Skate shoes are more commonly used than most of us think. You might have one stocked up at home without you knowing it. They may look cool and trendy but they are specially designed to assist skateboard riders. So if you are looking to buy a new pair, here’s a list of what we identify as the best.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks
DC Men’s Court Graffik Skate Shoes – These Skateboard shoes have plenty of padding for the support and comfort you will need in performing even the most difficult skateboard tasks. (Check Price at Amazon)
Adidas Men’s Adi-Ease Lace Up Sneakers – These skateboard shoes are a lace-up sneaker made in breathable canvas that features not just the signature three-stripe design but also a heel cap for abrasion resistance. (Check Price at Amazon)
Vans Unisex Old Skool Classic Skate Shoes – These skateboarding shoes are made with vulcanized construction that gives added comfort and durability making it easier for you to perform skateboarding tricks anytime and anywhere. (Check Price at Amazon)
Reviews of the Best Skateboard Shoes
With the DC Men’s Court Graffik Skate Shoe, you will enjoy the cool casual ease. These skateboard shoes are featured in sturdy leather with strong stitching and hip graphics. It also has plenty of padding for the comfort and support you need you’re practicing the most difficult tricks. The vent holes are also added for breathability. These skateboard shoes are a great investment if you’re planning to use it for skateboard practice and competitions. It also gives a comfortable fit that you can wear these daily.
- Made of 100% Leather
- Rubber Sole
- Vent holes for Breathability
- Foam Padded Collar for Comfort and Support
- Soles come off after a couple of months
These skateboard shoes have been designed to skate smoothly over whatever platform you can find. It has been built with a board-gripping vulcanized outsole and a clean-lined, lightweight, canvass upper that stays cool even in hot weather. These lace-up sneakers made in breathable canvas upper features a signature three-stripe design at the sides and a heel cap for abrasion resistance. By using the Adidas Men’s Adi-Ease Lace-up Sneakers, every skateboarding trick you can think of can be easily done with ease, support, and comfort backing up your feet.
- Made with 100% leather
- Rubber sole
- Vulcanized rubber outsole
- Poor Fitting
This comes with 100% rubber with a rubber sole and it represents a timeless skate style. It has vulcanized construction for comfort and durability that will allow you to perform any skateboarding task. These skateboard shoes also make use of the Vans Original waffle outsole for superior board feel, traction, and flex. Since it comes with extra padding, you might not be able to experience slipping and blisters. These might just be able to replace your normal, everyday shoes for added comfort and style.
- Represents a timeless skate style
- 100% Rubber
- Gives superior boardfeel, traction and flex
- Used vulcanized construction
- You can easily get your hands into a knock off
This delivers an old-school look with elevated features. It has a lace-up closure that provides a secure fit while the cushioned midsole offers plenty of room for comfort and support for your feet each time you wear it. It has a smooth suede and streetwise swagger and has remained PUMA’S most epic icon of sport-inspired style. Using these skateboard shoes might give you the performance of your life, it sill not let you down since it comes with the perfect fitting with the best-added comfort for every skateboard trick you can think of.
- Made with 100% Suede
- Rubber soles
- Has padded collar and tongue
- Gives plenty of comfort and support
- Some can be stiff and uncomfortable
These skateboard shoes not only come in 7 colors and design but it’s also made with 100% leather. A good thing about these shoes is that it has removable insoles that are proven to be very comfortable when in use. If you have wide feet, this might be eye-opening for you as it will properly fit your feet. It might also last you a long time depending on how hard you skate. These skateboarding shoes are not just comfortable for your feet but it would really seem stylish for skating and for everyday wear.
- Made with 100% Leather
- Rubber Sole
- Removable Insoles
- Comes in 7 colors/designs
- Easily tears in some areas
What Are Skateboard Shoes?
This is a type of footwear that has been specifically designed and manufactured for use in skateboarding. There is a number of people who choose to wear skate shoes, the design of the skateboard shoes features vulcanized rubber or polyurethane sole with minimal tread pattern or no pattern.
It can be composed of leather, suede upper and double or triple stitching to extend the life of the upper material. It also has a low, padded tongue for added comfort.
Do you have to Wear Skateboard Shoes to Skate?
The answer to this question is a definite NO. You don’t have to be in skateboard shoes to be able to engage in skating, you can even wear army boots or barefoot. But the skateboard shoes are designed to help the wearer skate better and more professional. These shoes will also help in performing difficult tricks easily.
Skateboard shoes have a grippy, flat and usually those wide soled will help the riders hold on and control their skateboards better. The extra padding on the sides ensures maximum comfort and stability during those demanding tricks.
