You may be wondering, what’s the big fuss about skateboarding shoes? Why do you need specific skate shoes? Let alone the best skate shoes?

If you are any sort of skating enthusiast, be it a regular one or someone who fancies the electric kind, then you know how important it is to have the right equipment. What you may not know, however, is that the right equipment does not only entail having the right board, but also covers a whole range of other accessories which all serve to make your riding experience as smooth as possible.

One of the most important elements of your skating apparel are your shoes. This may not be obvious at first, but skating shoes are more than just for show. They are are a real piece of skating equipment which serve to improve your performance and safety.

In which ways are skate shoes different from regular shoes? First of all, they are specifically designed for skateboarding. This means that they will usually possess features which offer superior balance and grip, making it easier for you to stand on the board as you ride around. Their soles also make it easier for you to come down on the board after performing a trick.

They usually include vulcanized rubber or polyurethane soles in their design and do their best to minimize the tread pattern. The leather they incorporate is either composition or suede, and the stitching is usually double or triple in order to extend the life of the material and shoe as a whole. The tongue (usually positioned low) is built for comfort in most cases, of soft, padded materials.

Although anyone can wear a skate shoe, they are designed with skaters in mind. Their build prevents heel bruising when landing from a high distance, and they make the feel of your skateboard underneath you much more pleasant with the aforementioned added softness and flexibility.

15 Best Skate Shoes Reviewed:

1 – DC Men’s Court Graffik Skate Shoe

Building a high-quality skate shoe is no easy task, but the folks down at DC have managed to do it not once but several times. We will feature a number of their models on this list, starting with the Men’s Court Graffik.

This is DC’s most popular skate shoe, and for good reason. Many customers report being blown away by the quality of these things. Their puffiness and built-in protection make skating an absolute delight, and on top of that they look absolutely dynamite, with attractive graphics. They also come in a wide range of colors, perfectly suited for all kinds of personalities waiting to make their skating experience that much nicer.

One thing that might throw some people off, however, is the fact that they are more bulky than your standard canvas sneaker. This is not a huge problem, as once you get used to that they tend to be some of the most comfortable shoes you have ever worn.

They are made of high-quality leather, have rubber soles, and the shaft measures about low-top from the arch. They have a lace-up vamp and logo overlay at the counter, and feature vent holes for increased breath ability. The tongue is light and mesh and they have a pill pattern thread. Also, if comfort and support are your issue, then the foam-padded collar will do nicely to alleviate your concerns.

With great comfort mixed in with superb protection for all those tricks you will be doing, these shoes come pretty close to being premium skateboarding shoes.

2 – DC Men’s Pure Action Sport Sneaker – Best Low Top Pick!

We did warn you that DC will be featured several times on this list, and we were not lying. The Pure model of skate shoes offers staggering skating performance while looking like some of the most fashionable sneakers you can find out there. They are designed with both appearance and function in mind, and it really shows.

They are made out of leather, imported, and have rubber soles. They are low-top and have laces, along with multiple-brand callouts for featuring padding at collar and drainage points at medial side. Their cup soles are built for performance, and their rubber outsoles are sticky and abrasion-resistant. The sneakers also feature mesh lining, and have a rubber outsole along with leather upper parts and textile lining.

Many non-skaters report their functionality in doing things such as laborsome work during the summer or in hot environments. The two little holes they have on the side (drainage points) really help with sweat and odor.

Did we mention how comfortable these shoes are? With plenty of padding, they will make sure your feet both feel comfortable and stay unharmed during skating.

Just like the last pair of DC’s shoes that we have mentioned, these feature amazing durability. They have been reported to last for years, which is good considering that their function and comfort will soon make them your favorite shoes.

3 – Emerica Wino Cruiser Skate Shoe

To make a detour from the very premium part of the skate shoe market, let us take a look at the Emerica Wino Cruiser Skate Shoes. This shoe is on average cheaper than your standard skate shoe, and there is a reason why. It is not going to blow you away with its durability or performance, but it will serve as a budged skate shoe, especially if you do not plan on riding a skateboard with it—it is the perfect shoe to go along with a casual outfit.

They are made of fabric, imported, and have rubber soles. They are a low-top sneaker built upon Emerica’s classic after-skate shillers, the Wino. Most of the shoes are canvas, but this may vary from model to model, with parts made of suede, mesh, and leather in some places. For extra grip and support they have Triangle Tread soles, which combines good grip with stability and control. The shoes’ rubber toe adds extra protection for the rider. Finally, their full-lenght midsoles provide protection and support for the entire foot instead of just parts of it.

