I tried many shoes over the years. Some were plain awful and showed holes after a day and others stood out. The material makes a huge difference. Never buy canvas shoes if you want to do tricks, they will not even last a week.
A good shoe needs to be made out of suede. It’s the most durable material and will save you a lot of money in the long run. I know of a few shoes that give you maximum board feel and last for a long time.
This post is a bit dated so I would recommend checking out my article about the best shoes for skateboarding. We tested them for a couple months and came to a couple of surprising conclusions.
Durability, comfort & board feel
If you want shoes that provide the most board feel I would go for a Vulcanized show. Vulcs are usually a bit cheaper but the soles are a bit weaker compared to cupsoles. Wear and tear on soles is a real issue from all the friction your shoes endure when your skating. Fortunately, there is a great Vulc shoe that’s pretty durable and by far the best shoe you can get. It’s not even the most expensive shoe if you compare it to the Nike SB series.
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Emerica Reynolds (Vulcs)
The Emerica Reynolds are my favorite shoes by far for a number of reasons. One of the most important features is board feel, the flexibility of the shoe and the waffle patterned sole provide maximum control.
The insoles can deal with shocks perfectly making it less likely to get heel bruises. The insole and the general design of the inside of the shoe make these shoes feel really comfortable. I didn’t even have to break them in or get time to get used to them.
The nose doesn’t have any seems which makes them last a lot longer. Once your grip tape starts eating the stitching you know your shoes will fall apart soon. Here’s a link to Amazon.
Etnies Maranas (cupsole)
Etnies Maranas cupsoles are fantastic skate shoes. While they’re a bit stiffer compared to the Reynolds they are very strong and the toe caps are a big plus. Perfect for tranny (transition) skateboarding where you often land on your knee pads and slide if you have to bail. Here’s a closer look at the toe caps:
While they don’t completely cover the front part of the nose, the still help to protect the suede. They also make the shoes last longer when you do a lot of flips but might feel. While some say the rubber material takes away board feel, others have no issues. I personally am a bit indifferent.
I really like the insoles, they’re specifically designed to absorb shocks. Although they’re glued to the shoe you can easily get them out and swap them if you want. Insoles gradually lose their absorbing ability after a few months, depending on how much you skate. They are a bit more expensive than the Reynolds, you can check prices on Amazon.
Adidas Tyshawn (Cupsole)
I was curious about Adidas skate shoes so I decide to get these, zero regrets! Super comfortable shoes and very durable. I also like the fact that you can take out the insole and replace them
I skate Dr Scholes insoles these days because of a heel bruise and they fit like a glove. These are cupsoles so perhaps not an option for those who like vulcanized shoes.
I love the looks and perhaps I should have gotten darker version because after one session they won’t be much to look at anymore. Oh well, makes for a good picture.
They offer lots of heel support and are great at absorbing impacts, something I personally need. These are my first Adidas shoes and I’ll update this post once I skated them for a few months.
Vans Rowley Classic (Vulcs)
What I love about these shoes is the leather. Super durable shoes that provide great board feel but also comfortable enough for my wider than average feet. Not much more to say honestly, Vans are just great skate shoes at least if you get the right ones.
It will take a while before you eat through this rubber!
Classic waffle pattern for extra grip, thin sole for more board feel. Can’t remove the insoles which kind of sucks. If you need more heel support you can insert a pair of Dr scholl’s insoles on top of the existing insole, work for me.