Wearing the right skateboarding shoe is important not only because it looks good on you, but because it helps increase your grip and prevents certain injuries.
Constant riding and doing tricks can put a lot of strain on your feet, so it is important to wear a pair that is able to provide proper support.
Picking the right footwear also depends on your style and frequency of skating as well as your personal preference.
Vulcanized vs Cupsoles
The two main types of skate shoes are Vulcanized and Cupsole. In general, vulcanized shoes offer greater board control while the cupsole shoes are sturdier and offer more heel support and protection.
Vulcanized shoes are better suited for more aggressive skaters because they are lighter, slimmer and more flexible. These traits allow more maneuverability and board feel to skaters to do tricks like grinds and slides. However, because of its thinner soles, vulc shoes do lack heel support and offer less impact protection.
Emerica Tilt G6 VULC Men’s Shoes Footwear
Cupsole shoes are perfect for “extreme” skaters who do jumps and aerials as they have thicker soles that offer more cushioning. However, due to its bigger size over vulc shoes, cupsoles provide less board feel and flexibility but absorbs more impact.
Etnies Marana Men’s Shoes Footwear
High Tops, Mid Tops and Low Tops
Aside from the type of protection and comfort from the soles, skate shoes also varies in terms of their look and style. Skate shoes can be classified into three main styles: the high-top, low-top and mid-top.
High Top skate shoes provide the most ankle protection, stability and in some instances, offer extra cushioning for additional impact absorption. The drawback is that they are heavier, bulkier, and offer less breathability and freedom of movement.
Supra Skytop Men's Shoes Footwear
Low Top skate shoes are the most common type of skateboarding shoes as they allow more freedom of movement due to their lighter size and lower profile. Unfortunately, your ankles are very vulnerable due to lesser padding.
DC Lynx Vulc TX Low-top Men's Shoes Footwear
Mid Top skateboard shoes are somewhere in between as they offer good mobility while providing enough ankle protection.
Etnies Jameson Mid Men’s Shoes Footwear
Skate shoes’ performance, particularly in terms of their durability and longevity depend on their upper materials, which can either be Canvas, Leather, Suede or Textile.
Each of them has their own strengths and disadvantages and depending on your skating style or preference, you could favor to select one over the other.
Canvas skate shoes are a popular pick for skaters since the 70’s. Because of their lightweight and breathability, they are favored by skaters that like to cruise or take long rides on their boards. Although they are likely the most affordable among the four, they are not very durable and could easily break down after several skate rides.
DC Men's Anvil Canvas Men's Shoes Footwear
Suede skating shoes are also a popular type as they last longer than canvas shoes because they are abrasion resistant, but does not have the same breathability. They are not recommended for long sessions as they can cause your feet to sog out.
DC Trase Suede Men's Shoes Footwear
Leather skate shoes are an upgrade over the Canvas in terms of durability but is compromised in terms of comfort and breathability. The rigid construction of these shoes allow skaters to do more tricks but they are not recommended to be worn on long rides especially in warm weather.
Emerica Wino Standard Men’s Shoes Footwear
Textile skating footwear are also light weight but an upgrade over the Canvas shoes in terms of durability. Despite being bulky, they are recommended in most types of skating activities.
Emerica Gamma Men’s Shoes Footwear
Make sure to always consider your skating style when picking the right skate shoe as they might just save you from injuries to your feet from a bad landing.
Skaters who do more board tricks might benefit from wearing footwear that are more flexible like the vulc shoes.
For skaters who do more aerials, cupsole shoes are more ideal as they offer better impact protection on your feet.
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