How to Choose Good Skate Shoes

Table of Contents

Shahar - Author

Hi, My Name Is Shasha Ash (AKA 'Skater Ash'), with a lot of time in my hands, I checked too many skate shoes for myself and for my kids, and now i know which skate shoes are the best!

In the culture of skateboarding, one of the metaphorical rites of passage has always been to inspect somebody else’s shoes to see if they have any holes. With skateboarding innovation and fashion at their peak, there are fewer holes but far more brands, styles, and motives to purchase a specific shoe. Choosing the appropriate shoe can mean the difference between protecting your feet and limping away.

We’ve compiled a list of factors to look out for when buying a pair of skate shoes to ensure your look and performance are up to date. While numerous aspects go into being a skater, style and skill are two of the most important. The same may be said for skate shoes.

Although, traditional skate shoes have always had a particular place in our hearts, the greatest skate shoes in today’s market last longer, function best, and offer a specific stylistic effect while ideally not burning a hole in your pocket.

Vulcanized Soles vs Cupsoles

The first thing to consider is whether you want to wear vulcanized or cupsole skateboard shoes. The main distinction between cupsoles and vulcanized soles is their longevity and board feel. What it boils down to is that cupsoles are more durable than vulcanized sneakers.

Vulcanized soles provide additional heel support and protection. The disadvantage of cupsoles is that they provide less board feel. So, which one should you choose? There is no right answer; only the one that feels right for you. It all comes down to personal taste.

High Tops, Mid-tops, and Low Tops Are All Options.

What’s the difference? Protection for your ankles and mobility of movement.  You may need these if you get a lot of anklers (board hits on the ankles). They are extremely cushioned and offer added impact protection. There are three types of tops: low tops, mid-tops, and high tops.

Firstly, low-tops are comfier and allow for more movement, whilst high tops offer protection and some ankle support. They cannot keep you from rolling your ankle, but they might protect you from razor tails.

Low-top skate shoes are best if you need a lot of movement. These are relatively normal and weigh less than mid and high tops, which doesn’t really matter. The disadvantage is that the absence of padding exposes your ankles, putting them at risk.

Mid-tops, as expected, are located at the center. They provide a little more ankle support and stability than low-tops but less freedom of movement.

You don’t have to worry about your ankles being exposed like in low-tops, and you won’t feel restrained as in high-tops. They still prevent your ankles from being smacked by your deck!

High tops restrict movement yet give some ankle protection. They would not prevent you from dislocating your ankle, but they might absorb some of the shocks when your board chooses to go after your ankles. Some high tops (such as the Vans hk8 high) contain extra padding to help with impact absorption.

Skate Shoe Soles

Depending on the type of shoe, a sole is made up of many sections. Some offer heel support, unique insoles, and a herringbone or waffle tread pattern for added traction.

A thin soul would appear to be low to the ground, making it simpler to feel your skateboard. Improved board control that is excellent for flip tricks!

However, you need something that can absorb hits while also being gentle on your feet. So opt for a skate shoe that allows you to feel your board while still being able to withstand impact. If you choose a thinner rubber sole, make sure you have some cushioning!


Cushioning not only prevents blisters, but it is also important in reducing heel bruising and other foot ailments. Skate shoes with little or no tongue and collar padding should be avoided. Ensure to get shoes that allow you to remove the insoles, as you may need to change them frequently.

Skate shoe soles are composed of a rubber outsole and an insole that are compacted and glued together to provide optimal support. The majority of skate soles are comprised of lightweight, flexible foam. Midsoles are frequently constructed of durable skate shoe foam or polyurethane.

Look for skate shoes with a replaceable, supportive insole. Inexpensive insoles are comprised of thin foam, whereas higher-quality insoles provide additional comfort by utilizing gel, air pockets, foam, or a combination of these durable materials.

Thicker insoles may sacrifice some board feel, but this is dependent on the shoe’s structure. If you require additional arch support, you can purchase insoles individually.

Toe caps are the rubbery material that is wrapped around the nose to keep holes from forming. If you perform a lot of kickflips, this is the best feature for you! If you prefer to heelflip, you won’t have to worry about this as much.

These extend the life of your best skate shoes by better absorbing the friction of your grip. However, not everyone loves them, primarily because they provide less board feel and slide differently than suede. Toe caps might be a good idea if you skate transition and slide a lot on your knee pads and feet.


