Skate shoes are the new Y2K trend, revived by the sneaker-loving Generation Zers

Skate shoes are the new Y2K trend, revived by the sneaker-loving Generation Zers

Calling all Sk8er Bois! The next Y2K throwback trend is for you. We’ve seen the revival of everything from low-rise jeans to ring-toe sandals, but now early 2000s skate shoes — in all their puffy, chunky, padded glory — might just be the next big sneaker trend to watch is applicable.

If you need a refresher, allow me to set the scene: you’re home after school watching Avril Lavigne on TRL and admiring her sleazy emo aesthetic. You throw away your butterfly clamps because now you too are full of fear.

The next thing you know, you’re roaming the mall with your friends, all wearing chunky DC and Etnies sneakers of various colors (none of which have ever touched an actual skateboard). The sneakers are huge, the tongues are fat and the laces are loose. It’s a mood, you’re a rebel, you do Blink 182 on your iPod mini to complete the scene.

Skate shoes like the Osiris D3 2001 and DC Court Graffik ruled the early 2000s, ushering in a new wave of skateboard sneakers that were a stark contrast to the Vans Old Skools or Tony Hawk’s Airwalks of previous decades. Celebs like Avril Lavigne and Ashlee Simpson have also jumped on the trend and turned the chunky skate shoe into a unisex style.

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With the advent of cleated-soled dad sneakers, it’s no surprise that tall skate shoes could be the next throwback style to be revived. The “skater aesthetic” is trending on TikTok and #SkateTok — and if past TikTok aesthetics like coastal grandma, cottagecore, and soft girl are any indicators, a major takeover is on the horizon.

Bella Hadid already adapted the style, topping off a ’90s-inspired grunge outfit with black skate shoes that featured a chunky tongue and that classic puffy silhouette.

Buy ahead of the baggy skate shoes of the early 2000s or a more classic and subtle skateboard shoe, shop these sneakers to live your best skater-boi life – and keep your fingers crossed that jelly bracelets and pacifier jewelry are next.

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They’re chunky, they’re lined—don’t be without these statement sneakers. Introduced in 2001, the super-chunky Osiris Men’s D3 2001 helped define the Y2K skate shoe aesthetic, which was basically “bigger = better.” Take her for a spin with a minimal look to really let her shine off-duty in a Bella Hadid-inspired, model-like way.

The Koston 1 sneakers from eS were another skate shoe that dominated the early days. To recreate the look in 2022, you can purchase the brand’s similar Accel skate shoe, which has the wide tongue and laces that are key to the skate shoe look.

I can’t explain the absolute stranglehold that DC shoes had on the skate scene in the early 2000’s. It was impossible to walk into a mall without seeing this crew of Mallrats with their shoelaces so loose it’s a wonder they stayed on their feet. Whether you actually skateboard or just fancy the look, court graphics are a staple.

Another essential skateboard shoe: Etnies. If we commit to bringing back the chunky skate sneaker, this one has to be with us – sorry for that. With a wide, padded tongue and collar, these skateboard shoes are a surprisingly cool way to top off a minimalist ’90s or grunge outfit.

Though black-on-black styles abounded, many skate shoes of yesteryear featured bright pops of color, be it on the tongue or the (sometimes mismatched) laces. We’re talking random pops of bright purple, shocking red, or bright blue. The lime green detailing on these DVS feels cool and unexpected without going overboard.

When the super bulky and chunky skate shoe feels a little Extreme for you, go for a more classic skate style like the Vans SK-8 Hi. From the ’80s to today, Vans have proven their cult status, being worn by everyone from Avril Lavigne to Rihanna to Hailey Bieber. This is one of the brand’s most iconic styles and a favorite on #SkateTok.

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