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In 2013, what defines a "skate shoe" can be ambiguous. The large athletic brands—Nike (and Converse), adidas, Puma and New Balance—all have their hat in the skate shoe ring, and all make great product. But there are skate shoes that resemble running sneakers, skate-inspired shoes that have clearly been made for style purposes, and sneakers that have been taken from other sports and given a skate twist. There are also super-plain shoes made for skating. Fifteen years ago, in 1998, things were quite different: Tony Hawk hadn't done the 900, Tony Hawk Pro Skater hadn't come out yet, and this was the last year that skateboarding was still "underground."

At this junction in skate shoe history, sneakers became inflated. They literally ballooned with fat tongues, added rubber toe panels, had secret stash pockets and air bubbles, and didn't cost a penny over $100. The skate industry was still run by skate brands and you had to often go to skater-owned stores just to purchase a pair of skate shoes—or order them from CCS. As you lace up your Nike SBs, take a look to see how far skate shoes have come. Here are 15 Ways That Skate Shoes Were Different 15 Years Ago.

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