Although they may not be the most functional shoes, these puppies look pretty great, putting to shame some of the trendiest fashion sneakers. Unfortunately, those kinds of aesthetics for so low of a price come with a cost, as the build quality and durability of the shoes does leave something to be desired.

So there you have it, an okay pair of shoes with a lot of features and an aesthetic design, but which sacrifice durability.

4 – DC Men’s Pure SE Skate Shoe

Following our last pair, we not only have another DC shoe, but another DC pure skate shoe. As we have learned to expect from DC products, these shoes offer ridiculous levels of comfort combined with amazing functionality. People report being very satisfied with their purchase, warning only that they may be sized a bit on the smaller side (half a size smaller).

They feature a premium leather upper and vent holes for breathability, which as we have mentioned before does wonders for sweat and odor on hot summer days. The shoes feature ample cushioning at the collar and the tongue, along with lots of padding at the insole to help with rough landings. In fact, this pair of skate shoes is perfect for doing your best tricks without worrying about your feet that much. Shock absorbency is assured by the thick rubber midsole (although some say that it could be thicker) and the grip rubber bottom makes it easy for you to remain stable on your board.

Of course, as with any DC shoe, what blows most people away is their amazing durability. If you have a kid who goes through shoes like a rabbit through carrots, then these shoes might be the right choice, as they can stand up to all kinds of use and abuse.

All of these features combined with amazing, soft comfort make the purchase of these skate shoes a no-brainer.

5 – Etnies Scout Sneaker

If you thought that the DC shoes we have looked at are impressive, then you will absolutely be taken by the Etnies Scout Sneakers. Take the comfort and durability of the DC shoes, double up on it, then add a very conscientious concern for the environment, and what you will get is this Etnies’ pair of skate shoes.

Their crowning feature is their STI Evolution Foam, which is as environmentally responsible as it is innovative. Its production involves waste elimination along with heightened efficiency. The foam is made from a special molding process, where a predetermined number of foam pellets is set into a mold and heated until it expands to the desired size.

They are low-top, made from textile, imported, and have a synthetic sole. They also have laces combined with a gored inset on the perforated heel.

The Etnies scouts are also vegan shoes, so you need not worry about being involved in the harming of any animals by buying them. A thing some people complain about is the “E” logo that Etnies places on their shoes, but it is not that noticeable and this is one of those companies whose product you can be proud of owning.

Whether you are looking for a great pair of casual shoes, a decent pair of skate shoes, a very comfortable pair of shoes, or a pair of shoes whose manufacturers care about the environment, then you will not have any regrets with the Etnies Scout Sneakers.

6 – DC Men’s Stag Sneaker

Another pair of DC shoes. Are you surprised? There is little reason, as DC does it again with their Men’s Stag Sneakers. Not only are these amazing skate shoes, but they also have been reported by many people to be an excellent casual sneaker on account of their stylish design and subtle accenting. Likewise, if you are having trouble with your shoes now lasting you as long as you would like, then these are the shoes for you, as they possess staggering durability with some people reporting a pair lasting for over five years and counting.

Like many others, they are made of leather, imported, with rubber soles, and their shaft measures approximately 2.9″ from the arch. They also feature an action nubuck and a leather upper.

As we have come to expect from DC, these shoes a perfect for skating and for casual wear, and what they really excel at is winning the hearts of customers. Many report falling in love when they opened their first pair, and then just getting more and more enamored as time went by and they tasted their superior comfort and durability.

For skating, they offer good protection while making you look great off the board as well. Whether you are looking for an amazing, durable pair of casual sneakers impervious to wear and tear, or simply for a reliable pair of skate shoes, the DC Men’s Stag sneaker will more than please you. 

7 – Osiris Men’s Relic Skateboarding Shoe

If a name like Osiris does not get you to purchase this shoe, then learning more about its features will. Other than being the name of an Ancient Egyptian Deity, Osiris is also the name of a brand that produces amazing skating shoes which can be used to skate or worn casually. They have been reported by many people to be comfortable footwear with great durability, rivaling even DC in their prowess. The catch? They are amazingly cheap. These are some of the cheapest skate shoes you can buy while still being sure that you are investing in long-lasting quality.

