The 25 Most Skateable Shoes of All Time

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Most Skateable Shoes

This list of the 25 most skateable shoes of all time showcases the similarities between basketball sneakers and skate shoes, with a focus on technology and new materials throughout the last six decades. We called upon the shoes that left historic impressions on skateboarding and popular culture or the classics that were copied again and again. With only 25 to choose from not every brand made the list, but we're sure you'll agree with The 25 Most Skateable Shoes of All Time.

Reggie Altema is a Haitian writer from New Jersey who grew up obsessed with music and skateboarding but despised east coast winters, so the former 

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No. 25 - Nike SB Koston 1

Year Released: 2010

No skater has released more prolific skateboarding footwear than Eric Koston. Part of this is because he is someone who is always trying to make things better and another reason is that he just has a knack for knowing what works in footwear and what doesn't. So that means when he's designing a shoe it's as if there are two talented designers working on it, instead of one. His move to Nike meant that he'd have access to all of Nike's materials, and because he's a sneakerhead, he was able to point out some technology from Nike's running shoes that he felt belonged in skateboarding. This is how Lunarlon cushioning found its way into skate shoes. Lunarlon cushioning is more comfortable, more lightweight and is more responsive than Zoom Air.




No. 23 - Nike SB Zoom Janoski

Year Released: 2008

It's been over four years since the Janoski came out and Nike is still releasing new colors monthly. They even included it in their customization ID line, so you can design it to your satisfaction. What I'm saying is they're making the most of this release which took off like a wildfire. It's stylishness is undeniable. The upper's design is simple. It appears based off of a boating shoe or a moccasin, but with a vulc sole. It feels like there isn't much in the form of cushioning aside from the Zoom Air insole. The outsole is fused to the upper, making it more durable and lighter. The upper also has a one-piece heel to midfoot overlay for a unique kind of support. The toe box has small perforations for breathability and the outsole has a herringbone pattern that lasts long and provides durability and grip.


No. 22 - DC Brian Wenning

Year Released: 2007

The Wenning was the first pro model shoe released by DC since 2005 and it was heavily influenced by the Lynx which came out in 1998. The Wenning featured a rubber outsole made specifically for grip and boardfeel. The rubber they used featured a Thermoplastic rubber (TPR), which is a very grippy material. The upper is made of Super Suede, with TPR reinforcement. Heel gel was also incorporated for comfort and sock absorption.








No. 17 - Vans Rowley

Year Released: 1999

In 1999 the majority of the skate shoes on the market were cupsoles. Geoff Rowley designed this vulcanized shoe in a way that made it skate as good, and in some cases, better than a cupsole. The Rowley was lightweight and it was known for having a great fit as well as incorporating the right materials. It performed fantastically and was a hit among skaters until it had to be pulled from the shelves due to production issues.



No. 15 - éS Koston 1

Year Released: 1997

This shoe fit so well I wore it and skated in it frequently without socks. Unfortunately I stunk them up rather quickly, but these shoes were so good, they're exempt from exaggeration. The shoe's upper featured a synthetic material eS developed specifically for Koston that was lighter than leather and more resistant to stretching. The entire upper was surrounded by mesh to keep the foot cool and comfortable, which explains why I felt I didn't need socks. The grippy rubber sole added to the shoe's durablity and flexibilty while being resistant to cracking and chipping. The midsole was made of a layer of polyurethane and that combined with a crash pad in the heel, provided ample impact protection. The airbag in the heel added additional protection and the double-padded tongue and collar made for a fit that was unparalleled.


No. 14 - éS Muska

Year Released:1997

Muska's first pro shoe with eS was wildly successful. Designed by Muska himself, this shoe was both technical and functional. It was technical in the sense that it was the only shoe on the market that had rubber lace protectors, but it also had double padding throughout the upper, and side mesh ventilation. The toe cap and ollie area featured double-stitched, one-piece molded rubber. It had a heel pull for easy entry and a stash pocket in the tongue. All these specs made it expensive but also durable, thereby making it one of the best selling models from eS of all time.


No. 12 - éS Accel

Year Released: 1995

This simple low top is easily the most popular shoe éS ever put out, which isn't surprising considering how picky skateboarders are. Skateboarders want a simple-looking shoe that will skate; nothing more, nothing less. This cupsole was all of that. On top of having a clean look, the Accel was well-constructed. The toe cap had triple stitching and the ollie and heel areas were tough. The tongue was comfy too, providing just the right amount of comfort. Pushing this shoe through Penny made it even cooler.




No. 8 - Etnies Natas

Year Released: 1989

in 1989 former Vision rider Pierre-Andre Senizergues took over Etnies and the first pro model they put out was the rugged Natas shoe, for Natas Kaupas. The shoe's design actually came from Kaupas himself and he was paid a royalty of two dollars per pair. Giving him his own shoe and a royalty on top of that was seen as crazy for several reasons. Natas backwards is satan, and some schools and shops banned his gear for this reason. Also at the time giving a skateboarder his own shoe with a royalty was seen as being too similar to sports like baseball and basketball, but it all worked out. Steve Caballero's shoe came out a few months later.








The first skateboarding shoe ever came from the Randolph Rubber Company, who at the time employed brothers James and Paul Van Doren, who left a year later to start Vans. In the 1960's skateboarding emerged from surfing, and surfers rode their skateboards barefoot too, which often led to injuries. In this case, cuts and scrapes were creating the need for suitable footwear, not the need to maneuver through tricks. The tricks at the time were few; if you weren't doing wheelies, you were carving.  All you needed was something to protect your feet and that's what the Randy 720 was.

No. 1 - Converse Chuck Taylor

Year Released: 1949

Chuck Taylor played on a basketball team sponsored by Converse, and then inspired by their "All-Star" model, he joined the sales team. After traveling the country hosting clinics, coaching teams and providing input on the "All Star" for 11 years, his name was added to the round patch on the ankle. In 1949 the high top Chuck Taylor we know today was introduced, with a low top version, the Oxford, following 8 years later. Today they're still a favorite among skaters for their simple design, thin upper and superb grippiness.

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