Whether you are just cruising or spicing things up with a couple of slides or tricks when longboarding, you are going to need a proper pair of shoes to grip the deck with. A good longboard shoe should provide you with the necessary feel of the board, grip, as well as support.
Regular sneakers mostly don’t satisfy these criteria, so you do need to get a dedicated pair of shoes for longboarding. But how do you find the best shoes for longboarding that will work for you?
We’ve decided to compile a list of 12 shoes which we consider to be the best on the market. With each of them having their own unique thing, you should have plenty of options to choose from.
DC Men’s Pure Skate Shoe
Up first on our list of best shoes for longboarding is DC Men’s Pure skate shoe, which, in our opinion, offers a good balance of support and mobility for longboard riders who are a little inclined to freestyle riding.
These shoes offer an abrasion-resistant outsole made from sticky rubber, which makes it seem that this shoe has been made for use with coarser grip tapes associated with freestyle skateboarding. This is the main reason why we consider these shoes to be suitable for riders who don’t restrict their longboard use to just cruising.
Plus, the outsole extends to the front of the shoe, which may allow you to better control the longboard.
The DC Pure skate shoe also offers ample padding in the collar for increased comfort, which will probably be felt by you during longer rides. Aside from that, the collar in these shoes is around mid-high, which means that it provides a good balance between ankle protection and ankle mobility.
One downside in these shoes that should be mentioned is that they seem to run smaller than people expect. You may want to go a size bigger, especially if you have wide feet.
Let’s watch a video review of the longboard shoes!
DC Men’s Court Graffik Se Skate Shoe
The DC Men’s Court Graffik Se skate shoes are very similar to the Pure skate shoes we’ve just reviewed, but there are a couple of differences that set them apart.
This shoe seems not to have the same abrasion-resistant rubber outsole. The outsole in this shoe is a little bit different, and it doesn’t extend to the front side of the outsole as much, so we think that the Court Graffik Se shoe is more suitable for cruising without too much aggressive freestyling.
The upper material of the Court Graffik Se shoe we based our review has a leather (seemingly) upper, which makes the shoe look nice. But there are fabric variants available as well.
The amount of comfort the Court Graffik Se skate shoes deliver is on par with that of the Pure skate shoe. The Court Graffik Se shoes have a very similar, if not identical padded collar. Plus, the height of the collar is again somewhere in the middle, which allows for a good balance of ankle support and mobility.
But the similarities in design also mean that this shoe runs smaller, just like the Pure skate shoes.
Etnies Men’s Fader 2 Skate Shoe
The Etnies Men’s Fader 2 skate shoes appear to be somewhere in between the DC shoes we overviewed above. This shoe isn’t as freestyle-oriented as the DC Pure shoe, but it has a bigger focus on freestyling than the Court Graffik Se shoe.
The main reason for this is that the outsole in the Fader 2 shoes extends a little bit to the front and the rear sides of the outsole. This would allow you to obtain grip with the board at various angles. But in the Pure shoes, you may feel more confident in the grip in the front area of the shoe since its outsole extends to the front further.
In terms of comfort and ankle support, these shoes appear to be very similar to the DC shoes. The collar is at around the same height, providing balanced ankle mobility and support. Plus, there is plenty of padding in the Fader 2 shoes to allow for convenient long-distance rides.
Etnies Marana Skate Shoe
The Etnies Marana skate shoe is a durably-made shoe targeted at riders who are more inclined towards freestyling on their longboard. There are a couple of reasons for this.
The main reason for the suitability of this shoe for a little bit of freestyling is its durable rubber outsole made by Michelin. As Etnies boasts, it has abrasion resistance of 400 NBS, which is much higher than the 200-250 NBS of typical shoes with a rubber outsole. Thus, coarser grip tapes should work with the Marana shoe well.
Aside from that, Michelin gave a light rebound to the outsole, which makes these shoes suitable for high-impact skateboarding. Aside from skateboarding, the Marana shoe is going to perform well on rough surfaces. Furthermore, Etnies also boasts the extremely tough build of this shoe.
