If you’re starting out on your skateboarding journey, you’ve probably been focusing on the best skateboard to get or the best trucks to buy.
Although our website has articles covering all your skateboarding needs, one thing many beginners forget is the impact shoes can have on skateboarding.
Wearing the wrong type of shoe while skateboarding can be detrimental to your skills and affect your tricks. It can be hard to get the feel of your skateboard if your shoes are not quite right.
A good quality pair of skateboard shoes are essential and can make all the difference when out on the board.
All of the iconic skateboarders like Tony Hawk or Bob Burnquist have worn skateboarding shoes to get the most out of their otherworldly abilities.
You may be wondering “what’s so special about skateboard shoes?” The answer to this is their design.
The grippy sole, comfortable insole, and added cushioning provide maximum grip so you can handle your board properly.
Regular shoes don’t give as much stability and leave you with less control over your board. The right skate shoes will also protect your feet from when you fall off. (It happens to us all!)
Whether your shoes perfectly fit your feet or if they’re a little big on you, you will soon get used to the size and feel. You will be able to pop and slide on your board in no time as the board and your shoes gel for the best skating experience.
To help you find the best skate shoes out there today, we have done thorough research and listed the top 10 currently on the market.
If this is your first time wearing skate shoes, you will be amazed at the comfort and style they possess. Be sure to read our buyer’s guide and FAQs for all the information you need to know before buying your new skateboarding shoes.
Is your board calling out for you? Here is our top pick to get you rolling!
Top 10 Best Skateboard Shoes
OUR TOP PICK
Skate shoes are designed to last longer than regular shoes. Our top recommendation offers just this as they are built to last.
Made from leather and abrasion rubber outsole, DC Men’s Pure Skate shoes provide maximum grip on your board so you can kickflip and grind with ease.
DC’s skate shoes are made with added foam padding on the interior for supreme comfort and support.
Your ankle’s range of movement is extreme when skateboarding so ensuring they are secure and protected inside your shoes is vital.
These skate shoes are a favorite among skaters worldwide for their protection, durability, and style. Their plain and simple design suits everyone with 17 designs to choose from.
These shoes range from size 6 to 18 so they should fit just about everyone. Even when you’re not skating, you can wear these out for casual wear and they’ll stay comfortable for long periods.
If you want to look good in a shoe that is specifically designed for skateboarding, DC always has your back.
- Rubber soles provide maximum grip on your board to limit the chances of losing your footing during tricks
- Very comfortable and protective with an added layer of foam padding
- Highly durable with a high-quality leather upper to withstand many years of skating
- Many designs to choose from to suit your style and preference
- Range of sizes available to fit just about everyone comfortably
- The toe end of the shoes can be quite narrow before wearing them in
It’s hard to beat Vans when it comes to skate shoes. Since 1966 Vans have been manufacturing top-quality shoes that offer comfort and durability.
This is the perfect recipe for a skating shoe. Vans SK8-Hi shoes are oozing with quality and style thanks to their classic 1992 design.
If you haven’t noticed, 1990’s inspired fashion is pretty popular again and these Vans are right on-trend.
These shoes provide a comfortable and durable rubber insole that perfectly molds to the Vans’ unique shape.
The skeleton heel adds extra support along the back of the shoe to help you land your tricks safely and maintain a good posture.
This design also reduces wear and tear from when you thumb your shoes without undoing your laces.
There is a really cool diamond pattern design on the underside which looks great but it is there to ultimately provide a better grip for your board.
As the name suggests, these Vans SK8-Hi shoes come with a high fit to protect your ankles but also look amazing when worn casually.
The sheer comfort and style of these shoes is something to behold. There is no doubt you will feel the benefit of these shoes as soon as you step on to your board.
- Added durability due to vulcanized canvas to keep your shoes free from wear and tear for a long time
- Very comfortable with a rubber insole that molds to Van’s shoe design
- Offers exceptional grip on the board thanks to Vans signature waffle exterior and diamond pattern design on the soles
- Provides added support for your ankles with a skeleton heel
- Stylish enough to be worn for an array of occasions especially in casual, everyday life
- Sizes can be quite vague and inconsistent so its best to check the measurements with the supplier beforehand
Another highly reputable brand on our list is Nike. Just as they are known for, these Stefan Janoski Skate shoes have a simple yet strong design.
