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Skate Shoes

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What makes a skateboarding shoe different from a chilling sneaker, a trainer, or a tennis shoe? In some cases, very little. Many of the current skate shoes from brands like Nike SB, Adidas, Vans, and Converse are shoes pulled from their archives and simply made more skate friendly. Other styles of men’s skate shoes are entering their third decade of skate-specific design. So the question becomes: What makes a skateboarding shoe "skateable"?

At the most basic level, a skate shoe needs a durable upper design and a grippy, rubber outsole to be considered skateable. It is a constant balancing act between foot protection and flexibility, with shoes falling all along the spectrum. Whether you want lots of padding and a thick insole or a thin, malleable shoe for more precision control of your board, there are lots of choices for you.

Back when skateboarding wasn’t a widely popular activity in the 80s and 90s, skaters created their own footwear brands, such as Etnies, Osiris, and DVS, with an eye on durability in the toe and outer-foot ‘ollie’ areas, as well as excellent ankle support and heel protection. When larger athletic footwear brands entered the scene around the turn of the century, they combined the technical innovations, as well as aesthetics, of basketball and running shoes with skateboarding considerations. For a more detailed chronicle of skate shoes, check out CCS’ History of Skate Footwear.

Enter the modern era of skate footwear for both men and women, where there is a design to match every need and style of skating. With silhouettes ranging from wildly colorful streetwear styles to laceless slip-ons with subtle skate reinforcements, there is a skate shoe made with your tastes in mind. And we’re not just talking about how they look, but also the type of skateboard riding you’re doing.

Skateboard shoe constructions, features, and terminology can be a little daunting. Typically, CCS skate shoes descriptions will address a shoe’s durability, flexibility, and support, and you can reference our nifty Skate Shoe Anatomy & Glossary guide to help you sort the beefy cupsoles from the boardfeely vulcs and find just the right fit for your feet.

You're going to want to skate your best and look your best, as well as support your favorite brands and pro skaters. Check out how shoes look on other skaters at your local skate park or in online skate videos. CCS carries all the popular brands, including Nike SB, Adidas Skateboarding, Vans, Converse, Emerica, New Balance, Last Resort AB, DCs, and others. Take time to scope all the options (you can search by size, brand, or price range), and remember that when your friends ask you where you got those fresh kicks, tell ‘em CCS!