Are you ready to let your little one go off on an exciting skateboarding journey? Sure, you might be a little hesitant because it’s uncharted territory for both you and your child but you don’t want to be a dream crusher either. Skateboarding does in fact look dangerous at first glance because you’re expected to do all sorts of flips and tricks. So it’s understandable if you’re a little worried. But see, the thing is, it’s actually not as bad as it looks as long as you follow a few skateboarding safety tips to keep injuries at bay.
With that in mind, your main focus is getting the right safety gear. And this is where most people turn their attention to helmets, knee and elbow pads, which is quite expected because you’re anxious about your child’s safety. While all of those items are indeed absolute essentials, this kind of hyper-fixation is what causes parents to overlook one very important aspect – finding durable youth skateboard shoes. Think about it for a second, the type of shoes your kid wears is equally, if not more important than any kind of helmet or pad you get them because skateboarding is all about footwork. But now that we’ve established our priorities, it’s time to dive into all the information you’ll need to get the right pair of skate shoes.
What Are the Different Types of Skate Shoes?
To kick things off, you need to know all the different types of skate shoes available. The main difference lies in the type of sole that’s used so we’ll be breaking it down for you.
This particular model uses foxing tape to attach the body of the shoe to the sole. Their soft rubber finish and light design are what makes them perfect for skaters that want a lot of board feel and increased flexibility. This is because vulcanised shoes consist of two parts that are connected with a foxing stripe which allows you to move around more freely. Thanks to their thinner sole and increased mobility, vulcanised shoes are the perfect option for those that are keen on technical tricks. Plus, they’re a budget-friendly alternative if you want to save up some money.
Unfortunately, vulcanised soles are less durable and offer little impact protection due to their thin build. In other words, they’ll probably break in more quickly and easily than cupsole shoes.
In short, cupsoles have multiple reinforced rubber layers along with padded cushioning placed inside rubber cups, hence the name. This particular design might look a bit chunky but it offers great impact absorption and heel support. As a result, they’re not as flexible as vulcanised shoes but they’re great at preventing injuries and minimising damage.
The only downside is that there’s less board feel because there’s more distance between the foot and the board. But if we’re being honest, most casual skaters probably won’t even notice a difference.
How Long Do Skate Shoes Last?
You might be disappointed to read this but there’s no straightforward answer. It mainly depends on how frequent and intense the skating sessions are. In general terms though, youth skateboard shoes last about 4-5 months before they start wearing down. But if you don’t use them that often, the lifespan could stretch out to over 6 months. In any case, it’s mostly subjective and difficult to pinpoint.
Key Considerations When Buying Skate Shoes
Before you jump into your shopping spree, here are a few final factors that will help you make the right decision.
Why is this important? The level of ankle protection and freedom of movement. So if you want to avoid hitting your ankle with the board, you might want to get high top shoes. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something that won’t limit your mobility, then low tops are your best bet. Alternatively, if you want something that’s the best of both worlds, you should consider getting mid-top shoes. Whichever one you decide to go with should do the job just fine.
This one is pretty obvious – skate shoes shouldn’t cause any pain or discomfort. To get the right fit, it’s a good idea to try on a few pairs at the end of the day when your feet are somewhat swollen from day-to-day activities. In this way, you’ll know what to expect when you wear those particular shoes for longer periods of time.
Simply put, you should look for shoes with removable padded insoles to get that extra support. Cheaper insoles are made of thin foam whereas the more expensive counterparts are a combination of gel, air pockets and foam. Needless to say, the latter offer better protection against injuries and are much more comfortable to wear.
Suede shoes are the best option for technical skaters and trick enthusiasts. It’s long-lasting and provides an adequate board feel without hindering your flexibility. Plus, it’s pretty easy to patch up if it gets damaged from the everyday wear and tear. But bear in mind that these shoes get quite dirty and dusty at a much faster rate than other materials.
On the other end of the spectrum, canvas shoes are the cheaper and less resilient alternative. In other words, they probably won’t last long if you keep doing all kinds of tricks while wearing them. However, if you’re a fan of long rides, mini ramps or bowls, canvas shoes should do just fine.