Skateboarding footwear must meet very specific requirements, as they are always exposed to high levels of abrasion. Due to the constant friction on the grip tape, the material wears out, which results in high levels of wear. Therefore, you should only use specifically developed shoes for skateboarding, which provide durability and comfort with different features and special materials. Skateboarders have completely different preferences and demands on their skate shoes, which are also influenced by the way to skate. Skateboarding footwear companies therefore offer a variety of models with different styles, heights, materials and features to meet these demands. Freedom Skateshop only offers shoes that are designed for skateboarding. We are not interested in selling lifestyle shoes or sneakers, because we always want to offer our customers the best selection of skate shoes.
As already mentioned, all the models of the various companies differ by several criteria. To help you make the right choice, we have briefly summarized the most important features and styles.
Low Top, High Top and Mid Top are the three types of shoes in which skate shoes are offered, with the largest percentage being available as a Low Top variant. Low top means that the shoe finishes just below the ankle, such as the Kyle Walker Pros from Vans or the Busenitz Vulcs from Adidas Skateboarding. Low Tops are more lightweight than High and Mid Top shoes, but offer a little less strength and support in the ankle area, although this can be minimized by tightening the laces a little. Low Top does not mean that the shoe is less cushioned or processed than the higher variants. If you place a little more emphasis on cushioning and support in the ankle area, mid-top shoes are the right choice. Models like the Half Cab Pro from Vans or the Accel Mid from éS are particularly popular models that combine classic board feel with stability and design. High tops end above the ankles and thus score with maximum stability and cushioning. Some skateboarders go exclusively for high top models, as they like to rely on the additional safety in the ankle area.
Besides the different heights, other details and features are also relevant. The thickness of the sole and its construction are essentially responsible for the performance. While thicker soles provide better cushioning, thinner soles provide a better board feel because there is far less distance between the contact points between the foot and the board. This makes you feel your deck's concave better, which in turn makes flipping easier. Of course, there are different personal preferences here as well. If you prefer more basic shoes, but still need good cushioning, there is the option of using a special insole - such as Footprint - which adapts perfectly to your foot.
The sole of a shoe is composed of an outsole, midsole and insole. The outsole is responsible for grip and stability and is exposed to the greatest loads due to constant friction with the grip tape, which is why it must be particularly stable and abrasion-resistant.
The inside of a shoe is largely defined by the insole. In most shoe models, this is replaceable, since many skateboarders have specific requirements that go beyond the performance of standard insoles.Thin insoles bring a better board feel with them, but are less cushioned. So if you like to skate stairs and gaps, you should use thicker insoles. Under our Insoles category you can find more information about the different models.
Basically, there are two types of soles for skate shoes: Vulcanized or Cup soles. Vulcanized soles are somewhat softer, adapt more quickly to the feet and are characterized by lower weight and good board feel. Cup Soles are additionally stitched, which provides more stability and can also have a positive effect on durability. Cup Sole shoes mainly provide a good grip, but they can seem a bit stiff, especially during the first session. Therefore, it is recommended to wear them in a little before starting to skate, so that they can adapt to the shape of your feet.
As mentioned earlier, shoes with vulcanized soles are a bit lighter and more adaptable. With this manufacturing method, the components of the sturdy rubber sole are only glued together and are not stitched together with an additional seam as with Cup Soles. The main advantage is a better board feel thanks to the slightly thinner sole, which is why many skateboarders prefer vulcanized shoes. Among the most popular models for example are the Busenitz Vulc from Adidas Skateboarding, or the Vans Kyle Walker Pro. Many models are available in both Cup Sole and Vulc versions.
In Cup Sole models, the outsole is glued and sewn to the midsole with an additional seam. This allows the shoe to retain its shape and is slightly more robust than a Vulc model. In general, the sole of Cup Soles is slightly thicker, which has enormous advantages for larger impacts.
Skate shoes are constantly exposed to extreme forces. Especially by the friction with the Griptape, the material of the shoes is stressed and must therefore meet special requirements.With ollies and flips, especially the toe cap and the outside of the shoes are affected. The repeated movements cause these areas to wear out particularly quickly. To slow down this abrasion and extend the life of the shoes, skate shoe brands have developed various features. In many models, such as the Vans Berle or the Converse CTAS Pro, the toe cap is additionally reinforced with robust rubber. The side of the shoes is often protected by a so-called Ollie Pad supplementary.
Most skate shoes are made of sturdy suede leather. This special leather has a rough surface, is particularly robust and adaptable. After increased wear, the shoe adapts to the shape of the foot, providing a comfortable fit and good board feel. In addition to comfort, suede also offers good grip and is by far the most popular material among skateboarders.
Smooth leather shoes offer more stability in the short term and are slightly more durable than suede variants. However, they are less adaptable and should be broken in before skating. Smooth leather is also quite hard, which can have a negative effect on the wearing comfort.Also, the behavior in ollies and flips cannot be compared to suede, as it has less grip, especially during the first sessions.
Canvas is a vegan alternative to suede and smooth leather. Mostly canvas is made of synthetic fibers. Shoes made of this material have a high wearing comfort, but are unfortunately less robust than shoes made of leather.
So there are a variety of materials and features that affect the performance and durability of skate shoes. However, it is clear that even shoes specially developed for skateboarding can still not permanently withstand the extreme forces. With Shoe Goo, a special glue, you can counteract the wear somewhat. By applying a thin layer on particularly stressed areas, you can significantly extend the durability.
At Freedom Skateshop you will find skate shoes in all designs and materials, as well as care products that increase the durability of your shoes.
You have another question about skate shoes? Contact us!