Do Skateboarding Shoes Matter? (Benefits and Buying Guide)

Skateboarding shoes are an important component of the skateboarding experience. Skateboarders need to have a grip on their feet, protection for their toes and ankles, flexibility and boardfeel in the shoe’s design to help them move with ease and most importantly, durability because they take a lot of abuse while skating.

Skateboarding shoes matter if you want to perform professional tricks such as flips, ollies and handrail skating. These shoes provide grip, boardfeel, flexibility, impact protection and durability for effective, safe and enjoyable skateboarding.

Skateboarders wear a special type of footwear called “skateboard” or “skater” shoes that are designed specifically for this sport – not regular tennis or running sneakers!

What are Skater Shoes?

Skateboarding Shoes are specialised custom-designed durable shoes that provide flexibility, boardfeel and impact protection to the skateboarder.

Do you need special shoes for skateboarding?

Skateboarding is a unique sport that needs specialised equipment. Skaters need shoes designed with grip, flexibility and durability to help them perform at their best when they are taking on tough terrains like concrete or asphalt.

Skateboarders need special shoes if they want to perform intense tricks such as ollies and flips. Regular shoes can be used for cruising.

In the upcoming section, I will try to explain the exact differences between regular sneakers and Skateboarding shoes, to help you make a better choice when buying shoes for skateboarding or even if you’re just thinking about starting.

The Difference Between Skate Shoes and Regular Shoes

Skate shoes are different from regular sneakers and casual footwear in a variety of ways. This includes the way they fit, feel as well as their durability and grip.

The key differences between regular shoes and skate shoes are as follows:

  • Skate Shoes are much more Durable
  • Skate Shoes are more Flexible than Regular Footwear
  • Loose and Thin Enough to Provide sufficient Grip and Boardfeel
  • Unisex Style and Design
  • Stiff and Robust
  • Skate shoes are more expensive than Regular Sneakers

Let’s get into these differences in more detail:

Skate Shoes are much more Durable

When people think about skateboarding shoes, one of the first things that come to mind is how durable they are due to taking so much damage while skating.

Skate Shoes are more Flexible than Regular Footwear

Another important difference between skate shoes and regular sneakers is that they are more flexible than normal footwear. They need to be able to bend, flex as well as stretch in order for the wearer’s foot movements while skating with ease without hurting their feet or ankles. This also makes them more comfortable because one can do a variety of tricks without having to worry about being in pain.

Loose and Thin Enough to Provide sufficient Grip and Boardfeel

Skate shoes are also looser than regular footwear because they need the space for movement and flexibility as well as boardfeel, so people can easily feel their feet touching the deck or grip tape on top of it while skating. This is important when doing tricks as well.

Unisex Style and Design

One of the biggest differences between skate shoes and regular sneakers is how unisex they are in terms of their design, meaning both men and women can wear them. This allows for more people to get into skating without having to worry about specific designs that don’t fit either sex or a person’s particular style.

Stiff and Robust

Another difference between skate shoes and regular sneakers is that they are stiffer than the latter because of their materials and design. This may seem like a bad thing at first, but it makes them more durable as well as protective for skaters’ feet and ankles when doing tricks or going downhill due to their grip and high tops.

Skate shoes are more expensive than Regular Sneakers

Another important difference between skate shoes and regular sneakers is that they tend to be more expensive than the latter because of their durability, design as well as materials needed for a particular type of shoe. Skateboarders need to invest in good quality footwear if they want them to last longer on their feet.

Types of Skateboarding Shoes: Cupsole Shoes Vs Vulcanized Shoes

Cupsole Shoes

Cupsole shoes are better suited for providing impact protection and durability. These types of shoes have a sole which is made up of one piece, meaning there is no stitching or pieces involved in making them when they are being manufactured. The only issue with this kind of sole is that they can be more bulky and heavy on the feet, provide less flexibility and boardfeel which may make it harder to do certain tricks.

Vulcanized Shoes

Vulcanized shoes provide more flexibility and boardfeel. They are easier to break into do not last as long as the Cupsole shoes. ‘Vulc’ shoes are baked to fuse the different pieces together, thus making the rubber sole more flexible. This type of sole is much thinner and lighter than cup sole shoes, which makes them easier to skate in because they are not as bulky or difficult to manoeuvre around your feet. However, this kind of design does make them less durable when taking damage on different surfaces like sidewalks while skating due to their stitching being more prone to break.

Things to Look for While Buying a Skateboarding Shoe

One important thing that needs to be considered before buying a skateboard shoe is what type of skating they will be doing, or the types of tricks their shoes need to handle.

The Six most important characteristics of a good skateboarding shoe are:

  • Durability
  • Impact Protection
  • Boardfeel
  • Flexibility
  • Fit
  • Style

Let us consider the above parameters in more detail in the following section.


A skateboarding shoe’s material, as mentioned earlier in the article, should be more durable than regular sneakers. It needs to withstand a lot of wear and tear while skating or doing tricks due to its grip tape design which will take damage if one is not careful about their feet being covered when performing certain moves.

Impact Protection

Another important factor to consider when choosing skateboarding shoes is their material and design that will protect your feet from being hurt if one falls or slams their board into the ground while skating. This also goes for high tops, which are good at protecting ankles as well.


Boardfeel is especially important in terms of a person’s balance on top of their board. It is a feeling that one can adjust to if they are skating in their shoes regularly, but having the right kind of material and design will help enhance this while doing tricks for the best results possible.


Flexible materials or designs allow skaters’ feet to move more easily as opposed to stiffer types which have a more difficult time with this. This is because it allows one’s feet to bend and move around when skating, which makes it possible for them to land tricks without having the shoes be too heavy or bulky for their feet to handle as they may have a hard time doing certain types of moves if their footwear does not allow them much freedom in terms of flexibility and movement.


It is important to have a good fit while skating as one’s shoes need to be able to stay on their feet without much trouble if they do not want them falling off or sliding around when trying new types of tricks. The best way for someone to know if the shoe fits right would be to ensure that it has enough room to fit their feet with socks on and tighten the laces properly.


Last, but not least, a person should consider how stylish their skateboarding shoes are when choosing them as it depends entirely on personal preference. When buying new footwear for this sport, one needs to make sure that they will be able to wear them regularly without being embarrassed about how they look.

Final Thoughts

Skateboarding shoes matter and can help you land difficult tricks, but only if they are the right kind – so what type should you buy? The six most important characteristics of a good skateboard shoe are durability, impact protection, boardfeel, flexibility, fit and style. You’ll want to consider these factors before buying any footwear for this sport because it’s an investment that will pay off in other ways than just performance eventually. 

ProductDescriptionKnow More
Vans Unisex Old Skool (Primary Check) Skate Shoe Check on Amazon
DC Shoes Men’s Skateboarding Shoes Check on Amazon
Adidas Busenitz Vulc II (Core Black/Gold Metallic/Solar Red) Men’s Skate Check on Amazon

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