If you’re a keen skateboarder or BMXer, you’ll know the benefit of having a durable and sturdy pair of skate shoes, providing you with the grip and support you need to nail those jumps and tricks. However, there are so many different types and styles out there that it can be confusing to know which ones are best for you and how to make the right decision. Below, we’ve collated some of the best skate shoes on the market, providing you with all the choice you need to skate until your heart’s content. Quality footwear can make the world of difference when out on your board – and if you’re just looking for some new, trendy footwear, then this list is essential reading too.
The Best Skate Shoe
In at number one, our top pick of the best skate shoes is the DC Men’s Court Graffik SE Skate Shoe, coming in with high scores on durability, traction, stability, comfort, and cushioning. Not only does this shoe provide you with all the support you need to perform those gnarly tricks, but it also looks the part too, perfect for making a statement at the skatepark. With a range of color pairs and styles to choose from, having some in each color wouldn’t be amiss. Be sure to also check out our list of the best walking shoes for more great items like this.
Breathability with vent holes, so your feet can keep their cool
Foam padded tongue and collar, providing your ankles with support
Speciality leather or suede upper material options, both durable
- Weight1.19 pounds
Great ventilation to keep your feet cool during those intense skate sessions
Perfect for walking on concrete sidewalks
Look great too – so expect to receive a lot of compliments!
Particularly bulky, which can affect skate style
Inner cushioning can mean that the shoe is a little tight – advisable to buy up a size
Some complaints about stitching coming undone after a few uses
Etnies are well known for producing high-quality skate shoes and the Marana Skate Shoe is no different. There’s a reason this features so highly on our list because of its chunky rubber sole, with flexibility features, and great looking design. The outer sole is three times more durable than other skate shoes and has been inspired by car tires, so you know it’s built to last. Inner foam padding is lightweight and breathable, giving your feet the comfort and support they need to keep you going through a heavy skate session. Our handy guide to the best tennis shoes features more great products like this.
Michelin outsole, so the tread is built to last
STI Evolution Foam technology, allowing your feet to take the impact
Padded tongue and collar for additional support
- Weight2.09 pounds
The rubber sole is incredibility grippy because of the great collaboration with Michelin
Tough and durable, as well as being a solid fitting shoe
Lots of padding, so your foot is supported
Difficulty in breaking them in
Suggested to order a size up as they can be quite tight because of the foam padding
Some complaints of stitching not holding up
Vans were bound to feature on our list at some point, being one of the most popular skate brands out there. And for good reason too – these Vans Sk8-hi Core Classics are the perfect all-rounder for your skate shoe requirements. They’re a high-top, so provide that additional support to your ankle, as well as keeping you warmer on those colder nights. The signature waffle grip outer sole gives you the solid support you need to keep your balance on the board, and the vintage design is great for those of you looking for something classic, and not as bulky as others on this list. Love this product? Check out our review of the best Chelsea boots for our top picks.
Breathable and durable, with perforations and reinforced toe
Waffle grip on outer sole to provide support
Classic, vintage design for a less bulky shoe
- Weight3 pounds
Lots of different color pairings and styles to choose from
High quality from a brand you can trust
Great for skating, but can easily be worn normally too, so a transferrable shoe
Some sizing issues when ordering
Perhaps not a summer skate shoe, as these are keep your feet toasty and warm
Some complaints about rubber sole coming away from the shoe after a few uses
Vans feature again on our list – this time with a chunkier pair of low cut trainers, perfect for getting your skate on. These skate shoes are the classic look and feel that you would expect and come with the support and durability that you require. With cup sole comfort and gum rubber outsole, they’re a great skate shoe for performing those tricks and moves you’ve been looking to nail. Although there aren’t many color options to choose from, these are a cool design that can match any outfit. Vans Men Docket is a classic skate shoe design, perfect for beginners or more experienced skaters looking to add a solid trainer to their collection. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best Chukka boots.
Double stitching on toe cap for durability and support
Gum rubber outsole with suede and textile upper
- Weight1 pounds
Classic skateboard shoe, with timeless design
Durable and long lasting
Super fat padded tongue that not only looks great, but provides protection and comfort
Sizing has been an issue for a few customers – suggested to go up a size
Plastic inside the shoe can break up and come apart
Many customers complaining of the shoes being too narrow
DC Men’s Spartan High WC TX SE are a beast of a skate shoe. They’re chunky, high cut, wide, and make an impact at the skate park (or just on the pavement). These skate shoes come in various different color styles and type but are typically more simplistic than other shoes on this list. They’re great if you’re looking for a robust skateboarding shoe that will carry you through the winter, keeping your feet warm, dry, and supported. The extra ankle padding and wide, thick tongue are ideal for nailing those difficult tricks and moves, where your ankle needs some additional help. With a rubber sole and mesh lining, not only are they supportive and robust, they allow your feet to breathe too. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best running shoes for beginners.
