The Best Skateboard Shoes

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A skate shoe can make or break your skateboarding. A great skate shoe can make you feel really comfortable on your board. While a bad shoe just makes you feel all weird and nasty. So, basically, you need to find the best skateboard shoes for the style of skating that you enjoy.

Top 10 Best Skate Shoes

Last update on 2018-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  1. Globe Mahalo
  2. Etnies Marana
  3. Nike Portmore II
  4. Emerica Reynolds Low Vulc
  5. Huf Cromer
  6. Etnies Jameson
  7. Adidas Suciu ADV
  8. DC Evan Smith
  9. Nike SB Clutch
  10. Vans TNT’s

Now, although most of the skate shoes above are designed for the streets, they would still work brilliantly for park and maybe bowl riding. Before we cover the skate shoes in this list in more detail, let’s find out what to look for in a skate shoe so that you understand why the shoes are generally made for street/park skating.

What to look for in a skate shoe

When it comes to finding the right pair of skate shoes, it all comes down to what you skate and how you skate. In recent years, there has been a bunch of redesigning of skate shoes, but for only really one good reason.

All the technology and stuff in skate shoes were still left over from when everyone skated vert. However, if you’ve been to a park recently, you’ll see that most people are skating bowls and street obstacles. Now, the redesign isn’t the best for bowl riders, but for street skaters it is awesome.

You see, this redesign (and we are mainly talking about Vans here because this is the brand we know most about in terms of their redesign) took out things that were designed for vert. For example, when a vert rider bails out, they slide on their knees.

This meant that the shoes had to have an extra tough toe cap otherwise you’d very quickly be sliding on your toes.  Vans redesign took this aspect and many others out and thanks to new materials, the shoes are thinner, but tougher and designed perfectly for street skating.

Of course, street skating has been around for a while now, and many other brands did their redesigns long ago. The reason we bring this up here is that it is important that you know about this redesign if you are a bowl or vert rider. For most bowl riders, you’ll have no problem, but if you slide on your knees when you bail, you may need to look for older style skate shoes with the older designs. This may restrict your options somewhat, but there are still some around

Skate Shoe Technology

However, for us street and park skaters there are loads of options. New skate shoes have new technology and materials that are made for street and park skating. These new technologies allow us to feel our boards and control them easily, but won’t give us a heel-bruise when we go for something big. So, the things to look out for when buying skate shoes are these new technologies; these include Vulc soles, STI foam, Dura Caps and loads more.

Every brand has different names for this technology, and all of them are slightly different. Also, some skaters prefer one brand’s tech over another, but this is really just personal opinion. When looking for a skate shoe, try to find one that gives you loads of board control, but something that will last a few months at least! Board feel is vital for certain tricks, but can be a downfall if you like doing big gaps, as the padding required to land big gaps comfortably can leave you without board feel. So, it is all about compromise with padding and board feel, try to find the shoes that have the best compromise for you.

What Size Skate Shoe should you buy?

There are some skaters that choose to buy a skate shoe that is slightly larger or smaller than their normal shoes. For those who buy smaller shoes, they do this because they want an extremely tight fit, so their shoes don’t go flying. The skaters who ride larger shoes will typically wear two pairs of socks. This extra pair of socks takes up the extra space and also provides more cushioning. We have never had any issues with this, but it is something to consider when buying skate shoes.

The best skate shoes available right now

We hope this has helped you understand the skate shoes that are available and what to look for when buying some. There are loads of brands out there making amazing skate shoes, so you will find the best ones for your style sooner or later. In fact, the perfect pair of skate shoes might be on our list below, let’s find out, shall we?

Globe Mahalo

Globe Men's Mahalo Skateboarding Shoe, Sand/White, 8 M US

 

These awesome looking shoes from Globe are Mark Appleyard’s pro model. Mark Appleyard is known for his cruising style, and these are perfect for that.

If you imagine a lovely sunny day with your friends at the park and you are just cruising around landing a trick here and there, these are the shoes you should be wearing on that day!

Having said that, you could also wear these shoes on any other day of skating and enjoy them.

The innersoles are nice and padded for gaps and stairs, the soles are grippy and the suede will last a long time when it comes to flipping.