It’s hard to beat the mobility and comfort these canvas skate shoe offers. As soon as you slip your feet in, you will never want to take them off again.
These skate shoes come with a super comfortable rubber insole and a Nike Zoom sock liner for added comfort. This contours your feet perfectly reducing the chances of sweat stains and smells appearing.
These Stefan Janoski shoes are made with the retro triple lace set up along with an additional eyelet by the tongue for added security. However, two of the best features are kept out of sight.
There are extensive heel paddings and a cupping strip along the backside of the shoe to protect your heels and ankles during the rigorous movements in skateboarding.
There is enough space here for you to move freely for bending and sweeping motions during tricks.
These signature Nike shoes feature a minimal design which is just what most skaters need.
This means they can be worn casually with most outfits.
With excess padding around the collar and in the tongue, you will feel confident that these shoes will give you enough protection to try that trick you’ve been attempting for months!
- Supremely comfortable with a rubber insole to support your feet
- Includes a Nike Zoom sock liner that contours to your foot for added protection and comfort and reduces sweat build-up
- Made from highly durable canvas material that is flexible for skating with a classic three-lace set up to put on and take off easily
- Added padding around the collar and tongue for maximum protection
- Simple design so you can wear the shoes casually as well as for skating
- Shoe’s design can be a little narrow for some wearers at first
Vans make their second entry onto our list with their classic Checkerboard design skate shoes.
There is no doubt that Vans shoes are perfect for skating. Whether you’re going skateboarding right away or heading out for some drinks, Vans Checkerboard Slip-On Skate shoes will look and feel great wherever you go.
As the name suggests, these shoes easily slip-on so it takes no time in getting ready to meet your buddies for a skate.
Slip-on the shoes, grab your board, and off you go! Not only are these versatile shoes but they offer excellent traction on your board with a waffle outsole design.
Vans are famous for this design with many of their competitors trying to catch up with their innovative ideas but mostly failing.
Skate shoes will undoubtedly attract scuff marks with wear and tear. Fortunately, these shoes are made from highly durable canvas that can be cleaned quickly and easily.
A diamond weave design on the bottom sole of the shoe provides help with movements on the board so you stay in place more easily.
Even when your board is trying its best to slip away from underneath you, this design will do all it can to ensure you stay in place.
- Durable canvas design for long-lasting use which is very easy to clean
- Offers maximum board grip with Vans signature waffle outsole helping you land more tricks successfully
- A very versatile shoe with a classic Checkerboard design to suit any occasion
- Easy to take on and off with a slip-on design
- Extremely comfortable with Van’s rubber insoles to cushion impacts and movements on the board
- Postage can take a while in some areas so it is best to check with your mail service to ensure when delivery will be made
If you are looking for that classic skate shoe look, look no further than Etnies Fader Skate shoes. If you’re like us, you will love this classic design which has been popular for many decades.
These shoes boast every inch of style with a slick, smooth surface that would look good anywhere.
We love the black color but if you’re looking for something a little different, you can choose from over 20 styles. Each one is a little different to help the shoe stand out and make you unique!
Etnies Fader Skate Shoes are constructed with eye-catching synthetic and leather accents.
This results in an intensely durable yet well-fitted shoe. You can choose between having no padding and padding in the tongue and collar of these shoes.
We really like this feature as some skaters prefer to have less padding as it can limit their movements. You have the choice!
This is just one of the features that make these such versatile yet reliable skating shoes and as a comfortable everyday set of kicks.
You will have no problems cleaning up these Etnies skate shoes thanks to the durable leather and synthetic material.
Although these aren’t waterproof, you can opt for shoe waterproofing spray to ensure your feet stay dry.
As Vans states, these shoes are “inspired by our past, built for our future” and this makes the future look very bright.
- Range of styles to choose from with over 20 varying designs to suit your unique look
- Very durable shoe thanks to a high-quality synthetic and leather design
- Very easy to clean by wiping the synthetic and leather down with a damp cloth and leaving dry for a short amount of time
- Well padded collar and tongue for increased comfort and protection
- Grips to your board with ease due to durable leather outsoles
- The toe end of the shoes can be very narrow and uncomfortable for wider feet
- Sizes can be a little off with reports that users needed a size bigger than what they ordered
Next up are some lightweight shoes that offer durability and breathability throughout skating.
