Best Skate Shoes 2024

Someone in black Nike low-top shoes with white midsoles and Swooshes down the sides riding a white Penny bike.
Credit: Grant Ritchie

Someone in black Nike low-top shoes with white midsoles and Swooshes down the sides riding a white Penny bike.
Credit: Grant Ritchie

Skate shoes are more than just footwear. They are essential for your safety, comfort, and performance on the board. But how do you choose the best skate shoes among the countless options available?

To help you make that decision, we have compiled a list of the best sneakers for skating based on their quality, price, reputation, and, of course, performance, with the key here being grip.

The best skate shoes offer grip in abundance through unique traction patterns that can help you stick each landing. However, skate shoes are also invaluable for your safety, with top skateboarding brands like Vans adding additional cushioning and reinforced toe caps to models like the Sk8-Hi to protect your feet and your ankles.

As a result, many of the best Vans sneakers double up as great skate shoes. However, they're not the only manufacturer on the scene - here is our complete and comprehensive list of the best skate shoes around...

Best skate shoes

  1. adidas Gazelle ADV - best overall skate sneaker
  2. DC Lynx Zero - a budget-friendly choice
  3. Vans Sk8-Hi - stylish high-top option
  4. Nike SB Chron 2 - best pick for board feel
  5. etnies Marana Michelin - great for wide feet
adidas Gazelle ADV product image of a black and white shoe with gold branding.
expand image
Credit: adidas

1. adidas Gazelle ADV

Best skate shoes overall

Uppers: Suede
Outsole: Geoflex Rubber

Skate shoes come in all shapes and sizes, but in terms of the all-around package this adidas Gazelle ADV has to offer, we feel it's a skate shoe that's hard to beat.

It comes with the Gazelle's iconic '90s styling, but underneath, there are a ton of features tailored for the skate park. For instance, adidas' Geoflex outsole is designed to give excellent grip and flick off your board.

Also, you get a double-layered toecap to increase the shoe's durability around one of the most worn-down areas from skating. This extra layer also gives added protection to ensure there's no discomfort during your stunts.

Other notable features include the premium suede finish and its Adiprene sockliner to give more support around your heel and ankle, plus to help absorb impact from high loads. All in all, the Gazelle ADV is well worth checking out being one of the best adidas shoes on the market.

DC Lynx Zero product image of a black sneaker with gum sole and a grey DC logo on the side.
expand image
Credit: DC

2. DC Lynx Zero

Best cheap skate shoes

Uppers: Leather / Suede
Outsole: Rubber

Buying new skate shoes can be quite costly, especially if you're regularly wearing down new pairs. However, what we like about this DC Lynx Zero is that it's a performance-based shoe that doesn't come with an expensive price tag.

This means you don't necessarily have to worry about ripping through them each time you get yourself down to the skate park. To combat this, the shoes are made from leather and suede, which should help them withstand a fair amount of punishment.

To improve the board feel, DC has given the shoes slightly tapered fronts for flip tricks, while the heel and collar come packed with foam padding to keep you protected when landing a stunt.

You also get a mesh lining and an EVA sockliner for added comfort and durability, thus making these a great budget option to consider for the long term.

Vans Sk8-Hi product image of a black and white high-top sneaker.
expand image
Credit: Vans

3. Vans Sk8-Hi

Best high-top skate shoes

Uppers: Suede / Canvas
Outsole: Rubber

Low-tops are often the go-to for many skaters. However, if it's a high-collared sneaker you're after, then you won't find much better than the classic Vans Sk8-Hi in our opinion.

Every inch of this shoe has been refined for skating since its inception in 1978. From the thick suede and canvas upper to the signature rubber waffle outsole, this shoe has been built to take on the rigors of a skate park.

Not only are they built to last and to give you exceptional amounts of grip, but Vans has also considered how they keep you protected. For instance, you get reinforced toe caps to prevent you from breaking through, plus padded collars to absorb impact around your ankles.

Sometimes you can't beat a classic, with this Vans sneaker is a testament to that, hence its inclusion here.

Nike SB Chron 2 product image of a black sneaker with white Swoosh and gum sole.
expand image
Credit: Nike

4. Nike SB Chron 2

Best skate shoes for board feel

Uppers: Suede / Canvas
Outsole: Rubber

From basketball shoes to football boots, Nike really does do it all. One area the brand is particularly well-versed in though is skating, with this SB Chron 2 being a great example of its expertise.

Firstly, it's worth noting that Nike has revamped the shoe with a reshaped collar and heel to improve the fit for the Chron sequel. The shoe is also kitted out with foam to further enhance comfort and add a layer of protection.

The shoes also feature an extended toe bumper to help them withstand the wear and tear of performing trick after trick. Furthermore, the vulcanised fusion of the sole to the upper should give you better flexibility to nail your foot placement and give a better board feel.