The shoes are synthetic, imported, with a rubber sole and a low-top shaft. They are styled iconically and feature reinforced high abrasion parts which give them their amazing durability. The tongue is lightweight along with the collar, both of which combine to add comfort and support to the wearer. Their rubber outsoles are abrasion resistant which gives them heightened durability and performance.

Whether you need a pair of fun, comfortable, casual shoes or good skate sneakers, these are not something to miss out on. They also have the added benefit of having a more “mature” appearance than most other skate sneakers, which means that they are perfect if you wish to strike a more serious image while still remaining comfortably functional.

Osiris has definitely put a lot of work into these and made sure that you will not be disappointed.

8 – Osiris Men’s PXL Skateboarding Shoe – Wide Feet Choice #1

Osiris comes at us yet again with another pair of skate shoes. Comparable to the last pair we have had on this list, the Men’s PXL Skateboarding Shoe is a prime example of good design which appeals to some people but not to others. The shoes are on the wider side but oddly enough they are sized down a little bit, so be sure to buy a bigger size than you would normally get. Some riders report that they are not as good for skating as they are for casual wear because of the added room. It provides more comfort but makes it more challenging to keep them on your feet while performing tricky skating maneuvers.

They are a low-top shoe made of combined textile and synthetic materials, imported, and feature rubber soles. Just like the last pair we have mentioned, they feature reinforced high abrasion parts and abrasion resistant rubber outsoles which greatly increase their durability. The tongue and collar still remain padded and lightweight, adding comfort and support to make wearing this pair of shoes one pleasant experience.

If you are in the market for a stylish casual sneaker which is also comfortable and durable, then have no hesitation in giving these a try. On the other hand, if you are going to be doing a lot of skateboarding in them, then do consider whether or not the added space in the shoe is going to be a problem for you.

9 – DC Men’s Spartan High WC TX SE Skate Shoe – Best High-Top Pick!

If we took a trip back to Ancient Egypt with Osiris, then these “Spartan” shoes will definitely remind us of Ancient Greece. DC is back after a short departure from our list and it is back in style. These shoes, along with being the first with a higher-top design, allow for superb functionality as we have come to expect from DC. Not only that, but they also take some risks with their design on this one by stepping away from the standard low-top skating shoe look. The result is a piece of footwear that is amazingly comfortable, good-looking, and practical.

They are made of textile, imported, and have rubber soles. They have the aforementioned high-top design, with the shaft measuring approximately 4.75″ from the arch. They come with a mesh lining and have the collar and tongue padded with foam to increase comfort.

As with any other DC shoe, these shoes will last you a while, and they are also good for doing other things other than riding a board. Custodians, mechanics, and members of other professions which require physical labor report that these puppies do a great job of serving a comfortable work shoe.

So what are you waiting for? Give these a try. We know that you have not learned to be disappointed by DC, and so do you.

10 – Globe Fusion Skate Shoe

Finally, we have a brand that we have not seen before on this list, and it is Globe. This brand produces shoes that are of comparable quality to DC and Osiris. Many customers report being more than satisfied with them, and especially love buying them as gifts. If you have somebody you know that loves riding skateboards or just skate shoes in general, then these are a great option for a gift.

They are made of a combination of leather and synthetic materials and have a rubber sole. They are a low-top shoe with a step in sock liner. Additional features include TPR ollie reinforcement (which will greatly help with that particular kind of trick), and Globe’s S-Trace sole pattern.

These are an amazing pair of skate shoes which are perhaps a bit more on the expensive side, but only because their makers put a lot of effort into making them special. They look great, feel great, and even welders have reported them to be helpful on their job.

In a nutshell, these shoes, while not being from one of the brands we have looked at so far, definitely deserve a place on this list, whether it is for their superior quality and performance, or their comfort and aesthetic designs. Whatever catches your eye, consider them for a gift either to someone else or yourself.

11 – DC Men’s Net SE Skate Shoe – Leather Pick!

If you thought that you had seen the last of DC on this list, then you were wrong. The brand continues to provide quality for us to present to you with their Men’s Net SE Skate Shoes.

They are made of leather, imported, and have rubber soles along with a shaft that measures 3″ from the arch. They come with vent holes for breathability which really makes them great for hot weather. The lightweight mesh tongue provides superb comfort, and comfort is what this pair of shoes is all about.

