The Best Skate Shoes

Skate shoes are specifically designed to give you an edge while riding your board. Their flat soles have specifically designed patterns to help add grip, while at the same time helping you feel your board. Whether you choose a low-top, mid-top, or high-top style, using skate shoes can increase your comfort while skating.

We reviewed dozens of skate shoes to find the best of the best. We looked at features including the type of sole construction, materials used for the upper, and any added extras like padding, reinforced stitching, and comfort insoles.

Best Men's Skate Shoes Overall
DC Men's Pure Skate Shoe
These leather skate shoes feature a rubber wrap cup sole and DC’s trademarked tread for ultimate grip.

As the best men’s skate shoes overall, we selected the DC Men’s Pure Skate Shoe. With a classic style, combined with durable uppers and a grip pattern designed to provide ultimate control, you can’t go wrong with this classic and bestselling design.

The 5 Top-Rated Skate Shoes

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Men's Skate Shoes OverallDC Men's Pure Skate Shoe4.5
Best Women's Skate Shoes OverallVans Authentic Core Classic Sneakers4.6
Best Budget Men's Skate ShoesAdidas Originals 3mc Sneaker4.5
Best Budget Women's Skate ShoesDC Women's Trase Tx Skate Shoe4.7
Best Youth Skate ShoesEtnies Kids Joslin Skate Shoe4.8

*Ratings are from Amazon at time of publication and can change

Best Men’s Skate Shoes Overall: DC Men’s Pure Skate Shoe

As the best men’s skate shoe overall, we selected the DC Men’s Pure Skate Shoe. Made from 100% leather with a rubber sole that has DC’s trademarked tread pattern known as the “pill pocket.” This provides ultimate grip on your board, as well as offering stability and comfort.

The rubber sole is a wrap cup construction, offering durability and meaning that these stake shoes should last longer than average. The ventilation holes on the instep, and top of the foot mean they’re also a good choice for summer skating sessions.

DC Men’s Pure Skate Shoe Key Features:

  • Padded tongue and collar
  • Durable leather upper
  • Choose from 10 color combinations
  • Available in sizes 6-18

Best Women’s Skate Shoes Overall: Vans Authentic Core Classic Sneakers

Best Women's Skate Shoes Overall
Vans Authentic Core Classic Sneakers
You can’t go wrong with a pair of Vans Classic Authentic Core Sneakers.

As the best overall women’s skate shoes, we don’t think you can do any better than Vans Authentic Core Classic Sneakers. These have been around for years, and with extremely good reason! These are also a great choice if you want to steer away from leather uppers but still retain durability.

The canvas uppers are hard wearing and feature a reinforced toe piece. The rubber sole offers a contrasting grip pattern across the mid-section, offering a little extra grip at this crucial spot. These Vans are unpadded and feature a low-top cut with minimal laces. These lightweight kicks will see you through summer skating sessions in style.

Vans Authentic Core Classic Sneakers Key Features:

  • Choose from 26 colors
  • Available in sizes 5-15.5 women’s
  • Canvas upper
  • Rubber sole

Best Budget Men’s Skate Shoes: Adidas Originals 3mc Sneaker

Best Budget Men's Skate Shoes
Adidas Originals 3mc Sneakers
No-one will miss your moves with these bright and budget-friendly skate shoes.

As the best budget men’s skate shoes, the Adidas Originals 3mc Sneaker is a great choice. This streamlined and minimal style features a nylon and canvas upper which is specifically designed to stand up to hard skating sessions at the park. The flexible rubber sole provides great board fell and flexibility.

There’s a small amount of cushioning in the heel, designed to protect you from impact when you’re skating hard. The ventilation holes along the arch make these a great choice for summer, plus the bold golden yellow will make sure that your moves get noticed.

Adidas Originals 3mc Sneaker Key Features:

  • Rubber sole
  • Canvas and nylon upper
  • Available in sizes 4-14
  • Padded collar

Best Budget Women’s Skate Shoes: DC Women’s Trase Tx Skate Shoe

Best Budget Women's Skate Shoes
DC Women's Trase Tx Skate Shoe
These lightweight yet tough DC skate shoes are specifically designed to fit women’s feet.

