Types of Skateboarding Shoes: Ultimate Guide & Trends

Skateboarding shoes mainly fall into three categories: low-tops, mid-tops, and high-tops. Each type offers varying levels of support, flexibility, and protection.

Skateboarding, a sport that demands both precision and durability from footwear, has given rise to specific shoe designs that cater to riders’ needs. Low-top skate shoes offer maximum ankle mobility, making them a favorite for technical tricks and everyday skating.

Mid-tops strike a balance, giving a moderate amount of ankle support without sacrificing too much freedom of movement. High-tops provide the most ankle support and protection, which helps when performing vert skating or tackling risky stunts. Riders choose their different types of Skateboarding Shoes based not only on their skating style and comfort preferences but also considering factors like grip, cushioning, and construction materials. High-quality skate shoes feature reinforced areas to withstand the relentless wear from grip tape and concrete, ensuring both performance and longevity.

Skateboarding Shoe Styles

Skateboarding shoe styles are more than just a fashion statement. They’re a blend of form, function, and personal expression. Each style offers a unique set of features tailored to different types of skating. Let’s explore the three main styles: low-top, mid-top, and high-top.

Types of Skateboarding Shoes
Types of Skateboarding Shoes

Low-top Shoes

Low-tops are the go-to for maximum ankle flexibility. They’re lightweight and allow for quick movements. Perfect for technical street skating, these shoes offer:

  • Enhanced board feel
  • Increased maneuverability
  • Less material for a sleek look

Mid-top Shoes

If you seek a balance between flexibility and support, mid-tops stand out. Ideal for transition skating, they provide:

  • Slightly higher ankle support
  • A snug fit without restricting motion
  • Durable side walls for better wear

High-top Shoes

For those who crave ankle support, high-tops rise above. They protect against impacts and are suited for vert skating. Here’s what they offer:

  • Maximum ankle stability
  • Padding to absorb landings
  • Retro style with modern tech

Performance Features

Skateboarding shoes aren’t just for style; they pack important performance features for riders. Skateboarders trust these features for better control, safety, and longevity on their boards.

The Importance Of Grip

A skateboarder’s lifeline to their board is grip. Without it, tricks and basic riding become risky. Quality skate shoes offer gum rubber soles that stick to the board as if glued, allowing intricate movements and stable rides.

  • Geometric tread patterns: Enhance board feel and maneuvering.
  • Flat soles: Maximize the contact area with the board.

Impact Protection

Skating strains feet with constant jumps and landings. Shoes designed for skateboarding cushion these blows, thanks to targeted padding and specialized insoles. The result? Safe landings and less foot fatigue.

Padded tongues and collarsCushioning around the foot reduces impact.
Shock-absorbent insolesDisperse pressure from jumps and tricks.

Durability And Construction

Skating demands tough shoes. Materials and construction methods make a difference. Manufacturers often choose suede, leather, or synthetic materials that withstand scrapes and wear.

  1. Reinforced stitching: Adds strength to stress points.
  2. Multiple layers: Protects against extreme wear.
  3. Ollie patches: Extra material on the sides where shoes rub against the board.

Materials Used

Skateboarding shoes are more than just a fashion statement. The materials used in their construction are pivotal to performance, durability, and comfort. Different materials cater to diverse styles and preferences. Let’s dive into the most common types that keep skaters rolling smoothly.

Types of Skateboarding Shoes
Types of Skateboarding Shoes


Suede stands out for its durability and ability to withstand the grip tape’s abrasion. This soft, textured material helps skaters feel the board beneath their feet, providing better control for tricks and turns. Notable for lasting longer, suede shoes are a favored choice among regular skaters.


Canvas shoes are lightweight and breathable, perfect for skaters who prefer a more minimalistic approach. While they may not offer as robust durability as suede, they are comfy and ideal for daily wear. Known for their ease in conforming to the foot, canvas shoes support fluid movement.


Leather is synonymous with premium quality. It provides exceptional support and protection. Leather skate shoes are often more rugged and resist wear from constant contact with the skateboard. Their classic appeal and longevity make them a popular choice for many skaters.

Synthetic Materials

Synthetic materials serve as a versatile and often more affordable alternative. They can mimic the properties of natural materials like leather and suede. Synthetic shoes are usually lighter and can feature advanced technologies for enhanced performance and comfort. They are an excellent pick for skaters who favor innovation and modern designs.

Specific Skateboarding Shoe Brands

Skateboarding shoes play a crucial role in a skater’s performance and safety. Let’s dive into some of the top brands that have mastered the blend of style, durability, and comfort to keep you skating at your peak. Here are the leading skateboarding shoe brands that every skater should know.


Vans emerged as a skateboarding staple, thanks to their rugged design and sticky soles. These shoes offer excellent board feel and come in various styles and colors. The Vans Sk8-Hi and Old Skool models remain popular among skaters worldwide for their classic look and skate-friendly features. These shoes are designed with the needs of skaters at the forefront, offering reinforced toe caps, padded collars for support, and the iconic Vans waffle outsole for that necessary grip while you’re landing tricks.

