As someone who has spent years skateboarding and exploring various shoe options, I understand the unique demands that skating places on footwear. Finding the perfect pair of skate shoes can be quite challenging. It requires striking a delicate balance between flexibility and support, as well as considering factors like weight and durability, especially when it comes to vegan options.
Having recognized the limited availability of vegan skate shoes on the market, I took it upon myself to curate an updated list of the best vegan skate shoes in 2023 based on my personal experiences and extensive skateboarding background. I’ll walk you through my top six vegan skate shoes with their pros, cons, and everything in between. So, I hope you’re ready to meet your next favorite pair.
List of the Best Vegan Skate Shoes
- Vans Authentic Core Classic Sneakers
- Etnies Scout Sneakers
- Adidas Adiease Sneakers
- Etnies Jameson 2 Eco
- Emerica Wino Standard
- Emerica Romero
The 6 Best Vegan Skate Shoes in 2023
1. Vans Authentic Core Classic Sneakers
Since founded in 1966, Vans has been getting more and more popular by the day thanks to its undeniable quality of shoes. Well, the Vans Authentic Core Classic Sneakers are one of the best skate shoes on the market, and let me tell you why.
First of all, these classic sneakers have canvas uppers, which provide the pair with durability, breathability, and flexibility that are all needed for skating. Also, the vegan pair has a cotton lining to further enhance its breathability.
For your comfort, the pair comes with EVA inserts that are soft on your feet. However, that doesn’t mean that the pair lacks support! In fact, the Authentic Core Classic shoes have a rubber outsole with waffle tread, providing you with enough grip on the skateboard.
Speaking of fit, being unisex means finding the perfect pair can be a bit challenging. To ensure a proper fit, I highly recommend referring to Vans’ size chart specifically designed for unisex shoes. It will help you find the ideal size and enjoy the perfect fit for your skating adventures.
Now, here’s my favorite thing about these vegan skate shoes: the color options. You can decide to go for the classic black and white pair that’ll look great with any outfit. Also, you can opt for more popping colors like pink or red if you’re trying to make a fashion statement, while still being comfortable enough to skate in your shoes.
The Vans Authentic Core Classic Sneakers are everyone’s favourite. Besides being vegan, these shoes are incredibly comfortable to wear, and they provide a firm grip over the floor or the skateboard, which is critical for skating. All in all, they are the perfect pair for skating.
2. Etnies Scout Sneakers
Etnies is a superior brand in the world of vegan skate shoes. It offers a huge variety of vegan sneakers, the Scout being one of them. In addition to being incredibly stylish, the Scout is comfortable, durable, and breathable, the perfect combination for skateboarding.
The Scout rocks a mesh upper that provides it with multiple advantages. First of all, it’s exceptionally breathable; you don’t need to worry about your feet getting too hot or sweaty, even on summer days. Secondly, it provides the sneakers with lightweightness that no other material can match. With the Scout, I never feel weighed down or restricted in my movements.
Additionally, the pair has elastic heels, which will provide you with comfort like no other. Also, no need to worry about slipping or falling because the outsole has rubber pods that’ll provide you with enough traction.
Speaking of comfort, the Scout comes with an STI foam footbed and midsole, which is a kind of foam developed by Etnies. It’s exceptionally lightweight, adding to the pair’s weightlessness, and it’s waste-free.
Now, let’s talk about Scout’s design. It’s incredibly trendy, stylish, and versatile, thanks to the mesh upper. Whether you’re strictly wearing it for skating or for casual day-to-day activities, it’ll fit perfectly with any outfit. With its range of attractive color options, I could effortlessly match the Scout with any outfit and express my personal style.
I have to be fair and also mention its disadvantages. The Scout fits a little too snug, so I strongly recommend going for a size larger than your regular fit, especially if you have wide feet.
If you’re on the lookout for the most stylish, comfortable, and durable pair of skate shoes, the Etnies Scout is the one you’re seeking. It boasts an incredible mesh upper that provides it with breathability and lightweightness like no other. Just make sure you size up, and you’re good to go!
