What comes to mind when you come across the term BMX shoes?
Or maybe Taylor Converse Chucks?
Growing up, Chucks were the go-to shoes for riding BMX.
It was the only shoe I wore in my teens, and it was also popular with most BMX riders.
Along with the Taylors Converse, the Vans were yet, and are still another popular classic shoe for riding BMX.
I’ve had both brands of shoes, and I can say they were nice and never really been a source of problems for me.
However, they were probably not the best, especially compared to the BMX shoes I use right now.
For instance, the Chucks had thin and flexy soles, especially on the sides, which often disconnected the pedal feel.
On the other hand, the low-cut Vans were great with their grippy waffle bottom but felt less supportive.
Most BMX shoes aren’t any different.
In any case, BMX riders have to put up with several compromises, starting from low arch support, fast wear, less grip, and uncomfortable.
However, the Osiris Protocol I’m using right now is a far cry and has taken a 180 from my original BMX shoes.
They’re so comfy and supportive, so much I made them my daily go-to shoes. I use them for casual wear when I’m not on my BMX.
Another good thing with this pair is that it doesn’t rip as easily as most BMX shoes do, and I’ve no problem using them even with my metal pedal pins. I’ve even transitioned to brakeless riding and haven’t seen any tear or rip even after using them on the tires.
But the best part, at least in my opinion, with these shoes is they absorb impacts, are light, and don’t tip if I land sideways.
When I loop and hit the ground running or need to bail, they provide a nice athleticism for bouncing off my feet or hitting the ground.
These shoes have made me so much confident on my bike and are unlike other shoes, without kidding.
Now, I’m imagining you’re also in need of a shoe similar to Osiris Protocol for BMX riding.
The good news is I’ve enough experience and can guide you on the selection process.
In the guide below, I’ll share some BMX shoe recommendations.
These shoes aren’t only a fashion statement, but they’re BMX-specific shoes that will help to improve your BMX riding performance.
Table of Contents
The Best BMX Shoes For The Money
#1 Vans Old Skool Low-Top Sneakers - EDITOR'S CHOICE
You can never go wrong with Vans Old Skools.
Personally, they’re the only shoes I end up coming back to. So comfy, stylish, and durable.
Plus, they maintain their classic appeal and never seem to miss a spot in my closet.
In particular, I chose the Vans Old Skool Low-Top Sneakers because they never go out of style. They’re available in numerous colorways, but I chose the black option because I don’t feel bad about getting them dirty.
And the good thing is you get exactly what you see in the photo. A cool retro skate style that will go with pretty much every bike outfit and looks great with my jeans and other attire outside my BMX gear.
Away from the additional swoosh and swag points, Vans Old Skool Low-Top Sneakers come with a nice combination of suede and canvas for the ultimate performance.
First, they’re the most breathable shoes I’ve owned. I’ve sweaty feet, and my previous BMX shoe felt like foot saunas.
The Vans Old Skool Low-Top Sneakers, however, are different. They allow the free flow of air. They’re the perfect shoe for keeping my feet well ventilated and free from moisture and the resulting odor.
Along with breathability, the fabrics on this shoe are durable and well-constructed. I’ve worn the Vans for several seasons now, almost daily, and have lasted well and have no rips and tears.
However, the rubber downside is getting pierced due to daily wear and tear, but that’s pretty normal with most BMX shoes. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure it’ll hold up well even when it takes a beating.
Next, another amazing feature of this shoe is the low-cut design.
Vans Old Skool Low-Top Sneakers is a low-top, so it feels flexible and super comfortable. It’s similar to your regular shoe and will allow free movement of your feet in any direction. This is especially important when performing BMX tricks.
The only downside I found with the low-cut design is that there’s limited arch support, so you need to avoid your ankle spraining.
However, it’s not a big deal as I easily remedied it with an insert. Find a loose insert that is comfortable to wear without strangling your feet or anything.
