Updated: Nov 21, 2019
Among a wide variety of skateboarding shoes, we think we’ve narrowed it down to our very favorite shoe to skate these days.
The Best Skate Shoe... In Our Opinion
Skateboarding is a sport that requires great feel and coordination in order to perform
tricks. To reach optimal performance you need the right skate shoes that will give you awesome grip and feel while also providing comfort and style. There are a ton of different skate shoes out there, however the two brands dominating the skate shoe industry are easily Nike SB and Vans.
The staple products of these two brands being the Vans Old Skool Pro and the Nike SB Janoski.These shoes have been the most popular shoes in skateboarding for years and are beloved by skaters everywhere. There is a lot of debate surrounding these shoes as to which is actually the best to skate it. Although they share certain characteristics, there are certain nuances that differentiate them from each other. To determine which shoe is the best, we will break down both shoes by feel, support, look, quality, longevity, and price.
All skate shoes have a basic set of qualities that allow for skaters to achieve optimal
performance. These include a rubber “gum” outsole that allows the skater to better grip the
board when performing tricks. These soles have little to no tread pattern on them to increase
the feel the skater has between their feet and the board itself. Skate shoes also have a suede or leather upper with extra stitching to increase the durability and life of the shoe as it will inevitably take a beating. Another characteristic of the typical skate shoe is a padded tongue and collar to increase comfort and cushion for your ankle that is under a lot of pressure while skating. Anybody can make skate shoes with these characteristics, however the two shoes that achieve these the best while offering unbeatable styles are the Vans Old Skool Pro’s and the Nike SB Janoski’s.
Vans is a company that’s main focus is skateboarding apparel and shoes. They have
many different styles of skateboarding shoes with arguably their most popular being the basic Old Skool Pro’s. These are made with their signature waffle outsole designed for incredible feel and superior grip. They also offer a suede upper with double stitching for increased material strength. They have also made advancements in areas that get increased wear and tear while skating to reinforce it. This gives the Old Skool Pro’s great support for your ankles and plenty of cushion. Not only are they optimized for skating performance, but they are also a great looking shoe. They have become a favorite for not only skaters, but people everywhere even with no affiliation with skateboarding. You can’t go anywhere without seeing somebody repping these classic shoes. A big reason why they are so popular everywhere is the very affordable price of $65.
Nike got a later start in the skateboarding market but given their brand name they were
able to become a main competitor of Vans. They’re most popular skating shoe is the Nike SB
Janoski’s. These offer a similar sole to the Vans however a little thicker and instead of the
waffle design they have a zig-zag geometric design. This design improves grip, however the
thickness of the sole decreases board feel. Given that Nike is primarily known for their
innovations in basketball shoes, they incorporate similar technology into their Janoski’s to
reduce impact when landing on your skateboard. This is great for reducing tension to your
ankles and other joints, but it can cause skaters to lose balance when landing due to more
bounce. Like the Old Skool Pro, this skate shoe is also a popular style among non-skaters as it offers a classic, stylish look for an affordable price of $85.
You really can’t go wrong when choosing between these two skate shoes. Both the Vans
Old Skool Pro and the Nike SB Janoski will provide you a durable and comfortable shoe with a stylish look that will give you the feel and grip needed. However, after comparing the two skate shoes, we would have to say that the Vans Old Skool Pro is the slightly better skate shoe out right now. Vans has mastered the design on their shoes to give skaters the best feel and durability possible while maintaining the classic look and low price. It is no mystery why the Vans Old Skool Pro is the choice of both amateur and professional skaters all over the world.