Our top choices
Vans Old Skool Pro
An iconic classic BMX style from one of the most popular BMX and skate clothing brands. You can't go wrong with Vans.Check Price
Etnies Marana Slip
Etnies are a popular brand, who make super durable shoes. These slip-ons are super great for the price.Check Price
Ride Concepts Vice
Ride Concepts are a popular mountain bike brand, who make super effective shoes for BMX riders.Check Price
Discover the Best BMX Shoes in 2024. Whatever your riding discipline, we've tested the best shoes for you. Are you tired of BMX shoes that fail to deliver on comfort and performance? We've been there, and we know the struggle.
That's why we've meticulously researched and tested a wide range of shoes to present you with the best options. This guide is crafted to display the design, durability and most importantly, disadvantages of the top BMX shoes money can buy.
Join us as we explore the top BMX shoes of 2024, tailored to enhance your riding experience with every pedal.
Vans Old Skool Pro BMX Shoes
- Durable Duracap reinforcement.
- Comfortable PopCush padding.
- Classic, flexible rubber waffle outsole.
- Weatherproof and easy to clean.
- Stylish, detailed colorways.
- Canvas prone to staining.
- Narrow fit for some users.
- A shallow heel pocket can cause blisters.
- Potential durability issues over time.
- Insole comfort varies across models.
Photo by vans.co.uk
The Vans Old Skool Pro is a noteworthy update to the iconic original skate shoe, beloved for its classic style and now enhanced with modern features. This shoe stands out for its blend of traditional canvas and more durable suede, labeled Duracap, reinforcing areas prone to wear for skaters; such as the toebox, laces, and heel. Duracap protection also includes a layer of rubber underneath, extending the shoe's life even when worn down.
In terms of durability, the suede used in the Old Skool Pro is robust, withstanding significant wear in durability testing, a significant improvement over the original versions.
For comfort, the Old Skool Pro is equipped with PopCush padding. Designed to be particularly chunky at the heel for excellent padding and arch support. It's also thinner at the toe to maintain board or pedal control. You can definitely feel this change when riding.
This design caters well to skaters, but the additional padding also offers more comfort for general wear, a departure from Vans' typically minimalist approach.
The shoe retains the classic rubber waffle outsole, known for flexibility and responsiveness, whether walking, skating or riding. Aesthetic-wise, the Old Skool Pro's feature detailed and low-key colorways, adding depth to their appearance.
The multi-layered and suede Duracap panels enhance weatherproofing without significantly compromising breathability, thanks to the canvas sections. While testing I noticed the great weatherproofing but the canvas is still prone to staining. It's not the end of the world though, I found the uppers and tongue very easy to clean.
Online customer feedback highlights a mix of experiences. Some riders found the shoe's fit to be narrow and the heel pocket shallow, causing discomfort and blisters.
Others praised the improved cushioning of the insoles and the enhanced durability compared to the non-pro version. There were reports of quality issues over time, with some customers experiencing premature wear. However, many appreciated the shoe's style, comfort out of the box, and suitability for a variety of outfits.
Sidewalk Magazine's review emphasizes the Old Skool Pro's padded heel area, providing a comfortable and supportive fit, and a construction that fits broader towards the front, making it suitable for skateboarders with wider feet. The shoe's upper, a blend of suede and canvas with a Duracap under-layer, ensures durability and sturdiness, complemented by an UltraCush HD footbed for comfort and cushioning. The model's paneled design also allows for easy customization.
Vans Skate Old Skool | Skate Shoe Review
Best for Dirt/Trails
Photo by rideconcepts.com
The Ride Concepts Vice mountain biking shoe, launched by a rider-owned company in 2018, aims to revolutionize the cycling footwear landscape. Born out of dissatisfaction with existing options and a desire for better fit, function, and style, this shoe embodies a dedication to the sport. Reno, Nevada-based; the team's deep connection to the local biking community informs their design choices, fostering a product that truly resonates with riders.