Supra Skate shoes are extremely flexible on your feet helping you have a free range of movement on your board.
As well as this, they are totally eco-friendly with a contemporary low top design.
Made from suede, Supra Skate shoes feel light on the feet but don’t let that fool you into thinking they don’t offer a good grip on the board.
A lightweight cup sole gives you an exceptional grip as well as supreme protection without compromising the feel of your board.
With 12 designs and colors to choose from, such as navy, white, black gum, or brown, you have the choice to pick a color to match your personality and style.
These true American shoes have been a favorite among skaters for many years.
Although the brand only hit the spotlight of skate shoes in 2006, they have been the go-to choice for many top skaters since.
Made for skaters, by skaters, Supra shoes have everything you want for skateboarding.
A padded tongue and collar provide maximum comfort as well as a cup outsole for excellent traction on your board. If you want shoes that will go through thick and thin with you and hold up against your skating, Supra is definitely worth considering.
- Breathable shoes to prevent the build-up of sweat odors as well as being extremely lightweight
- You can choose from 12 designs and colors to match your style whether it’s for skating or everyday use
- Made for skaters, by skaters meaning they are made with all the specifications and features that make up top-quality skate shoes
- Padded tongue and collar for added comfort for long days on your feet
- Provides excellent traction on your board with a durable cup outsole
- Can be a little uncomfortable at first, feeling quite small but they stretch out after some time
It is easy to see why Globe has become internationally recognized as one of the best manufacturers of skate shoes.
Globe Tilt Skate shoes hold all the elements that have made the company stand out from so many over the years.
The style and uniqueness of these shoes help them shine bright compared to so many on the market.
There is no doubt that Globe Tilt Skate shoes will last you many years, no matter how much work you put them through.
Globe “specializes in purpose-built footwear for men on the go” so whether you’re skateboarding, walking, or running, these shoes will have you covered.
The midsole is excellently durable and built to withstand the sudden shocks and thuds that your feet will endure during skating movements.
These shoes have all the ingredients for skating success with a form-fitting, sturdy leather and synthetic composition. Feel great and look great too!
Of course, the most important aspect of a skate shoe is the amount of grip it gives you on your board.
Fortunately, Globe has included their state-of-the-art S-Trac grip system on the bottom of the shoes to give you ultimate control and traction.
If you’re especially light on your feet, these shoes will have you riding like a feather!
There is no lack of comfort in these Tilt shoes either with a padded tongue and solid cushioning along the heel and collar.
This will help prevent blisters and soreness that can affect you after a long day in the skate park.
- Provides ultimate grip and traction to your board with an S-Trac gripping system to keep you steady on your feet
- Very well-made for long-lasting use thanks to a solid leather and synthetic construction
- A comfortable yet durable midsole helps reduce shocks and impact from sudden bumps on your skateboard
- Made with a padded collar and tongue for extra comfort and support
- Range of styles and colors to choose from including gray carbon, black olive knit, and black or red khaki
- Not waterproof material but this can be combated with shoe waterproof spray
Here is a shoe that is affordable and high-quality.
We understand that some shoes come with a hefty price tag so when we come across a pair that offers everything you need at a fraction of the price, it's hard to ignore them.
Lakai Sheffield Skate shoes are well equipped to give you absolute grip on your board without dipping into your savings.
The main qualities you look for in a skate shoe are rubber insoles, wide outsoles, and a durable base grip.
Thankfully, Lakai Sheffield Skate shoes have all of these to offer and more. A zig-zag design provides excellent grip on your board as well as on sidewalks for everyday use.
You could walk miles in these shoes and still feel like you’ve only just stood up. As we are here for you fellow skaters, we should focus on the comfort these provide when on the halfpipe or skate ramp.
Lakai has designed these shoes to fit your feet perfectly when doing tricky maneuvers on your board so you’re fully supported the whole time.
