10 Best Nike Skate Shoes in 2021

Judith on

We independently selected these top recommended pairs of Nike skate shoes after subjecting 50 pairs to rigorous weeks of wear-test. Whether you are a skate virtuoso or a non-skater eyeing for a durable, everyday skate sneaker, this selection is for you. 

We also segregated our top choices into groups. Below you will find our top picks among slip-on shoes, suede variants, mid-tops, and budget-friendly sneakers.

How we pick the best Nike skate shoes

  • We buy all newly-released skate shoes with our own money and send them to our team of skate experts for wear-test and review. 
  • We also have a group of dedicated specialists that spends an average of 8 hours collating and summarizing all the user opinions for every shoe, about thousands of them. 
  • Our Corescore system puts together all the user opinions and scales them from 1-100 to show the best- and least-rated ones. 
  • We came up with these best lists based on the outtakes from the expert reviewers and user ratings.

Best overall

After trying dozens of pairs from Nike Skateboarding, we think Nike SB Shane got ahead of everything else! It’s PHENOMENAL! 


We hit the skate parks and gave this serious pounding and beating on the banked ramps, vert ramps, quarter pipes and pools! Oh, boy it made us pull off WILD STUNTS smoothly! 


The moment we took this to a 100 kickflip test we knew this would take us places. AND it sure did! Even with its simple guise, the kind you’ll use for strolling, this skate shoe is smashing!


The higher foxing tape did add a lot of life to this shoe. That and the extended rubber toe bumper are the saving graces as they took all the blows yet stayed clean and unscuffed for several days of skate drills!


It gave us more reasons to glide and fly as it comes lighter than we expected! Thanks to the partly reduced amount of rubber on the outsole this kick didn’t weigh us down even on those craziest flips!


Best of all, this shoe is packed with amazing comfort coming from that added Zoom Air on the heel. It isn’t pronounced or noticeably thick so it allowed us to get closer to our boards. We can feel the underfoot support despite it’s vulc structure. 

See our full review and facts

Finding the perfect skate shoe that aces in many aspects can seem taxing. It’s easy to fall into enticing advertisements and endorsements by pro players. But if you’re thinking of kickass shoes from Swoosh that ABSOLUTELY performs, we say you go for Nike SB Bruin. 


It’s been around for years but we can’t drop it from our top picks. Nike totally nailed it on this one!


What made us advocates of this shoe is its STANDOUT durability. When choosing the right skate shoe we always look for its ability to take in as much impact. It’s important that the shoe is sturdy while it gives us full freedom and control of our boards. It helps a lot if its forefoot is wrapped in hard wearing suede. 


And, bang! This classic looking shoe ticks all the boxes! 


Its nose didn’t burst or gave our toes nasty blisters even as we did series of ollies and kickflips and gave it some deadly twists and turns in the skate parks. Those double stitched toes held up so well. 


Next time you see a modest looking shoe, don’t be instantly deceived. It might just be a silent killer that’s waiting for the right time to show off its explosive assets.

See our full review and facts

Best slip on

Going for lace-free skate shoes and particular about not going for the expensive range, you won’t regret choosing the Nike SB Charge Slip!


It got us charged like energy bunnies! It didn’t require a lengthy time to get used to the mold. The durable canvas cover was so ready to for street and skate park action straight from the box.


It offers the convenience as slipping in and out was easy peasy. Those elastic gore on the sides make the shoe snug-fitting. Even without the laces, the sides and rear part grabbed our feet comfortably. 


Comfort is another factor that got us gripped to this shoe. Its foam sockliner cushioned every step. It isn’t thick enough that we enjoyed good communication with our boards. 


Its vulc frame made it appear slimmer and lighter. Nothing comes in between our feet and the board that will hamper our movements. Maneuverability was great even with its slip on structure. 


Those jagged treads allowed us to grip on our boards longer without losing our balance or slipping to the sides unwantedly. 