This shoe targets dirt jump, slopestyle, and BMX enthusiasts. It features the innovative RC Fuzion outsole, designed for exceptional pedal feel and compliance. This outsole's unique pattern — sloped, angled inverse hexagons varying in size — allows the pedal to integrate into the shoe for heightened sensitivity. The D3O injected insole is a bonus, which absorbs impacts and reduces fatigue, enhancing the riding experience.
Collaboration with Rubber Kinetics has incorporated DST 6.0 High Grip rubber in the sole, promising durability and protection. The suede upper, perforated for breathability, along with internal TPU toe protection and a fully gusseted tongue, ensures both comfort and resilience. The shoe's design, while focusing on performance, doesn't compromise on comfort, feeling more like a casual street shoe.
The DST High Grip rubber competes well with other market leaders like Five Ten's Stealth rubber, offering quick rebounding and excellent traction. The shoe performs admirably in wet conditions, maintaining grip, though it may struggle with mud clearance. Comparatively, it's slightly heavier but triumphs in comfort and pedal feel over similar models like the Leatt DBX 2.0.
While it excels in grip, comfort, and pedal feel, the Ride Concepts Vice may not suit those seeking more robust support. It's an exceptional choice for riders prioritizing performance and comfort, but its softer construction might not appeal to everyone.
Weve loved testing these shoes on various bikes. We also ranked this shoe very high on our list of the best dirt jumping shoes.
- HIGH GRIP rubber outsole
- RC Fuzion features sloped-angle inverse hexagons, varying in diameter for improved pedal contact
- Cup outsole features 3mm EVA for additional shock absorption and comfort
- D3O® High Impact Zone Technology insole absorbs impact and reduces fatigue
- Durable and protective upper - Suede (Black, Olive), Suede/Canvas (Camo/Black)
- Anti-bacterial mesh lining controls odor
- Fully gusseted tongue prohibits intake of dirt and debris
- Internal TPU toe protection
- Weight: 450g per shoe
Review of the New Ride Concepts Vice Mountain Bike Shoe
Etnies Marana Slip XLT
- Durable construction with suede and synthetic materials.
- Michelin rubber outsole for grip and longevity.
- Comfortable "Drop to the Floor" Pro Foam 2 insole.
- True-to-size with a comfortable fit.
- Easy slip-on with a secure fit.
- Limited ankle stability.
- Slim silhouette may not suit all preferences.
- Minimal padding compared to some alternatives.
- Break-in period required for optimal comfort.
- May not provide sufficient support for high-impact skating.
Photo by etnies.com
The Etnies Marana Slip XLT, a slip-on iteration of the highly popular Marana skate shoe, is a notable blend of style, durability, and functionality. Designed by Ryan Sheckler, this shoe stands out for its robust construction and skate-friendly features.
Firstly, the shoe's upper is crafted from a combination of suede and synthetic Force Shield reinforced materials, ensuring both durability and comfort.
The double-wrapped foxing tape contributes to the longevity of the sidewalls, while the evertoe rubber toe cap adds an extra layer of durability where it's most needed.
This design choice not only enhances the shoe's resilience against wear and tear but also maintains its aesthetic appeal over time. I can attest to this after a few days of riding the shoes hard.
Comfort is a key aspect of the Marana Slip XLT. It features an extra thick "Drop to the Floor" Pro Foam 2 PU insole, providing exceptional impact absorption and cushioning.
This insole makes the shoe comfortable for extended wear, whether for skateboarding, BMX riding, or daily use. The Goring construction facilitates an easy slip-on experience while ensuring a secure fit, catering to the practical needs of active users.
The outsole is another highlight, utilizing Michelin rubber for enhanced durability and grip! I love the fact Etnies teamed up with such a major player in the world of rubber and tires.
The outsole's design is derived from the Michelin tread pattern, known for its grip, flexibility, and long-lasting wear. This feature is particularly beneficial for skaters and BMX riders who require dependable traction and control. Dirt and trail riders are highly suited for this shoe.
In terms of fit, the Marana Slip XLT is true-to-size and accommodates a range of foot shapes comfortably. It has a slim profile with minimal padding, yet does not compromise on space, especially in the toe area.