Extra ankle padding and high top shoe
Wide, thick foam padded tongue to prevent injury to front of ankle
Rubber sole for grip and support
- ModelSPARTAN HIGH WC TX SE-M
- Weight4 pounds
Chunky and robust, so perfect for protection during those intense skate sessions
Cool, simple design that are more suited to the serious skater
Great additional support with extra padding at front and sides of shoe
Not a summer skate shoe, as these are bulky and can make your feet sweat
Limited choice of colors and designs, so not for everyone
Rubber can crack after some use
Yes, Nike also make a skate shoe too, which is good news for fans of the brand. Like all their products, SB Check Solarsoft Canvas are high quality and built with the sport in mind, but not necessarily everyone’s first choice when it comes to specialty skateboard footwear. The shoes come in a range of neutral colors and designs, most with a suede upper that’s perforated for breathability. This is a low cut skate shoe, so doesn’t provide much ankle support, but does look great and helps keep you looking cool, whilst skating. If you like sports shoes,check out our guide to the best basketball sneakers.
Solarsoft sock liner
Padded tongue and collar, for extra comfort and support
Rubber outsole for grip and durability
- Model843895 009
- Weight12 ounces
Great looking shoe that can be worn both for skateboarding and as a fashion shoe
Well-made and high quality
Thick and supportive sole
Not necessarily the most supportive skate shoe on the market
Difficult and stiff to wear it at first
Customer complaints of toe pain, due to the stiffness of the shoe
These are chunky, bulky, and not for the faint-hearted. The Osiris D3 2001 Skate Shoe features some very unique styling, that definitely isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking to make a statement on the board, then these are for you. Their chunkiness means they’re built to be durable and the thick outer sole provides you with the support and grip you need to skate until your heart’s content. They’re a well-known brand and produce some really great skate shoes, fit for purpose. You just need to decide if you can work this unique design… If you like working out, check out our guide to the best crossfit shoes.
Unique design with iconic styling
Padded tongue, providing extra protection and support
Abrasion-resistant rubber outsole, so you can perform well
- ModelD3 2001
- Weight12 ounces
Extremely durable and high performance
Unique design in a range of different, so you won’t be the same as anyone else
Described as being like giant pillows for your feet
Bulky, perhaps too over-sized for some
Some customer complaints of air cushions breaking
Stitching not as high quality as other skate shoes on this list
Vans are the epitome of skate cool, which is why we’ve featured yet another pair on our list. You’ve probably seen them being used more as a fashion trainer than an actual skateboard shoe, but they do have their benefits. The waffle rubber sole provides that traction you need to grip to your board and perform those all-important tricks. The padded collar and tongue provide extra comfort and support, both on and off the skate park. Vans Unisex Old Skool are a great all-rounder, particularly if you need something that can be worn in a variety of different settings. And for all of you who enjoy training, we have prepared the guide to the best cross training shoes so check it out.
Cool and well-known design that is incredibly versatile
Waffle rubber sole for great traction
Durable canvas upper, so you know they’re built to last
- ModelU OLD SKOOL
- Weight3 pounds
Provide the comfort and support you need, both on and off the board
Multiple different designs and colours, so you can have more than one pair
Comfortable and true to size – plus no need to break them in!
No arch support, which can be an issue with those with different arch types
Outsole can wear away more easily than others
Laces not that durable, which can be a problem when using everyday
Globe are a well-known brand when it comes to skate shoes, and their Sabre Skate Shoe is no different when it comes to style, quality, and durability. With a padded, thick, wide tongue, your ankle is protected when completing those crazy tricks and moves. If you like running, check out our guide to the best zero drop running shoes.
Thick rubber sole, for perfect grip and traction
Nitrocel airbag sole for impact control and cushioning
Step-in sock liner, so you have that additional support and flexibility
- Weight1 pounds
Simple and cool design, perfect for the serious skater
Durable and comfortable, ideal for those long sessions at the skate park
Heavy duty with thick padding
Common complaint that shoes wear down quite easily after a few uses
Air cushions can blow out, losing that cushioning for impact
Suggested to go up a size as can run quite small because of cushioning
Perhaps not the most robust skate shoe on our list, the New Balance 331v1 Skate Shoe still looks good and is great for making a fashion statement at the skate park. With a vulcanized midsole and foam insert, the shoes are comfortable and provide the right support when attempting to skate. However, they may not be robust enough for those more gnarly tricks – although some reviews suggest they could give Vans a run for their money… Our selection of the best soccer cleats offers more great sports shoes so check them out.
