The skateboarding shoe industry will grow significantly through 2031. Double that with the fact that skateboarding is now an Olympic sport. That means there are plenty of shoe options.
You need a skateboarding sneaker that will get you through many enjoyable hours on your skateboard. Knowing how to find the perfect pair is a rite of passage for any skateboarder. And we’re happy to show you how.
Follow the six tips below to get started with skateboarding shoes.
Learn the Best Brands
Finding the best skateboarding shoe starts with understanding which brands you like most.
Vans are at the top of the list when considering popularity and recognizability. These shoes have the perfect soles and fit for skateboarders, and they’re stylish enough to attract plenty of non-skateboarders.
This company was founded in the ’60s in California. The shoes were popular on the skateboard scene throughout the heyday and glory years. Vans’ tradition continues today, as the brand sponsors several professionals.
Nike skateboarding shoes have come to prominence in the past few decades. The brand has been a mainstay in professional basketball, football, and other sports. Today, they also manufacture some of the best skateboard shoes in the world.
Nike has carved out a niche for itself among skateboarding lovers after releasing the Nike SB Dunk in the early 2000s. The Nike Blazer Mid continues that tradition, with its high top fit and vulcanized sole.
Other popular brands include the French-based Etnies, classic Converse, and DC Shoes.
Always Try Them on in Person
The best skateboard shoes are always the ones that fit you best. You can’t get a feel for the fit without trying on the shoe in person.
Find the best retailers and outlets near you and plan a trip to try on three or four pairs. Walk around in the shoes, and even consider bringing your board with you so you can feel the way the shoes grip it.
Get a feel for the style and different colorway options. Expression is the sauce that makes skateboarding special, so you need to make sure the shoes you wear fit your personality. This is especially important if you skate professionally and need to grow your brand.
Understand Your Board and Skating Style
Even some of the best shoes for skateboarding on the market won’t necessarily suit your needs. Consider the type of board you skate with, and what tricks you perform.
Examine the size of your board and the way that you use your body weight when you skateboard. Figure out which shoes are best based on whether you ride a longboard, a cruiser, or a double kick skateboard.
What kinds of tricks do you perform?
Get a feel for the weight of the shoes, and how it will affect your ability to hit an ollie, kickflip, fakie hardflip, backside boneless, or eggplant. Visualize your skating style while trying the shoes on and choose the pair that best supports you.
Find Out About Size Differences
Every sneaker brand has minor to noticeable differences about their size and fit. In some cases, you’ll wear two completely different sizes depending on the brand.
Some fit smaller, while others have differences in width. Consider whether you have skinny or wider feet, and how much room you prefer while you skate.
Research the weight of the shoes as well, and consider how this will affect your ability to generate speed and control your board. A sneaker will weigh about 2.5 pounds on average. You’ll notice some significant weight differences depending on the brand, and whether you like high-top or low-top shoes.
Study the Sole and Cupsole
Shifting your weight, kicking up speed, getting some air off the ground, and performing tricks all require different skillful foot placements. This means that you need shoes that are sturdy enough to survive getting scuffed up and banged on.
It also means studying the type of sole that is best for you. This is particularly important if you perform tricks that require you to slide the edge of your shoe across the board.
You’ll typically decide between vulcanized soles and cupsoles. Vulcanized soles are generally thicker and don’t contain stitching. The cupsole is a solid sole built-in with stitching.
Vulcanized soles are probably better if you skate aggressively or at high speeds. Cupsoles might serve you if need optimal support for your feet and ankles.
Compare the Shoe Materials
It’s also important that you research the material that your shoes are made from. Skateboarding shoes are generally made with materials like suede or leather. Many other shoes are made from artificial materials that mimic the originals.
Touch the materials when trying them on, and figure out which style you like most. Make sure to pick up a cleaning kit that is useful for whichever material you go with. That’ll let you get more longevity out of your new sneakers while keeping them looking great.
Shop for the Best Skateboarding Shoes
Let these tips guide you when you’re shopping for skateboarding shoes. It’s a hobby that you can do for as long as you’d like, and there’s no thrill quite like it.
Finding the perfect skateboarding sneaker will help you get the most out of every time you step foot on the board. We’re happy to help you out with more information on your journey.
Start with the points above and make sure to check out our other articles for the latest skateboarding news and more.