Meanwhile, I’m impressed with the rubber outsole.
It comes with a waffle tread pattern, which is necessary for a nice grip on the pedals when doing tricks.
Stunt riding can’t get easier with the grippy sole and will give you a nice hold on the pedal even when the conditions are wet and slippery.
My only concern with the sole design, or rather the waffle pattern, is it allows the small stones and dirt to get stuck inside.
So far, so good, but everything on the Vans Old Skool Pro Low-Top Sneakers is in vain if it can’t fit.
The good news is the shoe fits true to size.
I wear size eight normal shoes, and I ordered that way. It fits like a glove.
The fit is spot on and comfortable, without any of those darned spots on the ankle that rub.
However, they feel snugger and tighter out of the box, but that’s because they’re brand new. Once you break into them, you’ll love their comfort.
Overall, I feel these sneakers are the best shoes for BMX. They’re my favorite, and I’m impressed at how they offer a nice mix of appearance, secure fit, great durability, and comfort.
#2 DC Pure Action Casual Skate Shoes -- Best BMX Shoes for Casual Use
I’m on my fourth pair of the DC Pure Casual shoes.
It’s a quality shoe with enough padding and support for my feet.
DC Pure Action shoes have a nice quality and are exactly what I needed. Even better, they’re tough and have lasted longer than my previous Adidas tennis shoes.
Out of the box, I was impressed by their overall design and color options.
DC shoes are aesthetic and come in various colorways, so you can always find a solid option suiting your preferences. And oh, the distinctive DC logo detailing on the side makes this option even more stylish.
It even dawned that I would rather not pay upwards of $200 for zero drop shoes or the “minimalist” shoes when I can just buy these for casual use.
The DC Pure Casual Skate Shoes are truly multi-purpose, and while not ideal for athletic endeavors, I’ve been wearing these shoes almost daily, as they double up as my casual shoes.
Meanwhile, the DC Shoes have a nice leather upper for enhanced utility and durability.
They feel solid and very substantial. But not so much that they fatigue your legs or anything.
Instead, DC Pure Action is cushioned just enough, especially on the high abrasion areas such as the toe cap area. It offers nice protection when performing ollies.
DC Shoes tongue is also heavily cushioned and will keep the top of my feet from tricks such as capers or when riding for long periods.
Durability is also on point, and so far, regular cleaning and proper maintenance have kept them in a nice condition. There’s minimal damage overall.
Performance-wise, I’m impressed with the sticky rubber sole.
Yes, DC isn’t slip-free, but the proprietary pill pattern on the underside sole offers sufficient grip for my pedals when BMXing.
The grip gives riders better control on my bike, and I don’t feel slippery or anything.
Thanks to the unmatched comfort, my feet are also happy with these shoes.
See, I tend to sweat a lot, and during summer, my previous shoes took the comfort out of wearing shoes.
The DC Shoes are different.
They come with two small breather holes on the sides, which are extremely helpful in keeping the odor and sweat away.
A generous collar and tongue padding, on the other hand, keep BMX riders comfortable all day through. I can now focus more on pedaling my BMX than readjusting my shoe for comfort.
The only markdown with this shoe supports.
DC Pure Casual Skate Shoe features a cup sole for extra foot and ankle support. It’s much better than what we had seen on the Vans, but honestly, just a little bit and nothing to write home about.
You’re better off with inserts.
My next concern was with a secure fit.
DC Pure Shoes doesn’t run true to size.
DC’s lineup seems to have a problem with the sizing. Their shoes are a tad shorter, especially on the toe box area.
So, after trying several pairs of different sizes, I would recommend you get a half size up. It’s the best decision.
Going a half size up will provide a nice and comfortable fit. Believe in the reviews.
#3 Etnies Men's Kingpin Skateboarding Shoe – Best BMX Shoes for Skateboarding
Etnies is among the respected BMX shoe brands and is renowned for revolutionizing the BMX space.