3. Adidas Adiease Sneakers
Because Adidas uses vegan adhesives, going for a model that doesn’t include any leather or suede would be a safe bet. For that, I strongly recommend the Adiease for skating because of how durable and comfortable it is.
First and foremost, the Adiease comes with a canvas upper that’s incredibly comfortable and perfect for skating. It’s lightweight enough that it won’t restrict your movements, yet it’s still durable to handle any trick you can think of.
Adiease has a rubber outsole that is vulcanized for increased flexibility, elasticity, and traction. You can rest assured that you’ll have enough grip on the floor or skateboard so that you won’t slip or fall, and you’ll also have enough flexibility to have full control over your skateboard.
In addition to the rubber outsole, the Adiease boasts an EVA insole that’ll further guarantee your comfort, even through long days of skating.
If you want to look and feel stylish while performing your next skateboarding trick, Adiease has got you covered thanks to Adidas’ iconic three-stripe design. Additionally, the pair comes in a wide variety of colors and models.
However, I do have to mention that not all Adiease models are vegan. Double-check you’re not getting one with a leather or suede upper. I know the wide variety of choices can be blinding, but don’t forget that you’re searching for vegan skate shoes.
Lastly, there’s another thing I have to mention, which is the sizing. The Adiease is mostly true to size unless you have wide feet. It’s a little narrow, so I recommend sizing up if that’s the case, and you want your toes to feel comfortable.
If you love Adidas’ iconic three stripes and you’re seeking a durable pair of vegan skate shoes, you’ll love the Adiease. Besides its trendy design, it’s incredibly durable and long-lasting. Not to mention, its canvas upper and vulcanized outsole provide it with superior comfort.
4. Etnies Jameson 2 Eco
I wasn’t kidding when I said that Etnies has an excellent collection of vegan skate shoes, because here’s another one. The Jameson 2 Eco is not only vegan but also eco-friendly as it’s made from recycled materials.
First things first, the Jameson 2 has a canvas upper, with which you should be familiar by now. It’s incredibly lightweight, soft, and durable enough to withstand skateboard tricks.
Now, let’s discuss its eco-friendly aspects; the main reason why I love the Jameson 2. Firstly, its outsole is made from recycled rubber, meaning you’re guaranteed comfort and traction while helping the environment in the process.
Secondly, its insole is made from recycled PU foam, and it boasts an EVA midsole. Together, they further guarantee your comfort while ridding the environment of harmful materials. Besides, its laces are made from recycled plastic.
What’s more, for every pair you purchase, a tree will be planted, an incredible initiative by Etnies!
Jameson 2’s simplistic yet trendy design adds a touch of sophistication to my skate sessions, and I love how it effortlessly complements my everyday outfits. However, if you’re looking for a more stylish look, you can opt for one of the more out-there color options. You really can’t go wrong in terms of looks with the Jameson 2.
It’s worth mentioning that the pair boasts a padded tongue, so you don’t need to worry about the laces digging into your feet.
Also, like the previous Etnies pair, the Jameson 2 runs a little too small, especially for those with wider feet. I recommend sizing up to ensure a comfortable fit, particularly around the toes.
Lastly, if it feels a little uncomfortable at first, that’s completely fine. It takes some time to break into, and then it’ll be incredibly comfortable.
I just had to include another Etnies product, but this time it’s the Jameson 2 Eco. From the name, you can already guess that it’s incredibly eco-friendly, using recycled materials for its outsole and insole. Not to mention, it’s comfortable, durable, and lightweight, empowering you to have maximum fun on your next skateboarding trip.
5. Emerica Wino Standard
Emerica is another brand that has an impressive selection of vegan shoes; my favorite for skating is the Wino Standard. It’s a classic Emerica pair that’s durable, comfortable, and made from high-quality materials. How could I ask for more?