Whether you’re skating all day long or taking long walks around the neighborhood, the padding along the tongue and collar will keep you comfy for hours on end.
It won’t take you long to appreciate the comfort and quality these shoes have to offer.
- Well-fitted shoes, especially for skaters with wider feet which can be a problem with many skateboarding shoes
- Includes a padded tongue and collar for added protection and comfort throughout long days on your feet
- Offers excellent grip and traction due to the zig-zag pattern on the underneath of the shoe to keep you stable on the board and sidewalk
- Very stretchable which mold the shape of your feet with added suede elements
- Budget-friendly if you’re looking to save a little cash
- These can dirty quite easily after a day of skating with scuff marks and scratches
We appreciate that you may be looking for skate shoes as a gift for someone.
If so, C1RCA AL50 Adrian Lopez Lightweight Insole Skate shoes would be the ideal gift for a skateboarding enthusiast.
These classic skate shoes are stylish and versatile with a simple design to please everyone.
These are another cheaper option compared to some other brands but that doesn’t mean C1RCA has limited the quality or durability of these shoes.
These are especially good for novice skateboarders. Before you spend the big bucks on Nikes or Vans, you should consider going with a more affordable option first.
You never know, these may be the best you’ll ever wear! C1RCA skate shoes even have similar styles to more well-known brands and the construction isn’t too different either.
These are made with padded tongues and collars to provide additional support as well as a solid leather exterior to stand the test of time.
Even if you’re a seasoned skater who is on their board all day long, these shoes will stand up to what you throw at them.
The triple-stitching on these low-rise skate shoe toes act as reinforcement along with the wraparound sole with a toe bumper.
Go for these signature skate shoes and skateboarding will become a great deal easier.
- Budget-friendly with all the features that make up reliable and durable skate shoes
- Excellent protection and breathability with a mesh tongue
- A wonderfully stylish looking shoe with a leather/synthetic exterior and rubber insole
- Padded collar supplies extra comfort for sudden movements on your board
- These don’t mark easily so you can ride the halfpipe all day long without worrying about scuffing your brand new shoes
- The insoles that come with the shoes have been reported to be somewhat uncomfortable after a few days but these can easily be replaced
Osiris Skate shoes are always a pleasure to behold.
They are luxurious and unique looking with an almost Marty Mcfly style from the 1980s.
Osiris D3 Skate shoes may be tenth on our list but, as with most we have reviewed, it was a close call with many others.
The reinforced outsole in these skate shoes is fantastically rugged and strong to withstand pressure on your board over long periods.
If you come off your board and suffer a wipeout, the sheer quality of these shoe’s build will withstand and support you. The protection isn’t just kept to the outsole of the shoes.
The collar is supported with additional padding so you can skate in absolute comfort.
The reinforced high abrasion areas are seen throughout these shoes resulting in supreme durability for many years of use.
If you’re not a fan of the first style you see, you can choose from 20 others.
What may suit your friend won’t necessarily suit you so go for one that you think will compliment your style and skating.
You don’t have to worry about spending an age to put these on and off again.
You can lace them up quickly or leave the laces done up for the next time you slip them on and jump on your board.
There's also no need to worry if they become dirty either. The exterior of the shoes is made of synthetic components so you can wipe them clean for easy maintenance.
- The outsole is designed to resist scrapes and marks from wipeouts or through different means
- Helps improve your posture thanks to an added reinforced heel
- Easy to put on and take off with a quick lacing system that can be left in place for the next time you wear them
- Over 20 designs available to suit your style
- Fully synthetic exterior and rubber insole for easy maintenance
- Reflective components on the side of the shoes have a tendency to crack after some time
- The emblem on the mid-sole of the shoe can crack and come loose after an extended period of time
Best Skateboard Shoes Buying Guide
If you're still unsure what to look for in a good quality pair of skate shoes, we understand!
It's a big decision as these will go through the wars with you and your board so there is no point jumping the gun and going for any pair right away.
There are some vital features you need to look out for in skate shoes to ensure they offer everything you need while on your skateboard.
Whether you’re one for style or are set on shoes with a certain amount of padding, we will discuss this below.
Now you have seen the 10 best skateboarding shoes for you, it's time to see what separates the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Take a look below so we can help you further in finding the perfect pair of skate shoes for years to come!
