Skydiving is a head-to-toe kinda deal. After all, it’s all of you that gets out of a plane at 13,500 feet in the sky — and your feet are your landing gear. Best to kit that landing gear as best as possible for such an amazing journey. Right? Right. For skydiving, you need shoes that stay put from ground to sky to ground, that give you a stability boost for a potential run-out, that stay in one piece for freefall after freefall and that make you look good.
People have been skydiving in Vans since day 1 — these kicks have been around as long as anybody can remember! — and there are plenty of reasons why. Yeah, they’re not running shoes, but they fit the requirements of skydiving like a charm, and there’s a pair to match every jumpsuit. (You’ll soon learn that a matchy-matchy kit is, like, the truest sign of a native.) For bonus points, pick up a pair of the rainbow version, which are extremely cool-looking. Flat bottoms make slidey landings smooth.
Converse has been around forever, too — in more or less the same style since 1917, which is a funny thing to behold. They got the name “Chucks” from the flapper-era basketball player (named Chuck Taylor, natch) that made them famous. For the purposes of leaping around the court of the sky, freefall athletes tend to lace up the high-top version. Chucks are lightweight, but still manage to offer some stability and protection against minor scuffs and scratches to the ankles. And those flat-bottomed shoes make the rockin’ world go ‘round, as aforementioned.
Want something a little showier? We love the Osiris line of skate shoes. Not only do they check the box for higher ankle coverage, they have a bit more padding in that department — and loads of style. (Skulls! Tropical flowers! Pink PVC!) We see these on the feet of some of our favorite athletes in the sport, like the ever-stylish Jeannie Bartholomew.)
All that wish-listing is well and good, but truth be told, most skydivers don’t have a dedicated pair of skydiving shoes. At the end of the day, few shoes are as good for skydiving as a pair of well-loved, totally-broken-in sneakers. As long as they don’t have deep treads on the sole and can lace up snugly (without hooks, which can present a snag hazard), your kicks are just fine for skydiving. They’ve taken you to lots of other amazing places — why not let ‘em take you to the sky?
Ready to take those happy feet to altitude? Come to Skydive Orange and let’s kick this into gear!
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.