Almost as important as the skateboard you ride, a good pair of skate shoes is fundamental for any skater who has their eyes locked on the progression prize. Vans, Globe, Etnies and DC may have written the rule book on the aesthetic and construction of modern skate shoes, but do you know what to look for when seeking the perfect pair?
Whether you're feeling inspired to try skateboarding for the first time or looking to clear that six stair you've been casing out, we'll show you how to buy the right shoes for both park and street by comparing the pros and cons of cupsoles, vulcanised rubber and more. With options for men, women and kids, we've ranked the top 10 best on Amazon, ASOS, Decathlon and eBay featuring all the iconic skate brands alongside the trainer icons Nike and Adidas.
For those after a quick look, here is our Top 5:
Busenitz Skate Shoe
Authentic Skate Shoe
MC Rap High Skate Shoe
Motley Mid Skateboard Shoe
Chuck Taylor All Star Trainer
Court Graffik Skate Shoe
Men's Griffin Skate Shoe
SB Portmore lI Solar Skate Shoe
Crush Kids' Skate Shoe
Premium Leather Shoes Designed by an Iconic Skater
The Classic Canvas Option That Performs as Well as Ever
A Re-Issue of an Iconic Style With a Vintage Aesthetic
A Simple Yet Super Comfy Mid-Cut With Vulcanised Soles
Another Old-School Favourite Reinvented for the Modern Skater
Iconic Unisex Hi-Tops for the Style Conscious
A 90s-Inspired Shoe With Cupsoles and Plenty of Padding
Designed by Pro Skaters in 12 Smart Colourways
Blending Everyday Trainer Fashion With Skate Style
Durable Low-Tops Designed Especially for Young Beginners
|Sole||Cupsole||Vulcanised||Evolution foam midsole, cupsoles||Vulcanised rubber, cushion foam midsoles||Vulcanised, comfycush midsoles||Rubber||Cupsoles with DC's trademarked Pill Pattern tread||Vulcanised, hidden midsole for absorption||Rubber||Rubber|
|Upper||Leather||Canvas||Leather, synthetic||Suede||Canvas||Canvas||Leather||Suede||Synthetic leather||Synthetic leather|
|Intended For||Men||Unisex, kids||Women||Unisex||Unisex, kids||Unisex, kids||Men||Men||Unisex||Kids|
Just like trainers, skate shoes come in a few different cuts, each with their own set of pros and cons to consider. As the name suggests, high-top skate shoes feature a high cut, that's designed for better ankle protection.
By ending just above the ankle, they offer skaters increased stability and extra padding to soften the inevitable blow of copping your board to the ankle. Hi-tops are also good for retaining warmth, which lends them particularly well to UK winter skating.
On the other hand, low-tops are what most modern skaters will gravitate towards, even without understanding why. These shoes are favoured for their lightweight designs that improve board sensitivity. This does mean exposing your ankles to the world, but for dedicated skaters, it's all part of the game. If you can't decide, mid-tops are a nice middle ground between the two cuts.
The closure is an important factor to consider for every skater, but for kids in particular. Skateboarding is a fun and hugely beneficial sport for kids as it improves balance and coordination, as well as teaching them to challenge themselves, face fears and build lasting and positive friendships.
To ensure your kids aren't tripping themselves up with loose laces, you'll want to consider the closure point of their skate shoes. For the youngest kids, doing away with laces entirely and opting for Velcro or slip-on skate shoes could be a good idea.
Adult skaters tend to prefer the security that lace-up skate shoes offer over slip-ons, but that certainly isn't a hard and fast rule. You can find plenty of premium slip-on skate shoes from well-known brands, with some skaters solely swearing by their undeniable ease and steeze.
Skateboarding is unavoidably linked with constant and heavy impact in the form of landing flip tricks, riding bowls, ollieing or missing entirely yet somehow managing to remain on your feet through sheer determination and comfortable shoes. This arguably makes the soles of your skate shoes their most integral ingredient.
Look for any indicators to the quality of the midsoles and outsoles to give you a solid idea of what constitutes a well-made pair of skating-specific shoes. Foam shockbeds and extra forms of padding in the midsole are premium features to look for, from brands that put worth in cushioning.
Cupsoles are outsoles built from a single piece of thick rubber with a tall sidewall that cups the uppers of a shoe. Cupsoles have been designed specifically for skating to protect skaters' heels and the sides of their feet; while vulcanised rubber soles are hardwearing soles that provide you with better board feel, and are often less expensive than cupsoles.
Uppers maybe aren't as integral to your skating experience as soles. Nonetheless, considering they're what your feet will be spending their skating days encased in, you'll want to make sure they are breathable, durable and flexible enough to allow your feet to move freely.
Canvas is a natural fibre that's lightweight and low maintenance, with a breathability that other fabrics simply cannot match. These three appealing attributes are why canvas is used in a wide range of skates shoes today. Keeping on the natural fibre vibe, leather and suede are also popular for their classic style and enduring construction.
Suede and leather uppers are preferred by professional and dedicated skaters as they have more resistance to grip tape - meaning you'll be able to practice flip tricks over and over again without worrying about your upper wearing thin. Synthetic leathers are very hard wearing and often offer a cheaper shoe but lack the flex and breathability of natural fibres.
This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.
|Intended For||Unisex, kids|
|Sole||Evolution foam midsole, cupsoles|
|Sole||Vulcanised rubber, cushion foam midsoles|
|Sole||Vulcanised, comfycush midsoles|
|Intended For||Unisex, kids|
|Intended For||Unisex, kids|
|Choice In Colourways||17|
|Sole||Cupsoles with DC's trademarked Pill Pattern tread|
|Sole||Vulcanised, hidden midsole for absorption|
|Choice In Colourways||12|
Written and researched by Connor Macanally
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