Looking to upgrade your skate gear? Well, look no further! We've rounded up the best shoes for skateboarding that will have you shredding the streets in style and comfort. From iconic brands like Converse and Adidas to lesser-known gems like Cariuma and eS, these shoes will take your skate game to the next level. Get ready to dive into this shoe extravaganza and discover the perfect pair to enhance your performance on the board. With their durability, grip, and unbeatable style, these shoes are every skateboarder's dream come true. Stay tuned as we unveil the ultimate lineup of the best shoes for skateboarders, offering a fusion of functionality and fashion that can't be beaten.
Converse AS-1 Pro Skate Shoes
Celebrate Alexis Sablone's incredible skill and unique style with the Converse AS-1 Pro Skate Shoes. These shoes are designed to match her legendary status in women's skateboarding and skateboarding as a whole. The AS-1 combines a retro look with innovative features such as a cupsole design for optimal boardfeel and impact protection while skating.
Key features of the Converse AS-1 Pro Skate Shoes:
- A pro model skate shoe by Alexis Sablone
- The first female pro skate shoe by Converse Cons
- CX Foam sockliner for cushioning and impact protection
- Engineered coring in the cupsole for increased cushioning
Shop Converse AS-1 Pro Skate Shoes
Converse CTAS Pro Hi Skate Shoes
Experience the iconic Chuck Taylor from a skateboarder's perspective with the Converse CTAS Pro Hi Skate Shoes. These shoes are a favorite among skaters on and off the board, offering easy boardfeel, airflow, and grip while maintaining the classic Chuck Taylor look. They pay homage to Converse's history while embracing the progression of skateboarding.
Key features of the Converse CTAS Pro Hi Skate Shoes:
- A skate version of the classic Converse Chuck Taylor
- High-top profile for ankle support
- Nike Zoom Air OrthoLite insole for boardfeel and impact protection
- Synthetic suede interior for a secure fit
- Elastic tongue straps
- Cons rubber outsole for excellent grip and structure
- Medial eyelets for enhanced airflow
Shop Converse CTAS Pro Hi Skate Shoes
Converse Louie Lopez
Louie Lopez hails from Los Angeles, California, the birthplace of skateboarding. He started skating at the age of 5 and quickly made a name for himself by winning contests across California by the age of 7. Major skateboard brands like Flip and Globe took notice of his incredible talent and board control.
At the age of 13, Louie made his first video appearance in "United by Fate" (Globe–2007). Two years later, he turned pro for Flip Skateboards and switched shoe sponsors, joining Converse from Globe.
In January 2019, Louie released his first pro shoe, the Converse Louie Lopez. This shoe draws inspiration from two of his favorite Converse models, the All-Star CC and the Breakpoint CC.
Durability-wise, the shoes performed well. They took some time to break in but remained intact with minimal wear after the first month of skating. By the end of the second month, a hole appeared in the ollie/kickflip area, and by the end of the third month, the shoes lost some of their shape, showing a second hole near the toe section. However, the suede contour resisted wear for a month, and the extra padding on the heel section provided great protection for heelflip enthusiasts.
The Chuck Taylor vulcanized sole held up well against grip tape, only showing signs of wear after three months of skating.
In terms of cushioning, the Louie Lopez pro model features a vulcanized rubber outsole with the original Chuck Taylor thread patterns. The molded Ortho Lithe sock liners with Nike Zoom Air units provided excellent shock absorption, especially on the heel area.
The shape of the shoe is a low-cut silhouette with a pointy toe box, striking a balance between lightness and durability. It hugs the feet closely while offering flexibility in the mid-foot section.
The thin design and low-cut silhouette of the Louie Lopez CC contribute to a unique boardfeel that resembles skating certain Nike SB models. The premium quality suede contour of the shoe offers great grip for flip tricks.
Comfort-wise, the thick Converse Chuck Taylor sole initially felt destabilizing due to its thickness, but it ended up providing sufficient stability and protection from primos and board hits. The built-in premium leather contour added to the overall comfort.
The only issue with the shoe is the tongue, which requires frequent adjustments during a skate session.
Overall, the Louie Lopez pro model proved to be durable, comfortable, and stylish. It withstood extensive skate sessions and offered great boardfeel, making it a top choice for skaters.
Etnies Joslin 2
The Etnies Joslin 2 skate shoe is named after professional skateboarder Chris Joslin, who is known as one of California's skateboarding stars. It is a high-quality skate shoe that is based on the popular Etnies Marana model, featuring the same Michelin outsole but with updates. Despite its bulky appearance, this shoe is actually very flexible and lightweight.