The grip is known for how well your shoes remain on your skateboard’s grip tape without slipping. It is just as vital as a board feel. The grip is closely tied to the type of rubber sole used on shoes. Stiffer rubbers do not provide a good grip, whereas soft rubbers can make flicking difficult. It is entirely up to you to determine the appropriate degree of grip for you. However, due to their softer nature, vulcanized shoes typically give superior traction than cupsoles.

The Importance of Shoe Materials

Suede shoes are required for technical skaters. It has the longest lifespan and delivers the best board feel. Canvas is the weakest material and should only be used for cruising or transition skating with no ollies or flips. There are leather shoes available, but they are usually large and detract from the board feel.

The best skate shoes among skateboarders are shoes made out of suede. Suede skate shoes are the ones that would endure the longest. They can withstand far more than canvas shoes. At the very least, ensure that the pieces of your ollie, kickflip, or heelflip are covered in suede.

Furthermore, suede is also the most easily repaired material if it has holes from wear and tear. No matter what sneaker you buy, it should eventually wear out. The drawback is that they absorb dust and become dirty faster but you end up trashing them anyhow because skateboarding isn’t a fashion show.

Canvas shoes are typically less expensive, but they do not last very long when performing technical tasks. After only an hour of skateboarding, the canvas layer can begin to shred and tear.

Skate shoes made out of canvas are a good option if you enjoy cruising or taking long trips on your longboard. Canvas has the advantage of causing less sweaty feet. It helps your feet breathe a little better. The material is also suitable for skating transitions such as tiny ramps, bowls, and verts. Match your shoes, if you want to do flips and ollies.

Laces and Lace Protectors

Laces are frequently the first to break. There are several skate shoes on the market that address this issue by having longer laces and strengthened lace holes.

The Vans pro series, for example, has metal lace holes on the top. You could try to stiffen the corner edges (bottom and top) of laces using shoe goo. However, you usually always get a pair of extra laces.

Lace protectors are a little out of date, but they’re still available. Some shoes have them built in to prevent them from snapping all the time.

You might also consider purchasing a couple and gluing them so they don’t tear as quickly. The disadvantage of gluing them onto your shoes is that you can no longer change their tightness. Flauge makes lace protectors that usually work. Lace protectors were popular in the early 1990s, however, they were phased out in favor of shoes with four lace holes.

Because laces can cause friction, consider where your laces are and where your flips are tearing down your sneakers. Take them to your local skateboard shop and the employees should hopefully recommend the shoes you require.

Gusset Tongues

Nothing is more infuriating than a shoe tongue that refuses to stay centered. When the tongue of your shoe moves to one side or the other, pressure points might form. As a result, some skating shoes have elastic gussets that link the tongue to the midsole, providing a secure fit and keeping the tongue in position.

Best Skate Shoes

This sneaker is regarded as the top dog in the skate shoe game for a variety of reasons, but none may be more relevant than the amount of time invested in each design. Converse Louie Lopez was constantly in competition with this shoe. It is a tribute to their efforts, as Shane worked with Nike for many years to create the best sneaker for the tech wizard, and it reflects.

The sneaker blends custom double lacing, low-key perforated ventilation on the toe cap, a rubber sole, and a no-break-in updated design with a distinctive sock-liner and discreet but attractive characteristics. The major disadvantage is that the price range varies, with $80 being fairly normal before taxes. There are also numerous styles and materials to pick from, and not all of them have been reviewed.

You’d be correct if you thought the DC Legacy OG looked like something from the beginning of the century. The term Legacy is derived from the golden period of skateboarding when the DC Legacy OG was popularized by iconic skaters like Josh Kalis and Stevie Williams, who destroyed the sneaker during the notorious LOVE park era. It has been updated for 2020 with more durable materials and a sleeker unique design. To give additional comfort, this sneaker also has a fully padded tongue and collar.

The cushioned tongue and padded collar of the Legacy OG make this one of the most durable skate shoes on the market at the moment, with a look that has both footwear enthusiasts and nostalgic skaters dishing out $80 to $125 for the current hues. Some are put off by the price, as well as the shoe’s big, thick design, which can interfere with board feel and flip tricks. Overall, these sneakers are worth a look.

he Nike SB Zoom Blazer Mid is one of those uncommon sneakers that can be found in every retail category, including the bestseller, best performance, and best style. The legendary SB Blazer comes to life with the Zoom Mid, as moderns wear the elegant sneaker in the sought-after all-white hue, where they contract artists to use it as a canvas for customized shoes. However, the shoe is available in a variety of colors with a rubber sole, as well as pro-model offshoots.

