In skateboarding, style is everything. That doesn’t just refer to the clothes you wear, it’s about the way that your hands are positioned and the ease with which you land tricks and the way you carry yourself off the board.
But back to the attire for a sec. Starting with the original Vans that the Z-Boys wore, skate shoes have always been a perfect marriage of form and function. The slim profile required to maximize board feel and the cushioning needed to absorb impact led to sneakers that looked and felt great. As big brands like Nike and Adidas got into skateboarding, the progression continued on the design and technology fronts.
So even if you can’t ollie over a pebble or Smith grind a curb, you should check out some skate shoes when you’re figuring out your next sneaker purchase. Here are 7 options that are a great place to start.
Adidas Busenitz Pro
With design inspiration borrowed from the popular Adidas Samba indoor soccer shoe, Dennis Busenitz’s pro model has more cushioning than the Samba and is available in more colorways. You can’t go wrong with any of the versions with the gum bottom.
Huf Classic Lo
The vintage shape and minimal branding on the Huf Classic are reminscent of the shoes you’d see on 1950s sandlots. The uppper is constructed from pig suede which has a luxuriously soft feel and extra padding on the insole so you won’t mind walking (or skating) around in these all day.
Nike SB Eric Koston Huarache
Eric Koston has been a pro skater for quite a few years. Over that time, he’s learned what makes a good skate shoe, and what makes a good-looking one. The Huarache Kostons feature the rubber heel strap familiar from the Huarache running and basketball shoes of the 90s.
Converse CONS KA3
For his third signature shoe with Converse, pro skater Kenny Anderson went with a premium leather upper and a comfy Lunarlon sockliner borrowed from Converse’s parent company Nike. The result is a shoe that looks as good with a suit as it does pushing around on your board.
Vans Side Stripe Old Skool
Vans are the O.G.’s in the skate shoe game, and the Old Skool was the brand’s first model to feature the now-iconic side stripe. To update the classic, Vans created a pack with the side stripe printed in cork, tortoise, and leopard.
Lakai x Diamond Supply Co. Manchester Lean
Lakai teamed up with Diamond Supply Co. on an edition of the Manchester that features a diamond-inspired camo pattern printed on a rubberized upper. The leather detailing on the collar is a nice touch.
Etnies x Magenta Marana Vulc
When Ryan Sheckler dropped his signature Marana shoe, it was an immediate hit. This vulcanized version has a slimmer profile and Etnies worked with Magenta Skateboards to create a subtle shell pattern for the upper.