The brand has a range of products, and one of its popular shoe models is the Etnies Men’s Kingpin Skateboarding Shoe.
I chose Etnies because it’s a basic skate shoe. Flat bottom, simple design, and comfortable & protective puffy tongue.
Out of the box, I didn’t want to use these skateboarding shoes because they looked too good for the park.
I mean, I’ve never seen such awesome shoes, and I’ve been wearing Etnies every day. Sweet.
Plus, I love that they come in subtle black. A big thumbs up for the color selection because it’s surprising to find a basic sneaker that’s not a bunch of lame colors these days.
Instead, these are stylish, without screaming for attention. The design can’t get better, especially for a 40-year-old dad like me. I don’t want to compete with my teenage son.
Moving on, the Etnies Men’s Kingpin Skateboarding Shoes are tough and seem well made.
I’ve used them for a couple of seasons now, and so far, their quality seems very good, even after getting caught in the showers a few times.
However, they’re a bit stiff and have less flex. I guess it’s because they double up as a skater shoe and are designed that way so they can hang on the board better.
But the good thing is they loosen up with time once you break into them.
After the break-in period, you’ll hardly notice their presence. The excellent padding on the collar and tongue keeps you comfortable while allowing your feet to remain stable.
The upper is also perforated, so there’ll be a constant sip of fresh air, helping to keep your feet cool and free from sweating.
Personally, they feel like heaven on my feet, and I’ve a problem using them as my everyday shoes. When not on my BMX or skateboard, I use them as casual shoes to and from work.
The grip on the Etnies Men’s Kingpin Skateboarding Shoe is also awesome, and I mostly use the shoes to stop my brakeless BMX.
The midsole egg-crate construction has a nice glue strength and will deliver a superior grip on your BMX pedals, tires and come in handy when treading over slippery surfaces.
And the good thing is the sole is super-solid and hasn’t come away from the leather, and the grip hasn’t even cracked or split.
Overall, I can’t get enough of the Etnies Men’s Kingpin Skateboarding Shoe.
It’s among the best BMX shoes available and won’t disappoint.
#4 Nike Air Force 1 High – Best BMX Shoes for Support
Fourth on our list of the best BMX shoes is one of the trendiest options in the market.
The Nike Air Force is an iconic brand known for its reliable performance and durability.
It has been in the game for quite some time now and is well respected across the BMX world.
The Air Force one has a sleek and nice design, and it’s my go-to shoe for casual outings and even when heading to work.
But looks aside, I got the Nike Airforce 1 High because of its protective abilities.
It’s a high-top, so it resembles a boot, with the cuff ankles extending right above the ankles.
What’s the benefit?
The extended cuffs provide full coverage for your ankles. It’s a critical design feature and quite handy for a BMX rider like me who tends to smash their ankles when performing tricks.
BMX riders who’re recovering from ankle surgery may also find the extended cuffs great. The high-top design offers nice support and is great for sports and support.
Of course, like most high-cuff BMX shoes, the extended cuff design comes with some serious limitations or rather flaws.
I hate the “boot” feel. Yes, I’ve hated to have my ankles exposed, but having these means, I must be willing to sacrifice the weight and flexibility of a low-cut shoe.
However, keep in mind this flaw isn’t specific to the Nike Air Force 1 High alone, but rather to all the other high-cuffs in the market.
Is it a dealbreaker?
Well, it depends on your priorities. But for many riders, ankle protection and support take the front seat. Others can come later.
Meanwhile, the durability of this shoe is on point, and having used it for several seasons now; the shoe doesn’t seem like it’ll rip or tear any time.
The leather upper plus suede makes the option super resistant to tear and will take a beating like a champ. I’m impressed at how resilient the shoe remains even after taking on all the abuses of stunt riding, dirt jump, and much more.
I’ve even used it in some really wacky weather conditions, and it seems to hold just fine.
