The Evolution of Skate Shoes

They certainly have come a long way, haven’t they? Since the inception of the “skateboard” in the late ’40s, shoes associated with skate culture have evolved immensely – paving the way for technological advancements in other areas of athletic footwear, and at times even starting trends within the world of #menswear. Just like skating’s acceptance within popular culture, overall aesthetics and technical features have tended to follow a cyclical pattern. What was considered cool and functional 5 years ago, is passé today — but will probably experience a resurgence another 5 years down the road. Almost in spite of this, skateboard footwear continues to evolve and generally progress – inching forward while (hopefully) not losing sight of the past.

So, in honor of skateboarding’s overwhelming current popularity (arguably one of the highest peaks it’s ever seen), we present our brief history of skateboard shoes. From barebones sneakers repurposed for sidewalk surfing in the ’50s and ’60s — to bulkier footwear with high-tech soles and airbag heels, that arose when people started jumping down huge sh*t — to everything in between; here’s our ode to the evolution of skate shoes. This list is obviously not comprehensive, but rather a synopsis including a list of kicks that we felt were each representative of a different time period. Leave us a comment, and let us know what shoes you would have included.



The és K-3

“Photosynthesis” vs. “Mosaic”


3 Responses

  1. Malachi

    in 98 i used to cut the tounges out my old shoes and stuff them under the tounge of the ones i’d wear to get that disgusting poofy look, all the jocks thought it looked so cool tho.nnn and oh man those dave mayhew’s were the worst, lol

  2. some guy

    Prod 8 and Brian Anderson’s shoe are like the modern k3. I’d love to skate the k3 if I could ever get my hands on a pair nut I’m stoked on Accels coming back next month.

  3. tcb

    Your missing KCK’s, Accel’s, CX201’s, Clockers, 5-0’s and on and on.