Superbly comfortable, people have reported buying them for everyday wear even if they do not skate at all. They are sized a bit on the smaller side, so make sure that you take that into account when ordering yours. The tongue is ridiculously thick on these shoes to provide maximum comfort, but can cause some issues if the laces are too tight. Loosen them up a bit and you should be good to go.

Not only are these skate shoes comfortable to wear, but they are also comfortable to skate in. Very few skateboard tricks will give you discomfort in these puppies. If you are in the market for a pair of amazing skateboard shoes, you know you will find no disappointment in DC.

12 – Adidas Men’s Adi-Ease Lace up Sneaker

The stripes are here. No list of sport shoes can possibly be complete without Adidas. Although you may have found it surprising that we have taken this long to get to them, we have nothing surprising to tell you about them.

These are amazing shoes by everyone’s reports. They work great for tricks such as ollies, and generally people agree that skating in them is a pure delight. These are comfortable for a wide range of foot shapes and not only that, but their sleek design also gives them a more stylish appearance than most skate shoes. They are low-top shoes made of leather, imported, with rubber soles.

The heel cap features abrasion resistance and the side of the shoe is decorated with the signature three-stripe design. They have a contrast wrap-around midsole and a vulcanized rubber outsole. This means that these shoes are very good for doing skate tricks that involve impact and landings, such as ollies.

Regardless, these can also be worn casually and rocked with a lot of different outfits, and their versatility extends to other work environments as well—even dentistry! What is more, their more unisex design makes these quite a popular choice among the ladies as well.

A shoe like this one that can somehow be both masculine and feminine, that effortlessly combines style and function is more than deserving of a purchase.

13 – NIKE Sb Portmore Ii Solar Canvas Skateboarding Shoe

Right after Adidas we have another sport footwear giant on our list: NIKE. Staying true to their “Just do it!” slogan, NIKE have designed what could be the best pair of skate shoes available, a belief held by quite a number of people. Their construction has won the hearts of skaters and non-skaters alike, and it all boils down to comfort, durability, and amazing functionality.

These shoes are a bit more on the expensive side (at least at their lowest price range). They are suede with rubber soles and a shaft measuring 2.25″ from the arch. The shoes are slim with a low profile for an amazing skate silhouette. A cushioned footbed makes it so your feet feel extra comfortable in them, and the vulcanized construction allows them more flexibility and improves the feel of the board underneath your feet. The outsole is a sticky gum-rubber which makes them more durable than your average skate shoe.

It is hard to say anything bad about these shoes, and customers who have bought and tried them agree. Both NIKE and Adidas have made an amazing pair of skate shoes, and it is up to you to decide which ones you prefer. Whatever the case may be, these are a treat regardless of whether you are going to skate with them or not.

14 – NIKE SB Delta Force Vulc Skate Shoe – Narrow Feet Pick!

It does not get more classic than NIKE, and within NIKE’s shoe line, it does not get more classic than the Men’s SB Delta Force Vulc Skate Shoe. These shoes not only look incredible, but they are also the number one pick of many skaters who wish to have adequate protection when riding their boards and doing tricky.

They are made of suede with rubber soles and they have a lace-up entry which makes them fit securely. The collar and tongue are padded for extra comfort and the shoes have supportive overlays with their trademark swoosh which also have high durability. The tongue is mesh and there are perforations on each side which give the shoes breathability—a must-have during those hot summer days. They have a memory foam lining in the footbed which serves to make them soft and easy to walk in.

NIKE had to make one last appearance on our list with these shoes. Cool shoes are hard to come by, and these are definitely a gem in the skate shoe world. If you ever find yourself in dire need of quality skate shoes, give these a try if you are able to tolerate a shoe that is a bit on the narrow side. 

15 – eS Accel Og Skate Shoe

Let us finish the list off with a brand which we have not seen up until now—eS. Their skate shoes are perhaps a bit less known than those of big names like DC or Adidas, but they have quality products all the same.

They are low-top suede shoes, imported, with a rubber sole. They have STI open cell foam which improves foot contact, the feel of the board beneath your feet, provides cushioning, and gives you more control. The upper is made of premium suede made specifically for skateboarding. They also have a perforated suede quarter panel.

These shoes are great. People report having a pair since 1998 and still not having a reason to replace them! They are very good at withstanding wear and tear, and so is a great choice for someone who usually has issues with their shoes giving up on them prematurely.

