Over the decades, skateboarding has taken on a life of its own. Once merely a by-product of surfing and the California lifestyle, skateboarding evolved exponentially and its influence stretched from coast tocoast and around the globe. Dare you call it a sport, for many, skateboarding is a way of life. Like a fish out of water, the surfer too found its way to land. Eventually moving away from the salty air of the boardwalk, the skater adapted to whatever environment provided the gnarliest of sessions, from the harsh concrete and asphalt of the skate park to more vertical landscapes.
One of the key aspects of the lifestyle is style. It’s hard to imagine another group of fanatics so obsessed with their aesthetic and dedicated to their brands as skateboarders. If you cut to the core of skateboard style, perhaps the single most important identifier is the footwear. The quickest way to let the world know you are the real deal is the skate shoes on your feet. The scuffs on the toe, the ripped laces, the subtle holes, that’s the stuff hours of dedication are made of! The selection of the right shoe can weigh heavy on a young mind, or seem downright exasperating to the parent of the radical one. From low-profile canvas skate shoes destined for maximum chilling to technical models set to shred, The Zappos Rideshop has you covered.
1. DC Trase TX
6. HUF Choice
7. Globe Motley
11. Vans Old Skool
The evolution of the skate shoe has closely mimicked the timeline of skateboarding progression itself. The early low-profile vulcanized models led way to more advanced cupsole technology. As riding got more technical in the ‘90s, so did the shoes themselves. Skaters quickly realized that stair sets and huge gaps called for more padding, support, and comfort. A bruised heel or two have sidelined even the most hardened of skate veterans. Luckily, the skate shoe companies of the modern era have their craft down to a science. Often designed and tested by professional riders themselves, skate shoes reflect an amalgamation of style, functionality, and performance.
Dedicated brands such as Vans®, DC®, Emerica®, and HUF® have developed skate shoes to be less bulky, more comfortable, and durable than ever before. Traditionally speaking, vulcanized soles are low-profile and provide optimum flex, board feel, and grip for superior control. Although not as durable or impact resistant as their cupsole counterparts, vulcanized technology has progressed to provide the best of both worlds. Cupsole technology is easily described as an outsole that is shaped like a cup around the sole of your foot. Cupsoles were thought to have less feel and flex compared to shoes with vulcanized construction, but many brand such as Nike SB®, etnies® and, adidas® Skateboarding offer slimmed- down versions with great board feel.
From future pros imagining their first video part to casual cruisers intent on the next sesh, there’s nothing like lacing up a fresh pair of skate sneakers right out of the box. Update your current kicks or pass on a new pair to the next generation of shredders. With brands like Supra®, C1RCA®, and Globe®, it’s no wonder that skateboarding shoes have set the standard for cool since the late ‘80s and have pushed the limits ever since!