Canvas shell for breathability
Lightweight and easy on the eye
- BrandNew Balance
- Weight12 ounces
As good as, or perhaps better than Vans
Comfortable and a great fit
Lots of different neutral color types to choose from
Need time to break in
Don’t expect them to be as comfortable as other New Balance trainers you might own
Rigid, and perhaps not flexible enough for a skate shoe
If you’re looking for a standard, straightforward, no-nonsense skate shoe, then the eS Accel Og Skate Shoe is perfect. It’s affordable, chunky, well designed, and offers all the right support you need to skate until you’ve perfected those tricks and moves. You may also like to check our guide to the best shoes for spartan races.
STI open cell foam that provides you with comfort and cushioning
Gum rubber sole for durability
Perforated suede quarter panel, so your feet can breathe
- ModelACCEL OG
- Weight1.6 ounces
Classic skate shoe that gives the support you require
Great, simple design, perfect for making an impact
Cushioning and support that carries you through each skate session
Perhaps a little on the pricey side
Some customer complaints that the sole can peel away after a few uses
Good fit, although can sometimes come up a little large
A low-cut skateboarding shoe that does the job, providing you with support and comfort when you need it most. This is a well-designed shoe that comes in a number of different color pairs – and at the affordable price point, you can have more that one set! Emerica Men’s The Reynolds Low Vulc is an all-around great skate shoe, that’s perhaps more suited to beginners. For more great footwear check out our guide to the best water shoes for men.
Rubber sole for durability and impact
Triangle tread outsole that’s built to last
- Weight2.09 pounds
Great design and perfect for transferring from skate park to side walk
Good quality, as well as being very comfortable for both skating and walking
Ideal beginner shoe, especially for the price point
Sizes can run small
Rubber sole, although durable, can come loose
Colors not always as expected
Last, but by no means least, the Adidas Originals Busenitz Sneaker, with a vulcanized rubber outsole, as well as a removable insole. These are the perfect skate shoe if you want something that looks good and can be worn away from the skate park too. The collaboration with Dennis Busenitz gives this skate shoes some backing, as well as taking them from the cool trainer to performance skate shoe.
Suede upper with leather panel, so they’re durable and long lasting
Molded sock liner, that’s essential for your comfort and support
Geofit collar, that protects the ankle and fits perfectly
- ModelBusenitz Pro
- Weight3 pounds
Unique design and a great collab with Busenitz
Fashion-forward trainer that can be worn on and off the skate park
Comfortable and durable
Not the chunkiest of skate shoes so doesn’t provide as much padding
Can run small and narrow, so worth getting the next size up
Skate Shoe Buying Guide & FAQs
Whether this is your first time buying a pair of skate shoes or you’re an avid wearer and just want to be at the top of your fashion game, then this buying guide is the perfect resource for you. Not only are skateboarding shoes brilliant for skateboarding, as well as BMXing, they’re also extremely trendy and comfortable, making them a popular choice for a fashion trainer. However you wear them and whatever you wear them for, our buying guide and FAQs will help you make the right decision for you when it comes to purchasing your next pair. Take a look below.
How We Chose Our Selection Of Skateboard Shoes
Choosing the right pair of skate style shoes can be tricky, especially if this is your first time and you need some guidance. That’s why we carefully curated our selection of skateboard shoes into this handy guide, so you don’t have to scour the internet. We’ve provided you with a great selection of brands, in fact, these are some of the best brands on the market for shoes for skateboarding. They have a track record of creating shoes that are perfect for your needs and we’ve included a range, so we’re not being biased either.
We also took a close look at customer reviews to ensure that we were really getting to grips with real life opinions and problems. This meant we could see common issues that seemed to occur with the shoes, as well as great feedback that kept some skate shoes one step ahead. Remember though, reviews aren’t always the most reliable piece of information, as you may encounter disgruntled customers who just want to vent or there may be a plethora of amazing reviews that the seller has paid for. Be wary out there and make your own judgments.
Price is always an important factor when it comes to making a purchase, but the most expensive doesn’t always been the best and the cheapest might not live up to your skate shoe needs. Take into account everything you require your shoe to do for you and have a price point in mind, so you can eliminate the too expensive from the running, but not always go for the cheapest either. Remember that different styles of the same shoe can come in at a different cost as well, so if you really like a particular design, it might be worth paying just a little bit more to get exactly what you want.
Features To Look For In Skate Shoes
There are a number of features to look out for and compare when buying shoes for skating. Whether you’re looking to hit the boards and get a lot of wear and tear out of your shoes or just need something that looks cool, make sure you take into account the below features, so you’re provided with the right support that your feet deserve, skateboard or no skateboard.