When thinking of amazing skate slip ons that’s a winner in style, performance, and value, be energized too with this SB Charged shoe

See our full review and facts

Stefan Janoski’s have created a positive impact to followers of Nike SB. We’ve skated several Janoski skate shoes and the remastered shoe from its slip-on range is just so EXCEPTIONAL!


Nike SB Zoom Janoski Slip RM is the kind of shoe we love taking to the skateparks! It’s so flexible and maneuverable!


Its cushioning with an integrated Zoom Air is shock absorbing enough that it serves as a barrier between our feet and our boards. It did such a great job in minimizing pressure and stress that can give us blisters and bruises. 


The rubbery material that covers the tip of the toes served well in preventing the shoe from getting holed up during ramp after ramp challenges at skate parks. It did thin out a bit but it didn’t rip even as we skated for several hours a day repeatedly for an entire week. 


It may be a little stiff as it's covered in durable suede. But that helped in providing a snug fit. 


Like most vulc shoes, this slip on felt not just flexible but light too. Minus all the bulk, we certainly enjoyed the optimal board feel.  


If you want a skate shoe that performs superbly that’s made with high quality materials, don't think twice about grabbing this remastered slip-on. You’ll love it to the moon and back! 

See our full review and facts

Best suede shoe

Next to leather, suede is another durable material that everyone looks for in a skate shoe. In Nike’s world, the SB Zoom Bruin tops the chart, at least to our uncompromising and hard-nosed critique. 


This skate kick is a madass that got all the essentials for a price that fits anyone’s budget!


It wasn’t hard on our feet since day one as we did manage to get used to the mold rather quickly. Right off this was so ready for some series of toilsome kick flips. It survived a hundred and showed no signs of giving up. 


This endurance model offers comfort too coming from its thinly padded tongue, collar, and that added Zoom element right under the heel. Plus it isn’t in anyway flawed in delivering impact absorption while granting still everyone’s much wanted boardfeel. 


It may be modest but this shoe is packed with all the essentials we wanted in a skate shoe: maneuverability, longevity, and comfort while keeping us glued to our boards. 


If you’re tossing between which skate shoe to grab next, or maybe it’s your first time to try a suede variety from Nike, go for this classic, megahit option. This Bruin is a tough cookie!


See our full review and facts

What got us hooked to the Nike SB Blazer Zoom Low is its premium suede covering. Its high-wear zones are definitely ready to handle the abrasiveness of grip tape and all the abuse of street and skate park setups. 

That suede cover is this shoe’s saving grace that got us flipping and repeatedly flying for two weeks without any hints of breaking apart any sooner. 

If you haven’t found the best shoe to rock at vertical ramps, banked ramps, full pipes, pools, and bowls, and what have you, let the Blazer Zoom Low surprise you!

Another blazing factor tied to this skate hero is the low-to-the-ground profile that allowed us to have complete control with our boards. 

Tossing from a high platform and gliding around was smooth as it comes with traction that’s tacky enough! Those tread grooves are like teeth that grip well on the board. 

Of course, its Zoom Air unit is worth highlighting too. Though its insole is incredibly thin, the air-filled pouches embedded in the heel gave us superb cushioning. It did well in tempering pressure and impact during hard and crazy landings. 

Take our word, and you’ll thank us later. 

See our full review and facts

Best mid-top

When it comes to mid-top skate shoes, Nike SB Stefan Janoski Max Mid got all the bells and whistles. It ticks all the boxes that’s why it’s a must-have if you haven’t decided which ankle-high skate shoe to purchase next. 

Obviously, its most significant selling point is that protective collar! It embraced our feet comfortably while allowing us to flex with ease at a fast speed. The plush and luxurious padding that hugged our feet is worth noting as well. 

Those padded collars also protected our ankles every time they got whacked by our boards in between crazy stunts and flips. 

Even with that extra ankle height and Air Max feature on the heel, this shoe did not feel heavy at all. 