These are a great pair of shoes made by a great company for a great skater. If Appleyard likes them, we’re sure you will!

PROS
  • Very quick to wear in
  • Feel and look great
  • Loads of colors and styles to choose from
CONS
  • You will go through the laces quickly
  • You may wear these out quicker than other shoes on this list

Etnies Marana

Etnies Men's Marana Skate Shoe, red/White, 9 Medium US

 

The Etnies Marana are the shoes made by Ryan Sheckler and skated by Chris Joslin.

To say that this is a street skater’s shoe is quite an understatement.

The STI foam inside is going to keep you from getting too many heel bruises, and the extremely tough suede upper is going to keep you flipping until the cows come home.

There isn’t really much more to say about these shoes. If you like flipping your board, doing big gaps or stairs, then these are the shoes for you on this list.

Of course, you can skate anything in these shoes, but they are designed for the streets!

PROS
  • Extremely hard wearing
  • Loads of colors to choose from
  • Very grippy and flexible
CONS
  • The STI foam innersole can lose its effectiveness after about a month

Nike Portmore II

Nike 880268-001 : Men's Portmore II Solar Canvas Black/Black Skate Shoe (11 D(M) US)

 

The simple styling of these NIKE SB’s makes them a firm favorite for a lot of street and park skaters.

They have a slim, low-profile silhouette and everything you need to skate hard.

The vulcanized construction offers great board-feel and flexibility while the cushioned innersole provides all the support you need to skate the big stuff.

Whether you are a ledge or a stair skater, these Nike’s have everything you need to get the job done.

They are grippy, strong and stylish, perfect for any street or park skater looking for a shoe that can hold up to some abuse.

PROS
  • Loads of colors to choose from
  • Grippy
  • Long-lasting
  • Great styling
CONS
  • Can feel a little stiff at first
  • Can feel tight if you have wide feet

Emerica Reynolds Low Vulc

Emerica Men's the Reynolds Low Vulc Skate Shoe, black/tan, 10 Medium US

 

These Reynolds from Emerica remind us of the classic styling of the Reynolds 3s. Mainly because they look exactly like them, but they are just as good to skate in as the Reynolds 3s too!

To put it simply, if you like skating street or park, these are one of the best skate shoes for that.

They have a suede toe so they will keep flipping until the cows come home and they have all the foam you need to do the biggest gap yet plenty of board-feel too.

There is a reason these have been styled to look like the Reynolds 3s. The reason is, the Reynolds 3s were one of the most stylish skate shoes in the world, and these are perhaps the most stylish yet functional skate shoes on this list and in the world.

So, if you want to skate like Andrew Reynolds, don’t look at any of the other shoes on this list, just buy these and get to the skate park and work on your frontside flips!

PROS
  • Iconic styling
  • Long-lasting
  • Great board-feel
  • Great colors to choose from
CONS
  • The STI foam can break down after a while

HUF Cromer

HUF Men's Cromer Skateboarding Shoe, Blue Depths, 8 M US

 

Talking of iconic designs, these HUF Cromer’s will certainly become an icon of design soon enough, or least an icon of this skate generation.

This is the shoe on this list that will help your bonelesses and railrides look even cooler.

Even though they have a great toe cap for flips and some pretty good innersoles for big gaps, that won’t be needed if you just fancy a cruise down the street with some street grabs and no-complies thrown in.

Seriously though, these HUF’s are amazing skate shoes, they are designed with flippers in mind and thanks to the rubber toe cap they will keep you flipping for months.

The grip is also excellent so even if you like to keep your feet on the board rather than do loads of no-complies, these have you covered. They may define a generation of no-compliers, but they will work for any skater in the world!

PROS
  • Great grip
  • The toe cap was built to flip
  • Loads of colors to choose from
  • Lightweight, simple and functional
CONS
  • The suede is quite thin so may wear through quickly if you do a lot of Ollies

Etnies Jameson

Etnies Men's Jameson Vulc Skate Shoe, Black/White/Silver, 11 Medium US

 

This low profile skate shoe is perfect for anyone wanting a shoe for street or park skating.

Its suede upper means that ollies and flips are not going to ruin your shoes too quickly, while the grip on the bottom will keep you on your board in any situation.

