Before we bid 2016 farewell with big fireworks, we quickly take the chance to present you the top 10 skate shoes of the year. We got everything from A to V that you liked on your feet in the past couple of months!
After we presented you the best brands for decks, wheels and trucks in 2016, it’s now time to introduce to you the best skate shoes. Although this year wasn’t quite a hit, the shoes definitely have been.
Short disclaimer: The results are based on a highly complex calculation of shop visits, sold shoes and the general interest in our blog posts of the top players in the business. Just so you know.
#10: Emerica x Independent The Reynolds Low Vulc
Let’s start our top list with a little time travel back to spring 2016 when the Emerica x Independent collabo got our attention. The absolute highlight of the collection was of course the Emerica x Independent The Reynolds Low Vulc. This vulc version of the classic skate shoe by Andrew Reynolds has a very flexible sole and provides excellent boardfeel. Due to the Ortholite™ footbed this shoe features enough cushioning for even greater challenges. Visually and technically a solid shoe from the boss himself!
#09: éS Accel Slim
In the ninth place we welcome the éS Accel Slim. The thinner version of the éS Accel, the best skate shoe of all time, was developed for a new generation of skaters. With much less luggage on the cup sole, but as many technical features as the original, the Accel sticks to the tradition of the brand. Thanks to a triple-stitched toe cap, a mesh tongue for better air circulation and the shock-absorbing STI insole you can look forward to a successful re-edition of the classic.
#08: Converse One Star Pro
The Converse One Star Pro has landed a podium upstairs. The new edition of the 1970s basketball shoe is characterized by its timeless appearance. The hard-wearing upper material made from premium suede makes this skate shoe much more durable, since blowouts have almost no chance. Additionally, it features a grippy vulc sole for good boardfeel, as well as a Lunarlon footbed, which is already known from Nike SB offering guaranteed impact protection no matter how big the gap is. The tongue ensures a good hold in the shoe, so that everything stays in place and you feel safe while skating.
#07: DC Evan Smith
2016 was not only the year of Evan Smith but also of the rubber toe caps. It is therefore not surprising that the first signature shoe of the near-Thrasher-SOTY appears in our Top 10. The DC Evan Smith S makes an impression with its narrow-cut old-school silhouette and the rubberized toe cap. The magic word for this model, however, is called Impact I™ and stands for the completely new sole design of DC. With the help of the conical recesses in the thin durometer rubber outsole, the Evan Smith S springs up jumps and hard landings better than other shoes. In combination with the durable Super Suede leather, this gives you a shoe you can build on!
#06: Nike SB Bruin Hyperfeel
There’s no doubt, that the Nike SB Bruin is the oldest candidate in this Top 10. Since 1972, the Bruin has been in the game. First as a basketball shoe – now as a solid skate shoe. This year Nike SB has launched the Bruin Hyperfeel, a special version of the classic with even more skate-specific features. The Nike SB Bruin Hyperfeel rests on a thin and flexible web rubber outsole, which provides an awesome board feel. In addition to that, each impact will be absorbed by the Hypercush footbed, which significantly reduces unnecessary injuries to the heel area. The seamless and hyperscreened toe cap, as well as the sturdy suede make a robust shoe. One can hardly beat that!
#05: Etnies Marana
No top shoe list without the Etnies Marana. This successful model of the brand has made it to the fifth place for a reason. Whether as part of the current Etnies x Plan B collection, as a mid-cut or Vulc version – the Ryan Sheckler pro shoe leaves a consistently positive impression. With proven features such as the STI Evolution Foam sole and the Foam Lite 1 footbed, a smooth landing is guaranteed. This is complemented by an extremely robust upper made of nubuck leather, which together with a durable toe cap made of polyurethane ensures an extra long life of the shoe. Convince yourself!
#04: Vans Gilbert Crockett Pro
There he is: the first Vans shoe in our Top 10! The fourth place goes to the Vans Gilbert Crockett Pro. But it would not have been surprising to see this one in the Top 3 because this skate shoe is one of a kind. The most important feature of Gilbert Crockett’s first pro model is the “Waffle Cup”, which is basically a mixture of a vulcanised and a cup sole. With that Vans kills two birds with one stone: The vulc part provides the usual nice board feel like any Vans shoe, but the cup sole part ensures a stable hold and good damping properties. Lastly, put a reinforced DuraCap toe cap on it and you have a shoe like no other!
#03: adidas Adi Ease Premiere
With a rather simple exterior, but an even more exciting interior, the adidas Adi Ease premiere is one of the top three shoes of our list. Unlike the OG Adi Ease, this special edition has an extra layer adiTuff beneath the toe cap. This thin rubber layer gives the shoe a lot more durability, which is why even rough sessions are no hassle with this one. The vulcanized outsole provides a nice boardfeel as well as grip and flexibility. No wonder that this shoe got so far to the front!
#02: Vans Old Skool Pro
The Vans Old Skool Pro comes in second place! This Van Doren classic belongs to skateboarding like snapped knees. In comparison to the original Old Skool, this upgraded pro version, which is also known as Vans Old Skool 92 Pro, comes with two new skate features. On one hand is the DuraCap equipped toe cap that ensures a lot more durability and longer life. On the other hand is the Ultracush HD footbed, which is a soft, removable inner sole that cushions every impact. Along with the vulcanized Vans waffle sole you get a robust and flexible shoe for everyday use.
#01: Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski
And our top skate shoe of the year is… drum roll… the Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski! Surprised? Not really, right? The signature model of Stefan Janoski was simply unbeatable in 2016! As one of the best skate shoes ever, this one combines just about everything: the best board feel, lots of style, good cushioning and plenty of comfort. The inscription “For daily use” on the shoe tongue is by no means exaggerated! The Nike SB Zoom Janoski is the perfect shoe for your daily dose of skateboarding. It is now available in countless colorways and versions, making it one of the most versatile Nike SB pro models. Whether it comes with premium leather, Hyperscreen or with a classic black suede upper, you can’t go wrong with a Nike SB Zoom Janoski!
And that is a wrap for our top 10 most popular skate shoes 2016. Of course, there are also some honorable mentions – these shoes did not make it on the list but they’re worth to be known. This includes all shoes by New Balance Numeric as well as the Adidas Lucas Premiere ADV and the HUF Classic Hi.
Do you agree with our list or do you miss your favourite? Let us know in the comments! Finger’s crossed that in 2017 we will see even more and – if possible – better shoes than this year.