Feedback from the rider:
According to a rider's feedback, the Etnies Joslin 2 offers great impact resistance when performing tricks like ollieing stairs. The shoe's grip is extremely good, and the Michelin soles show minimal signs of wear even after two months of use. However, the rider did mention that once the grip starts to damage the suede material, the shoe wears out quickly, which was a bit surprising.
Although the Joslin 2 is a cupsole design, it remains highly flexible. The rider finds it perfect for performing flick tricks on flat ground and ollieing stairs, and the shoe's heel and ankle area provide excellent comfort. In comparison to the Nike SB Shane, the Joslin 2 offers less board feel, but it only takes a few hours to break them in.
The Etnies Joslin 2 is praised as the most comfortable shoe on this list, with ample arch support and impressive impact protection. Despite its bulky appearance, the shoe is surprisingly flexible. The Michelin soles provide exceptional impact absorption, and the shoe offers great arch and heel support.
One downside mentioned by the rider is the shoe's durability. While the initial inspection may give the impression of a durable shoe, it wears out quickly once the lace protectors are gone and the toe stitching starts to fray. Without proper maintenance and preventive measures, the shoe may only last around 80 hours of skating. However, with proper repair, it can be extended for another 40 hours.
Board Feel and Grip
Similar to the Etnies Michelin Marana, the Joslin 2 features a cupsole design with a Michelin rubber compound outsole, offering excellent grip and performance. It may take some time to break them in, more than some other shoes on the market, but it only requires around 5 to 6 hours of use. The Joslin 2 provides great board feel, even for a cupsole shoe. The Michelin outsole delivers outstanding grip and flexibility once the shoe is broken in. Despite its bulky appearance, it remains lightweight.
At first glance, the Joslin 2 may appear bulky and wide. However, upon closer inspection, the shoe has a slightly tapered shape from the top down to the toe box. This design allows for precise movements like scooping, flicking, and popping the board. The shoe maintains its shape even after months of usage, though visible wear starts to show after approximately 50 to 60 hours of skating.
The Etnies Joslin 2 boasts an impressive appearance, giving off a sturdy and reliable vibe. The shoe features a large tongue, high-quality suede material, and thick padding around the ankle. The lace protectors add a cool aesthetic touch, although they have a relatively short lifespan.
One of the key features of the Joslin 2 is its impressive padding. The shoe provides outstanding comfort and handles impacts exceptionally well. It is considered one of the most comfortable skate shoes on this list, providing a cushioned feel similar to walking on clouds. The cushioning can effectively absorb impacts and protect the feet.
Durability and Wear
Despite its many positive aspects, the Etnies Joslin 2 is not the most durable skate shoe available. It does not last as long as the Etnies Veer, for example. After approximately 20 hours of skating, the shoe still looks brand new, but wear becomes more noticeable after 50 hours. The Velcro strip on top tends to separate easily, although it can be fixed with glue. The lace protectors disintegrate after about 50 hours, leading to ripped laces. Around 60 to 70 hours of use, the suede near the toe area starts to tear. However, with proper repairs using glue, the shoe can be extended for an additional 30 to 40 hours. The sole, on the other hand, remains indestructible with minimal signs of wear.
To prolong the shoe's lifespan, some users have resorted to patching them up. For example, cutting up old skate shoes and using Shoe Goo, RipCare, and suede to repair the holes. There are several tips available to make skate shoes last longer.
After proper repair, the Joslin 2 can be given a second life. So far, it has endured 30 hours of use, bringing the total to 90 hours of skateboarding. It is reasonable to assume that the shoes can last even longer with proper maintenance.
Fit and sizing
The Etnies Joslin 2 offers a comfortable and secure fit thanks to its extra-thick ankle padding, which provides great support and prevents foot displacement. The shoe is true to size and is also suitable for individuals with wider feet.
The Etnies Joslin 2 skate shoes possess almost all the qualities desired in a professional model. While it may take some time to break them in, once they do, they become incredibly comfortable shoes with superior padding and impact protection. However, durability seems to be an issue, considering the shoe's relatively short lifespan compared to other options on the market.
Lakai Manchester Shoes
The Lakai Manchester Skate Shoes are a perfect blend of simplicity and performance. As a popular choice since 2007, these shoes are easy to break in and showcase Lakai's commitment to producing footwear that caters to a wide range of skaters, from those at the skatepark to those who prefer technical ledge skating.
