What do skateboard shoes do
Everything about skate shoes
So that you don't get lost in the maze of concepts of cup and vulc soles, of low, mid and high top sneakers and technical developments such as Hyperfuse, Flyknit and Duracap and that you can find exactly the shoe you are looking for suits you, we bring some light into the darkness and explain the most important features, terms and properties of skate shoes and sneakers.
What different materials are used? Are there different fits? How can you reduce the wear and tear on your shoes and how do you take the best care of your shoes?
You can find answers to your questions and some tips here.
High, mid or low cut shoes? You are spoiled for choice between style, comfort, taste and feeling
Basically, the three shoe types differ in the height of the shaft. Easy! Let's differentiate the individual types from one another in the following:
High tops are cut higher than other shoes. They usually end above the ankle. Thanks to the higher cut, high-tops offer more stability and additional padding and thus more safety, protection and cushioning in the area of your ankles and ankles.
Furthermore, the higher shoes warm more. This can be an advantage when skating because your joints are more likely to be warmed up. However, high-cut models are also less breathable. Some high-top sneakers are also suitable as winter shoes because of their high cut.
High-top skate shoes & sneakers
If you can't decide between low-top and high-top sneakers, but you want a little more stability and padding, then you are with them Mid-top Shoes just right.
Mid-tops are cut a little higher and in most cases finish below the ankle or at the same height. They are therefore not cut quite as high as high-top shoes, but higher than low-tops. As a result, they also offer a higher degree of stability, cushioning and support compared to low-cut sneakers. In addition, most mid-tops are also suitable as "transition shoes" in the colder months of the year because they keep you warm and dry.
Mid-top skate shoes & sneakers
Low top Shoes are the flat standard models in the skate shoe and sneaker area. Due to the flatter cut, these models are usually lighter.
In the area of your ankles, there is of course no padding in favor of the lower weight and material, but don't worry, thanks to the highly developed insoles you don't have to do without cushioning when skating, even with low-cut shoes.
Low-top skate shoes & sneakers
What do the different types of soles in your shoes mean?
The comfort and wearing comfort of your shoe depends on the construction and nature of the sole. Different types of soles are built into a shoe in order to meet the various requirements. You can find out here what the individual types of soles do and what differentiates them from one another.
The outsole, also known as the insole, is the most important component of a good skate shoe. It has to meet your needs for grip, stability and flexibility and it has to be abrasion-resistant. In order to be able to optimally implement these requirements, air pads (air cushions) or various shock-absorbing gel cushions are often used in the outsole.
The midsole lies between the outer and inner sole. It is considered to be the central cushioning support of the shoe and is usually made of EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) or Phylon, a heat-resistant plastic. Almost all major shoe brands now have their specially developed midsoles on the market. The best known are probably the Lunarlon footbed, the Max Air and Zoom technology from Nike, the adidas Skateboarding BOOST sole (picture left), the Etnies STI Evolution Foam and the DC Unilite sole. You can find out what is behind the individual technologies on our skate shoes wiki page on the various shoe technologies.
With the insole or insole you go once again to the needs of the wearer individually. For this reason, it is often interchangeable in high-priced shoe models. If the sole is worn or if there is an unpleasant smell, you can remove, ventilate or replace the sole.
There are different models that bring various features with them. Gel cushions sewn into the insoles provide extra padding and impact protection. The curvature of an insole is also adapted to the requirements of the skater. Depending on the brand and model, there are skate shoes with different insoles. The footbed is often made of EVA, a heat-resistant plastic that is both soft and elastic as well as resistant. There are also Ortholite insoles. These are breathable and antibacterial insoles that are cool and particularly durable and resistant. In addition, some soles indicate dual density. These then have different degrees of hardness in the footbed and thus ensure even more comfort of movement.
There are also insoles specially made for skateboarders. These enable even higher cushioning, which prevents injuries and relieves your joints. With Footprint Insoles you will find the most famous manufacturer of optimized insoles at skatedeluxe. It's not for nothing that skateboarders like Aaron "Jaws" Homoki, Andrew Reynolds and skatedeluxe team rider Willow trust insoles from Footprint.
Special insoles at skatedeluxe
A basic distinction is made between two sole constructions for skate shoes: cup soles and vulcanized soles. In the case of skate shoes with cup soles, these are additionally sewn and are more robust, but at the same time a little heavier and less flexible. Shoes with a vulcanized sole offer you a lot of mobility and an enormous feeling for your skateboard, but are less robust than a shoe with a cup sole due to the lack of a seam. You can find out what differentiates the sole constructions in detail here:
The greatest advantages of having skate shoes vulcanized sole are the lower weight and the higher flexibility thanks to a thinner sole. Such a sole construction brings a much higher board feeling with it. In contrast to the cupsole, in shoes with a vulcanized rubber sole, the individual rubber components are only mixed with one another glued and glued to the upper shoe with a narrow rubber strip. So you can get on your skateboard right after buying it and don't have to break it in first. The weak points of a vulcanized sole are that the shoes wear out relatively quickly as a result of this manufacturing process and are therefore subject to greater abrasion. Also, due to the thinner and softer sole, they cushion a little less than shoes with cupsoles.