Protection – skateboarding can be a dangerous pursuit, but also incredibly rewarding when you’ve finally nailed that difficult trick. That’s why your feet and ankles need protection in order for you to continue making an impact. Your feet and ankles tend to take a lot of the brunt force, although it feels like an all-body workout. Ensure you have the added protection of rubber outsoles so that your feet don’t fall to the side unnecessarily. The most protective materials your skate shoes should be made out of are suede or composition leathers, providing the flexibility you need to perform, as well as the protection your feed require to carry on.
Comfort – mastering skateboard tricks can take hours, days even, so having a comfortable skate shoe is vital to allow you to keep going and nail those moves. Your trainers need to absorb the impact you’ll be making on the ground, through a cushioned midsole. This needs to be quality cushioning however, as the less effective it is, the more likely you are to become injured and you’ll fear the impact every time you land. Even if you’re not planning on attempting any gnarly jumps any time soon, you need a comfortable shoe to keep you going and build you up to that stage. It’s not uncommon for skateboarders heels to be bruised after boarding, but if you have the right shoe for the job, this risk should be minimized.
Durability – without durability, your brand-new skate shoes won’t last long and you might find them falling apart mid 360 frontside pop shuvit, or you know, walking down the street. Because of the nature of the sport, your skate shoes need to be built with skateboarding in mind, so should be made of the right materials to take you through from trick to trick. Each part of the shoe helps with each different element of skateboarding and both the midsole and outsole need to be rugged and durable in order for your shoes to last. However, keep in mind that although these materials should be robust, they also need to be flexible and lightweight enough that you can comfortably perform tricks, without bulky shoes getting in the way.
Stitching – as well as the sole and cushioning, being durable, you also need robust and high-quality stitching too. Usually, most skate trainers come with triple stitching, so that tears are prevented. Your feet will be bent this way and that way during a hardcore skateboarding session, so it’s important that your stitching can measure up to the job. Low-quality stitches will pull away from the shoe, minimizing the effectiveness of support for your feet. Ensure you read any reviews about the stitching as this often won’t be mentioned by the supplier.
Fit – too loose or too tight and you won’t be at the top of your skate game. Ensure you try on different sizes, regardless of if it’s not normally what you go for. You need to have a great fitting skate shoe to ensure that it’s not too loose when flying through the air, so much so that it flies off, and not too tight so that you end up with countless blisters and bruises at the end of your session. The better the fit and the more comfortable your skateboarding shoes are, the more likely you are to improve your tricks and moves.
Skate Shoe Cut Types
There a three different types of skate shoe cuts and it’s important you know the difference, so you can choose the right type for your needs.
Low Cut - Low cut or low top shoes tend to be the most popular choice for skateboarders, as they’re usually more lightweight. However, this does mean that you lose some of the support around your ankle, that a mid-top or high top shoe can provide. You’ll still have all the protection through impact via cushioning in the sole, but if you are worried about your ankles, this is something to think about.
Medium Cut - If you want more padding, but don’t want to sacrifice on weight, the mid-cut skate shoes might be the way forward for you. This tend to be a popular all-rounder as they can transition from the summer months right through to winter. They provide more stability and protection than a low cut, but don’t have the bulkiness of a high top, that some people prefer.
High Top - As the name suggests, high top skate shoes are higher cut than the other types on this list. They provide padding and further support to the ankle area, giving you more peace of mind when you make an impact on the ground. They cushion the ankle effectively, as well as keeping your feet warmer too. It might be beneficial to have a lower cut skate shoe for your summer sessions, and a higher cut trainer for the colder days and nights.
Skate Shoe FAQs
Q: What's the difference between skate shoes and normal shoes?
A: The main difference is probably the durability factor and support. A normal pair of shoes will be built with normal activities in mind, such as walking or driving. Skate shoes are made with impact and strain in mind, ensuring that you’re cushioned enough and protected throughout your skate session. Skate shoes are also made out of different materials to normal shoes, such as suede and composition leather, allowing for flexibility and comfort. If you were to try and skateboard in normal trainers or shoes, you’ll find that your ankles will scream at you and your feet won’t work the next day. Ouch.
Q: Are skate shoes good for your feet?
A: They might look cool and have a flat sole, but skate shoes actually provide you with a lot of extra support and resistance that you might not know you needed. They’re durable and built to last, as most skateboarders need something that can take a beating. Extra padding and cushioning gives you that protection your feet need from the impact of the ground and the thick rubber sole prevents them from wearing out easily. However, skate shoes are not built for walking long distances and can have a negative effect on your feet. Having the appropriate footwear for each activity is vital.
Q: Are skate shoes good for running?
A: Skate shoes are built with skateboarding in mind, not running, which is why we wouldn’t recommend using them for this particular activity. You need something lightweight, comfortable, and with a different sole for jogging or running. Your skate shoes will be too clumpy and heavy and can potentially give you the wrong support for running.