The top in the Marana shoes is also quite low, which allows for increased ankle mobility. As a downside, the low top in this shoe has less ankle support than the previous shoes.
With all that being said, the Marana skate shoes tend to run narrow. Plus, they may be difficult to break in, so you may not be able to hop in them and longboard to the full on day one.
Etnies Jameson 2 Eco Skate Shoe
The Etnies Jameson 2 Eco skate shoes certainly cannot boast the durability and the outsole performance of the Marana shoe. However, what the Jameson 2 Eco shoes excel at is ankle mobility.
As you could have noticed, these shoes have a very low top. The low height of the top allows for increased ankle mobility, which may increase your maneuverability when riding. On the other hand, the ankle support is low in this top, so this shoe definitely isn’t for high-impact longboarding activities.
Though the Jameson 2 Eco shoe doesn’t have Michelin outsoles, it does have a nice of amount grip, especially in the toe box onto which the outsole wraps. In addition, these shoes have a lighter design which perfectly complements its orientation on ankle mobility.
Globe Men’s Motley Mid Skate Shoe
So far, the shoes we reviewed didn’t have too much ankle support to boast. The DC shoes and the Etnies Fader 2 were pretty good, but not the best out there. Well, Globe Men’s Motley mid-high skate shoes are much better than them in terms of ankle support.
With its tall top, the Motley shoe offers the best ankle support on our top 12, which makes it great for high-impact activities, or maybe if you have injured or weak ankles. On the other hand, these shoes obviously don’t provide too much room for ankle movement.
What we also like about Motley shoes is their vintage design. Not that the previous shoes on our list looked bad, but they had a design very common nowadays. The Motley shoes stand out nicely among them.
VANS Unisex Sk8-Hi Reissue Skate Shoes
The Vans Unisex Sk8-Hi skate shoes are a nice option if you are looking for increased flexibility in the outsole.
Vans has equipped these shoes with vulcanized rubber outsoles which, if you didn’t know, are noticeably more flexible than regular rubber outsoles. Due to the increased flexibility, the feel of the deck should be better in the Sk8-Hi shoes.
Aside from flexibility, the vulcanized rubber also offers increased grip. These shoes probably aren’t as grippy as the Etnies Marana shoes with their Michelin outsoles, but they should be grippier than those shoes on the list that has regular rubber outsoles.
The ankle support in the Sk8-Hi shoes is also very nice. However, the Globe Men’s Motley shoes we overviewed previously have more ankle support. On the other hand, the Sk8-Hi skate shoes are less restrictive on the ankles, though they don’t provide complete freedom of movement either.
Vans Authentic Shoes
Not everyone needs a heavily-padded shoe that provides an insane amount of ankle support. If you find that you don’t need these as well, then maybe the Authentic shoes by Vans will interest you.
These shoes have perhaps the lightest design on our list. With a minimum amount of padding and a low-top design, these shoes seem to be suitable for people who do a lot of foot movement while on the longboard.
Overall, the lighter weight of these shoes won’t fatigue you as quickly as most other shoes. The low top in the Authentic shoes also obviously delivers a lot of room for ankle movement.
On the other hand, what the Vans Authentic shoes definitely lack is ankle and foot support. The latter is the tradeoff of the increased ankle movement room in these shoes, so if you have weak or injured ankles, you should look for another model.
As for foot support, these shoes have a very little padding. On one hand, this makes the shoes lighter and maybe more breathable, but on the other, the comfort of wearing gets compromised. You may need to wear thicker socks in these shoes to feel comfortable. Plus, they may be too uncomfortable to wear during longer trips.
Globe Fusion Skate Shoe
If you happen to be looking for a longboard shoe with plenty of cushioning, then the Globe Fusion skate shoe may greatly interest you. The Fusion skate shoe has the most padding among all the other shoes on our list.