It’s an excellent value for money! You are getting more than you can ask for, especially if you can grab this Janoski shoe at a sale price below $90 through this site. It’s also a practical option since it’s dressed like your typical casual, street-ready shoe so that you can swing this from the skate park to date nights. 

When it comes to performance and style, this is another Stefan Janoski signature shoe that's absolutely worth bagging up. 


See our full review and facts

Nike SB Blazer Mid is another ankle-level shoe from the Swoosh label that conquered our hearts and soles. It got loads of bang without a pricey tag. 

The mid-top collar provided an extra layer of protection around our ankle, which gave us more liberty to be daring with our tricks. 

Boardfeel is unquestionable! It gave us complete control of our boards no matter where we took them, along vertical ramps, quarter pipes, elevated walkways, or even staircase railing. 

It’s one of the former hoop shoes that we loved sporting over and over as we find it suitable for jumping, flying, rolling, and cruising from skate parks to street alleys.

The premium materials used for this shoe kept it in good shape even after spending several hours a day for a week wear-testing it. After the wear test, there were abrasion marks left on the toes but not enough to get it busted. Thanks to the double foxing rubber tape that helped tremendously in extending the life of this shoe. 

If we are to niggle about the tiniest details, we’d say the only downside of this shoe is its slim build, as it won't be the best option for extra wide-footed skateboarders. Other than that, this skate shoe is a 100% steal!

See our full review and facts

Best budget shoe

Nike SB Charge Canvas is a must-have if you are gunning for a practical, inexpensive, all-rounder skate and street-ready sneaker. You’re in for a great ride without spending over $65 a pair of these. 

What we loved most about this shoe is its minimalist upper that’s super comfortable. It did not give us a hell of a hard time since day one as such flexible fabric cover did not require us a lot of break-in time. Another great thing about this shoe, it was so ready for skate action the moment we tried it on. 

Maneuverability wasn’t a problem. And though it’s a vulc shoe, it came with a dual-density insole that gave us that relaxing underfoot sensation without us feeling detached from our boards. It wasn’t bottom heavy too, so kickflips weren’t taxing at all. 

It’s undoubtedly a dope budget-friendly skate shoe as it’s wearable practically anywhere. It goes well with almost any thinkable streetwear clothes. If compared with other lifestyle shoes, it stands out as the outsole doesn't smooth out quickly.  

It’s an A+ shoe that will keep you charged wherever your feet take you.

See our full review and facts

Nike SB Check Solarsoft Canvas is one of the skate essential shoes from the Swoosh brand that’s versatile, functional, and hip. Priced the same as the SB Charge Canvas, this shoe’s positive points outweigh the negatives. 

If you’re a newbie in skateboarding or a non-skater looking for a practical shoe to wear on and off your boards, this $65 skate shoe won’t disappoint. Take our word. We took it to several days at the skate parks and city streets to test its strength, durability, cushioning, and fit, and it wowed us. 

Even with its classic, minimalist silhouette, this shoe is a bomb! It can take up the abrasiveness of skateboarding for a fair amount of time before the canvas upper begins to show signs of wear. 

That Solarsoft technology cradles our feet comfortably, offering a cozy feel while reducing the amount of pressure. This soft layer laid right under the foot doesn’t interfere with boardfeel. The shoe's low-profile build allows us to have complete contact with our boards and maneuver with ease. 

Since this shoe is also wearable during skate sessions, casual work, and weekends out, it won’t hurt to add another color to your sneaker rotation as it’s one of the wallet-friendly options from Nike that's absolutely multipurpose. 


See our full review and facts



If Sneakerology exists, Judith’s close to earning her Ph.D. She owns not stacks of kicks, but hundreds of published sneaker content online, headlining grails, greats, GRs from over 30 global brands. She’s a natural creative wordsmith, a hype monster at times, who writes and edits lifestyle articles professionally for over two decades now. If you're lost in a sea of popular or undervalued sneaks fishing for that best catch, she’ll gladly help out between sips of coffee or lemony mojito.