A skateboarder’s equipment must include skate shoes. You can achieve the grip board feel and style you need to advance your skating with the correct pair. Finding the ideal pair of skate shoes can be challenging, though, because there are so many available.
For that reason, we’ve assembled this list of the top ten skate shoes on the market right now. Top selections from well-known skate companies, including Vans, Nike SB, Adidas, Emerica, and others, will be covered. We’ll examine factors like comfort, boardfeel, durability, cushioning, and style to help you locate the perfect skate shoes.
- 1 What to Look for in Skate Shoes
- 2 10 Best Skate Shoes
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
What to Look for in Skate Shoes
Before getting into the top picks, let’s go over what makes for great skate shoes. Here are the key factors to consider:
Grip – The rubber outsole needs to grip your board when doing ollies, flip tricks, grinds and more. Look for sturdy rubber with tread patterns that grip in multiple directions.
Durability – Skating is tough on shoes. Look for abrasion-resistant uppers, triple stitching, and reinforcements in high-wear areas. Leather and suede tend to be quite durable.
Boardfeel – You want flexibility and thin soles to better feel and control your board. Low profile cushioning that doesn’t sacrifice boardfeel is ideal.
Cushioning – Cushioning around the heel collar and tongue will protect your feet from impact. Look for EVA midsoles and air pockets. But don’t sacrifice too much boardfeel.
Style – Lets face it, skaters want to look cool. Branding, logos and color combos all contribute to style points.
Keeping these factors in mind let’s get into the top skate shoe picks of the year!
10 Best Skate Shoes
1. Vans Sk8-Hi Pro
The Vans Sk8-Hi Pro is a high top classic that’s stood the test of time. It offers excellent durability, boardfeel and grip that competitive skaters love.
The suede and leather upper resists abrasion from grip tape while allowing flexibility. Reinforcements at the ollie area, toe cap and sides add protection.
The vulcanized rubber outsole has Vans signature waffle tread pattern that grips well when planting your feet for tricks.
Underfoot, the UltraCush HD sockliner and PopCush midsole provide responsive cushioning around the heel and balls of the feet. The minimal midsole keeps boardfeel tuned in.
With Vans signature Sidestripe branding and diverse color options, the Sk8-Hi has plenty of style. An excellent all-around high-top skate shoe.
2. Adidas Skateboarding Matchcourt High Rx
If you want ankle support plus plush cushioning, the Adidas Matchcourt High Rx delivers.
The abrasion-resistant suede upper withstands abuse from flip tricks and grinds. The mid-high collar locks the ankle in place while a padded tongue and heel collar cushion impacts.
An EVA midsole and molded PU sockliner provide soft yet responsive cushioning, while the grippy rubber outsole features a combo of triangle and square tread lugs for multidirectional traction.
The Matchcourt High Rx also has excellent boardfeel thanks to its thin profile and feel-grounding internal shank. Style points come from the iconic Adidas 3-Stripes.
3. Nike SB Charge Canvas
The Nike SB Charge Canvas offers an ideal blend of durability, cushioning and boardfeel at an affordable price.
The triple-stitched canvas upper is durable and breathable. Leather and suede overlays provide abrasion-resistance in high-wear zones. The padded tongue and collar cushion landings.
Underfoot, a drop-in EVA midsole provides soft yet responsive cushioning. The rubber outsole wraps up over the toe for extra durability, and the tread pattern grips well.
Flex grooves in the outsole promote natural boardfeel and flexibility. At a budget-friendly price, the Charge Canvas is one of the best skate shoes for the money.
4. Emerica The Reynolds Low Vulc
Emerica’s Reynolds Low Vulc is a top choice for its superb boardfeel and grip.
The one-piece suede upper offers durability and a tight, foot-hugging fit. The mesh lining manages moisture as you skate.
The gum rubber outsole features Emerica’s Triangle Tread pattern that flexes naturally with the feet while providing multidirectional grip.
A thin, vulcanized construction places you closer to the board for better control and responsiveness. The minimal drop-in midsole keeps cushioning light.
If boardfeel and grip are your top priorities, the Reynolds Low Vulc delivers.
5. DC Court Graffik SE
DC Shoes are a top skate brand known for comfort, and the Court Graffik SE is a shining example.
It uses a ventilated sandwich mesh upper to allow air to flow to your feet. The mesh tongue keeps debris out while an internal foam package cushions landings.
