How to select the Best Shoes to Skate in – Buying Guide

Last Updated on May 29, 2021 by admin

Wearing skate shoes that best suit your needs and personality can make all the difference. Buying the best shoes to skate in will protect your feet from injuries and hard landings. They can adjust to the needs of your feet so, the skateboarding journey can be eased.

Everybody has different feet, and there are a lot of things to consider before buying the right skateboarding shoes. Remember, looks matter but buying the best-looking skate shoes with low durability is a blunder. So, how do you choose the best skate shoes of all time?

For a general idea, your skate shoes should be comfortable, in accordance with your skateboarding style, and supportive to your feet. All the features should be offered by skate shoes without compromising on the board feel. The best skate shoes of all time, depending on your personal preferences.

Let us dive into what things to consider when buying them.

Things to consider when buying the best shoes to skate in

  1. Soles
  2. Upper Material 
  3. Styles
  4. Features
  5. Details

1- Soles:

Selecting the type of sole according to your needs, demands, and skateboarding style is the most crucial part of buying the best skate shoes of all time. Soles are of two kinds:


Capsules are durable soles. Firstly, they are designed to offer you shock absorption as well as impact protection against hard landings. Their construction involves a single rubber outsole unit. Then, the uppers are sewn and glued to the outsole.

Capsules tend to last longer than vulcanized soles. However, these soles do not offer ideal flexibility, and the board feels as vulcanized soles do. Also, they are hard to break in. The skate shoes with capsules are recommended to those who like jumping downstairs or off large ridges. This sole can offer extra cushioning and foot protection.

  • long-lasting durability
  • impact protection
  • Offer less board feel
  • Takes a long to break-in

Vulcanized sole:

Vulcanite is a light and elastic material. Vulcanized soles tend to break in easily. However, they do not tend to provide as much foot protection as capsules do. Moreover, vulcanized soles offer a greater board feel in a lightweight shoe. The construction of these shoes involves connecting uppers and outsole with foxing tape wrapped around the perimeter shoes. Then, the shoes are baked in over for melding all pieces into one unit.

The process of baking shoes makes the shoes soft and flexible. Vulcanized shoes are ideal for those of you who like cruising around the streets or flip tricking on flat surfaces.

  • Lightweight
  • Break-in easily
  • Offers greater board feel
  • Less durable
  • Less protection

2- Upper Material

Other than the sole, the upper material defines the worth of skate shoes. Usually, there are four kinds of uppers you can choose from. Let us check them all with their pros and cons.


Skate shoes made with Canvas uppers have been popular among skateboarders since the 70s. Vans Authentic Skate Shoes and Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars are one of the most iconic Canvas Skate Shoes out there.

Canvas is not the best choice for skateboarding because it is less durable than other materials. This material tends to break down faster, especially if you slide across coarse grip tape from time to time. Canvas Skate Shoes are recommended to those of you who like to cruise around on their skateboards doing transitions and a bit flip trick.

  • Offers high breathability
  • lightweight
  • Less durable


Leather is an ultra-durable and abrasion-resistant material. This material is a premium choice for skateboarders out there. Leather Skate Shoes are so strong that dozens of tricks cannot do any harm to the fabric.

Leather Skate Shoes resemble Terminator because you use them fully, but they stay in one piece. But like Terminator, Leather Skate Shoes would make your feet feel like melting. Yes, expect little breathability for your feet in Leather Skate Shoes.

  • The most durable material
  • Rigid
  • Least breathable


Suede is an elegant and very appropriate material. It combines the pros of both Canvas and Leather material. Suede Skate Shoes are abrasion-resistant and highly durable. They are more durable than Canvas Skate Shoes. Also, they are more breathable than Leather Skate Shoes.

  • Break-in easily
  • Highly durable
  • Offers good breathability
  • Less breathable than Canvas


Textile is a new technology in the world of skateboarding shoes. Textile Skate Shoes are lightweight, durable, and breathable shoes. Most of the best skate shoes of all time also use Suede while using Textile. Suede is used to cover only the high-wear areas for enhancing shoes’ durability. Textile is also used to decrease shoes’ weight and increase cushioning and padding.

  • Lightweight
  • Good breathability
  • High durability
  • Bulky

3- Styles

Despite sole and uppers, skateboarders also need to find out what shoe style best suits them. A shoe style should be in accordance with your skateboarding style. Read on to find out more. There are four types of styles:


High-Top Skate Shoes are appropriate for you if you want extra padding and support for your ankles. Such shoes are the best skate shoes with ankle support. They feel rigid, heavy, and bulky as compared to other shoes. Thus, it basically depends on your personal preference to choose them. We would recommend them to those of you with past ankle injuries.

