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.