Skateboarding Essentials: Reasons to Get the Right Pair of Skate Shoes

There’s more than just one reason why is skateboarding one of the most popular hobbies among young people. Not only does it help you to relieve the stress you gathered throughout the day, but skateboarding is also excellent for learning coordination and developing pain tolerance. However, except for a high-quality skateboard, many people would get a pair of skate shoes to complete their gear. But are these shoes a necessity and are they worth the investment? Let’s find out.

Do You Need a Pair of Skate Shoes?

You don’t necessarily need to wear skate shoes for the adventures with your board, as you can do it with your regular shoes, boots and even barefoot. However, skating shoes are specifically designed to boost your performance and protect your feet from injuries and pain.

More specifically, skateboard shoes are designed with a bunch of convenient features such as the extra padding to add on your comfort, protection and stability and a construction that allows you to handle the board better. The more advanced these features are, the better performance your skate shoe will deliver.

What’s the Difference Between Skateboard Shoes and Normal Shoes?

skateboarding shoes
source: fitanddrift.com

As we already mentioned, skateboarding shoes are packed with a bunch of features and conveniences to make every skater’s performance easier and better. Hence, these shoes’ designs are very specific and intended only for skating and not for activities such as walking or running. If you’re wondering what makes skating shoes so special, it’s their outsoles, midsoles and their outer construction. 

Starting from their outsoles, they’re made from much stiffer materials such as rubber so they can provide an easy grip and resist the heavy wear and tear that comes with skateboarding. Midsoles are the part that provides proper support while landing by absorbing the shock and giving the wearer a better feel of the board.

Finally, the outer construction of these shoes is reinforced in different ways, so they can withstand heavy abrasion, provide durability and feel comfortable on your feet while doing your best tricks.

How to Choose the Right Pair of Skateboard Shoes?

Whether you decided to explore skateboard shoes online or in your favourite brick and mortar skate shop, know that it’s important to take a couple of factors into consideration. Let’s see what exactly are we talking about.

Pick the Right Type

Not all skateboard shoes are the same. In fact, they can typically be split into two separate categories that are fairly different from each other:

Cupsole Skate Shoes

cupsole skate shoes
source: protein-burger.com

Cupsole shoes are the type that is mostly worn by skaters, and there are a couple of reasons behind it. 

First of all, these shoes typically feature single-rubber outsole units, making them exceptionally protective and able to absorb the impact of nasty landings. And not only are they very durable and stiff, but cupsole skate shoes also come with extra cushioning to add to your protection. Due to this, these shoes may not be the most comfortable option, but definitely worth the investment.

Vulcanized Skate Shoes

Vulcanized shoes are, on the other hand, much more flexible and lightweight than cupsole ones. These shoes feature uppers that are connected to the outsole with a foxing tape by baking in specialized ovens. This often means degrading the rubber and getting softer, thinner and more fragile shoes.

However, this doesn’t make vulcanized shoes less suitable than cupsole shoes, as they offer the ultimate comfort and flexibility for skaters that prefer casually cruising and performing easy tricks at the skate park.

Choose the Most Suitable Style

Except for the two different types, skateboard shoes also come in a couple of different styles that suit different skaters’ needs and preferences. Hence, a skateboard shoe can come in one of the following four styles:

High-Top Skate Shoes

high-top skate shoes
source: bassem.com

These shoes are perfect for every skater looking for extra protection and stability, especially in the ankle area. Not only do high-top shoes give a rigid feel, but they’re also heavier and bulkier so they can absorb the impact.

Mid-Top Skate Shoes

These shoes are ultimately versatile, as they can be suitable for both, casual rides in your neighbourhood and showing off your most advanced tricks at the skate park. Except for offering decent foot protection, mid-top skate shoes don’t feel as rigid and don’t limit your movements as high-top ones do.

Low-Top Skate Shoes

Low-tops are the most common choice among skaters. These shoes are exceptionally flexible, offering excellent mobility in your ankle and toes area while feeling very comfortable on your feet. However, keep in mind that low-tops don’t provide much protection, which can be awful if your longboard accidentally smacks you in the ankle while performing jumps and flips.

Slip-On Skate Shoes

Ever since the old-school VANS came out on the market, slip-ons became extremely popular among skaters. And it’s no wonder at all, considering how comfortable, flexible and lightweight they are. However, keep in mind that they don’t provide any levels of protection and aren’t much recommended for newbies in the skating world.

Get the Right Material

Skateboard shoes online and brick and mortar stores offer a vast of different models made from different materials. Truth be told, not all of these materials are equally good, as some of them are more suitable for skating than others. These are the most common materials used for manufacturing skate footwear:

Suede

suede material skate shoes
source: biblogtecarios.es

The good old suede skating shoes have never decreased their popularity. Suede shoes aren’t only very durable and able to withstand daily wear and tear without showing any damages, but they’re also breathable and let the air circulate inside the shoe.

But since suede is a material that is very prone to attracting dust and showing dirt, many skaters would simply go for a pair with at least the most exposed parts covered in this material.

Leather

Leather skateboarding shoes are completely abrasion-resistant, and therefore the most durable material used in this industry. This means that your leather skateboarding shoes won’t get affected by any influence, regardless of the kinds of tricks and the amount of abuse you give them.

But on account of the stiffness and the sturdiness they feature, keep in mind that leather shoes aren’t breathable at all. This means that they aren’t letting any sweat escape and air circulate inside the shoe, which will make your feet feel like they’re melting inside. 

Canvas

Canvas has been one of the most popular materials for manufacturing skate shoes ever since the 1970s. This was the era of the popular Old Skool VANS and the most iconic All-Star shoes which made a huge buzz among skaters worldwide. 

However, keep in mind that canvas isn’t the best option for skating, as it breaks down very easy and is very prone to abrasion. Hence, they’re mostly recommended for skaters that are less likely to get into beast mode and break their board, but for the ones that only want to casually ride or use their skateboard for commuting.

Now that you found out about the most important aspects of skateboard shoes, it’s time to visit your nearby skate shop or order a pair of skate shoes online.