  • Offers great ankle support
  • Bulky
  • Offers least ankle mobility


Low-Top skate shoes are the most common kind of shoes to skate in. They are low-profile shoes giving your ankles freedom of mobility. They are a crowd favorite. However, they can hurt your badly when your board hits your ankles. So, these are not the best skate shoes for ankle support.

  • Low-profile
  • Ankle mobility
  • Less ankle protection


Mid-Top Skate Shoes lie sandwich between low-tops and high-tops. These shoes can provide your feet with decent ankle support while offering little ankle mobility as well. Yes, these are the best skate shoes for support. Such shoes are also one of the most used ones.

  • Offers good ankle protection
  • Offers good ankle support
  • A little bulky


Slip-on Skate Shoes are stylish as well as classic shoes. The good thing about them is that they exclude any hassle of laces. Also, they have a profile even lower than low-top skate shoes. The board feels for you is amazing in the best slip-on skate shoes. However, they cannot provide any support to your ankle. They are not the best skate shoes for ankle support. We recommend these shoes who want skateboarding with no worry for foot protection.

  • Lightweight
  • Lowest profile
  • Offers the most ankle mobility
  • Least ankle protection

4- Features

If you are a regular skateboarder, you would know the importance of skate shoes’ durability. That is why the best skate shoe brands are investing in ways to ensure the strength of skate shoes. Also, comfort and flexibility cannot be compromised while working on durability and shoe life. Usually, there are little features in shoes that make all the difference. Let’s find out more about skate shoes’ features.

Heel Protection:

Heel bruise is the most common injury that can happen to a skateboarder. Keeping in view, the best skate shoe brands ensure to insert heel-saving technologies into shoes. For example, Nike and Converse insert Zoom Air Bags into the insoles at the heel area. Such technologies are effective in heel protection. There are also other ways of adding heel protection. Some best skate shoe brands use EVA in shoes to make them thicker. Thus, shoes create distance between the floor and feet. Adidas ADIPRENE is also a heel protection technology.

Toe Caps:

Toe caps are rubber strips that fulfill the purpose of protecting high-wear areas of skate shoes. This feature was introduced by the best skate shoe brands like Vans, Adidas, and Converse. Some skate shoes have external toe caps, and some add rubber below uppers as toe caps. This is a way to develop holes on the uppers so, when your uppers wear down, your feet are still covered. Toe caps are an intelligent way of increasing shoes’ life and durability.

Gusset Tongues:

One thing that skateboarders cannot afford is tongue sliding from side to side during a skateboarding session. When the tongue of your skate shoes does not stay centered, it can develop pressure points. This problem is what gussets solve. Gussets connect the tongue to the midsole fitting your feet perfectly.

Double-Wrapped Foxing Tape:

Foxing tape is a strip usually made of rubber. This strip is found at the bottom of the skate shoes. Some best skate shoe brands even add a second layer of foxing tape for reinforcement. This helps high-wear areas to become durable.

Michelin Outsole Technology:

Michelin Outsole Technology is a custom formula that lasts longer than the standard outsole. This outsole adds durability to shoes without compromising on board feel and board grip.

5- Details:

Features represent the manufacture of skate shoes. Besides features, there are other details to consider when buying the best skate shoes of all time. Let’s dive into skate shoes’ details now!


Stitching is what keeps shoes intact. Make sure that the skate shoes you are choosing are not just glued but well-stitched. Double stitching or triple stitching is a plus point. :


Reinforcement, cushioning, extra paddings are great but only until such features start affecting shoes’ effectiveness. You cannot pull off many tricks with well-padded but extremely heavy skate shoes. Too light shoes can also turn out to be flimsy. So, a balance between padding and durability would work fine for you.


Board grip is a crucial part of skateboarding. Rubber is the most appropriate material for shoes’ bottom to make them grippy.


The choice of padding depends on your personal preference. Some skateboarders like well-padded tongues, collars, and heels. You should choose skate shoes with less padding if you are a big board feel fan and can compromise on foot protection.

Pro Signature:

A pro signature name on shoes does not make it the best skate shoes of all times. But here is the thing. A best skate shoe brand needs to protect its name and would not put it on useless products. Thus, buying skate shoes with the brand’s logo, name, or signature on it is a good idea but does not work for all brands.

Bottom Line:

Choosing the right shoes totally depends on your personal preferences. If you prefer breathability over durability, go for Canvas Skate shoes and vice versa. If you prefer board feel over foot protection, go for Vulcanized shoes and vice versa.

In a nutshell, you need to look for all the above-mentioned points when buying the best skate shoes of all time. You cannot find a perfect pair with all the good qualities. But you can surely find a good balance between all features in a pair.

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