Skate shoes & sneakers with Vulc soles
The Cupsole consists of three individual parts: an outsole, a midsole made of highly elastic and lightweight foam and a separate insole. The outsole is made from one piece. Together with the midsole, it becomes firmly attached to the upper shoe glued and additionally sewnwhile the insole is either glued in or inlaid. Due to the thick polyurethane sole and the extra seam, a shoe with a cupsole is more stable and cushioning than one with a vulcanized sole, especially when skating gaps and steps. Due to the thick sole, these shoes are heavier and less flexible than shoes with vulcanized soles and therefore have to be run in for longer.
Skate shoes & sneakers with cup soles
Depending on the manufacturer, there are different shoe profiles that give both cup soles and vulcanized soles more flexibility, cushioning, board feel or grip. The best known are the herringbone profile and the waffle profile sole developed by Vans exclusively for skateboarding. Meanwhile, the trend is moving more and more towards ultra-light soles such as. B. the Nike Free sole, which is mainly used in the sneaker and afterskate area. Thicker tread soles are mainly used in winter and outdoor shoes to provide the necessary grip in snow or wet weather.
Skate shoes & sneakers with tread soles
What makes skate shoes so special?
Rising seams - every skater knows it. Therefore, the seams are another important part of skate shoes. Skate shoes are characterized by the fact that the seams are particularly reinforced in the most vulnerable areas and thus significantly slow down the wear and tear of the shoe. Of course, even the best sewn shoe cannot be protected from wear and tear over time. Nevertheless, the shoes should be sewn twice or three times, especially in the area of the toe cap and heel. In addition, many shoes are reinforced with cross seams in the ollie area (in the outer, front third of the shoe), as this area wears out particularly quickly due to the grip tape.
However, if you use very rough grip tape, you will not enjoy your shoes for a long time despite the triple and quadruple seams. In this case, a seamless toe cap. This is free of any disturbing seams in the front toe area and not only prevents blow-outs (holes in the upper material; torn seams), but also ensures a more pleasant flick for many (snapping foot movement to bring the board to rotate). However, it should be noted that not every shoe is additionally reinforced at this point, which is why seamless toe caps tend to have holes more often.
When you skate, your feet, ankles and ankles are constantly exposed to high levels of stress. In order to reduce the impact of harder tricks, for example when jumping gaps or stairs, many skate companies equip their shoe models with various types of padding. In skate shoes, the tongues, heel areas, side walls as well as the upper areas are often extra padded to prevent injuries and increase comfort while skating.
Everyone knows them, nobody loves them - sweaty feet. Especially when you are skating, your feet really work up a sweat. That is why optimal ventilation is essential when it comes to the feel-good character of skate shoes.
Thanks to perforations (ventilation holes) and breathable upper materials, fresh air is provided and sweaty feet are counteracted. In addition, some manufacturers build perforated side panels and vent holes (larger ventilation holes) on the sides of the shoes and tongues made of airy mesh material.
Shoelaces come in countless colors, lengths and shapes. Unless you prefer Velcro fasteners on your shoes, laces are of course the basic feature. But here, too, there are a few differences compared to conventional street shoes. Since not only the upper material and the sole, but also the laces wear out quickly due to the grip tape when skating, waxed laces or those made of leather are clever alternatives here. Metal or plastic eyelets and special shoelace protectors also increase the lifespan of your shoelaces enormously.
Laces at skatedeluxe
What materials are skate shoes and sneakers made of?
Not all leather is the same, which is why you will find a flag or sticker with the legally prescribed material identification in every shoe. This consists of small pictures or pictograms that inform you about the material used.
The fun of skating stands and falls with the durability of your shoe. Therefore, the outer material of the skate shoe is one of the most important features. Most models are made of suede, as it is particularly robust. It is also stretchy and softens with frequent use, which means that you can break in tight-fitting velor skate shoes for a perfect fit. If the entire shoe silhouette is not made of velor, then the heavily used areas such as the ollie area and toe cap are definitely. Suede, also called suede or suede, is used in industry as a collective term for leather with a rough surface that is created directly from the underlying skin layer of animal skin.
Skate shoes & sneakers with suede
In contrast to suede, there is smooth leather, which is produced from the first layer of skin and is usually thinner and therefore less durable. If this type of leather is roughened, what is known as nubuck is created. You can recognize shoes made of leather by their special marking. Coated leather aka smooth leather usually comes with a paint application or an additional artificial layer.