Key features of the Lakai Manchester Skate Shoes:
- Has been a best-selling skate shoe from Lakai since 2007
- Features vulcanized construction
- Lakai PARA-MOUNT outsole for excellent flexibility and grip
- Hex-Tread outsoles provide flexibility and great boardfeel
- DELUX-LITE premium sock liner offers arch support
- Tongue straps ensure stability
Shop Lakai Manchester Shoes
Vans Skate Half Cab Shoes
The Vans Skate Half Cab Shoes are deeply rooted in skateboarding history and pay homage to the legendary skater and original Bones Brigade member, Steve Caballero. These shoes have been a favorite for over 30 years and have been worn by some of the biggest names in skateboarding from the '90s to the present day. While the timeless silhouette remains largely unchanged, the modern technology in the Skate Half Cab ensures improved comfort and durability. These shoes are perfect for skaters of all ages and skill levels.
Key features of the Vans Skate Half Cab Shoes:
- One of the most influential skate shoes of all time
- Renovated by Vans and now known as the "Skate Half Cab"
- Vans Duracap rubber inlays in high wear areas prevent blowouts
- Extra deep tread in Vans' waffle outsole for longer-lasting wear and better grip
Shop Vans Skate Half Cab Shoes
Vans Sk8 Hi
When Alyssa Rae Hoffman first started skateboarding, she would skate in any sneakers she had. However, after experiencing an ankle injury while wearing low Reeboks, she realized the importance of ankle support. Now, she exclusively skates in Vans SK8-Hi shoes because they offer tight lacing and excellent ankle support, which is crucial for maintaining balance and preventing injuries. Vans is a brand that needs no introduction, and the SK8-Hi shoes are a staple choice for many skaters.
If you've been wondering if Vans made the cut, well, here they are.
If your kickflip is not up to par and you haven't tried any of the shoes on this list, maybe it's time to consider the impact that your shoes can have on your performance.
The eS Silo is a classic skate shoe with a retro design that has been updated with modern features. The latest version of the eS Silo retains its previous outsole but now features a slimmer upper, allowing for more technical skating. These shoes require some breaking in, and initially, you may feel a lack of board feel.
These shoes are not known for their durability or immediate board feel. However, they provide excellent support and comfort for those seeking a more comfortable and supportive skate shoe experience.
Here are my impressions so far:
I have been dealing with a heel bruise since I was 16, and it occurs once every four years. These shoes offer the much-needed support for my condition, but they do take a while to break in. They feel awkward at first, but they become more flexible with time. Unfortunately, this is also when they start to show signs of wear.
These shoes are great for high impact skating but may not offer the initial board feel that some skaters prefer. It takes approximately 20 hours to break them in fully. Once broken in, they become more comfortable, but I still feel slightly uncomfortable riding in them. It's a tradeoff, and I appreciate the support they provide.
These shoes are ideal for those who prioritize support over immediate board feel. They may not have the most appealing look, but compared to vulcanized shoes, they offer the level of support I currently need. However, once my heel bruise is healed, I plan to switch back to my Adidas shoes.
- One of the most comfortable skate shoes on this list, with excellent arch support. They offer a comfortable fit around the heel and ankle area and are suitable for transition skaters who occasionally hit the streets.
- They require significant breaking in and can be initially frustrating to ride. However, this will improve over time. The fish grate pattern on the sole is sticky but also attracts mud, making it challenging to clean.
These shoes prioritize comfort over durability or immediate board feel. If you focus on flip tricks, these shoes may not be the best choice.
Board feel and grip:
Despite their bulkier design compared to average skate shoes, the eS Silo still provides adequate board feel and control. The soles are flexible enough, especially once broken in, and the tread pattern offers excellent grip. Although they offer less board feel than vulcanized shoes, they are ideal for those who need extra support.
The eS Silo has a chunkier appearance but is slimmer than the classic 2000 model. It features a rounded toe box and an elevated midsole. The shoe provides ample arch support and feels comfortable around the heel and ankle area.
These shoes have a chunky style, which may not appeal to everyone. However, for those who appreciate old-school style shoes, the eS Silo is an excellent choice.
The STI Energy foam in the sole provides noticeable cushioning and exceptional comfort. I purchased these shoes for the additional support required due to my heel bruise, and compared to other shoes, they offer the most support thus far.
The insole may not be as impressive as those of competitors, but the rest of the sole compensates for it. Having a thick insole may not be necessary when the rest of the sole provides impact absorption. Overall, these shoes are incredibly comfortable to wear.