If you’re on a budget, the minimal styling of the DC Women’s Trase Tx Skate Shoe is an excellent choice. Featuring a hard-wearing and abrasion-resistant rubber sole, with a touch of stickiness to help you skate in style. These low-top shoes are lightly padded around the ankle, for gentle support.

The fabric upper is designed to be tough and tear-resistant, while the simple 4-eyelet style means you’ll never be struggling with lacing these up quickly and easily. These skate shoes are designed to specifically fit a women’s foot, meaning they’re a little narrower than normal.

DC Women’s Trase Tx Skate Shoe Key Features:

  • Vulcanized rubber sole
  • Available in sizes 5-11
  • Choose from 4 colors
  • Low-top style

Best Youth Skate Shoes: Etnies Kids Joslin Skate Shoe

Best Youth Skate Shoes
Etnies Kids Joslin Skate Shoe
These youth skate shoes have a vulcanized sole plus padded insole, offering great protection for smaller feet.

If you’re looking for the best youth skate shoes, then comfort and protection for your kid’s feet are a priority. The Etnies Kids Joslin Skate Shoe ticks all the boxes in that regard. Featuring a hard-wearing vulcanized sole so it’s easier to feel the board, as well as a pro foam insole, these provide plenty of protection and support.

The elasticated tongue strap helps to provide a snug fit, as long as the laces are done up securely as well. The padded collar and tongue keep smaller feet and ankles comfortable, as well as helping to keep your kid’s feet locked in place within their shoes. These skate shoes come in sizes from toddlers to 12 years.

Etnies Kids Joslin Skate Shoe Key Features:

  • Choose from 4 colors
  • Suede and canvas upper
  • Available in sizes from toddler to 12 years

Who Should Buy Skate Shoes

If you spend any time at all skating, you should definitely consider using a pair of skate shoes. While it’s totally possible to skate in regular sneakers or even basketball boots, skate shoes have been specifically designed to help you get the best performance from your board.

They feature flat yet grippy soles, which allow you to control your board while also develop what’s known as “board feel” – something you need in order to start nailing those technical moves. Skate shoes also include plenty of technical features to keep you comfortable. These can include padded collars, reinforced heels, and toes, along with comfort insoles to protect you from impact.

Best Men's Skate Shoes Overall
DC Men's Pure Skate Shoe
These leather skate shoes feature a rubber wrap cup sole and DC’s trademarked tread for ultimate grip.

Important Features to Consider

  • High, mid, or low-top. As their name suggests, high-tops sit above your ankle. They offer extra ankle stability and padding but can be too warm for hot weather. Mid-tops sit on or just below your ankle bone. They’re a good compromise in terms of stability versus warmth. Lastly, low-tops sit below your ankle and are probably the most popular style of skate shoes. They’re lightweight, but don’t offer any ankle support.
  • Sole type. Stake shoes either have vulcanized or cup soles. Vulcanized soles are thinner and lighter, and attached to your shoe using heat and glue. Cup soles are more durable but don’t offer as much board feel. They’re glued and then sewn onto the shoe upper.
  • Padding. Some skate shoes offer padding around the ankle, to help protect this area. Others don’t have any padding on the ankle or tongue. Whether or not you prefer padding will totally come down to personal preference.
  • Material. Skate shoes are usually made from suede, leather, or canvas. Skate shoes need to be tough as they suffer a lot of abrasions from the grip on your board (and from us falling off, sometimes!). Suede is one of the toughest and most durable materials for skate shoes, but it’s more expensive. Leather and canvas are also both good options. You’ll often see certain areas of high wear on skate shoes with reinforced sections, such as on the toe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are skate shoes?

Skate shoes are specifically designed for use with skateboards. As we’ve mentioned above, they include certain features such as flat soles and particular grip patterns, to help you ride at your best.

Are skate shoes bad for your feet?

