How to Choose Skateboard Shoes: Protection, Comfort and Durability in One

When your little skater is learning new tricks on the board, you begin to wonder if they need the proper shoes to do the job. But is it really true that your child needs the special kind of footwear in order to skateboard? It’s an important part of the skating experience, and you most certainly don’t want your kid to slip about on the board.

Benefits of Wearing Skate Shoes

As the name implies, specialised youth skate shoes are solely built for skateboarding because they’re more durable and give greater grip which makes them less suitable for everyday use. Their soles are purposely made thinner than standard soles in order to give the rider an optimum board feel, and some designs even contain insole technology that can resist high impact.

This also helps to explain why runners and basketball shoes reduce the board feel. The large soles make it tough to control the board. Keep in mind that only skilled skaters can deal with the disadvantages of ordinary shoes, so why would you make your little one ride a board in such a pair in the first place?

Considering the shoes for skateboarding are more robust and abrasion resistant than any other regular type of shoes, another significant advantage of wearing them is that they reduce the stress on the feet when you land. Furthermore, they make it simpler to perform all of the skating stunts, but most importantly, they should be worn for the same reason professional skateboarders wear helmets, for protection.

kids skateboarding shoes
source: safetyandhealthmagazine.com

What Makes a Good Skateboarding Shoe

When you walk into a skateboard store, you will notice footwear designs with low, mid, and high profiles. All of these have their perks and drawbacks. A low-top allows for greater movement, whereas a mid-top model provides additional support for the feet. While the high-top profile provides the most ankle protection, it can restrict movements and feel cumbersome. Whether your kid needs extra ankle protection or the freedom of movement, you’ve got a range of high top, mid-top, and low top options of youth skate shoes collections available at the stores.

High Tops

High-tops have a higher cut than the others. They normally come to a stop above the ankle. As such, they provide more stability as well as extra padding and as a result, offer more safety, protection, cushioning and support in the area of the ankles. They may not prevent ankle sprains, but they absorb part of the shock when the board decides to go after the ankles. Some high tops contain additional padding to help with impact absorption. Furthermore, higher cut shoes are excellent for winter too as they will keep the joints warm when skating. 

Low Tops

Low top skate shoes are best when doing a lot of movement. These are pretty common and weigh less than mid and high tops, which doesn’t really matter. The disadvantage is that the absence of cushioning exposes the ankles, putting them at risk from injuries.

low-top skateboarding youth shoes
source: bilginkriko.com

Mid Tops

Mid-tops fall somewhere in the middle. They provide a little more ankle support and stability than low-tops, but less flexibility of movement. You don’t have to worry about the ankles being exposed as they do with low-tops, nor should you fret the feet being confined as in high-tops. They’ll still prevent the ankles from getting injured by your deck.

Consider the Shoe’s Soles

Skate shoes have two types of sole construction. The first is vulcanized, while the second is known as a cup sole. Each of the two types has advantages, but it all comes down to personal preference when looking for the best design. However, don’t simply evaluate the appearance or style of the sneakers, but consider the foot’s feel as well. Everyone’s feet are different, and one sort of sole structure may perform better for your child than another.

The vulcanized sole of youth skate shoes has a flat design that makes it ideal for skateboarding. It’s adaptable enough to allow for ground tricks and precise street skating skills. You can count on it to last a long time as it’s known to be pretty durable. This is because, rather than employing adhesive, the rubber is heated for flexibility and strength before being adhered to the top of the shoe. Significantly thinner and lighter than the cup alternative, it’s more comfortable to skate with and offers more board feel since it’s not as thick or difficult to manoeuvre. The only disadvantage is it lacks heel support.

On the other hand, cup sole shoes are preferred for their impact protection and long-term durability. Since the sole is formed of one piece, there’s no stitching or components involved in the manufacturing process. The only disadvantage is that it’s thicker and heavier on the foot, provides less flexibility, and can make certain feats more difficult to do. Skaters choose this design because it provides sufficient foot and ankle protection. It appears to be safer to use than the vulcanized with merely a traditional rubber bottom. The harder feel, on the other hand, forms a solid barrier between the feet and the board. As a result, skating has less of a board feel.

kids skateboarding shoes
source: usatoday.com

Shoe Materials and Why It Matters

The enjoyment of skating is heavily dependent on the durability of the shoes. For this reason, one of the most significant elements of this type of footwear is the material used in the manufacturing process. The majority of youth skate shoes are constructed of suede since it’s quite durable, and as such it’s the most popular choice among technical skaters.
Suede is a generic name in the leather industry for any leather having a rough surface that’s made straight from the softer underside of animal skin. It becomes stretchier and softer with repeated wear, so you may choose a tighter-fitting option and then break into it to acquire a great fit that is perfectly moulded to the foot. If the whole shoe isn’t made of suede, at the very least ensure that the severely stressed areas are, such as the ollie region and toecaps.Canvas shoes are often less expensive, however, they don’t last very long while doing specific tricks. After only an hour of skating, the canvas layer might begin to shred and tear. They’re a good option if your child enjoys cruising or taking long trips on their longboard. Their main advantage is that of causing feet to sweat less, as they help with breathability. They’re also suitable for skating transitions such as tiny ramps, bowls, and verts. Other than this, have in mind canvas is the weakest material.