Along with that, they are also a great skating option and should be a great choice for anyone looking for a nice pair of shoes they can skate or comfortably walk in.

16. DC Men’s Villain Tx Slip-on Skate Shoes – Wide Feet Choice #2

Starting off on my list, the first pick is for those who love a bit of style with there skateboard. DC is known to produce quality shoes, that feel good but also look good. They do not go too loud with there fashion statement, just stylish enough to be classy.

Villain TX slip-on are one of there best. Considering the latest trend of having something lowkey, which does not stand too out but still look good. DC Villain are the ones to get.

The textile build quality on Villain Tx is solid. The rubber sole also does a good job of maintaining grip.

Now if you have wide feet, they are even more perfect for you as they stretch well enough and easily comforting the foot from all the sides.

18. Etnies Marana Skate Shoe

Etnies Marana have been praised for there durability by hundreds. These shoes are meant to last and last for a long time. Etnies Marana is a pair of skate shoes to last you for a long time.

The upper is a mixture of leather and textile. The outsole is designed by none other than Michelin the tire company. So if you had any doubts about the grip, just know Michelin has provided Marana with 400 NBS rubber outsole with flex grooves.

The padded tongue and toe cap provide comfort all day long.

Overall Marana provides durability, the right strength of grip and flexibility in its outsole and fit perfectly. A good pair to get.

So there you go. We have explored just what skate shoes are and what to look for when buying a pair. After that, we took a look at a few specific pairs of skate shoes, some from more popular brands and some from less, to help you figure out which pair is the best one for you. All of the shoes we have looked at are amazing quality shoes, and no matter which ones you choose it is unlikely that you will be disappointed. However, every pair is unique in their own way and it is important to be aware of those subtle differences when making your purchase.

Related:
  1. Just starting off? Checkout our list of skateboards for beginners
  2. Longboarding your style? Checkout our list of longboards for beginners

We hope that this list has helped you in making your choice, and we hope that whichever pair you decide on getting, they will help you in your skating or whatever else you choose to use them for.

Buying Guide

When buying skate shoes, there are several things which are worth looking into. Things like what kind of skating style resonates the most with you, or what kind of cushioning you would prefer.

But perhaps the first thing you should do when buying skate shoes is consider whether or not you actually need a pair. Skate shoes resemble casual sneakers, but the added function makes them cost more. If you are not a hardcore skateboarder, chances are you may not need to fork over the money needed to purchase a pair of professional skate shoes. If you are concerned about your skater cred diminishing because of this, do not be, as it is easy to find sneakers which look like skate shoes.

Of course, skating shoes do tend to be more durable because of their premium build (especially in the long run), but if you have a pair of casual sneakers then you can comfortably wear them outside of skating (although most skate shoes can be worn casually as well).

The next important thing to consider is your skateboarding style. This will help you decide exactly which shoe you need. If you do tricks such as ollies, slides, and grinds, then you will benefit more from vulcanized shoes because they tend to be more flexible and have thinner soles. That said, if you are someone who prefers aerials then you will need shoes which have thicker soles and heel protection so that you do not injure your foot on impact. Shoes with cupsoles fall into this category.

You need not buy a super-durable shoe if you are only planning to do some light skating. There is no reason to spend a fortune on a product which you are not going to use fully. Instead, try to calibrate your purchase to suit your needs. However, if you do plan on skating seriously, then of course nothing beats a high-quality pair of skate shoes.

If you skate often or professionally, then it is actually recommended to buy a high-quality pair of shoes for reasons other than show. They will last you much longer and also have health benefits. The right shoe can actually save you from a foot injury in case of a landing mistake. No matter how good you are, having some safety for your feet and legs is a must have when skating.

As with any shoe, it is important to try them on before buying them. They may be built for practicality, but they should also be comfortable. If your foot feels uncomfortable or unsupported or if you feel as if they rub your feet more than you would like, then it is best to opt for a different pair.

The most important thing to keep in mind when purchasing skateboard shoes is your own skating situation. Whether or not you skate often or whether or not you do it professionally will have a big influence on your purchase.

Let us now take a look at some products in this category to see how some of these features work by example.

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Adam has been a college coach for 10 years and is also a certified physician. Experience in sports equipment to help new enthusiasts to pick the right products for the money.

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