That’s not everything though. The Fusion skate shoe also has a rather thick outsole, thicker than what most skate shoes out there have. What this allows for is enhanced shock absorption, which will come in handy in high-impact longboarding activities.
The outsole also has a good amount of flex in it, mainly thanks to its sectioned design.
The ankle support in the Fusion shoe is also good, though not as good as in the Globe Motley and Vans Sk8-Hi shoes. However, these shoes offer a better balance of ankle support and mobility, which may also be a thing that you want from your shoes.
With all that being said, you should keep in mind that the Fusion shoe is going to feel bulkier and heavier on your feet. Aside from that, its thick outsole will probably make you feel less connected to the deck.
Nike Men’s Zoom Stefan Janoski Skate Shoe
If you are quite interested in professional skateboard, then these skate shoes by Nike may interest you as well. These are the signature Nike Zoom Stefan Janoski – also known as Nike SB – made in collaboration with American professional skateboarder Stefan Janoski.
If you are well aware of the world of professional skateboarding, this name will probably be familiar to you. Even if not, the features of the Nike Zoom Stefan Janoski shoes may still interest you.
This shoe, first of all, offers a low-profile design with a thin layer of padding. Thanks to this, the Nike SB skate shoes offer increased ankle mobility and a lightweight feel.
Nike also boasts the grip of the shoe’s outsoles achieved through their herringbone traction pattern. For riders who like to do freestyling from time to time, the outsoles should deliver more than enough traction.
In terms of shock absorption, the Nike SB shoes should be on par with the other freestyle-oriented shoes on our list. But when it comes to comfort, it isn’t the best since it has little padding, albeit not as little as in the Vans Authentic shoes.
Adidas NEO Men’s SE Daily Vulc Skateboarding Shoe
The Adidas NEO Men’s SE Daily Vulc skate shoes seem like a nice option for people who like to feel the deck below their feet.
These shoes have a flexible vulcanized rubber outsole, which should allow you to better grip the deck with your feet. In addition, the sole in the Daily Vulc shoe seems to be thinner than in most other skate shoes on the list, which again is going to improve the feel of the deck.
The lightweight cushioning in these shoes also will make them feel less bulky on the feet, while the low-profile design is going to allow for increased freedom of movement. To complement this freedom of movement, the outsole of this shoe is designed to have less traction with the board, allowing you to change your foot position easier.
But, like the Nike SB shoes, we reviewed previously, the Adidas Daily Vulc shoes seem not to be very suitable for high-impact activities. These shoes likewise lack ankle support, and the amount of padding they have may be too little for some people.
Converse Unisex Chuck Taylor All Star Ox Shoe
And the last model on our review is the Chuck Taylor All Star Ox by Converse. Though these shoes are marketed as basketball shoes, they should work for longboarding pretty well.
The Chuck Taylor All Star Ox shoes are very similar to the Vans Authentic shoes in terms of design. Both shoes have a low-profile design, though the Vans shoes seem to be a little bit lower. However, this shouldn’t make a noticeable difference in ankle mobility.
Likewise, both shoes have a lightweight design with virtually no padding, which should be great for those who seeking for skate shoes a lighter feel.
On the other hand, what the design of the Converse shoes means, as you could have guessed, is that they probably won’t be suitable for longer rides. If you wear too thin socks, the interior lining may hurt your feet. Plus, the ankle support in these shoes is minimal, which is expected given the height of the shoes’ top.
Let’s check our guide on how to choose a longboard which will help you to find your best one.
We’ve tried to pinpoint the specifics and uses of each shoe on our list, and if you know what you need, you should be able to fairly easily find those best shoes for longboarding. If you are a first-time skate shoe buyer, you should do proper research and understand what exactly you are expecting from longboarding.
Don’t expect to land a perfect purchase on your first try if you don’t have experience. You probably don’t know what is good and bad for you yet, so be ready to go through some trial and error. But if you have used a couple of skate shoes in the past, it shouldn’t be too hard for you to choose a proper pair.