Skating is quite demanding when it comes to shoes. You need a pair that’s flexible enough, so it won’t restrict your movements, but not too flexible that it’ll just provide no support. You also need one that’s lightweight but without sacrificing durability.
To be fair, it’s a balance that’s quite hard to achieve, let alone in vegan shoes. There aren’t enough options for vegan shoes on the market to begin with.
For that, I decided to create this list, based on my years of experience in skateboarding and trying out numerous shoes. So, without further ado, here are the best vegan skate shoes that you need to consider today!
List of the Best Vegan Skate Shoes
- Vans Old Skool Classic Skate Shoes
- Etnies Scout Sneakers
- Adidas Adiease Sneakers
- Etnies Jameson 2 Eco
- Emerica Wino Standard
- Emerica Emery
The 6 Best Vegan Skate Shoes in 2021
Throughout this section, 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.
1. Vans Old Skool Classic Skate Shoes
Since founded in 1966, Vans has been getting more and more popular by the day thanks to its undeniable quality of shoes. The Old Skool is one of the most popular models ever made by Vans, and there’s a reason behind that: it’s simply an excellent pair.
Its canvas upper provides it with durability and flexibility like no other, which are two of the most critical factors in skate shoes. You need your shoe to be as flexible as possible, so you can control your skateboard without any resistance, but not too flexible where it’ll just break off after your first kickflip.
Additionally, the Old Skool comes with rubber soles that’ll provide you with enough grip on your skateboard without being too thick and getting in your way. It has the perfect thickness, material, and feel that you’d need in skate shoes.
What’s more, its rubber is vulcanized in order to improve its hardness and elasticity, therefore increasing the Old Skool’s durability and comfort.
Regarding the fit, it’s mostly true to size. However, keep in mind that this is a unisex model, meaning it might be a little difficult to find your size. That’s why I strongly recommend double-checking Vans’ size chart for unisex shoes.
To finish off this review on a strong note, let me talk about the Old Skool’s design. It’s in the name; the design is classical, simple, and familiar. However, it’s still as trendy as ever, so you won’t only feel comfortable and in control of your skateboard, but you’ll also look cool doing so.
However, I have to mention that it might rub on your Achilles. Just wear a thick pair of vegan socks underneath until it’s fully broken-in.
The Vans Old Skool is one of the most popular skate shoes on the market, and I can’t help but agree with the public. It’s incredibly comfortable yet durable with its canvas upper and rubber soles. Additionally, its vulcanized rubber provides you with grip, comfort, and flexibility for a seamless skateboarding experience.
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; your shoes won’t hold you down or restrict your 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. Not to mention, it has a great range of color options so that you can pick whichever best matches your wardrobe.
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.
Much like the Old Skool, 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 what you’re really 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!
Moving on to design, it’s quite simplistic yet trendy enough to take your outfit to the next level. 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. If you have wide feet, you need to size up because it’s a bit too narrow, especially 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 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.
Finally, the pair 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 Emery
Finally, to conclude our list, we have to include another Emerica product: the Emery. The Emery 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 Emery is made from canvas, the durable material that is also lightweight we discussed earlier.
To ensure your feet’ comfort, the Emery boasts an EVA footbed that’s incredibly soft and comfortable. Combine that with the canvas upper, and it’s like you’re walking on clouds.
Moving on to design, the Emery looks incredibly trendy despite its simplistic design and neutral color options. For example, the black model has gold eyelets with a white outsole, giving it a little fashionable edge while still maintaining its simplicity. There’s also an all-black model with black outsoles and eyelets, giving it an incredibly modern and trendy look.
Not to mention, all the models and colors are vegan-friendly, so you don’t need to double-check anything. Sadly, though, the color selection isn’t the most inclusive. I would even say that it’s too limited for my liking.
For traction, the Emery boasts a triangle tread that’ll provide you with enough grip on your skateboard, so you can perform any trick effortlessly.
However, I strongly recommend you accompany the Emery with a thick pair of socks for the first few days of wearing since it can be a little harsh on the ankles. Once you break-in, though, you should move back to thinner socks because it’s not the most breathable option out there.
Want a pair of skate shoes that’ll provide you with traction, comfort, and durability? You’re basically describing the Emerica Emery. 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.
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, for example, listen to what they’re saying, especially if you’re 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 vegan skate shoes and their most prominent features.
Firstly, my top pick is the Vans Old Skool. From the name, you know it’s a classic Vans model, and having a vegan version is just incredible. The canvas upper, along with the rubber sole, will provide you with a seamless skating experience. In addition, its EVA footbed is incredibly comfortable.
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 skate shoes. Not to mention, it has the iconic Adidas design with the three stripes. No complaints here.