A lightweight EVA midsole provides plush cushioning underfoot. DC’s super sticky rubber outsole uses pill-pattern tread to grip the board from all angles.
With its excellent comfort and grip, the Court Graffik SE is ideal for long skate sessions. Flat RED laces also add style.
6. Globe Sabre
For a supportive skate shoe at an affordable price, check out the Globe Sabre.
The high-grade suede upper offers durability where you need it most, along with ample support. The padded collar locks the ankle in place while EVA cushioning at the tongue and heel absorbs impacts.
A TPR heel frame adds stability while a TPU internal shank enhances boardfeel. The grippy rubber outsole features Globe’s S-TRAC for multidirectional traction.
With excellent boardfeel, support and grip, the Globe Sabre won’t break the bank. It comes in a range of stylish color schemes too.
7. HUF Galaxy
For classic skate style, you can’t go wrong with the low-profile HUF Galaxy.
It uses a combination of durable suede and canvas on the upper. The minimal collar and tongue provide flexibility while signature HUF sidewall branding adds style.
A thin EVA midsole keeps the shoe low profile for natural boardfeel. The durable rubber outsole features a tread pattern that grips well.
With a classic skate look at an affordable price, the HUF Galaxy is a stylish choice that still performs reliably.
8. éS Accel OG
éS footwear are renowned for their comfort and durability in skate shoes. The Accel OG has a streamlined design that performs.
The suede upper offers abrasion and tear resistance from repetitive skating. Triple stitching boosts durability in high-wear zones.
Inside, a contoured EVA footbed cushions landings while the cushioned collar locks the heel in place.
The grippy rubber outsole features éS signature herringbone tread for reliable traction. With excellent comfort and boardfeel, the Accel OG is a minimalist classic.
9. Etnies Marana
The Etnies Marana is packed with supportive features, making it one of the best skate shoes for comfort and protection.
It uses a durable TPR upper with suede overlays in high abrasion zones. An Exo-skeleton design at the heels and toes prevent blowouts.
EVA foam padding at the tongue and collar cushion impacts while the round lacing system eliminates pressure points.
The STI Evolution foam midsole provides lightweight cushioning and impact dispersion. The grippy rubber outsole flexes naturally.
With ample protection and comfort, the Etnies Marana excels during long skate sessions.
10. Lakai Cambridge
Lakai skate shoes offer an ideal blend of style, comfort and performance. The Cambridge is a quality mid top option.
A durable suede upper and breathable mesh lining manage comfort. Lightweight foam cushioning around the collar locks the ankle in place.
The unique contoured FKL formmid footbed cradles the arches for comfort while minimizing bulk. It works with the midsole and outsole to provide cushioning and pop.
The Cambridge also gets excellent boardfeel from a vulcanized construction and minimal outsole. Flat tonal laces and Lakai logos complete the laidback style.
For a stylish mid-top with comfort and boardfeel, the Lakai Cambridge delivers.
Finding Your Perfect Skate Shoes
With so many high performing skate shoes out there, it really comes down to personal preferences in fit, style and features.
Narrow down your choices by considering your priority criteria. Look for durability and protection if you skate ramps and rails a lot. Seek out plush cushioning if you need more comfort for long days.
If you prioritize boardfeel and flexibility, go for a vulcanized construction. And don’t forget style – skate shoes are an expression of personal tastes too.
Try shoes on in-store whenever possible for the best fit. Break them in gradually to avoid blisters. With the right pair, you’ll gain confidence in grip, support and style.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most durable skate shoe brands?
Some of the most durable skate shoe brands include Vans, Nike SB, Adidas, Emerica, éS, Etnies, and Lakai. Models like the Vans Sk8-Hi Pro, Adidas Matchcourt Rx, and Emerica Reynolds use premium materials like leather and suede that resist abrasion and tearing. They also use reinforced stitching in high-wear areas.
Do thicker soled skate shoes help?
Thicker soles can help cushion your feet from impact while skating. Models like the Adidas Matchcourt High Rx use an EVA midsole to absorb shock. However, thick soles reduce boardfeel. So you have to strike a balance. Shoes that use low profile cushioning tend to offer the best compromise.
What features improve grip on skate shoes?
Sticky rubber outsoles with multi-directional tread patterns improve grip for skate shoes. Herringbone and waffle patterns grip well when planting your feet for tricks. Rubber that wraps up over the toe also improves durability and traction.