Zoom Blazer, as a mid, gives ankle and arch support for the older skater, while the younger generation enjoys the design and performance. The negatives, such as a plethora of shoes, revolve around the price level, which is on the low side at $85.

The sneaker has a five-star rating on Amazon and may be categorized as the best skate shoes. It is also a popular sneaker among non-skaters. The problem is that the shoe is so attractive that you probably do not want to skateboard in them first; yet, they are skate shoes for a purpose.

Adidas originals are primarily recognized for their athletic department, but they have also created some of the most famous skateboard shoes. The Campus ADV is a classic shoe, inspired by the original Campus from the 1980s when the shoe soon garnered a cult following among hip hop fans. Years later, the redesigned Campus ADV combines years of athletic performance into a fashionable shoe that skateboarders can appreciate.

The tight fit and extra padding deliver a bounce of luxurious durability, and it is known for its reinforced high-impact protection and no-slip tongue. The only drawback is that the shoe is only available in core black and cloud white, yet its suede classic style compensates for the lack of customization. The shoe retails for $80, which is around average or somewhat above the price range, but if you’re fortunate, you could be able to find a back-to-school deal or a pair on the clearance rack.

The Vans Classic Slip Ons are beloved by both skaters and non-skaters for a variety of reasons. When the term “slip-on” is mentioned, this is the first pair that comes to mind. This is due to their dependability and stability over the years. If you’re a skater who appreciates performance and board feel, you know exactly what you’re investing for.

Most significantly, the Vans Classic Slip Ons are among the most affordable shoes on the market today. With some investigation, you may buy them for as little as $40 and sometimes for more than $60. You can create a one-of-a-kind appearance or stick to the usual checkers or all black with rubber outsoles.

Having said that, the skate shoe does have two main drawbacks. Because the shoe is constructed of canvas, it tears badly even when triple stitched. The skateboard grip tape is bad for shoes, and unfortunately, skating shoes spend a lot of time in contact with this material so you may need to buy another pair soon after.

The second issue is that the shoe is so lightweight and thin that, while it provides a fantastic board feel, it is not suitable for jumping downstairs or cushioning impact. Still, there’s a reason why the shoe has a huge fan base.

We realized we had to include the best skate shoes from the most storied brands in eS. While the company may no longer be a ruler in its field where it was once king, the eS Accel is always associated with high-end skate shoes. In 2020, eS is still selling the sneaker that made it famous, the eS Accel OG.

Every professional, no matter what sponsors they skate, for now, had to own a pair of the Accel OGs at some time, and it has won the #1 skate shoe award several times in its existence. Keep in mind that shoe innovation and what we anticipate from a skate shoe have evolved since the eS Accel.

Although many may find the Accel OG to be a welcome return to the past, certain competitors or younger skaters may find its fit to be a little out of date. In any case, this shoe deserves to be shined.

Rarely does a skate shoe look as beautiful as it skates, but the Emerica Wino G6 Slip is an exception. This sleek and sophisticated slip-on offers skaters a trendy option to other slip ons that often fall short of expectations. This is a durable skate shoe with a rubber outsole.

While slip ons in nature are infamous for causing foot pain if you do any impact skating, the Emerica Wino G6 Slip was based on the Emerica Wino G6, injecting its G6 PU insole for superior padding. The double wrapped Vulc structure significantly helps the sneaker to be abrasion resistant and helps with its board feel.

Vans’ old-school sneaker is another standout, with a distinctive side stripe similar to the Adidas model and a low-top lace-up style with durable canvas material.

Metal eyelets, a padded tongue and interior, and a Vans iconic Waffle Outsole complete the look.

These sneakers have their own charm. While the foreign rubber and canvas utilized provide grip and control, they can also cause heads to turn and stare at them.

It boasts a low profile and superior padding technology that provides a comfy sensation. The shoes are designed to last longer and provide the finest possible quality either riding on the road or diving in pools.

We hope that this has given you enough information on deciding which type of skateboarding shoes you want to purchase.

Skater Joe

Skater Joe

I like to skate, as much as I can, i like to feel the wind in my beard and forget about everything.
This is my passion, my love, and my life!

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