Nike Sb

Nike SB stands for Nike Skateboarding, a subdivision of Nike that specializes in shoes made for skateboarding. The SB Dunk line has become a streetwear icon, merging style with performance. Nike SB shoes are known for their responsive cushioning and flexibility, providing impact protection and a natural feel underfoot. They use premium materials and often collaborate with top skateboarders to design their skate shoe lines, ensuring they meet the expectations of the skating community.

Dc Shoes

DC Shoes are synonymous with bold designs and technical innovations. They’re crafted for comfort, style, and most importantly, skateboarding effectiveness. DC offers some of the most robust shoes on the market with protective features like extra padding and hard-wearing leathers. The brand’s Pill Pattern tread on outsoles is designed for better control and grip, keeping skaters connected to their boards in every scenario.


As a pioneering skateboard shoe company, Etnies brings a mix of function and fashion to the skate park. They prioritize eco-friendly production, without compromising on comfort or durability. Etnies skate shoes oftentimes feature the brand’s STI Evolution Foam midsole for lightweight cushioning and a tread pattern that grants superior grip.

Adidas Skateboarding

With roots in sports, Adidas Skateboarding applies its athletic shoe expertise to the skate world. Adidas skate shoes are celebrated for their stylish design, prompted by the brand’s classic sports lineage. These shoes are engineered with reinforced areas to withstand the rigors of skateboarding and are equipped with grippy vulcanized soles for optimal board feel.

Choosing The Right Skateboarding Shoes

Skateboarding shoes are more than just a fashion statement. They are a vital part of your skateboarding experience. The right pair can improve your control, help you perform tricks better, and protect your feet during a rough session. Knowing what to look for is key in selecting the perfect skateboarding shoes.

Types of Skateboarding Shoes
Types of Skateboarding Shoes

Consider Your Skateboarding Style

Your skateboarding style heavily influences the type of shoes you should pick. Different designs cater to various forms of skateboarding.

  • Street Skaters: Look for shoes with flat soles for better board feel.
  • Vert/Ramp Skaters: Choose shoes with more padding to absorb impacts.
  • Cruisers: Comfort is crucial, so opt for shoes with good cushioning.

Proper Fit And Sizing

The fit of your skateboarding shoes is crucial. Shoes that are too tight or too loose can impair your performance and cause discomfort.

  1. Measure your feet in the afternoon (feet swell during the day).
  2. Leave a thumb’s width from your longest toe to the shoe’s end.
  3. Wear skate socks when trying on shoes.

Budget Considerations

Finding the right balance between quality and affordability is important. You do not need to overspend to get good skateboarding shoes.

Price RangeExpected Quality
LowBasic function, minimal durability
MidBetter materials, increased comfort
HighPremium build, maximum durability

Reviews And Recommendations

Learn from others’ experiences. Read reviews and ask local skaters for their recommendations.

  • Look for common points in reviews, like durability.
  • Notice any recurring complaints or praises.
  • Ask friends or community members about their preferred brands.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Types Of Skateboarding Shoes

What Are Skateboard Shoes Called?

Skateboard shoes are often referred to as “skate shoes” or “skateboarding sneakers. ” These specialized shoes provide grip, durability, and comfort for skaters.

What Are The Best Type Of Skating Shoes?

The best skating shoes are those tailored to your specific skate activity, such as inline skates for street skating or quad rollers for rink skating. Comfort, durability, and proper fit rank high for optimal performance and safety. Always choose reputable brands that offer support and quality materials.

What Shoe Material Is Best For Skateboarding?

Suede is the best material for skateboarding shoes due to its durability and grip. It withstands abrasion well, offering long-lasting wear and superior board control.

What Skate Shoes Are Best For Board Feel?

Vans Pro Skate shoes offer superior board feel due to their vulcanized soles and sensitive construction. Nike SB and Adidas also provide models with excellent tactile feedback for enhanced control.

What Defines A Skateboarding Shoe?

Skateboarding shoes are specifically designed for durability and grip, featuring sturdy materials, reinforced areas, and flat, sticky soles for board control.


Navigating the diverse landscape of skateboarding shoes is key for every skater. Whether you prioritize grip, comfort, style, or durability, there is a shoe designed for your needs. Remember, the right pair can elevate your skateboarding experience. So, lace up and get ready to ride with confidence and flair.

Keep rolling in the perfect skate shoes that suit your skateboarding lifestyle and technique.

Norman J. Wells
Norman J. Wells

Hello, my name is Norman J. Wells I am the founder of Get skater which is my blog.

I specialize in skateboarding and offer skateboarding services to businesses of all sizes around the world, ultimately improving their bottom line by teaching creative solutions to their problems. Shoot me a quick email to see how I can help you!

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