The fit is comparable to other Marana models, offering a familiar and comfortable experience for existing fans of the brand. The shoe's snug fit, combined with the Pro Foam 2 footbed felt comfortable and natural whether riding parks or dirt.
It's worth noting that the shoe's slim and flat silhouette, while contributing to its sleek look, does limit its stability in the ankle region. This might be a concern for riders who require more ankle support or have a history of ankle injuries.
- Durable Michelin tread pattern inspired from the Marana
- Double wrap vulcanized foxing tape
- Extra thick “Drop to the Floor” Pro Foam 2 PU insole
- Evertoe rubber toe cap for durability
- Rubber heel wrap for support
- Force Shield reinforced upper
- Goring construction for easy slip and secure fit
- Designed By Ryan Sheckler
Pick for Best Protection
Photo by @johnny_hops
The Vans Half Cab shoe is an iconic piece in the skateboarding world, with a legacy spanning over three decades. After experiencing the shoe's performance on a dirt jump bike, I can attest to its suitability for various terrains.
Vans, a brand synonymous with skateboarding and BMX, has always been at the forefront of producing reliable footwear that can withstand the rigors of these sports.
The Half Cab model, in particular, has its roots in the Vans Caballero, a high-top shoe that was modified into the Half Cab as street skating gained prominence in the 90s. Released in 1992, the half cap became emblematic of that era, reflecting the trends and styles of the time.
Fast forward to today, and the Half Cab remains as relevant as ever, with Vans releasing new colorways to commemorate its 30th anniversary. Now it's being used by way more than just the skateboarders.
The Skate Half Cab '92, which I tested, boasts several features that make it suited to the slopestyle trails. The shoe's DURACAP reinforced underlays and newly designed uppers make it super durable. This feature is further enhanced by the new two-part foxing tape with a deeper knurl pattern on the toe.
The SICKSTICK rubber compound on the sole offers exceptional grip. This is the newest and most advanced rubber produced by Vans. They have worked with their pro athletes to calibrate this proprietary compound.
POPCUSH is the energy return footbed. This technology provides superior cushioning, ensuring comfort during prolonged sessions. An excellent feature for mountain biking as it protects against large impact.
The shoe's design, a blend of suede and canvas, is not just about aesthetics. It's built for performance. The increased durability from the DURACAP materials, the fully redesigned uppers for a locked-in fit, and the legendary grip from the SickStick gum rubber compound make it a top choice for dirt jumpers.
I found the shoe very durable, considering it was designed for skateboarders and I was beating it up on mountain bike jumps. I didn't experience it through my use of the shoe but some riders have reported the soles being weak and coming apart quite quickly.
Having the cushioning around the ankle feels super protective. The padded tongue, held in place by tongue straps, ensures a snug fit in the midfoot area—no matter the size or shape of your feet. The shoe's stability is noteworthy, with the high foxing tape of the sole enveloping the foot, creating a secure feeling.
Photo by vans.com
Vans Skate Half Cab | Skate Shoe Review
Another Great Option
Vans SK8-Hi 238
- Excellent pedal grip
- Durable Wafflecup™ construction
- Protective toe cap with knurling
- Stylish Dakota Roche design
- Versatile for various activities
- Interior can be rough on skin
- Limited color options
- May require wearing socks
- Focused on BMX (less suited for other sports)
- Specific fit may vary by user
Photo by vans.co.uk
The Vans BMX SK8-Hi 238, a collaboration between Vans and BMX rider Dakota Roche, stands out as a remarkable fusion of style and functionality. This shoe is designed specifically for BMX riding, but its appeal goes beyond just the BMX community.
Firstly, the shoe's design is a testament to Dakota Roche's influence, incorporating his signature green colorway and custom artwork. The aesthetic is simplified, focusing on the tongue and lateral woven labels designed by Dakota himself.
Roche, known for his powerful, skillful riding and thoughtful spot selection, has infused his skate and surf mentality into these shoes, making them suitable for both intense BMX riding and casual use.
Functionally, the SK8-Hi 238 excels in several areas. The BMX Wafflecup™ construction is a standout feature, providing a great combination of pedal feel, support, and durability, crucial for BMX riders.
