Whether you’ve mastered the 360-flip or you’re still a newbie learning to fall, there’s something to be said about getting the right pair of skate shoes.
Having the right footwear is not only essential to keeping your safety in check, but also super helpful in moving toward master status when sliding, grinding and performing your basic turn and stop. And by repeatedly slamming outsole to concrete, you’ll likely have to replace your shoes every 3-5 months.
But wait! Before you sift through hundreds of potential sneaker replacements, we’ve already done the grunt work for you. We’ve found three looks that max out in style, defense and longevity. So, before you hop on your longboard, take a long look at these gnarly must-haves!
Etnies Marana Vulc
The Etnies Marana have some sick features that’ll keep you skating for months to come.
Originally designed by pro boarder Ryan Sheckler, this updated version adds durability to its already stellar foundation. Etnies, in collaboration with Michelin, has created the most durable outsole on the market with this shoe!
The sole’s strategically designed tread pattern provides ultimate control for better board feel. And unlike other rubber outsoles, this shoe maintains supreme flexibility. The no-slip grip is true to its word, keeping your feet where you want them, even in wet weather. In other words, grind, and grind hard.
And that’s not all! The classic canvas upper is double stitched with a rubber toe cap, making this pair of bad boys resistant to blowouts. The mesh tongue is an added bonus, keeping airflow in check and your feet looking cool. And its waxed laces will last beyond the hit of the grip tape, erasing the need to have extras on hand. Lastly, let’s not forget to mention the cushy cup soles. The ultra-light and impact-resistant STY Evolution foam provide the right amount of support needed to keep you stoked about skating all day long.
The Etnies Marana is a go-to skate shoe that’ll last through a multitude of stunts and keep you comfortable, and most importantly, looking good while performing them.
Vans Slip-On Pro X Thrasher
If style is more your speed, then you’ll want to grab the skate shoe that’s on fire. Literally.
Thrasher Magazine and Vans, icons of the skating world, have linked together and created a dynamic line that has turned classic into insane. Thrasher’s signature orange and red flame logo are blasted across the upper of the Vans slip-on, creating a symbolic skate shoe. But style isn’t the only factor in adding this shoe to your list of must-haves.
The shoe is created with Vans’ one and only Pro Skate technology with UltraCush Lite and UltraCush HD sock liners that’ll cradle your 10-feet drop landings. You won’t have to worry about immature blowouts with this shoe. The Duracap toe and ollie bumper underlays will provide the protection needed to keep it together. As always, the superior waffle gum outsole will provide unmatched board feel, grip and a long shoe life keeping you skating in style.
And for the skaters concerned about the environment, this brand is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition!
Freewater Tall Boy Trainer
Add never-before comfort and versatility to your ride with the Freewaters Tall Boy Trainer Knit.
The Tall Boy Trainer Knits are not only great for skating but provide an added sense of style to a multitude of activities. The breathability and durability of the shoe will assist in your kickflip repertoire, and look great at work, too! Constructed of ultra-durable vegan materials, the Tall Boy Trainer Knits provide a perfect fit that will assist in gaining board feel and the ability to practice tricks. The insoles and midsoles provide an ergonomic fit with maximum cushioning and rebound from a hard landing.
Another positive to this shoe is the heartening cause you’ll be supporting. Freewaters uses a portion of their proceeds to obtain clean drinking water in developing countries. They have built several wells in Kenya, Haiti and the Philippines to assist in getting fresh water to those who desperately need it. To date, they’ve completed 58 projects, and with every new footwear sale, they’re that much closer to helping others in need.
Buying a new pair of skate shoes can be a daunting task. The fit, board feel and longevity of the shoe has to be just right to keep your flow in check. The new Maranas, Thrashers and Freewaters meet all aspects of good skate shoe requirements. So, if you’re in need of new skate shoes, or you will be shortly, each of these pairs will suit your needs for durability, support and style.