Being made from canvas, the Wino’s upper provides lightweightness, durability, and enough flexibility to perform any skateboarding trick hassle-free.
Speaking of flexibility, the Wino Standard has a rubber sole and vulcanized construction that’s second to none. You can perform the hardest or the easiest trick you can think of without your shoes getting in the way. In fact, its soles will provide you with enough grip to make it even easier for you.
In order to ensure your comfort, the Wino Standard boasts an EVA footbed, an incredibly comfortable material that’s widely used for padding in general.
I would say that the Wino Standard is the most versatile pair of vegan skate shoes on the list. It has a very simplistic design with a decent variety of colors. Whichever one you go for, it’ll fit perfectly with most outfits and even take them to the next level.
To be fair, the color range could’ve been better. I wouldn’t really go for the Wino Standard if you’re trying to make a fashion statement. Otherwise, it’s perfect for skating.
When it comes to sizing, I’m happy to report that the Wino Standard is mostly true to size. Just go for your regular fit, and you should be good to go.
The Emerica Wino Standard is incredibly versatile. Its vulcanized construction makes it perfect for skating, while its EVA footbed provides it with enough comfort that is ideal for day-to-day use. Not to mention, its design is simple yet trendy enough to complement any outfit.
6. Emerica Romero Laced Skate Shoe
Last but not least, I have to include another Emerica product: the Romero. The Romero has everything you might be looking for in terms of comfort, durability, and a stylish look.
When it comes to construction, you’ve seen it before. The Romero is made from canvas, the durable material that is also lightweight we discussed earlier. I’ve put these shoes through countless sessions at the skatepark, and they have held up exceptionally well.
The Romero features an EVA footbed that feels like walking on clouds. It provides a soft and comfortable cushioning that makes those long skate sessions much more enjoyable. When I first put these shoes on, my feet instantly felt at ease, and I knew I had found a great pair.
Speaking of design, the Romero manages to strike a perfect balance between simplicity and trendiness. While it may have a minimalistic design, it still manages to look stylish and modern. I personally love the all-black model with its sleek black outsoles and eyelets. It adds a touch of sophistication to my skateboarding attire.
However, I must mention that not all models and colors of the Romero are vegan-friendly, so it’s crucial to double-check before making a purchase. Personally, I believe the vegan color selection could be more inclusive and diverse, as it is quite limited at the moment.
For traction, the Romero boasts a triangle tread that’ll provide you with enough grip on your skateboard, so you can perform any trick effortlessly. With this level of traction, I could confidently perform tricks and maneuvers without worrying about slipping or losing control.
One thing I want to highlight is that when you first start wearing the Romero, it can be a little harsh on the ankles. To counter this, I highly recommend wearing a thick pair of socks for the initial break-in period. Once the shoes are broken in, though, you can switch back to thinner socks. However, I must admit that the breathability of these vegan skate shoes could be improved. They are not the most breathable option out there, so keep that in mind, especially on hot summer days.
Want a pair of skate shoes that’ll provide you with traction, comfort, and durability? You’re basically describing the Emerica Romero. For traction, it boasts a triangle tread, and for durability, it has a canvas upper. Lastly, for comfort, the EVA footbed is here to save the day.
How to Pick Vegan Skate Shoes
Now that you’ve taken a look at our top six picks, you should have a general idea of what you need in your next pair of vegan shoes. Nonetheless, I’ll walk you through every factor that you need to consider before making your final purchase.
I’ve mentioned two different upper materials throughout the article: canvas and mesh.
Canvas is the most popular material used in skate shoes in general, not just vegan ones. In addition to being cruelty-free, it’s a lightweight material that also provides the shoes with breathability, so you don’t have to worry about your feet getting too sweaty or hot.
It’s quite ideal for skate shoes because it’s thin enough where it wouldn’t get in your way or restrict your movements. However, that doesn’t mean it’s weak! Canvas is quite durable, and it can take a beating and stay fully intact.
