Tips on Choosing the Perfect Pair of Skate Shoes

By Steve George

March 10, 2022Fashion

Do you want to experience the thrill of skateboarding? How do you feel about doing a few kicks and flips at the park? If that seems like an exciting idea, it’s time to hop onto the trend. Most fans will agree that it’s more than just a sport – it’s a whole lifestyle that gets you hooked in no time. The thing is, it might seem a little daunting at first but you don’t have to go all out on your first session. Perfecting your skills takes time and effort and once you put your mind to it, you’ll be skating like a pro.

In any case, injuries are a common occurrence, regardless of your physical level, which is why it’s important that you have all the necessary skateboarding protective gear. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that a comfy skate shoe pair easily top that list.

What Are Skate Shoes Made Of?

new balance skate shoes

This mainly refers to the upper part of the shoe as the root of your mobility and ease of movement. The type of material used affects the shoe’s durability and breathability.


This is the most common choice of materials because they last the longest. Despite being on the thinner side, it’s highly resistant to abrasion so you likely won’t be seeing any damage for a while. Even if you do see a few holes from the everyday wear and tear, they won’t be damaged beyond repair.

Unfortunately, suede is a literal magnet for dust and debris, which means you won’t be able to keep them clean for long. But at the end of the day, skateboarding is all about functionality rather than looks. Plus, it adds to the rough and rugged charm that skaters are already known for.


By far the most lightweight option, canvas provides incredible breathability. This means that your feet won’t start to feel soggy or warm after a few tricks, which is definitely not the best feeling in the world. They’re also more affordable, making them the ideal option for those on a budget.

However, given their more delicate build, canvas shoes are inherently more susceptible to damage. They might even break after a few hours of skating which is surely a nuisance.


Leather outshines its competition in terms of sturdiness and longevity. You can perform all of your favourite tricks and technicalities without inflicting a lot of damage on the exterior.

The downside is that leather skate shoes will practically melt your feet in the process. There’s not enough air flowing in and out of the material which is why it feels like an actual furnace after some time. For this reason, leather isn’t exactly a first choice for skate footwear but it’s still worth considering if all else fails.

How Do You Choose the Right Pair of Skate Shoes?

different skate shoes

Aside from the material as a defining characteristic, you can rely on a couple of other telltale signs when shopping for skate shoes Australia skaters seem to love.

Sole Type

The main debate here is between vulcanized and cupsole models. On the one hand, vulcanized soles are taped to the upper part of the shoe and heated at high temperatures to create a single unit. The end result is a shoe that is quite soft and flexible, with great boardfeel and grip. But this also makes them easy to break in, especially after performing technical tricks.

On the other hand, cupsoles are both stitched and glued to the upper part of the shoe, which makes them incredibly sturdy and tough. Sadly, this also means that they’re heavier, less flexible and don’t have the best boardfeel. These qualities are deterrents for some skaters.


The height of your skate shoes determines the level of ankle support and protection you’ll be getting. High-tops cover the ankle entirely, preventing scrapes and bruises but they might also limit your movement. In contrast, low-tops have better maneuverability at the expense of having a more exposed ankle. If you’re feeling undecided and want something in the middle, mid-tops could be exactly what you’re looking for.

Heel Protection

One of the most common injuries skaters are faced with are heel bruises. This is why a lot of skate shoe manufacturers pay special attention to adding extra cushioning at the back for increased safety. Some models have more of that than others so make sure you try out a few different pairs before deciding on the most suitable one.

Toe Caps

Similarly, your toes are also prone to bruising from kicking the board around all the time. This is why skate shoes have specialised protective toe strips at the front, which are intended to minimise damage. Some pairs feature external toe caps whereas others are part of the interior. To check if there’s sufficient protection, press down on the front of the shoe on the front. If there’s resistance, that particular make and model has its own toe caps.

Fit and Comfort

the best skate shoes

All of these features will be made redundant if your skate shoes aren’t the right fit for you. There shouldn’t be any discomfort or blisters of any kind but the shoes shouldn’t be too loose either. While you’re shopping, make sure you wear the same socks you plan on wearing when you’re actually skating, so that you get an idea of what each pair feels like.