While today’s skate shoes may be all the young skater or the average person knows, the shoes in which we skate have evolved dramatically since we first started riding boards with wheels.
It all started barefoot— pre-griptape! However, the first specialty skateboarding shoes came out in the ’70s, brought to us by a company you may be familiar with: Vans. Air Jordans— featured prominently in the Bones Brigade Film The Search For Animal Chin— and Airwalks ruled the ’80s, when skateboarding was going through a bit of a slump.
The ’90s was mostly run by Soletech (èS, Emerica, and Etnies), particularly the Eric Koston line, despite a failed attempt by Nike to infiltrate the skateboard market and Osiris making the bulkiest skate shoe in history. Post mid 2000s, skate shoes started slimming down, with vulc models making a return. Present day, Vans has made a spectacular, full-circle comeback, while Nike SB pretty much run the skate footwear game at the moment.
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