The more recent and high-tech skateboard shoes have longer and comfier leather and are stuffed with more advanced features. To sum it up, you don’t need to be in skateboard shoes to perform skating however, they assist in a great deal in learning and mastering the game so it’s advisable to get one.
What is the Difference Between Skateboard Shoes and Normal Shoes?
Since skateboard shoes are designed to be used in skateboarding, it’s completely different from the normal shoes. Here are a few major differences highlighted.
Outsole: The outsole material and design is probably the number one differentiator between the two. These are crafted out of the stiffer material that is rubber that can resist some heavy abrasion. The material used in the outsole ensures that you can easily grip onto concrete and grip tape.
This is the most important component of a good skate shoe. A good outsole has to fulfill all of your wishes for grip, stability, and flexibility and must also be resistant to abrasion. In order to meet all these standards, air-pads and other types of shock-absorbent cushioning are often integrated into the outsole.
Midsole/Insole: Skateboard shoes don’t offer much arch support. These shoes are designed to keep two things: impact and board feel. Cheaper skateboard shoes don’t provide the support they should on landing, The front of the shoes or the toe area is designed to thin to give the riders more feel of the board while the back portion of the heel is designed in a way to keep the impact of landing minimum.
The midsole lies in between the outer and the inner sole. It serves as the main dampening component of the shoe and is made mostly of EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) as well as phylon which is a heat-resistant plastic. Most major shoe labels have developed their own midsole constructions.
The insoles will be an individual preference and are often removable or interchangeable in higher-priced shoe models. Once they have been worn out, you can easily replace the insoles or if they’re not as fresh as they used to be to let the air out.
Outer Construction: In the outer construction of the skateboard shoes is where you’ll see a lot of reinforcement. Many manufacturing companies tend to innovate in this area. It’s highly recommended that you choose suede as this is favored by almost every professional skateboarder. This material adds more durability to the shoe and is more comfortable than any other.
Shoe Type used for Skateboard Shoes
Although there are a lot of shoe types that you can choose from, the Low-top shoes are the flat standard models in the world of skate shoes and sneakers. These models are usually lightweight all thanks to their lower cut design.
The manufacturers lose the padding in the ankle area in favor of the lighter weight and material but with the highly developed insoles, you will not have to sacrifice cushioning and dampening.
Vulcanized Soles versus Cup Soles
When it comes to choosing the best skate shoes, there a distinction with the soles that comes with it. One would be the cup sole while the other one is the vulcanized sole. The cup soles are sewn into the shoes that make it more robust but also heavier and more inflexible.
While the skateboard shoes that have vulcanized soles offer a lot of agility and a great feel for your skateboard but they are also less robust than cup soles.
Vulcanized soles give the greatest advantage when it comes to weight and flexibility as it gives lower weight and higher flexibility since this is also normally thinner. It also results in an incredible board feel since the individual rubber parts are only glued to each other in vulcanized soled and adhered to the upper by a narrow rubber strip.
With the vulcanized soles, you can jump on your board as soon as you put on your shoes without having to break them in first. However, the disadvantage of using vulcanized soles is that it wears off relatively and quickly and it is also more prone to abrasion. These will also don’t dampen as well as cup soles on account of the fact that they are thinner and softer.
These consist of three main parts namely: an outsole, a midsole made of highly elastic and lightweight foam and a separate insole. The outsole is made of one piece that is glued together or simply inserted. Because of the thick polyurethane sole and extra seam, a shoe with a cup sole is more stable and better at damping.
However because of the thick soles. These shoes are also heavier and less flexible than the vulcanized soles and they also take longer to be broken in.
There are different shoe profiles that give both cup soles and vulcanized soles more flexibility, cushioning, board feel or grip. These will all depend on the manufacturer making all these skateboard shoes. The trend is growing towards ultralight soles that are perfect for both sneakers and after skate shoes.
The soles with thicker profiles are used primarily in the winter season and the outdoor shoes provide the necessary grip in snow and wet conditions.
Shoe Features – What Makes Skateboard Shoes Special
Seams – Almost every skater is familiar with tearing at the seams. This is the reason why the seams are a vital component of skate shoes. These shoes are characterized by the fact that the seams in the more vulnerable areas of the shoes are specially reinforced and reducing wear and tear over time.
The shoes should have double or even triple seams in the toe cap and heel areas because of this sportswear through quickly due to the grip tape. However, if you use a really rough griptape, you will not be able to enjoy your shoes for a very long. In cases like these, we highly recommend a seamless toecap since they are totally free of any interfering seams in the front toe area.
