the world.
Also Great: DC Men’s Pure Skate Shoe
Another dependable option that brings us back to the skaters of yesteryear: punk rock, vert tricks, and some seriously ill-fitting clothing. This pair of DC Men’s Pure Skate Shoes is a heavier option for skating, weighing 2.2 pounds overall. That extra weight and padding offer the right amount of comfort, support, and protection for rough landings. And while this is a bulkier option, it’s still a simple fit that’s great for casual wear, too, with any one of its 15 color patterns adding some exciting flair to your fit.
DC Men's Pure Casual Low Top Skate Shoe, Black/Black/White, 6 D D US
Here's a bigger but protective pair of shoes that knows how to stand out.