Shoes are like cars. They will help you get from A to Z but the better quality they are, the further they will take you.
Just like looking under the hood of a car to see how well the engine is made, you need to take a look into the structure and construction of a skateboarding shoe.
You should also consider user reviews, the amount you’ll be wearing them, as well as a whole host of other aspects.
The quality of a shoe will determine whether you will need a new pair within a year or in ten years’ time.
The materials that make up quality skate shoes are vital in ensuring their longevity.
As you have seen from our reviews, most skate shoes are made from leather and synthetic materials. This is for a very good reason.
These materials offer high durability and this is something all skateboarding shoe manufacturers should be aiming for. The more durable the material is, the better the shoes will stand up to wipeouts or falling.
Many would argue skate shoes look better with some battle-hardened marks but you don’t want these scars to run so deep that they rip through your shoe’s material completely.
The stitching in any shoe is crucial in its lifespan. Even if you have never taken much notice of your shoe’s stitching, there is no doubt that this is one feature you will always look out for in skate shoes from now on.
Skate shoes require another level of quality stitching because of the impact and pressure they endure on the board.
Fortunately, bad stitch work is pretty easy to see. Just look at a cheap pair of department store shoes and, most of the time, you’ll see the stitching can come apart very easily.
The stitching keeps the shoes together and if this comes loose, you may as well be wearing nothing on your feet.
You may not be bothered about the stitching in your skate shoes but you should consider what else may be wrong with the shoes if the most essential aspect is shoddy.
The shoe’s fit
When we were doing our research into the top 10 skate shoes, it was alarming how many reviews were saying that the shoes arrived and were too small even though the size online matched their feet.
This is, and always will be, a risk with buying shoes online as you don’t get to try them on first.
Skate shoes have a unique design and this allows for more room inside than traditional sneakers. On the whole, if you buy a shoe online that is just half a size away from your regular size, these should be okay to wear.
Many skateboarding shoe brands have dealt with this issue and now produce flexible shoes. Like most shoes, they may not feel the most comfortable at first but just give them a little time and they should mold to your feet perfectly.
The shoe’s sole type
Did you know shoes have a soul? Oh, wait, not that kind of soul.
Now the bad joke is out of the way, let's focus on the impacts that your shoes will take over time. When you’re skateboarding, you will undoubtedly come across times when your feet take bumps and a lot of pressure.
Compared to most folks who don’t live life to the skateboarding extremes, your shoes will need to withstand a lot more knocks.
Your board can be your best friend and your absolute nemesis at times, especially on your feet. This is why most skateboarding shoes are made with rubber insoles.
These provide shock absorption for extra protection while, at the same time, keeping your ankle and heel as comfortable as possible.
When it comes to skate shoes, there are usually just two different styles: Vulcanized and cup sole shoes.
Vulcanized soles are not dissimilar to casual, everyday shoes. They are designed with a slimmer and lighter feel to provide more flexibility for your feet.
Padding and cushioning are less prominent in these types of shoes meaning some skaters go for other models that offer more protection.
Cup sole shoes offer greater levels of protection for your feet and ankles. These shoes are specifically designed for skaters who will come across more impacts over time.
Cup sole shoes are known to help many skaters perform harder tricks and jump at greater heights, especially on a halfpipe due to the cushioning effect they offer.
As we’re on the subject of cushioning, it’s vital you learn a bit more about it. Nearly all skate shoes come with a midsole constructed from EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam.
This is great at helping your feet withstand impacts such as when your feet or board hit the ground with force.
EVA foam isn’t the most durable choice out there. You can choose a more hardened midsole with PU (Polyurethane) foam. This can last longer than EVA foam but is typically more expensive.
Your heel will come up against some serious pressure when you’re skateboarding. That is why you should consider looking for dual heel cushioning in your shoes.
You will regularly find this featured in vulcanized shoes to substitute the tinner soles they offer. Many shoes also have a heel collar to add extra protection higher up the heel and prevent painful cuts and grazes.
As we have mentioned with the quality of the shoes, you want them to last a long time, no matter how much you wear them.