The Nike Air Force 1 High grip is also incredible and allows my feet to grasp the pedals like nothing before.
I hardly feel like I’m slipping or losing control, even when performing BMX tricks in wet & moist weather conditions.
And the good thing with the Nike Air Force 1 High sole is that it has a huge fat cup sole underneath. Along with the grip, it has nice impact absorption properties and will take the impact away from my feet once I land doing tricks.
Nike Airforce is also among the best shoes for BMX because of the fit.
It runs true to size and fits like a glove. On top of that, it comes with adjustable straps around the ankle to help with a nice lockdown fit.
My feet are happy with these best BMX shoes and can’t get enough of the unmatched support and maximum protection.
The only markdown on the Nike Air Force 1 High would probably be the lack of breathability and substantial feel.
But as I mentioned earlier, these are the compromises you need to put in for the extra protection and support.
#5 Globe Men's Motley Mid Skate Shoe -- Value for Money
The Globe Men’s Motley Mid Skate Shoe is everything I’ve been looking for.
I needed a stylish, protective, and performance-oriented shoe for a good price. This pair of best BMX shoes fit the description nicely.
What is more, these skate shoes strike a sweet balance between high-tops and low-tops.
They’re a mid-top, so a perfect compromise of a high-top and low-top.
These skate shoes are great for casual use and have received compliments on several occasions in the skate parks. It’s quite amazing for a budget purchase.
Durability on this pair is also nice and is designed to last.
I’ve had them for a whole summer now and don’t seem like they’ll give away or anything. They don’t wear, and the rubber underneath is solid. It has been holding on quite well, and none of the shoes has fallen apart.
Most shoes at this price range break down on riders after a few months or two, so this is great.
I also got this pair because I occasionally do mountain biking and needed a flat shoe for added traction and a nice pedal feel. These work great.
The vulcanized construction on the outsole with a herringbone pattern has nice traction and provides exceptional gripability on your pedals.
It has increased my pedaling performance on both my BMX bike and MTB, and I can teel a difference when I’ve my Merrell’s and put this on.
Plus, I’ve more confidence using these shoes on slippery surfaces, such as snowy pavements or slippery trekking ground, thanks to the deep grooves for a nice & maximum grip.
My feet are also enjoying the Globe Men’s Motley Mid Skate Shoe. They’re very comfortable, flexible, and the shoe just feels nice.
In fact, I would say they’re one of the most comfortable pairs I’ve owned so far.
A breathable lining mesh facilitates the free flow of air, consequently eliminating any moisture and odor. They’re not warm either, and I have no issues using them in the hot summer.
The insole is also nicely padded and has saved me from heel bruising.
Ankle support is also amazing. Three-quarters of a skate shoe, and the rest a high top. It’s the perfect mid-cut skate shoe that offers protection and a little extra support without the added bulkiness of the high cuff.
It fits well and runs true to size. There’s even some wiggle room left for the shoes, and it doesn’t take time to break into it at all.
On top of that, it comes with handy laces and a closure system for a lockdown fit. It feels nice to have these shoes on.
Overall, the Globe Men’s Motley Mid Skate Shoe is a nice purchase. I would rate them as everything I’d want in a value purchase.
They’re the best skate shoes for a BMX rider looking for a bang for their buck. Many riders are pleased with this option.
Best BMX Shoe Buying Guide
In the section below, I’ll go through everything you need to know about BMX shoes.
Hopefully, you’ll be informed much better about your next purchase by the end of this guide.
First, we shall look at the different types of BMX shoes, and from there, I’ll highlight the critical factors you need to consider.
Types of BMX Shoes
The three main categories of BMX shoes are:
1) High tops
2) Medium tops
3) Low tops
High Tops BMX Shoes
The high-top BMX shoes are usually cut above more than the regular shoes.
High-tops have cuffs, or rather the ankle running slightly above the ankle.