This construction also includes a toe cap with deep knurling for added protection and style, a thoughtful addition considering the rough use typical in BMX riding. Moreover, the shoe features Vans new proprietary gum rubber compound, VDFPR, enhancing pedal grip and durability - a significant plus for riders.
Customer reviews echo these design intentions. Riders appreciate the shoe's excellent grip on bike pedals, enhancing confidence during rides. They are also noted for their versatility; users find them suitable for various activities, from motorcycle riding, thanks to their great grip and toe cap protection, to casual weekend wear.
Some users have noted that the shoe's interior can be rough on the skin if worn without socks, indicating a potential area for improvement in comfort.
Best Brands for BMX Shoes
When it comes to BMX shoes, two brands stand out for their quality, durability, and style: Vans and Etnies.
Vans has long been synonymous with BMX culture. Known for their classic style and robust construction, Vans shoes offer a blend of comfort and durability. The brand's signature waffle outsole provides exceptional grip, crucial for BMX riding.
Vans also offers a range of options, from the classic slip-on to more technical designs, catering to various preferences. Their use of high-quality materials ensures that the shoes can withstand the rigors of BMX riding, making them a favorite among riders of all levels.
Etnies is another top contender in the BMX shoe market. They are celebrated for their innovative designs and focus on performance. Etnies shoes are designed with the BMX rider in mind, offering features like padded tongues and collars for extra cushioning, reinforced sidewalls for durability, and flexible soles for a comfortable ride.
The brand is also known for its commitment to sustainability, using eco-friendly materials and practices in their shoe production. Etnies shoes are a great choice for riders who value both performance and environmental consciousness.
Both Vans and Etnies have a strong reputation in the BMX community for their quality, style, and commitment to the sport. Whether you prioritize classic design, advanced features, or eco-friendly practices, these brands offer something for every BMX enthusiast.
BMX Shoe Buying Guide
Fit and Comfort
A perfect fit is paramount in BMX shoes, balancing snugness without restricting movement. Look for shoes with adjustable features for a custom fit, breathable materials for comfort, and ergonomic designs to reduce foot fatigue.
Comfort is crucial for long rides and hard impacts, so consider cushioning, arch support, and a flexible forefoot area.
The retention system—laces, straps, or dials—affects stability and quick adjustments. Laces offer a traditional, customizable fit but may come loose, while Velcro straps provide quick adjustments.
Dial systems, although pricier, offer the most precise fit. Evaluate the system for its ease of use, especially during mid-ride adjustments. A couple of the top picks on this list are actually slip on shoes. They show how the need for alternate design differs from dirt jump or MTB shoes.
Soles dictate grip and pedaling efficiency. Rubber soles offer excellent traction but vary in stiffness. Stiffer soles improve power transfer but reduce walking comfort.
Flexible soles enhance comfort but may compromise on pedal efficiency. Materials like synthetic composites offer a middle ground. Choose based on your riding style and comfort preference.
BMX riding involves risks; thus, impact protection is vital. Look for shoes with reinforced toe boxes, ankle guards, and sufficient padding. This protection minimizes injuries from impacts and abrasions. Durable construction in high-impact areas is also crucial for safety.
Durability ensures your investment lasts. High-quality materials resist wear and tear, while robust construction techniques like reinforced stitching enhance longevity. Consider weather resistance, ease of cleaning, and abrasion resistance. A durable shoe saves money in the long run by reducing the frequency of replacements.
While writing these top 10 guides, we start by gathering a long list of everything we currently like or are recommended by other riders. We research, test, and evaluate all of the possible products before writing the review.
Below is a list of the BMX shoes that very nearly made the recommended list. We rank these shoes very highly, often very close rivals to those in the top 5.
If there arent any shoes at the top of this list that take your fancy then you should look into the products below.
- Etnies Jameson Mid Crank
- Etnies Windrow x Doomed
- Lakai Flaco 2 Mid
- Vans BMX Slip-On Pros
- Vans BMX Style 114
- Vans Wayvee
- Courage Adams Old Skool
BMX Tire Lifespan
Expensive Electric Bikes
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