The 10 Best Skate Shoes Of 2017

While 2016 was big on innovative design (to mostly successful ends), 2017 saw a trend toward getting back to focusing on skateability.

Despite a notable lack of shoes that “pop”, the most difficult part about determining this year’s list lied in the fact that pretty much every shoe was at least decent. Of the better ones, it was damn near impossible to quantify the “best”. We ended up revisiting our notes a lot and getting more contributor input than usual, really trying to narrow down why each model is here.

Rather than pontificate on the merits of one shoe versus another, we opted to cut to the chase and condense all our notes into “pros” and “cons” again.

As always, the criteria for this list is the model had to be an original release in 2017.
Notable retoolings of prior releases are under consideration, but not reissues.

 


 

10. Lakai Sheffield

Pros: A classic Lakai look made better by a very simple panel retooling. Higher sidewalls than the Manchester, a longer toe and more breathability make for a simple yet solid vulc addition to the year. A less stiff insole makes for a perfect, basic shoe that skates very comfortably.

Cons: This is a basic shoe. There’s nothing particularly exciting about it at all. Depending on how much that matters to you…

 

9. éS Arc

Pros: If what you’re looking for is an extremely durable, low cost, clean, minimal shoe with perfect colorways, you can’t do much better than these. The side paneling is particularly strong for those of us who tend to land with a lot of sideways pressure, and you’ve got to have a pretty weird ollie to rip these laces. Add to that a super grippy outsole that takes a lot of abrasion to get through.

Cons: Unless you want zero support and boardfeel akin to the Rowley 1, take the time to peel off, scrape out and replace the stock insole on these. Otherwise, you’re icing your feet daily. This is also a very minimal shoe, so if you prefer anything remotely bulky, these may not be for you.

 

8. Nike SB Dunk Hi Elite

Pros: If you’re gonna fuck with the Dunk Hi, this is the way to do it. Regardless of how you may feel about the aesthetic, it functions even better than expected, in every area. The fit feels more conforming to your foot, while the rubber elements allow more stability throughout and take away very little of the ability for the shoe to bend as needed away. More ventilated, longer lasting, technical improvements galore.

Cons: If you’re used to Dunks, these feel different enough and look different enough when you look down that it’ll throw you off. Depending on your ollie method, these may wear quicker than the standard Dunk Hi. The bootie, if you’re not used to it, takes a few hours to adjust to (and you may end up cutting it off).

 

 

7. Clear Weather Walter

Pros: The silhouette of this shoe is honestly it’s most impressive attribute, taking a cue from boat shoes as much as the CTAS. That said, the rubber moon works exceedingly well (we still haven’t gotten through it), especially coupled with the double-wrapped vulc. For an all-canvas upper, these are just as, if not more stable than most minimal models. Right out-of-the-box skateable, zero adjustment period.

Cons: Stock insole is only ok, collar height is somewhere between low and mid, which may throw off certain people.

 

6. Converse Breakpoint Pro

Pros: Holds shape throughout the entire life of the shoe. Looks and feels like a lot of similar, older models while setting itself apart. More or less like skating the Busenitz Pro without the issues it has, as far as feel goes. Can take some impact.

Cons: Toe wears somewhat quickly. If you don’t like the shape you’re shit out of luck. Heel sits a little high. Takes a couple hours to get fully comfortable in.

 

5. DC Tiago

Pros: A nod to the ’90s, the Tiago has the bulk and airbag to match the aesthetic of the man himself while still living in the now. Comfort for days, there’s enough padding and support here to have you jumping down way bigger shit than you should. Additional props for just how long these fuckers last.

Cons: A less than exciting colorway selection, good-but-not-great boardfeel, takes a little while to adjust unless you’re used to skating bulkier cupsoles.

 

 

 

4. Proper Conquista

Pros: Where to start? It says something when you have a lot of non-skate shoes in your rotation and these are the most comfortable to wear all day. As much or more support than anything else out there, all the while maintaining tons of feel. Can withstand inordinate amounts of skating before any real wear is noticeable. The even wider sidewalls around the toe give you hundreds more flip tricks before wearing through. Heritage design without feeling dated.

Cons: Only if certain aspects don’t align with your personal preferences; there’s nothing inherently “wrong” to be found anywhere. The thicker sidewalls may take a little to get used to, looking down and with flick, as may the short toe.

 

 

3. Emerica Reynolds G6

Pros: Obviously, the classic Reynolds design. Past that, these have all the marks of a legendary shoe and damn near nothing to gripe about. Even the vamp is set up for the stitching to maintain longer than usual. This is only a throwback in the technical sense of the word; everything else is thought out to modern specs. Stays comfy all day.

Cons: Again, only personal preference. The toe lies very flat, which some don’t like for flip tricks.

 

 

2. State Madison

Pros: This is unequivocally the strongest vulc option of the year. Everything is right about it, all the way down to the stock insole. The double wrap for stability and grip functions even better than it should and the one-piece toe with inverted stitching can take a hell of a beating. We did a 10-hour weartest and didn’t publish it because we didn’t think anyone would believe it held up that well. Dustin Deardorff knows a thing or two about shoe design.

Cons: This isn’t a very exciting-looking design – strictly functional. If you’re the type who’s concerned about flair… well, you’re probably not skating vulcs, anyway.