Padding – Whenever you engage in skateboarding activities your feet, ankles and joints are constantly subjected to severe stress. In order to lessen the impact of difficult tricks such as jumping gasps or stairs, many skate companies equip their shoe models with various forms of upholstery.
The tongue, heel areas and other areas in the skateboard shoes are often padded in order to prevent injuries and increase comfort while skating.
Ventilation or Breathability – In skateboarding, you can expect your feet to be sweaty and smelly. This is the main reason why ventilation or the breathability feature of the skateboard shoes are important, not only will it give comfort but will also maximize your skating experience.
All thanks to the perforations or the breathing soles in the shoes alongside the breathable upper materials, fresh air can be circulated and prevents moisture. Some manufacturers build perforated side panels and vent holes directly into the sides of the shoes or use tongues made of airy mesh material.
Shoe Laces – Shoelaces come in countless colors, lengths, and even shapes. Unless you are an individual who prefers Velcro on your shoes, laces are the ultimate feature in any skateboard shoes. A great shoelace in a skateboard shoe will have a waxed or leather shoelace. Some will also have a metal or plastic eyelets as well as special shoelace protectors. These factors increase the life of your laces enormously.
Materials – Which Materials are used for Making your Skateboard Shoes
Suede – In order for you to have fun while skateboarding, your shoes should present you with great durability. The outer material of your shoes is one of the most important features. Most models available in the market are made of suede because it’s particularly tough.
Suede is also stretchy and softer with frequent use which means you can opt for a tighter-fitting suede shoe and then break it into a perfect fit that is impeccably formed to your foot. However, if the entire shoe is not made of suede, they should have it on heavily stressed spots like the ollie area and the toecaps.
The term suede is used in the industry as a basic term for any leather with a rough surface, produced directly from the softer underside of animal hide.
Patent Leather – In contrast with suede, the patent leather is produced from the top, outer layer of animal hide, and is generally thinner and less durable. It’s also known as coated leather and it usually comes with a colored layer or an additional artificial coating.
Canvas – If you’re totally against the use of animal leather, there are great alternatives to the various leather options. Many shoes are made of textiles and as such, the canvas is typically used to create leather-free skate shoes. Canvas isn’t quite as wear-resistant as leather but you can still consider this as a durable alternative.
One great advantage of wearing sneakers made out of textile is the reduced weight with the addition of increased breathability. Textiles will include all woven, knit and bound materials. These will include natural fibers and synthetic ones. Shoes made with textile materials will have a special symbol on them.
Vegan Shoes – The skateboarding industry is looking for additional ways that will offer the non-usage od animal products and one of them is using vegan shoes. Even the adhesives used are considered that’s why most brands now use water-based glues.
Types of Skateboarding Shoes that will Fit Different Kinds of Feet
If you find yourself asking what should be considered when searching the perfect fit for skate shoes and sneakers? In essence, the shoes shouldn’t be so big that you can swim in them and they shouldn’t be so small also as they constrict your feet on the sides or toe area.
Apply the rule of thumb that says, there should be a small space, just about the size of the width of your thumb. This pace should be enough and will ensure that the shoes will not constrict you. With an additional space in the front area will allow you to use insoles to increase damping and comfort.
A lot of skateboarders prefer the exact fit so they feel sit firmly in the shoes. This will increase the feeling for your skateboard and for tricks while doing the flick for kickflip variations.
Small Feet – If you’re an individual who has small feet and is not really sure about which shoe fits you. We will advise you to steer away from extra wide chunky shies as these are probably not your best bet. A less cushioned low top shoes are the most suitable for smaller and narrower feet. But this will always be dependent on your own personal preference and the distinct feeling you’re going for.
Large Feet – This type of feet is usually narrower than smaller ones. This is the reason why narrow cut sneakers and skate shoes are made available in the market. If you have big feet, you can use clunky and wider shoes just to make them look narrower and even more stylish.
Narrow Feet – Many manufacturers of skateboard shoes offer those with narrow feet an even narrower and less cushioned shoes and these will usually come in a low-top variation.
Wide Feet – If your feet are wide, you will certainly not have fun with narrow-cut shoes because they can be a bit uncomfortable on the toes and ankles. Even if you have the thought that it will eventually stretch out it can be too painful at the beginning.
You might want to look for shoes with a wide toe cap and your toes will thank you because even in skating, there’s a lot of pressure put on your forefoot every time you land.
