Best Skate Shoes: Top 5 Picks to Shred in Style

Explore the top 5 best skate shoes for ultimate board feel and control. Shred in style and enhance your performance with our top-rated picks.

Ever get that sinking feeling when your kickflip doesn’t land just right? Maybe it’s the grip, the boardfeel, even the padding? Don’t get your laces in a knot because the first question you should ask yourself is: “Are you rocking the best skate shoes?” In this post, we’ll dive into a world of suede, stitches, and soles like some gnarly pavement adventure. You’ll find out why sustainable flip trick shoes can cost more, why that extra heel padding can muss up your ollies, and, most importantly, why boardfeel can be more critical than the trendiest new colorway.

Image of a skater wearing nike sb zoom stefan janoski. Source: unsplash
Image of a skater wearing nike sb zoom stefan janoski. Source: unsplash

What are the top 5 best skate shoes to shred in style?

Ready to drop in at the park, tackle that gnarly rail, or simply look fly while getting around town? We all know the right skate shoe can drastically alter your boardfeel, control, and style. So, it’s crucial to make a solid choice. Let’s grind through the best options out there, bringing you the cream of the crop of skate shoes.

Image of a skater wearing nike sb zoom stefan janoski. Source: unsplash
Image of a skater wearing nike sb zoom stefan janoski. Source: unsplash

1. Cariuma CATIBA Pro

If you’re ready to shred with purpose and want the best of the bunch, the shoe for you is the Cariuma CATIBA Pro. Designed specifically with skaters in mind, this shoe is at the apex where sustainability meets functionality. It boasts of a killer carved outsole that gives you a superior grip and boardfeel, making that next flip trick seem almost telepathic.

Whipping the board around becomes a breeze with this ride. Some might gawk at the higher price tag, but can you really put a cost on landing clean tricks while reducing your carbon footprint? Note the clever design aspect: reinforced stitches are placed just so, meaning that you don’t torch through the shoe as quickly as other alternatives.


  • Excellent boardfeel and grip
  • Durable
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Designed with flip trick specifics in mind


  • The shoes might be tight initially and may require a break-in period. Some experience blisters after the first extensive use.
  • Can be a bit stiff at the start, although this might be a trade-off for their long-lasting nature.
  • Pricier than other brands

Check here to see how the Cariuma CATIBA Pro matches with the best skateboard bushings on the line to see if this combo ticks your boxes.

2. Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski

The ever-popular Stefan Janoski from the Nike SB line-up snags the second spot. These shoes sport a minimalist design with the integral skateboarding padding removed. The result? Killer responsiveness. Plus, it comes in a variety of chic colorways that get us stoked.


  • Sharp minimalist style
  • High responsiveness due to less padding
  • Lives up to the Nike brand reputation


  • Narrow toe box may not suit everyone
  • Lacks extensive padding

3. Vans Old Skool Pro

In the skate world, Vans has always been a front-runner. Their Old Skool Pro models give that classic skate style we’re all about. And their comfort scale? Off the charts! However, we’d appreciate it if they could dial up the durability a notch.


  • Quintessential skate style
  • High grip and comfort
  • Molds to foot over time for a custom fit


  • Materials can be less durable on extended wear
  • Custom fitting may take time

4. Etnies Joslin

Fourth down the rank is Etnies Joslin. Its durable construction and propriety rubber is a testament to its resilience and longevity. This is the tire company turned shoe wizard. And importantly, comfort is never short on supply.


  • Exceptional durability
  • The Michelin sole offers excellent grip from the start, and boardfeel is decent and improves over time
  • Reinforced layers and comfort adjustments provided


  • The shoe may feel firmer initially, especially for those used to shoes with thinner soles
  • There’s a notable break-in period before the shoe becomes entirely comfortable for skating
  • Reasonably heavy, which might be a concern for some

5. Adidas Daily

Rounding up the list is the Adidas Daily. With its classic athletic style matched with reasonable comfort for long skateboarding hours, it’s a solid choice. The OrthoLite sock liners helping on landing shouldn’t be underestimated.


  • Comfortable and stylish
  • Padded collar for additional foot security


  • Not specifically designed for skateboarding
  • Future upgrades may improve skate-specific features

To get in-depth on effects of skate shoe features, check here. Remember, it’s not just about looking cool. It’s about the rip and the control. Choose wisely, shredders! We’ll see you at the top.

My favorite shoes (at the moment):

DC Cure Casual High-top Skate Shoes

Best skate shoes: top 5 picks to shred in style | 71 8annbgbl. Ac ux695 | skateboard salad
My favorite shoes (at the moment):

DC Cure Casual High-top Skate Shoes

These have lasted me probably the longest of any skate shoe I’ve had. I love high-tops because they protect my ankles. I got the gray ones, but they get dirty quickly. If you care about that, you might want to invest in a darker tone version.