New skate shoes can be a substantial investment and the last thing you need is to buy a new pair within months. This is why you must consider durability.
There are some world-famous brands when it comes to skateboarding shoes such as Vans and Nike. You need to make sure the pair you are going for is not a department store knock-off brand.
Unfortunately, there are millions of these out there and it can be hard to tell them apart. That is until you put them on and they either don't fit, or fall apart soon after.
There are only a certain number of reputable brands that produce top-quality skate shoes with all the features you need.
These include all the brands in our list above. Each one put thorough research into the manufacturing process and they know exactly what it takes to make extraordinary world-class skateboarding shoes.
Before you buy your new skate shoes, it is worth looking at user’s reviews online. These will help you determine what to look for and if the product you’re interested in has any defects that could cause some alarm.
Reviews will save you a lot of time too. Instead of going through each product aimlessly, numerous reviews will tell you all the pros and cons of each to help you make a final decision.
We took reviews into consideration with our list above for you to be safe in the knowledge that they are good quality shoes. If you want to save time and money, we recommend reading a few reviews on each product.
We bet you were waiting for this one! The saying goes, “you get what you pay for” and this is ultimately true.
When you’re buying top-quality men’s skate shoes, you may have to spend a little or a lot extra to get a pair that will last a lifetime.
Our products above combined expensive models with more inexpensive choices to cater to a wide range of budgets.
This isn’t to say some cheaper models won’t offer durability or comfort. You will be surprised how long some skate shoes last that only cost a fraction of some of the biggest brands out there.
Types of skate shoes
There are three main types of skate shoes. You can get:
High-cut shoes have the classic Converse look that all your favorite punk rock bands wore in the 1990s.
Also known as high-top, these sneakers provide less mobility around your ankles with a higher risk of injury. However, they do give you added coverage in case you fall.
Mid-cut shoes are what the name suggests. They lie somewhere in between high and low-cuts. Also known as mid-top sneakers, these combine ankle protection and mobility excellently.
Dexterity is the name of the game when you’re skating so your shoes need to support these movements too. Thankfully, mid-cut shoes will help your overall balance on the board.
Low-cut or low-tops look awesome and that is why so many skaters favor these over high-cuts or mid-cuts.
These provide the best mobility in your ankles for those kickflips and nollie tricks. You will have less protection for your legs with low-cut shoes so bear that in mind.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the differences between skateboarding shoes and regular shoes?
The main difference between the two is the construction. Skate shoes are made with some particular features that have a very distinct feel compared to standard shoes.
Skating shoes tend to have padded collars and tongues, unlike most regular trainers. This is to support your ankles against regular jerking and movements.
This is very helpful when you bend forward for a trick as the padding cushions your joints to prevent any possible damage. The padded collars add comfort for all those hours of grinding and ollies.
Skateboard shoes also have bottom grips to help you with traction on the board and maintain your posture. Try and maintain your grip in regular sneakers and you may find it pretty hard.
Skateboarding shoes allow you to keep your grip with no problems and the traction helps on the asphalt too for when you want to jump off the board without skidding.
The outsole is another major difference between these shoes. Many of our choices have unique designs on the outsole such as Vans’ waffle and diamond exterior. These enhance your grip on the board and concrete.
Are skateboard shoes suitable for walking?
Skateboard shoes are made for skateboarding but these specific features to help you on your board are actually pretty good for walking too.
They may not be the best hiking boots but if you’re a city dweller, there is no reason why skate shoes can’t support your feet around the concrete streets.
Skateboard shoes are made to retain your stance and provide great traction at all times. The vulcanized rubber on many of the shoe’s outsoles means they will stand the test of time, especially when up against everyday materials on the streets.
Overall, skateboarding shoes are more at home on grip tape or concrete. If you’re thinking of climbing Everest soon, we don’t think Vans would quite cut it.
How long should my shoes last?
This depends on what you use them for and how often. Some people are very heavy on their feet so this can have a dramatic impact.
If you skate every day, chances are your shoes will wear faster. Grinding against the grip tape for hours on end will have a significant impact over some time.
Good quality skate shoes that are used for about ten hours a week on your board should last around three to five years. You will have to maintain them properly though with a rinse and scrub every so often, especially inside.