The 20 Coolest Men’s Skate Shoes For All Budgets
Whether you’re a big-time collector or searching for your very first pair, we’ve hand-selected the best skate shoe models on the market.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that popularity surrounding the skatewear aesthetic has been on the rise. While it’s pretty hard to pinpoint when exactly skate culture and fashion began to collide, legend has it that this phenomenon started in California around the 60s, when skater kids were influenced by other subcultures like surfing, punk rock, and later, hip hop.
When the 90s eventually came around, skatewear became its own subgenre of style. This is when we saw an explosion of cool new brands like Alien Workshop, Droors, Mad Circle and of course, Supreme. These independent labels started to design and develop shoes just for skating, placing more of an emphasis on comfortable yet durable materials that were made to be thrashed at the skatepark, again and again (and again).
Eventually, bigger names like Nike, Adidas and Vans jumped on the half pipe hype, and this is a huge reason why skate shoes have become so popular in recent years. Whether you’re a big-time collector or you’re searching for your very first pair, we’ve hand-selected 20 of the best skate shoe models that should definitely be on your radar.
Whether you’re on a budget or looking for something that’s a little more niche, you’ll find it here.
Nike SB Dunk Low
You just can’t talk about the coolest men’s skate shoes without bringing up the legendary Nike SB Dunk Low. Based off the basketball icon of the same name, the SB Dunk Low made its grand debut during the early 00s and has been a skating staple ever since.
Over the years we’ve seen hundreds (if not thousands) of colourways and collaborations get announced, and even though there are so many pairs out there, hype surrounding this classic isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.
It’s worth noting that the SB Dunk Low tends to sell out immediately, so if you see a pair make sure you snap it up before someone else does.
Adidas Tyshawn Remastered
Tyshawn Jones is one of the most talented skaters of his generation, so when he secured his first signature shoe a few years back, kick-flipping enthusiasts world over immediately flocked to their nearest Three Stripes store to grab a pair.
The Adidas Tyshawn Remastered takes the original design and reworks it from the ground up. Outfitted in buttery-suede, it comes equipped with the German sportswear company’s critically-acclaimed Adituff toe reinforcement that’s as hardwearing as it gets.
It essentially means that you can rock these religiously without having to worry that they’ll get ripped or torn apart.
If you ask any skater what the most iconic sneaker is, there’s a huge chance that they’d bring up the Vans Sk8-Hi. Originally known as Style 38, the Sk8-Hi was introduced in the late 70s and was the second shoe to come from, what was then, the Van Doren Rubber Company.
While so much in the world has changed over the past five decades, this model has remained almost exactly the same. Crafted in a classic combo of leather and canvas, some pairs are even emblazoned with flames across the sidewalls just to show off how hot these are.
They also sit on top of a vulcanised rubber midsole, which has become the gold standard for skate-centric trainers.
Nike SB Ishod Wair
When it came time to build his own signature shoe, Ishod Wair was all-in from start to finish. A love letter to both the half pipe and the hardwood, the appropriately-named Nike SB Ishod Wair is clearly influenced by his passion for basketball and old-school hoops sneakers.
Crafted using premium suede, one of the best things about this particular model is the cupsole that has been designed from the ground up, offering unrivalled support and securing your feet in place.
It also features a midsole that’s made from React foam. This tech is used mostly for Nike’s performance running shoes, so you can pretty much guarantee all-day comfort no matter what.
Cariuma Catiba Pro Low
Looking for the coolest men’s skate shoes that aren’t yet mainstream? Then the Cariuma Catiba Pro Low should definitely be on your radar.
While most skate sneakers are made from the usual leather and suede materials, this pair goes down a more sustainable route with an organic cotton canvas construction that looks and feels fresh.
The sole down below is built from 100% natural rubber, and the laces are made with recycled plastics. Sounds good? Well, Cariuma takes this eco-friendliness one step further, because every single time someone buys a pair, they plant two trees. Mother Nature would approve.
Converse AS-1 Pro
The Converse AS-1 Pro is one of the company’s most innovative performance shoes to date. Introduced in 2023, it’s been made with the help of one of the world’s best skateboarders, Alexis Sablone.
While aesthetically it’s very clearly inspired by the past, technology-wise, it couldn’t be more futuristic. Crafted from suede, the upper is bolstered with big chunky rubber pods for better durability and protection, while the sockliner is infused with CX foam for unbeatable comfort.
Underfoot, the rubber outsole is etched with a herringbone pattern that offers extra grip and traction that’ll work wonders for those who skate (and also those who don’t).
Nike SB Zoom Blazer Mid
Similar to the Dunk and SB Dunk origin story, the Nike SB Zoom Blazer Mid is derived from the Blazer Mid, which made its debut all the way back in 1973.
While a lot has certainly changed since then, this basketball-turned-skateboarding model hasn’t really.
Featuring the same classic design, it’s been very subtly updated with extra padding and a Zoom Air-infused midsole that will last you all day, everyday.
Etnies The Aurelien
While the Etnies The Aurelian isn’t really a household name, within the skating community it’s a shoe that is truly legendary.
Based all the way out in California, Etnies has been a kickflip staple for the better part of four decades, and this is one of he brand’s flagship models.
With a STI Performance Level 1 insole, System Flo2 airflow, a Force Shield reinforced upper and a 400NBS rubber midsole, while all of this might sound like a bunch of gibberish to you, for skaters, it’s the best of the best – seriously.
