The best skate shoes are made for more than landing a kick-flip. Skate style has long since infiltrated the highest realms of luxury fashion (remember when Vogue launched its own “Skate Week” in 2016?) and today, iconic skate shoes from the likes of Vans, Converse, and Adidas have become everyday wear for thousands of non-Thrasher subscribing customers. Heck, skateboarding is now a bona fide Olympic sport—and an eminently watchable one at that. So consider this the opportune time to familiarize yourself with the coolest shoes the pastime has to offer.
Once trusty stalwarts of the scene like DC Shoes, Emerica, and Lakai might not be in the mix as much anymore, but their influence is still deeply felt. The garish Supras Justin Bieber paired with skintight jeans and an impish grin before he mercifully embraced a far more enviable take on skate rat style? Forget ’em. But those super-sized Etnies you associate with the skateboarders of your youth? Might be worth remembering. (In fact, they offer a pretty spot-on aesthetic antecedent to so many of the hulking sneaker styles popular right now.)
To help you finally nail that tre flip (read: learn how to ollie), we took the time to round-up a pro-caliber roster of the best skate shoes around, each one as beloved for their cushioning, impact protection, and overall durability as for their timeless good looks. They probably shouldn’t replace your running shoes out on the track, but rest assured you can wear ’em pretty much anywhere else.
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