Skate shoes certainly shouldn’t hurt your feet. They are specifically designed for use when skating though, so if you use them for walking long distances every day, you might find your feet feeling a little more tired than usual. Skate shoes don’t usually offer much arch support, so bear that in mind if you know this is something you require. You can, of course, always add an insole to your skate shoe!

How long should skate shoes last?

The answer to this really depends on a few different factors, including the material the shoe is made from, and how often you skate, and what sort of tricks you do. You can expect them to last anywhere from 4 months to a year or more. There’s definitely no exact answer to this question!

How do you not rip your shoes when skating?

Sometimes, a bit of ripping is inevitable, but there are a few things you can do to minimize rips. Make sure your grip tape on your board is good quality, and not too abrasive. You can add a layer of superglue across the stitching of your shoes, to help protect this area. Certain tricks such as ollies are always going to run a risk of ripping your shoes, You can buy something called “Shoe Goo” that can be layered on as a protective coating across high-impact areas.

Other Skate Shoes We Reviewed

Best Men's Skate Shoes Overall
DC Men's Pure Skate Shoe
These leather skate shoes feature a rubber wrap cup sole and DC’s trademarked tread for ultimate grip.

We looked at 20 other skate shoes. While they might not have made our top 5, they’re definitely the best of the rest and each is a great choice for skating. The information you need to compare each pair of shoes is included with the listing.

Men’s Skate Shoes

Adidas Men’s Skateboarding The Busenitz Sneaker

Adidas Men's Skateboarding The Busenitz Sneaker

These sneakers are designed for all-terrain skating and feature a cup sole, hardwearing upper, and a comfortable padded collar around the ankle.

Key Features:

  • Sizes 4-14
  • Choose from 29 colors
  • Rubber sole

Cost: $80

DC Men’s Court Graffik SE Skate Shoe

DC Men's Court Graffik SE Skate Shoe

The DC skate shoes feature ventilation holes, DC’s famous sole pattern, and a well-padded ankle for supreme comfort.

Key Features:

  • Choose from 30 colors
  • Cupsole construction
  • Padded collar and tongue

Cost: $46

Emerica Romero Laced Skate Shoe

Emerica Romero Laced Skate Shoe

These Emerica skate shoes come in more colors than you probably thought possible but also feature design features like a low-profile sole for excellent board feel.

Key Features:

  • Over 30 colors available
  • Sizes 5-14
  • High-density rubber sole

Cost: $53

Etnies Men’s Fader 2 Skate Shoe

Etnies Men's Fader 2 Skate Shoe

These Etnies skate shoes update the classic Fader shoe to create a similar style with updated materials and construction.

Key Features:

  • Sizes 5-15
  • Choose from 12 colors
  • 100% leather

Cost: $57

Globe Men’s Tilt Skate Shoe 

Globe Men's Tilt Skate Shoe

These feature a molded TPR collar that runs from the sole of the shoe, for additional support around the ankle area.

Key Features:

  • Choose from 15 colors
  • Rubber sole
  • Sizes 5-14

Cost: $73

Women’s Skate Shoes

Adidas Originals Women’s Superstar Sneaker

Adidas Originals Women's Superstar Sneaker

Made from 100% full-grain leather, these skate shoes combine function and style.

Key Features:

  • Cupsole construction
  • Sizes 5-14
  • Choose from 30 colors

Cost: $54

DC Women’s Chelsea Tx Se Skate Shoe

DC Women's Chelsea Tx Skate Shoe

These DC women’s shoes are made from hard-wearing canvas with a reinforced toe, plus padded ankle collar for support.

Key Features:

  • Choose from 2 colors
  • Sizes 5-11
  • Vulcanized sole

Cost: $60

DC Women’s Court Graffik Skate Shoe

DC Women's CG

Featuring the same vivid styling as the DC Men’s Court Graffik, these women’s specific skate shoes include a heavily padded collar for ultimate comfort.

