The best longboarding shoes come in all different shapes and sizes; however, most have three consistent features: a thick, flat sole, a subtle traction pattern, and a superior connection to the ground and grip tape. These features give longboarders the control and grip required for long downhill rides and quick braking.
While some longboarders prefer a minimalist shoe, which provides a superior connection to skateboard and the pavement, other longboarders look for additional support and protection. Whatever you prefer, you will find in our list below of the 5 best shoes for longboarding:
The benefits of different longboarding skate shoes can be debated: low profile vs. high top; minimal construction vs. extra padding; vulcanized rubber soles vs. polyurethane soles; suede uppers vs. canvas uppers. Ultimately it boils down to each longboarder’s preference. Fortunately, there are many footwear options to fit the needs of all longboarders.
To help you find the best longboarding shoes for you, we have compiled a short list of longboarding skate shoes that have been successfully road-tested by countless longboarders.
1. Vans Sk8-Hi Skate Shoe
Going back to where skateboarding shoes began, the Vans Sk8-Hi skate shoe is reminiscent of the sport’s earliest days, where bombing hills and sliding around sharp turns was as extreme as it got. In addition to its timeless appearance, this skate shoe has all the features you would expect to find on the best longboarding shoes.
The high-ankle provides the additional protection some longboarders desire. Not only do the vans Sk8-Hi shoes provide additional ankle support, they also protect ankles from bruising board bite. In addition, the leather-padded collar and heel provides all day comfort and flexibility as you hike and ride hills. The shoe also features Vans’ signature waffle rubber outsoles, which provide premium traction to keep you on your board.
Though the Vans Sk8-Hi skate shoes are considered a “throw-back” to a bygone era, this shoe meets all expectations when it comes to a great longboarding shoe.
2. Globe Motley Mid Skate Shoe
Second on our list is the Globe Motley skate shoe. Some of the top skateboarders in the world ride with Globe shoes on their feet, and the reason is no secret. The brand is known for superior construction, durability and control.
The Globe Motley is another great mid-ankle option for longboarders seeking additional support and comfort. A slightly more modern take on the traditional skate shoe, the Globe Motley features a flat sole, low profile and vulcanized construction – delivering the grip and durability to handle the most challenging downhill sessions. Globe’s signature wavy tread is also perfect for braking.
3. Vans Old Skool
Similar to the Sk8-Hi skateboarding shoes, the Vans Old Skool features top-notch traction and durability. Though some support may be lost without the ankle-high padding, the Old Skool shoes provide more freedom of movement. In addition, the shoes have reinforced toecaps and a padded collar.
With less cushioning and minimalist materials, these skateboarding shoes are great for longboarders looking for a closer connection to their boards and the pavement.
4. Adidas Seeley Skate Shoe
Adidas may better known for their classic soccer and running shoes, but lately the brand has been producing world-class skateboarding shoes.
The Seeley skate shoe has everything that longboarders require in terms of durability and control features. The synthetic, abrasion resistant upper will hold up under grueling circumstances, while the vulcanized rubber outsole provides grip and traction.
These shoes perform great on the road and provide the all-day comfort many athletes have come to expect from the Adidas brand.
5. Nike Dunk Low Pro IW
People may not realize it, but Nike actually makes good longboarding shoes. The Dunk Low IW skateboarding shoes from Nike are everything a longboarder needs from a premium skate shoe. This skate shoe gives longboarders the control they need when cruising downhill, while also delivering cushion in high impact areas.
The suede upper guarantees durability, and the mesh tongue and perforated toe box provide enhanced breathability. Furthermore, the EVA midsole offers shock absorption and comfort without compromising the need for featherweight materials. The Nike Dunk Low Pro also delivers responsive cushioning thanks to the Nike Zoom unit located in the shoe’s heel.
Whether you are just starting out, or have been carving the streets for years, having great longboarding shoes is essential to obtaining the control and support you need.
Before purchasing, consider your riding style, how you brake, and the types of tricks you perform.
Start from the ground up, focusing on the sole then moving onto other features. Make sure you have the support and traction you need for long downhill rides. Then reflect on other protective features, such as ankle support and shock absorption. Lastly, look for a shoe you can feel comfortable in for hours after hiking endless miles of hills.
Every longboarder has his or her preferences when it comes to padding, support and traction. There is no one size fits all when it comes to longboarding shoes, but keeping these features in mind will help you find the best longboarding shoes suited to your needs.