 

1. Vans Crockett 2

Pros: This is a fucking skate shoe. It’s traditional but it’s modern & it’s on its way to becoming a classic – we’ve been hard-pressed to come up with anything better to say about it. Everything you want, nothing you don’t, Wafflecup… A+ across the board.

Cons: If you can find something valid to gripe about, please send it our way – we couldn’t.

Comments

  1. T-Thunda

    December 31, 2017 10:29pm

    It’s funny you say “the toe sits very flat” on the Reynolds G6. He designed that shoe because he felt like his last shoes toe cap sat too high. Besides that, my only gripe with this is that we don’t have enough Ripped Laces reviews coming out anymore! Boring year in skateboarding footwear but you guys nailed the good ones.

    Reply
  2. Gabe

    December 31, 2017 11:10pm

    Crockett Pro 2 wear out too quickly and the tongue don’t stay straight at all.

    Reply
  3. Max

    January 1, 2018 12:06am

    Crockett 2s rock in every aspect as said and I only had one fault with mine, I bought the classic color black and white ones which have more suede on the upper than the green ones, and after only about a month of having them and not skating them a ton, the suede above the ball of my foot got super frayed and came apart completely. Not in the flick area either like the material just fell apart.

    Reply
  4. Tbone

    January 1, 2018 6:49am

    Tongue straps on the crockett 2 would be amazing, something akin to the neoprene emerica uses. Fantastic shoe but hated how the tongue would always slip outwards so you were constantly pulling back into place during a session. We in 2018 throw a mf some straps.

    Reply
  5. dickbutt

    January 1, 2018 5:05pm

    modern skate shoes make my feet hurt just looking at em’

    Reply
  6. Fill Night

    January 1, 2018 6:24pm

    You missed the éS SWIFT 1.5. Shoe of the year for sure!

    Reply
  7. Tofu

    January 1, 2018 6:57pm

    Why is there no effort being put into this website anymore?

    Reply
  8. Ross Dailey

    January 1, 2018 10:17pm

    Proper List,

    Glad to see Vans at the #1 position & a Sole Tech shoe in the top 3.

    Reply
  9. Tomisrad

    January 2, 2018 8:34pm

    Solid list this year. The slb 97 is also tip top

    Reply
  10. Reid Beeman

    January 2, 2018 11:37pm

    I tested the Crockett 2 and it was too narrow for me. Plus the sole is a bit hard. I prefer the vans sk8-hi pro. Which of the above shoes are most forgiving for a wider foot. I like the look of the clear weather shoes but skate shops are not stocking them so I have no sense of fit. Thanks.

    Reply
    • furiousmonad

      January 10, 2018 5:29pm

      Unfortunately, I can only tell you which ones I’ve tried and none of them were good for my wide feet. Converse Breakpoint Pro is probably the narrowest shoe I have ever physically placed my foot inside. State Madison (also the Elgin and Salem) felt like instant bunions and it was clear that they would not loosen up enough. The Emerica Reynolds G6 tapers too much around my pinky toe and I think I have to give up on them altogether, though they skate well. I have heard that the Lakai Sheffield is okay for wider feet and the Arc seems to have a somewhat forgiving shape and construction. They’re not on this list, but I have found the NB# Pro Court 212 and 213 to be plenty wide. Hope this helps.

  11. NotJohnShanahan

    January 3, 2018 7:03pm

    Can we get an honorable mention to the DC Legacy OG? Heard nothing but good things to those who skated them including its durability. They also double up as snow shoes. Can’t say that about the Crockett’s…hell no.

    Reply
  12. Donovan

    January 4, 2018 3:51am

    Look out for proper footwear in 2018…. true meaning of a skater owned brand!!! Great shoes! Sick vibe!! Skate great and look even better!

    Reply
    • Leave a reply

  13. Mos McFlyy

    January 8, 2018 2:44pm

    I love the Crockett 2! Such a dope shoe! That wafflecup sole is next level just like it is on the Walker Pro! My only downsides to this shoe is that they are a little narrow in the foot which I have noticed is just a thing with a shoe designed by Gil. Look at the OG Crockett Pro, a pretty slim design with amazing boardfeel. The other thing is that on some of them the suede around the toe cap comes apart after a few good sessions but that’s to be expected with any skate shoe. I just wish they would go back to throwing that duracap on the toecap! That thing made the OG Pro last much longer!

    Reply
  14. Nils

    January 25, 2018 2:14am

    I had the Lakai Sheffield. Amazingly comfortable and solid board feel, but honestly my flip shoe got through way to early. Thanks to Shoegoo for always being my kind helper haha

    Reply
  15. Don Mattingly

    February 3, 2018 4:18am

    I just wanted to leave a comment. This is it.

    Reply
  16. Mike Lowry

    March 15, 2018 5:40pm

    Haha no adidas adi-ease, matchcourt or Lucas Puigs?! 🤔
    Hmmmmmm

    Reply
  17. nessrak noel

    April 4, 2018 10:54am

    lakai Sheffield
    my preferred shoe besides the crockett

    gilbert crockett 2
    almost the perfect shoe

    cons for sure
    tongue doesn’t sit straight
    makes it feel like your shoe laces aren’t tight anymore
    also the stitching that holds together where the laces go through
    rips fairly easy so i always have to put glue on them when i get a new pair, so i can skate them
    they get floppy rather quick
    maybe it is because I’m a size 12 and the suede and canvas is the same thickness of someone who skates a size 9
    but yeah it feels like I’m skating a size 13 within 2 weeks

    Reply