Connor Kammerer’s Top 10 Non-Skate Shoes To Skate

If you haven’t seen Connor’s Tengu part, please do so before you start to read this list. It will give you all of the information you need for understanding the reasoning behind this list.

“I compiled this write-up on the shoes that I used during the Tengu segment. It can be difficult for people to understand where the line is when it comes to supporting local skate companies. I strongly feel obligated to support skateboarder owned companies that make wheels, trucks, and skateboards. I believe it’s important for companies whose production factories are linked in some manner to skateboarding to be supported. I would totally support a Chinese-owned skateboard company whose workers were skaters in China. The disturbing trend of everything being manufactured overseas by workers who profit from their cheap labor is troubling. This problem is more serious than the skateboarding business, but it has been made worse by skateboard companies. Despite the lower profit margins and quality of the deck, wheel and truck manufacturing companies, it is still possible to produce all things in America. We should support these companies.

I do not feel any obligation or responsibility to support skatewear companies. I doubt anyone truly does. Consolidated isn’t going out with a smear attack on Dickies. Skateboarder-owned clothing companies are great and I support them. However, it’s my right not to buy their products.

Skate shoes lie between the board and clothing. Literally they are directly between the two. They only draw a line between them because they are made in cheap factories elsewhere (China, Vietnam, etc.). I doubt they were Lakai or Nike, but I do believe that they were handcrafted by someone who is passionate about the sport of skateboarding. It’s not that I disapprove of the factory workers, or the companies doing what they need to to produce high-quality shoes. I don’t know if there is an obligation to support shoe-makers owned by skaters. Would I prefer Mark Parker or Mike Carroll to profit from Chinese skate shoes? Certainly. Will that stop me snatching $10 Nikes from Goodwill just because they look good? You probably won’t. Since the inception of skateboarding, skaters have tried on all manner of shoes.

Vans could do the same with my money. If so, I’d rather it go to someone else.”

These shoes were hands down among the worst. The soles felt rough, the footbed had cardboard in it and the glue was loose after a few days. They cost $19, but it wasn’t worth it. I should have known what to do after trying this shoe on several times.

Asics have a very long history as adopted skate footwear. Alex Hansen was my first to wear them, although I’m sure many others have used them for years. They sponsor Takahiro, the Japanese God. While I heard they were involved with a Japan-based skate team, I also heard the company went out of business. Most Asics-skating friends in Japan use the Fabre BL–S. These shoes are great. The suede leather upper lasts for a long period of time, while the rubber is extremely durable and long-lasting. Fabre DC-S is the cupsole model. They’re great.

Like the Timberland-chukkas they had rubber that was a little more tough than ordinary skate shoes. They lasted a good while and felt great. However, they were not as grippy or as durable as you would expect from skate shoes. The footbed that was under the insole, made of particleboard or some other material, eventually fell apart. While it was worth $19, it is not ideal.

These were 8 dollar at Unique on Fulton street Brooklyn. They were a terrible flop at Payless and Airwalk when they first appeared, but I don’t understand why. They were cheaper than the Airwalk Ones and they felt the same way as classic Airwalk Ones. These were terrible. You could still buy them at Payless for $20 in the past. The most common problem you will find when shopping for cheap skate footwear is the felt soles. Converse at Target, Polo sneakers and many others are not considered decent skater shoes due to this. Shoes with cheap soles have felt soles because they can be classified as slippers which will save companies from import taxes. Payless shoes have been reissued many times by Airwalk. They should do well. I would love to see them reissue Tony Hawk’s or Jason Lees shoes.

Another pair of shoes to not be touched unless you find them for sale. I bought them at Marshalls for 40. They felt great and lasted for a long period of time. The laces are long and sturdy, they are not prone to ripping, and the rubber is thick and grippy. Additionally, the wingtips work well for protection of the ollie area and toe. The only problem with the collar is the absence of padding.

These were given to me by the Unclaimed Baggage Center located in Scottsboro. It’s a place where everything is sold from airline luggage never claimed. There is a lot to be found there, including the Hoggle costume/suit from Labyrinth. Someone must have left these shoes in a bag they were carrying and never took it out. They are almost as durable than vulcanized shoe soles. There are rubber caps all around, and thick suede will be surrounded by anything else. These shoes are heavy, but offer the good board feel that is expected of vulcanized sneakers. They also have a sole that will outlast all other footwear.

These shoes are very durable but they feel great. The toe area is protected by a slightly rubber toecap. This makes them very grippy. The canvas in the area of the ollie is so thin that you may have to superglue it. The sole came off very quickly, almost like Vans vulcanized footwear. The soles of the shoes are extremely thin, so you may need an insole replacement.

These shoes, though made from canvas, are very durable. The canvas was thick, multi-layered, and took a while to degrade. The sole was much thicker and lasted longer than the upper. They have a similar design to Adidas skate shoes. The heel is thicker then the forefoot and provides cushioning while you still feel your board. I stopped using them when the ollie region got a crack in it. The grip at my toe also began to wear down. One issue is that rubber doesn’t keep its grip for very long. It could be that these shoes have a harder rubber than those used in skate shoes. This means it wears down more quickly and doesn’t grip as well. They may not be available at 60% discount like mine.

These are the shoes that I would rate as my favorite pair of shoes. They’ve been skated in for years, and they’re close to the Adidas Superstar level. The cupsole is thick and durable, made from durable suede. While some might be hesitant about the thick sole, those who are used to vulcanized sneakers may find it comfortable. These shoes can be found at bargain stores across the country.