A huge benefit of this design is more support and stability.
The higher cuff extension also translates to more safety, cushioning, and warmth.
Unfortunately, these shoes lack breathability.
The low top shoes are a standard in the BMX world.
These shoes don’t have the bulk of the extended cuffs, so they’re generally lightweight.
However, you lose on the support of the high tops.
The medium tops BMX shoes strike a balance of both the high-tops and low-tops.
They offer a sufficient amount of support without compromising the cushioning and lightness.
So, of the three BMX shoes, which one should you choose?
Based on my experience, choosing one design over the other is a matter of personal preference.
My tip would be you try all three versions and see what design feels good and supportive on your feet.
Factors to Consider when Selecting the Right BMX Shoe
Assuming you’ve determined the design you need for your BMX shoe, you need to consider several essential factors.
Most of these factors are a must and will determine the suitability of a shoe for your BMX riding needs.
These factors are:
The best BMX shoes should be grippy.
A shoe with sufficient grip provides better control for your BMX bike, especially when performing tricks.
Usually, the grip on the BMX shoe is manifested in several ways.
Some shoes provide grip depending on how the shoe flexes or fits around the pedal.
Most of the grip is usually found beneath the shoe.
Fit can never be underestimated for the best BMX shoes.
Proper fit is necessary for a comfortable ride and greater control.
There’s also a chance these BMX shoes will also double as your casual shoe, so you shouldn’t overlook the fit.
Usually, the fit for a BMX shoe runs true to your regular shoe size.
While still on the fit, it’s a good idea to choose a shoe offering a customized fit.
BMX shoes with adjustable laces or at least Velcro will feel like they were tailor-made for you.
The straps make it easier for a BMX rider to achieve a custom fit for better riding performance and more comfort.
The best shoes for BMX come with a slim sole, which provides a better pedal feel and control.
However, the slim sole isn’t protective, especially when landing from heavy impacts and landing.
The thicker soles will offer greater safety and protection, but definitely at the expense of pedal sensitivity.
Along with the sole choice, you also need to consider the ankle cuffs.
As we mentioned earlier, shoes with higher cuffs will provide more ankle support and even reduce the chances of ankle sprains or any serious injuries.
Critical Features for Every Best BMX Shoe
Here’re some of the features found on any BMX shoe:
1) Flat soles
Flat soles are necessary for a nice pedal feel.
A bulge underneath your shoe/feet may feel like an obstacle.
2) Wide platform
Along with the flat sole, a wider sole area is necessary for a better pedal feel.
It doesn’t need to be too large or anything, but just ensure it provides a nice contact area.
Cushioning and paddings are necessary for protection and safety.
Paddings absorb the landing impact and shocks, while the cushioning will keep you comfortable, even for extended riding sessions.
Top 3 Tips for Buying BMX Shoes
Here’re some of the important things you need to pay attention to when selecting BMX shoes:
1) Consider quality
Check on the overall quality of your BMX bike, and see that it’ll serve you for long.
More importantly, see that it’ll meet your BMX riding needs.
All the while, it should also be within your budget.
2) Consider darker colors
I love white shoes, but I hardly use them for bike riding. And this is because cleaning them requires much effort.
Instead, I prefer darker colors, and I would recommend you get the dull colors too because your riding shoes will stink eventually.
3) Buy two pairs
If you come across a pair you love so much on sale, or even at a discount, I would advise you to get at least two pairs.
This way, you’ll have another pair for rotating. Plus, most BMX shoes will wear out in several seasons, anyway, so no harm in having an extra pair.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for the best BMX shoes is the Vans Old Skool Pro Sneakers.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering it’s from one of the best BMX shoe brands in the market.
It’s a classic and timeless shoe that never goes out of style.
More importantly, it has an incredible performance and won’t leave you wanting more.
The grip is incredible, the comfort is nice, and the best part?
It comes at a reasonable price.