Key Features:

  • Leather upper
  • Choose from 15 colors
  • Sizes 5-11

Cost: $60

Etnie’s Women’s Czar Skate Shoe

Etnie's Women's Czar Skate Shoe

These Etnie’s shoes have a double stitched cup sole construction for extreme durability.

Key Features:

  • Cupsole construction
  • Choose from mint or white/pink
  • Sizes 5-10

Cost: $70

Vans Slip On Rainbow Chex Sneaker

Vans Slip On Rainbow Chex Sneaker

The signature waffle sole tread pattern on these colorful slip-on Vans helps to provide traction on all surfaces.

Key Features:

  • Sizes 5.5-14.5
  • Cushioned footbed
  • Padded collar

Cost: $50

Youth Skate Shoes

Adidas Originals 3mc Youth Sneaker

Adidas Originals 3mc Youth Sneaker

The geoflex rubber sole on these youth sneakers is designed to provide ultimate control and grip.

Key Features:

  • Sizes 4-14
  • Choose from 20 colors
  • Rubber sole

Cost: $49

DC Kid’s Court Graffik SE Skate Shoe

DC Kid's Court Graffik SE Skate Shoe

These DC skate shoes feature the classic Graffik style in a miniature version for kids and youth sizes.

Key Features:

  • Ventilation holes
  • Available in 1-13.5 kid’s sizes
  • Choose from 6 colors

Cost: $47

DC Kid’s Pure High-top Se Ev Skate Shoe

DC Kid's Pure High-top Se Ev Skate Shoe

Suitable for kids from 4-12 years of age, these bright high-tops feature vintage DC styling.

Key Features:

  • Excellent ankle support
  • Rubber sole
  • Sizes 1.5-6

Cost: $60

Emerica Kid’s The Reynolds Skate Shoe

Emerica Kid's The Reynolds Skate Shoe

These 100% suede shoes are tough and hard-wearing and feature a reinforced toe cap.

Key Features:

  • Vulcanized sole
  • Choose from 2 colors
  • Sizes 3.5-12

Cost: $53

Van’s Unisex Old Skool Classic Skate Shoes

Van's Unisex Old Skool Classic Skate Shoes

These classic Van’s are suitable for toddlers all the way up to youth sizes. They feature a lightly padded collar around the ankle as well as a grippy rubber sole.

Key Features:

  • 1-13.5 kid’s sizes
  • Over 30 colors available
  • Canvas tops

Cost: $

High-top Skate Shoes

DC Women’s Pure High-top V Skate Shoe

DC Women's Pure High-top V Skate Shoe

These DC women’s skate shoes feature a highly padded collar plus a velcro strap to secure the top of the show snugly around your ankle.

Key Features:

  • Rubber sole
  • 6 colors available
  • Sizes 5-11

Cost: $80

Emerica Men’s Romero Laced High Skate Shoe

Emerica Men's Romero Laced High Skate Shoe

These skate shoes feature minimal styling, with a cup sole construction and a lightly padded collar.

Key Features:

  • EVA comfort insole
  • Sizes 6-11.5
  • Choose from 4 colors

Cost: $81

Osiris Men’s Clone Skate Shoe

Osiris Men's Clone Skate Shoe

These 100% synthetic high-tops from Osiris feature a lightly padded collar and tongue for comfort and support.

Key Features:

  • Sizes 5.5-14
  • Rubber sole
  • Choose from 8 colors

Cost: $67

Supra Men’s Skateboarding Shoes

Supra Men's Skateboarding Shoes

The classic styling of these Supra high-tops hides modern features like molded heel protection and an impact-resistant insole.

Key Features:

  • Gum rubber sole
  • Vulcanized
  • Breathable lining

Cost: $60

Van’s Sk8-Hi Unisex Skate Shoes

Van's Sk8-Hi Unisex Skate Shoes

Featuring Van’s signature styling and sole pattern, these comfortable high-tops feature a lightly padded collar and a hard-wearing canvas or suede upper.

Key Features:

  • Padded ankle
  • Sizes 4-16
  • Choose from over 40 colors

Cost: $85

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