Adidas Busenitz Vulc 2
Adidas is widely known for its football cleats and running shoes, but the German brand’s skate-ready sneakers are becoming increasingly popular with kickflippers worldwide.
Take the Adidas Busenitz Vulc 2, for instance. Made with the help of Dennis Busenitz, who’s probably one of the greatest skaters in the history of mankind, this trainer features a suede upper, an Adiprene sockliner and a Geoflex outsole for unbeatable performance straight out of the box.
It’s also available in a bunch of cool colourways, so you’ll find one that’s perfect for you.
New Balance Numeric Jamie Foy 306
Are you even a real skater if you don’t know who Jamie Foy is? In 2017, the Florida-born icon was crowned Thrasher Magazine’s Skater of the Year, and two years later he won three X Games medals, which is no easy feat.
So when he announced that he was working with New Balance on the New Balance Numeric Jamie Foy 30,6 fans far and wide headed straight to their closest store and bought everything.
Boasting a mesh and rubber construction that’s durable and robust, it sits on top of an EVA midsole and vulcanised rubber outsole for the ultimate balance between comfort and grip.
The 306 is also dressed with suede panelling, so even if you don’t skate, you could very easily wear these as an everyday shoe.
Nike SB Dunk High
The SB Dunk Low is a beast, for sure, but for those of you who need a little more support, the Nike SB Dunk High is a shoe that you should definitely look into.
Very similar to the American sportswear company’s best basketball shoes, like the Air Jordan 1, it features an extended collar that’s extremely padded. This has been specifically designed to absorb any impact, and it also gently hugs your ankle so it doesn’t bend in a direction that it’s not supposed to.
If you’re just getting into skating, this is the silhouette for you.
DC Shoes Manteca 4
Can you even talk about the greatest men’s skate shoes without bringing up DC Shoes? Definitely not. While DC certainly isn’t as popular today as it was back in the day, if you grew up in the 90s and early 00s, you probably would’ve done anything to get your hands on a pair.
Outfitted in Super Suede – which is apparently extra soft and extra durable – the trainer also features a foam padded tongue and Impact-ALG technology embedded inside the sole. Essentially, this is like an polyurethane airbag that provides superior cushioning and protection upon impact. Neat.
Mark Gonzales has been an Adidas-sponsored pro skater for well over a decade, and within this time he’s worked on a vast range of shoes including the all-new Adidas Shmoofoil.
While most skate shoes feature very fiddly laces that can come loose at any given moment (a total nightmare especially when you’re in the middle of catching air), this pair completely does away with them for a seamless experience.
It’s also embroidered with The Gonz’s iconic Shmoo character.
Looking for a skate shoe that only the OGs will know about? Then the Globe Tint should be in your collection.
Based in Australia, this label came at a time when the skatewear industry was exploding and even after 30 years, it’s still one of the best brands out there.
Equipped with a Strobo cupsole, a moulded TPR outsole and Globe’s signature S-Trac tech, while it all sounds pretty complicated, as soon as you hit the skatepark it’ll all begin to make sense.
Cariuma Naioca Pro
Cariuma are purveyors of some of the most earth-friendly skate shoes out there, and the Cariuma Naioca Pro is one of the latest additions to the brand’s eco-conscious line-up.
Crafted from organic cotton canvas and sustainably-sourced suede, it also boasts a bio-based cork insole with recycled plastic detailing throughout.
All of this means that, not only will you look good while hitting the half pipe, you’ll actually do some good, too.
Vans Old Skool
Talking about the best men’s skate shoes without giving the Vans Old Skool a special shoutout is pure blasphemy. Originally known as Style 36, the Old School was the Anaheim-based company’s first model ever.
A true icon both in and out of the skate park, even though it’s almost half a century old it still looks exactly like it did back in the 70s.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
Nike SB Force 58
Don’t let the heritage looks fool you, the Nike SB Force 58 is one of the Oregon-based brand’s latest releases. Combining the best elements of skate and basketball sneakers, it gives you the durability of a cupsole with the flexibility of vulcanised shoe, making it a beast on the half pipe.
Featuring a breathable suede and canvas mixed material upper with added perforations to the toe, it will keep you cool and comfortable all day long.
Adidas Forum 84 Low ADV
Believe it or not, the Adidas Forum 84 Low was originally designed specifically for hardwood use. However, the German sportswear giant quickly realised that more and more skaters were adopting the shoe instead.
With this massive rise in popularity, Adi introduced an ADV version that was made specifically for skating. With a chunkier design for extra protection, even more durable materials and a gum rubber outsole for unrivalled grip, while nothing in life is perfect, the Forum 84 Low ADV comes pretty close.
New Balance Numeric 574 Vulc
Everyone knows about the iconic New Balance 574 silhouette, but did you know it has a kickflip-ready cousin known as the New Balance Numeric 574 Vulc? Now you do.
Featuring the same luxury leather and suede upper that we all know and love, underneath all of the premium layers you’ll find a vulcanised construction with a vaulted heel design that flexes on impact.
The model is also reinforced around high abrasion areas to withstand the rigours of skateboarding, meaning they are built to last.
Converse One Star Pro
While the Converse One Star Pro didn’t originally begin its life as a skate shoe, over time, it won the hearts of many skaters with its simple low top design, CX sockliner and CONS-infused rubber outsole. Essentially, it’s everything that you need, and nothing that you don’t.
The One Star is also available in a huge range of colour options, materials and finishes (and some pretty special collabs), so you’ll definitely be able to find one that’s perfect for you no matter your personal sense of style.