On the whole, Nike's SB line is packed full of great skate shoes, including the popular "Pine Green" Jordan 4 SB. However, the Chron 2 stands out to us as being one of the best Nike sneakers for skating around.

etnies Marana Michelin product image of a black sneaker with a white midsole and tan accents.
expand image
Credit: etnies

5. etnies Marana Michelin

Best skate shoes for wide feet

Uppers: Suede / Synthetic / Textile
Outsole: Rubber

Finding skate shoes that fit wide feet isn't always easy. However, we'd say the etnies Marana Michelin is well worth considering if you're struggling.

The shoes have a fairly generous entrance and a wide silhouette that's padded around the collar for additional protection.

That said, the main selling point of these sneakers is that they've been designed to withstand the high-impact resistance demands of Ryan Sheckler's skating. As a result, you get an injected rubber toe cap, hidden lace loops, and STI Evolution foam in the midsoles to absorb impact.

You also get what etnies call a Pro Foam 1 insole, which, along with the padded elements, should ensure you stay comfortable whilst skating. Ultimately, there's plenty to like about these etnies skate shoes, hence their inclusion here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Buying new skate shoes can be a confusing process, often leading to a ton of questions. Don't worry though, we've answered some of the most common queries below.

What should you look for when buying a skate shoe?

There are several factors to take into consideration when buying a skate shoe, the first being - are they durable? Skate shoes end up taking a lot of punishment, so it's worth investing in sneakers that are built to last to avoid having to replace them after every session.

You'll also want to make sure you're buying shoes packed with foam and padding. This is mainly needed to absorb impact - just imagine landing an ollie down a flight of stairs without any protection. However, you should also benefit comfort-wise from well-padded shoes as well.

Finally, board feel is something that's often talked about when buying skate shoes. Ideally, you need sneakers that are easy to break in and easy to perform tricks with.

A better board feel usually comes hand in hand with a thinner sole. However, you don't want to compromise too much here as you may lose protection against impact due to there being less room to absorb shock.

Can skate shoes be worn for everyday activities?

Yes, skate shoes are a great option for everyday wear. While they are designed with specific features for skateboarding, some of these features which make them great for skateboarding translate well to daily use.

For instance, padded collars and extremely grippy outsoles are definitely useful for walking long distances, helping you stay comfortable and supported all day long. Skate shoes also often come with casual and versatile designs that blend well with various outfits, making them an excellent choice as your go-to shoes for almost any occasion.

Are skate shoes meant to be tight?

Generally speaking, skate shoes should fit fairly tight, although you don't want to go for anything too small that you can feel your feet being compressed.

You also don't want to go too far in the opposite direction either. You'll have no control and your shoes will just end up falling off each time you leave your board.

Therefore, the best advice we can give is to follow Clarks general rule of thumb. Well-fitting shoes should allow about one finger's width of space between the end of your longest toe and the end of your shoes, with the natural bend of the sneakers falling around the balls of your feet.

In terms of width, you'll want to ensure the widest part of your foot, i.e. the ball area and metatarsal bones, fit within the widest part of your shoe, with enough room spare so that you don't feel your sneaker compressing inwards. To help you get the fit right, check out our guide to measuring shoe size right here.

How often should you replace skate shoes?

The lifespan of skate shoes can vary depending on how frequently they are used, the quality of the shoes, and the type of skating activity.

Typically, skate shoes can last anywhere between two to six months or more for regular skateboarders who skate several hours a day, several days a week. However, if you are an occasional or casual skateboarder, your shoes may last longer, possibly up to and beyond a year.

However, it's important to replace your skate shoes once you notice signs of wear and tear, such as holes in the sole or upper, worn-out grip, or loose stitching. Worn-out skate shoes can affect your performance and increase the risk of injury, so it's essential to replace them as soon as they show signs of deterioration.

Can you extend the life of skate shoes?

One effective way to extend the life of your skate shoes is by rotating between multiple pairs. Constantly using the same pair of skate shoes can lead to accelerated wear in specific areas, such as the ollie zone and sole. By rotating between two or more pairs, you distribute the wear more evenly, allowing each pair to have a longer life span.

Another key consideration is to minimise walking in your skate shoes when you're not skateboarding. The grippy soles and specialised design are optimised for board control, and walking extensively on hard surfaces can lead to quicker sole deterioration. Carrying a pair of regular sneakers to change into when you're not on your skateboard can help preserve them for longer.

Proper cleaning and maintenance are also essential to preserve the condition. Regularly removing dirt, debris, and grime from your shoes can prevent the accumulation of abrasive particles that contribute to wear. Use a soft brush or cloth to clean the uppers, and avoid abrasive cleaning agents that might damage the materials.

So, by adopting some of these simple practices, you can significantly extend the life of your skate shoes.

This Article's Topics

Explore new topics and discover content that's right for you!