On the other hand, mesh is the most popular material in vegan shoes, not necessarily skate ones. Mesh has many advantages that make it ideal for skating. Much like canvas, it’s outstandingly lightweight and breathable. What’s more, mesh is also durable enough to withstand skateboarding tricks without breaking down or tearing.
In my personal experience, I’ve found both canvas and mesh materials to be highly suitable for vegan skate shoes. Each has its unique characteristics, so I recommend considering your preferences in terms of weight, breathability, and durability when making your selection.
If your skate shoes aren’t the right size, it could potentially ruin your whole skating experience. A pair too small will just feel uncomfortable and might even cause blisters or unnecessary pain. On the contrary, one too large will make you feel imbalanced.
There’s no absolute way that’ll guarantee the perfect shoe size for you. The best you can do is check the brand’s size charts for both men and women, especially if it’s a unisex pair.
Also, make sure you read users’ reviews and see what they have to say about the fitting. If it’s a common complaint among most reviews that a model runs small, it’s wise to take their advice into consideration, especially when shopping online.
In skate shoes, traction is one of the most critical features you need to be on the lookout. The last thing you want is to fall off your skateboard because your shoes are too slippery as if skateboarding isn’t difficult enough already!
Going for a pair with rubber soles is your safest bet. Rubber is naturally sticky or gripping, so it’ll provide you with the traction you need.
Additionally, some models come with extra features to further ensure good traction like rubber pods or vulcanized rubber; always be on the lookout for those.
Choosing the right size is the first step to ensure your comfort. After that, look for a pair that has a padded tongue or collars to prevent unnecessary pressure on your feet.
Besides, the footbed could be a considerable identifier of whether a model is comfortable or not. For the best experience possible, look for one made from EVA, foam, or any other comfortable material.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Tell Whether a Pair is Vegan or Not?
Google is your best friend. Most brands will disclose whether a pair is vegan or not. If not, then they’ll specify what materials are used. As long as there’s no leather, suede, or any animal-based product, you should be good to go. Also, don’t forget to check if the brand uses vegan adhesives as well!
Is Canvas Material Good for Skate Shoes?
Definitely! Canvas shoes are incredibly breathable, lightweight, and durable, the perfect combination of vegan skate shoes. Most importantly, canvas is a vegan material, so you don’t need to worry about harming any innocent soul.
How Can I Find the Right Size for Me?
Always double-check the brand’s size chart. After doing that and settling on a size, make sure you also read reviews of the shoes to make sure they don’t run too small or too large. There’s no definite way of finding the perfect size; there will always be trial and error with shoes.
Now that we’re at the final section of the article, you should have a pretty solid idea of what you need in your next pair of shoes. Here’s a quick recap of my top three best vegan skate shoes and their most prominent features.
Firstly, my top pick is the Vans Authentic Core Classic Sneakers. From the name, you know it’s a classic Vans model. The canvas upper, along with the rubber sole, will provide you with a seamless skating experience. In addition, its EVA insert is incredibly comfortable. I would have loved to include the Vans Old Skool, but unfortunately, they’re not vegan.
Moving on, the Etnies Scout is another excellent choice. Being made from mesh, the Scout is breathable, durable, and lightweight. What’s more, it boasts an elastic heel with rubber pods for both comfort and traction. You really can’t go wrong with the Scout.
Lastly, another classic pair is the Adidas Adiease. It boasts a canvas upper and vulcanized outsole; together, they make for a comfortable, durable, and breathable pair of vegan skate shoes. Not to mention, it has the iconic Adidas design with the three stripes. No complaints here.
In conclusion, as someone who has been through the ups and downs of finding the right vegan skate shoes, I can’t stress enough the importance of proper fit, traction, and comfort. Take the time to find your ideal size, consider the feedback of others, and prioritize features like rubber soles and comfortable footbeds. Remember, the right skate shoes can make all the difference, allowing you to focus on perfecting your tricks and enjoying the exhilaration of skateboarding to the fullest.