After an hour of skating, I noticed signs of wear on the Silo's from ollies. These shoes may not last as long as others due to their nubuck and plastic materials. For those seeking a highly durable shoe, I would recommend looking elsewhere. However, the soles hold up well and can withstand impacts.
Fit and sizing:
The eS Silo shoes are true to size and fit snugly, providing a glove-like feel that makes you feel secure. Despite their bulkier appearance, they are lightweight and comfortable to skate in. They are also a good option for those with slightly wider feet, as they offer a great fit. If the Adidas 3st shoes are too small for you, these shoes should fit perfectly.
The eS Silo is an excellent choice for those who prioritize support over immediate board feel. While they may take time to break in and may not be the most durable option, they offer maximum support. They are an ideal shoe for skaters who need extra support and don't prioritize flip tricks.
Available on Amazon (affiliate link).
Cariuma Catiba Pro
In 2019, Cariuma made a significant impact on the skate shoe industry. This Brazilian company, founded by two board sports enthusiasts, gained attention with its eco-friendly and distinctively designed shoe.
If you follow skateboarding, you have probably encountered the Cariuma brand everywhere, from video games to sponsored posts on social media by renowned skaters and influencers, to animated ads. Cariuma has mastered the art of marketing!
But does the shoe live up to the hype? Let's find out by testing Cariuma's flagship product: The Catiba Pro.
How does a carbon-neutral shoe compare to traditional skateboard shoes in terms of durability?
The Catiba Pro, made of premium suede and organic cotton canvas, features a triple-stitched patch that reinforces the areas prone to wear from flicking. These patches work wonders and show no signs of wear in the crucial areas.
Special mention goes to the laces made of recycled plastic with metal aglets. They are more resistant to tearing than most standard laces.
During my first session wearing the Catiba Pro shoes, the logo on the shoes tore apart from my fresh grip tape. This raised concerns about the longevity of the Catibas. However, the shoes felt great to ride right from the start, with no need for breaking-in.
One month later:
After a month of use, the reinforced patches for ollies and heelflips show no signs of wear. The shoes remain responsive and protective, just like they were when I first got them.
The Cariuma Catiba Pro features a sole made of raw natural gum rubber, boasting a classic Herrington pattern. The shoe has a thin carved outsole, and the cushioning element is an organic cotton sock liner.
Together with a thick insole, these shoes provide excellent protection and impact resistance.
The Catiba Pro has a thick silhouette with a wide toe box. It closely hugs the feet while allowing enough room for them to breathe through the cotton contour. This model offers flexibility and can accommodate various foot types.
For reference, they have a similar shape and foot support as some Adidas models, such as the Campus Vulc or Matchbreak.
Board feel & Grip:
The rubber sole of the Catiba Pro offers 100% slip resistance and firmly grips the grip tape while allowing for quick foot readjustment.
What sets this shoe apart is the seamless connection between the sole and outsole. This side traction facilitates flicking, as there are no edges to cause friction against the grip.
Another advantage of this construction is that the shoes require no break-in period. They are instantly ready to be worn for skating, unlike some shoes that may feel challenging to skate in on the first session.
Comfort & Stability:
The handmade vulcanized construction with a stitched midsole ensures a comfortable fit.
One standout feature of the Catiba Pro is the insoles. These removable and 100% carbon-neutral insoles are made of cork, organic Mamona oil, and memory foam that molds to your feet, providing excellent arch support. I can see myself keeping the insoles even after the shoes wear out.
The Catiba Pro falls in between puffy shoes, like Etnies or Adidas, and thinner ones, like Nike or Converse.
In our test so far, Cariuma seems to live up to its promise of "Sustainable Style—Endless Comfort." The Catiba Pro is a hybrid shoe that delivers durability and style while maintaining its ethical and ecological commitments. The only downside is the price, which is higher compared to some similar models from other brands.
Choosing the right pair of shoes is crucial for any skateboarder, and with the wide range of options available, it can be overwhelming to make a decision. However, armed with the knowledge of the best shoes for skateboarding, you can confidently hit the skatepark knowing that your feet are well-equipped for the challenge. Whether you prefer the classic style of Converse, the durability of Adidas, the comfort of New Balance, or the versatility of Vans, there is a shoe out there that will perfectly match your needs and style. So, grab a pair and get ready to shred in style, knowing that you have chosen the best shoes for your skateboarding adventures.