Skater Shoes


Shoes are an essential part of anyone’s wardrobe in that they protect the wearer’s feet, can be used for various levels of activity, and can show the personal style of the wearer to others. A shoe that I have found to be my favorite all around type of shoe for casual wear are skater shoes, and in particular, the Vans brand. What I find particularly appealing about the Vans aesthetic is the slim style of the shoe, as well as the casual rebelliousness of the design. Later the designs of other skate shoes will be compared with Vans to see the similarities and differences between them.

Vans was founded on March 16, 1966 in Anaheim, California. The original style was called “Authentic” and an example is shown below.

The Authentic style
The Authentic style

The design is simple, clean, and still has a distinct look. The shoe has a low-cut heel, and relatively thin fabric.

A few different designs from vans include the hi-top and Chukka, both shown below.

Vans Chukka Low
Vans Chukka Low

Chukkas tend to have more padding around the sides and tongue of the shoe compared to the authentic style, while still maintaining the classic and clean look expected from Vans.

Vans SK8-Hi

Vans’ Hi-tops maintain the same minimal profile where surrounding the foot, while breaking away from the previous two low-cut examples by having a portion of the shoe that covers the ankle.

A different type of skater shoe that exists is from a brand called DC shoes. DC’s style is very similar to that of Vans’, but differs in that DC has more patterns in the stitching of the fabric.

DC's Mikey Taylor 2 S Shoe
DC’s Mikey Taylor 2 S Shoe

DC’s shoe shown above is similar to Vans’ Chukka Low in that it has more padding and fabric overlap, but varies in that it lacks certain accent stitching, has different approaches to logo presentation, and other design differences.

Another skate shoe to look at is through a company called Volcom.

Steelo Shoes by Volcom
Steelo Shoes by Volcom

These are similar to Vans’ shoes in that they have low profiles, slim designs, and casual looks. Differences are in the accents and logo appearances, as well as shoelace hole cutouts.


In summary, while skate shoes might vary by brand, shape, and colors, they all have a common theme of overall being a casual wear shoe with minimal materials, and slight rebellious style.


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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Hey Brandon,
    Shoes are definitely on of the most dominant aesthetics in our every day life. The fashion of skater shoes were so appealing even to people who don’t skate board. I found myself owning two pairs of vans and I have never skated. I think I bought them because of their looks, fabric quality and function. There is a growing fashion about shoe tossing, where people hang old/new pair of shoes on old telephone lines and wires. (you can read more about this here ). I was in a skatepark in Prague, Czech where on top of the highest ramps they had their worn out shoes, which I thought was kinda cool.


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