Skate shoes are the new Y2K trend, revived by the sneaker-loving Gen Z

Skate shoes are the new Y2K trend, revived by the sneaker-loving Gen Z

Calling all sk8er bois! The next Y2K throwback trend is for you. We’ve seen the resurgence of everything from low-waisted jeans to ring sandals, but now, early 2000s skate shoes — in all their puffy, chunky, padded glory — might be the next big sneaker trend to watch .

If you need a refresher, let me set the scene: You’re home after school watching Avril Lavigne on TRL, admiring her gritty, emo aesthetic. You throw away your butterfly clips because you, too, are filled with anxiety.

Next thing you know, you’re walking around the mall with your friends, all wearing massive DC sneakers and Etnies in different colors (none of whom have ever touched an actual skateboard). The sneakers are huge, the tongues are thick, and the laces are loose. It’s a vibe, you’re a rebel, blasting 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 skateboarding sneakers that were far in contrast to the Vans Old Skools or Tony Hawk’s Airwalks of decades past. Celebs like Avril Lavigne and Ashlee Simpson also got in on the trend, turning chunky skate shoes into a unisex style.

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With the rise of the dad sneaker with a sole, it’s no surprise that oversized skate shoes may be the next style to be revived. The “skater aesthetic” is popular on TikTok and #SkateTok — and if past TikTok aesthetics like beachy granny, cottagecore, and soft girl are any indicator, there’s more to come.

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

Ahead, shop the full fluffy skater shoes of the early 2000s or more classic and subtle skateboard shoes, shop these sneakers to live your best skater life – and fingers crossed jelly bracelets and nipple jewelry are next.

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They’re bulky, they’re padded—you won’t be missing out on these remarkable sneakers. Introduced in 2001, the super-huge men’s Osiris D3 2001 helped define the Y2K skate shoe aesthetic that was basically “bigger = better.” Twist them with a minimalist look to really let them shine in a Bella Hadid-inspired off-duty look.

eS’s Koston 1 sneaker was another skate shoe that ruled the early going. To recreate the look in 2022, you can shop similar shoes from the Accel Skate Shoe brand, which feature a wide tongue and laces that are key to the skate shoe look.

I can’t explain the absolute grip DC shoes had on the skate scene in the early 2000s. It was impossible to go to a mall without seeing that team of rats with leashes so loose it’s a wonder they stayed on their feet. Whether you’re actually skateboarding or just looking to show off, Court Graffiks are a staple.

Another essential skateboarding shoe: Etnies. If we’re going to commit to bringing back the massive skate sneaker, this one should come with it – sorry about that. With a wide, padded tongue and collar, these skateboard shoes are a surprisingly cool way to add a minimalist ’90s or grunge outfit.

While black-on-black styles abounded, many skate shoes of the past featured bright colors, whether on the tongue or the (sometimes mismatched) laces. We’re talking random accents of bright purple, shocking red, or bright blue. The bright teal detailing on these DVS feels cool and unexpected without being over the top.

If the super fluffy and massive skate shoe feels a little extreme for you, opt for a more classic skate style, like the Vans SK-8 Hi. Proving their iconic status, Vans have transcended every decade, from the 80s to today, and have been worn by everyone from Avril Lavigne to Rihanna and Hailey Bieber. These are some of the brand’s most iconic styles and #SkateTok favorites.

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