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Things To Remember When Buying Skate Shoes

Updated on March 11, 2014

Whether you are satisfied slaloming down hills like a member of Dogtown or you’re a skater who sees stairs, rails and ledges as your playground, we all need skate shoes to perform.

Yet sometimes, for some reason or another, ambitious skaters up and down the land have all had bad experiences buying skate shoes.

The shoes can rub to hell and back, crumble at the first sign of popping your board or on second thoughts look ridiculous as you skate. Here is a mini run down of what you need to keep in mind when buying skate shoes.


Shop Sensibly

Greed is a big flaw in humanity, sometimes it’s either the cream of the crop or nothing at all, but you need to ask yourself do you really need to buy top quality, high end and expensive skateboarding shoes if you rarely pick up the board? You’d save yourself a lot of money if you stopped buying high end skateboard shoes just to try to fit in.

Many of these shoes are expensive to buy because of their advanced functional and performance features, tailored especially for a three times week skaters. Skate brands apply specific mechanics to improve the flexibility and strength of shoes helping to combat the wear and tear which so often wreaks havoc on skaters shoes. So if you know that these modifications and selling points are going to go untouched and become redundant why not try going for a something a little sleeker, slimmer or streamline. Odds on your favourite brands provide a much more relaxed range at the fraction of the price, concentrating on style and fashion rather than performance benefits.

Same applies for actual skateboarders. If you’re going out to buy some new skate shoes to accompany your ride then you need to be sensible with your purchase and consider the shoes longevity as you step onto the board. Just because it boasts flash designs on either side of the shoe you should know by now that it isn’t going to stay that way. You’ll be lucky to get through a month of skating with your fresh kicks still looking ‘fresh’ and the design unblemished. If you really want a funky or luxury pair of skating shoes then that’s fair enough, perhaps you should use them for social situations and let your trusty unkempt shoes take the majority of the battering.

Louis Vuitton Skate Shoes
Louis Vuitton Skate Shoes | Source

Skate Brands That Have Stood The Test Of Time

More often than not if a brand has existed over ten years or so then there is a good reason for their lengthy reign. This applies to any brand, skating or not, but this mantra is strongly advised with practical equipment – if it didn’t perform its certain to reflect in their reputation.

Nowadays brands are wise to what the consumer wants, sometimes it is for the good but sometimes the bad. To avoid being conned or tricked into a trade try to select a brand that you’re already aware of or even ask around for advice from others. This way you know that your choice has been tried and tested time and time again.

Skate Brands Such As:

  • Adio
  • Osiris
  • Es
  • Emerica
  • Vans
  • Nike SB
  • Adidas
  • DC Shoes
  • Etnies
  • Lakai
  • Globe

All of these brands have pioneered skateboarding apparel and concentrate on performance as well as style. You could also find out which brands are making seasonal pros water at the mouth, follow where the hype is but still remain wary.

Brand Logos
Brand Logos

Features You Should Look Out For

It’s more than likely that you’ll be flipping tricks, riding verts and skidding across floors after hitting a rogue rock, so in order to get your monies worth you’ll want a robust construction that can reinforce your armour.


  • Leather or a thick synthetic material on either side of the shoes – for pulling off any flip trick.
  • Rubber toe caps – for consistent pushing down and heavy boarding impact.
  • Plenty of stitching – if it comes with a lot of stitching then the likelihood of a seam breaking is low.
  • Buffered ankle or tongue – creates a nice hug and padded barrier around your ankles.
  • Balance of weight – too much reinforcement can weigh you down but not enough and you may as well go barefoot.
  • Grippy gum rubber sole – for great traction on the board.
  • Laces – try go for metal or sturdier lace holes.


Finally, ask around. Find an experienced local and follow their expertise or check out what the trustworthy pros are wearing. Remember that style is important but when it comes to skate shoes there are other priorities higher up on the list. Just because it looks great it doesn’t mean it’ll accommodate those blows!

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