Wear and Tear Protection
Here are a few tips that can help you in preserving your new skateboarding shoes:
- Always make sure that your shoes are neatly laced to avoid slipping and tripping. If you enjoy looking chill with loose laces, keep in mind that both your shoes and your joint will greatly suffer from it. Keep them tied up tightly as this will not only protect the outer sole and interior of your shoes but also your bones.
- You should properly tie and untie your skateboard shoes when you put them on and take them off. Never try to just slip them off. The padding, reinforcement in the heels as well as the seams will last longer if you do this.
- You can also use a waterproofing spray that gives off extra protection in your shoes during extreme weather. It protects the materials in your shoes and keeps your feet dry even in the wettest conditions. Simply spray it on the appropriate spot, smooth it out and allow it to harden and you can use if for the next skateboarding session without damage.
- Because of the constant contact with the grip tape, shoelaces tear very quickly. It can be useful to apply a small amount of glue to the exposed areas to protect your laces. The use of adhesive can be particularly prudent when it comes to skate shoes made of canvas or any sneakers made of textiles.
- You should air out your skateboard shoes properly after an intense skating session. You will be able to reduce unpleasant odors and it will also give them a break that allows for the extension of their shape stability.
- Never use any detergents with aggressive ingredients such as alcohol, acetone because this may lead to discoloration and damage to adhesive and waterproofing. Never put your shoes in the washing machine.
Buying Guide for the Best Skateboard Shoes
Here are several ways that can help you decide which skateboard shoes are good and which should be tossed in the trash quickly.
Ask Your Friends
If you’re a skateboarding enthusiast it will also come naturally that most of your friends also love skateboarding. One of the best ways of getting the best skateboard shoes is to make sure that your friends give their seal of approval.
More often than not, your friends have tried particular skateboard shoes that you’re eyeing on. This method works and will only allow a short time of asking.
Give the Skateboard Shoes a Test Run
Probably the best method in finding out of the skateboard works for you is to test them out. This will definitely work a lot better than just asking your friends. However, this method may become expensive so you might weigh your options and consider every factor before making that purchase.
Features to consider
Stitching – You should look around the shoe and make sure that they are actually stitched together. They should not just be glued and they should be largely double stitched or even triple stitched together.
Knowing that a good quality skateboard shoe has been stitched together, it gives you the assurance that it will hold the shoes together for a long time.
Material – You should learn what materials were used for making the shoes. If it’s only canvas you should just keep looking for another skateboard shoes unless you don’t plan on doing anything dynamic with the shoes.
If it’s made of leather, check how thick it is and if there are layers. The strong skateboard shoes are usually made out of leather, suede or something synthetic that is just as strong.
Reinforcement – Having skateboard shoes made out of leather is not enough, you will need lots of reinforcement. You will not just walk in these shoes you will also skate with them. Let us tell you a known fact, skating will destroy shoes so you would want your shoes to last as long as possible.
Go for skateboard shoes with extra layers on the toe cap, some on the side where you’ll be dragging your foot during ollies along with lace eyelets and around the heel. Your shoes should be able to withstand a nuclear attack.
Weight – All the added reinforcement is great but your skateboard shoes should not feel like concrete blocks as you won’t be able to pull off many tricks with them.
All of this technology and design needs to be light enough to not drag you down. But you wouldn’t want it too light either since you will become flimsy while doing your tricks.
Grip – The sole needs to be made of gum runner that gives extreme grip. These are not just for your regular rubber shoes, you need skateboard shoes to grip the board. Most Skateboard shoe brands will be grippy enough but always keep in mind that not all shoes are made with the same quality.
Padding – This will be based on individual preference. Some skaters like their shoes with padded tongues and heel collars and a good cushy heel pad. Padding is all for comfort and allows you to breeze through your tricks easily.
Lace Protection – One of the small things that skaters tend to overlook a lot of times. The lace holes should be reinforced with metal because if they are not, you can easily rip through them. Does the shoe come with flaps for the lower lace holes that will protect your laces when you do flip tricks? Because if not, you will burn through your laces fast.
Style – This should be the least important feature as far as skateability is concerned but most skaters put it on the top of the list. It’s not really all about the style but you have to love your shoes. But this concern should be down the list and take a back seat to some other concerns.
After a comprehensive review of the best 5 skateboard shoes, we saw that the DC Men’s Graffik Skate Shoes stands out from the rest. Not only does it look nice and very well designed for your skateboarding needs it also comes in features that are necessary to perform a great skateboarding technique.
However, the final selecting decision will still be up to you. You may want to refer to our buying guide to choose the best skate shoes that suit all your needs. If you want to know more about DC Men’s Court Graffik Skate Shoe, please click on the link for more information.