Why do skate shoes matter?

Skate shoes aren’t just regular sneakers; they’re your companions on wheels. These unique footwear designs are engineered specifically for skateboarding, providing enhanced grip, flip control, boardfeel, and ankle protection capabilities. They’re the skate gods giving you a nod, boosting your confidence, scream-worthy flip tricks, and stylish ollies.

Image of a skater wearing vans old skool pros. Source: pexels
Best skate shoes: top 5 picks to shred in style | image of a skater wearing vans old skool pexels | skateboard salad

An epic skate session begins with the right shoes, and choosing top-notch gear translates to impressive performance on the board. The right kicks could be the difference between nailing that benihana or ending up in a sketchy sprawl on the asphalt. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a newbie on the block, getting clued up on the best skate shoes matters.

Dos and don’ts of choosing skate shoes

When it comes to picking your skate shoes, there’s a golden list to consider. Here’s a quick rundown in a neat little table.

Do consider board feelDon’t overlook the importance of grip
Do look for durable materialsDon’t skimp on ankle protection
Do check for shoes with reinforced stitchingDon’t prioritize style over substance
Here is a quick rundown of what to consider when choosing skate shoes

Additional skate shoe tips

Before you hit the pavement, keep these additional tips in mind.

  • Look for shoes with an excellent grip on both dry and damp surfaces
  • Opt for skate shoes with a flat sole for even pressure distribution
  • Always try before you buy — everyone’s foot shape is different
  • If you’re spending a solid amount of time on your board, go for shoes with breathable materials
  • Heavier shoes might provide extra durability, but they can also reduce pop — it’s a trade-off worth considering

Why I swear by the right skate shoes

Here’s my take — as a non-expert skateboarder, of course. One of the biggest takeaways from my journey in the skate world has been the indelible importance of the right shoes. As someone who spent too long shredding in regular sneakers, the moment I steered into the skate shoe territory, my board complied with my commands like a well-trained pup. I was no Tony Hawk, but my kickflips felt much more controlled.

Oh, and did I mention the dozens of wipeouts dodged thanks to that extra ankle support? Remember that one time I bailed on my first benihana attempt? If you want to hear about my ordeal with pulling off this classic trick, head over here. Skateboarding is crazy fun, but always better with the right gear. Period.

“Skate shoes aren’t just regular sneakers; they’re your companions on wheels, boosting your confidence and stylish ollies.”

Let’s dive a little deeper into some statistical insights by looking at a table that portrays the average cost, durability, and style ratings of popular skate shoe brands.

Skate Shoe BrandsAverage Cost ($)Durability (out of 10)Style Ratings (out of 5)
Nike SB7084
Overview of average cost, durability and style ratings of top skate shoe brands

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Before we round off this elaborate rundown of the best skate shoes, here are some burning questions you might have about choosing the right skate shoes. Let’s break those down.

How important are skate shoes for beginners?

Having the correct footwear when starting your skateboarding journey is crucial. The right skate shoes provide enhanced grip and board control, which can lay the foundation for learning tricks and maintaining balance. Plus, they can offer much-needed protection from falls and scrapes. Check here for more tips on beginner skate tricks.

Can I use running shoes for skateboarding?

Skate shoes and running shoes are designed for different types of impact and movement. While you technically could use running shoes for skateboarding, they lack the grip, durability, and flat soles that skate shoes offer. In essence, running shoes might fall short in delivering the enhanced board control and protection you need when skating.

How often should I replace my skate shoes?

The frequency of replacing your skate shoes depends on the intensity of your skate sessions. Heavily used skate shoes might need a replacement every one to two months, while lighter use could see them lasting six months to a year. It’s important to replace your shoes when you notice significant wear, tearing, or diminishing grip.

Final thoughts

Winding up, finding the right skate shoe isn’t just about getting your hands on the coolest looking pair. It’s about feeling the road beneath you, nailing that daring trick, and hitting the pavements with style and confidence. Whether you’re lacing up to kickstart your weekend shred or gearing up for your first skate demo, remember, your shoes could become your best ally or greatest enemy on the skateboard.

So here’s the big question – Are you ready to lace up and flip the skate world on its head?

And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below I read and reply to every comment.** If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend. Check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on all things skateboarding. Thanks for reading and keep rolling!

Key takeaways

This article was your front-row pass to the best skate shoes that rule the roost. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Cariuma CATIBA Pro takes the top spot for its sustainable construction, superior grip, and board feel
  • Nike SB Stefan Janoski wins on minimalism and responsiveness
  • Vans Old Skool Pro brings that quintessential skate style with great grip and comfort
  • Etnies Joslin ranks high on durability
  • Adidas Daily rounds up the list with its blend of comfort and style
  • Choosing the right pair depends on preferences for board feel, durability, style and more. Always prioritize your personal need over anything else.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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