You also get an STI innersole with this shoe. STI foam typically doesn’t last longer than a few months, but during this time it will keep you from getting heel-bruises when you are trying the biggest gaps and stairs possible.

These skate shoes look great at the park or at the club. You have plenty of colorways to choose from to match your board or your outfit.

These are an excellent skate shoe that would suit a beginner or pro perfectly. Go and grab some and see what you think!

PROS
  • Loads of colors
  • Grippy
  • Robust suede upper
CONS
  • The STI foam does fail over time

Adidas Suciu ADV

adidas Suciu Adv (core Black/White/Gold Metallic) Men's Skate Shoes (13)

 

Mark Suciu’s pro model has certainly been hotly anticipated for some time now, and these shoes certainly do not disappoint.

These have the support you need to skate ledges, stairs or transition thanks to the internal bootee.

This locks your foot in place and provides a really responsive fit. These shoes also have an asymmetric collar for even more support.

Combine these features with a suede upper for flipping and plenty of grip on the bottom, and you have a shoe that can be skated just about anywhere.

If Mark likes them, you will love them! They may not be able to make you skate like him, but they certainly allow you to skate your butt off!

PROS
  • Great fit
  • Very supportive
  • Grippy
  • Robust suede upper
CONS
  • Limited colorways

DC Evan Smith

DC Shoes Men's Evan Smith S Skate Shoes Tobacco 9

 

Once again, we love the styling of these shoes. We are clearly just suckers for a low profile skate shoe!

These DC’s are great for street and park and anyone who loves stacking clips!

They have a rubber toe cap perfect for your flips and suede to cover you for ollies.

They are also slightly thicker than the other low profile shoes on this list, and so they will last a little bit longer.

The grip on these shoes certainly makes them looks quite crazy, but it does its job very well. Plus, the innersoles provide a fair amount of cushioning without destroying your board-feel.

These will work great for just about any skater but are designed for those that think a little differently than others. If you fancy doing a wallride or two, these are perfect.

PROS
  • Great grip
  • Excellent flexibility
  • Loads of colors to choose from
  • Robust rubber and suede
CONS
  • You will rip laces!!

Nike SB Clutch

NIKE Men's SB Clutch Skate Shoe, Dark Grey/Black/White/Gum Light Brown, 7 D US

 

Once again, Nike comes through with a low profile shoe that puts all the competition out to slaughter!

The Clutch is a great looking shoe perfect for any technical street skaters. Whether you like skating ledges or doing manuals, these are going to be your best friend.

They do lack some flicking support, being made from canvas, but apart from that, they are brilliant!

The grip on the bottom is perfect; the liners inside provide amazing support and the materials on the outside offer loads of durability.

In short, these are some great shoes that will help you land a lot of new tricks, no matter what terrain you are doing them on!

PROS
  • Excellent durability
  • Amazing grip
  • Loads of colors
  • Awesome style
CONS
  • They are made from canvas and so may tear quickly, but apparently, they have fancy technology that stops them wearing out too fast

Our Top Pick

With so many great skateboard shoes available, it’s really difficult to choose “the best” skateboard shoe. As with anything, personal preference will always come into play when choosing a skate shoe. However, we really do think that these Vans are as good as it comes to finding the perfect all round skate shoe and they make an excellent choice for any style and skill level.

Vans TNT’s

Vans TNT SG Black/White Skateboard Shoes-Men 9.0, Women 10.5

 

These are the pro model of Tony Trujillo. So, as you may expect, they are amazing for skating bowl.

But, they are also great for skating just about anything you want to skate.

These Vans are made using vulcanized construction. This is just a fancy way of saying that the shoes hold up to a lot of abuse but still have amazing board-feel.

You also get to enjoy the Vans waffle grip on these shoes. This is still regarded as some of the most grippy outer soles in skateboarding; you could probably skate your board without any grip on it with these shoes (but don’t).

Overall, these TNTs from Vans have an amazing style, they are extremely comfortable and will last you a long time!

These are perfect for any skateboarder out there, no matter what they like to ride!

PROS
  • Great board-feel
  • Look awesome
  • Mid-top style offers a little protection
  • Vans at their best!
CONS
  • Vans can take a little time to wear in, but when they do, they are one of the best skate shoes in the world