Skate shoes & sneakers with smooth leather
Are you completely against the use of animal upper materials? Good as well! Because there are some alternatives to the different leather variants. A large number of shoes are made of textile materials. Canvas is mainly used to offer skate shoes without leather. Sure, canvas material isn't quite as abrasion-resistant as leather, but it is still a robust alternative. The advantages of sneakers made of textile are the slightly lower weight and the increased breathability. Textiles include all woven, knitted and bonded materials. These include natural fibers (animal and plant products such as wool or flax) and synthetic fibers (e.g. viscose or nylon). You can also recognize shoes made of textile materials by the special marking.
Skate shoes & sneakers made of or with canvas
Go vegan! That may be said at this point, because the skateboarding industry is also trying to offer more shoes that are made without animal materials. When it comes to the glue used, consideration is given to why most brands use water-based glue.
Vegan skate shoes & sneakers
Which shoes fit which feet?
In addition to all the technology, the most important thing is and remains that the shoe that you like and that you would like to wear fits you correctly. Each of us knows sentences like “You can still grow in there!” Or “You just have to run them in a little, they are not too tight!”. But in both cases you will eventually lose the fun with your skate shoe or leisure sneaker. Of course everyone has different wearing habits, but we would like to give you some recommendations on the way to your new favorite shoe.
What should you pay attention to for the ideal fit of skate shoes and sneakers?
Basically, your shoes shouldn't be so big that you “swim” in them. However, they should not be so small that they press in the toe area and / or on the side walls. The old rule of thumb applies here: There should be about a thumb's width of space at the tip of your shoe so that you have enough room to move and the shoe does not restrict you. With a little more space in the front area, you also have the option of using additional insoles to increase the cushioning. Especially for skating, many prefer a precise fit so that the feet sit firmly in the shoe. This increases the feeling for the skateboard and for the tricks, for example when flicking for kickflip variations.
If you have small feet and are not quite sure which type of shoe is best, let me tell you that shoes that are very wide and clunky are less recommended. Due to their smaller size, some models appear very stocky and therefore less elegant. In addition, your feet can feel lost in thicker shoes. On smaller feet, narrower, less padded, low-top shoes are most suitable. But of course this is always subject to a subjective perception and individual wearing comfort. If you feel comfortable in thickly padded high-top shoes, then of course you should wear them and skate too.
Bigger feet are usually also narrower than smaller ones. Therefore, narrow-cut sneakers and skate shoes are also ideal here. With big feet, even chunky and wider shoes look narrow (more) and somehow also stylish (more). It's up to you which type of sneaker you prefer with large feet, but a slightly narrower fit seems advisable.
If your feet are on the narrow side, you shouldn't necessarily wear wide, chunky shoes, as this can often make your feet feel a bit lost. Many manufacturers offer narrower and less padded shoes. These then usually come as a low-top variant.
If your feet are rather wide, you will probably not have fun with narrow-cut shoes, as these can put uncomfortable pressure on your toes and ankles. Even if you think shoes wear in after a while, you can do without the pain at the beginning.So look for shoes with a wide toe cap, because your toes will thank you especially when you are skating, as there is a lot of pressure on your forefoot every time you land.
You can easily recognize the shape of the cut from the sole, which is shown as a product image at skatedeluxe. A wider shoe does not go as close together at the metatarsus and is therefore great for wider feet. A narrower shoe becomes tighter at the metatarsus and thus offers a more stable hold and a healthier stance, but can be uncomfortable for wider feet.
Different brands, different sizes
When buying your new skate shoes and sneakers, you should make sure that shoes are fundamentally different and that the sizes and conversions from US to EU and UK are not standardized. So that you can find the right shoe size, we have stored the size tables of the various brands and their conversion and added them to our size table.
If you are not yet familiar with US sizes, you can easily switch to EU or UK sizes. If you are still not sure which size you need, simply contact our customer service. Our service team is always happy to help you.
Size tables for the various brands of skate shoes and sneakers
So that you can enjoy your new sneakers and skate shoes for a long time, we have put together a few tips for you:
✔ Make sure that your shoes are always properly laced to avoid slurping and slippers. Even if this is your chilled-out way of getting around, your shoes suffer and your joints suffer too. Always lace up nicely! This not only protects the outsole and the inner area of the shoe, but also your bones.
✔ You should always untie and tie your shoes properly when putting them on and taking them off and not just slip them out. The padding, the reinforcements in the heel area and the seams of your shoe will thank you for it.
✔ You can reduce the extreme stress on your shoes in bad weather with conventional impregnation spray. This protects the material and your feet stay dry even in wet weather.
✔ Whether for prevention or for holes that are already getting bigger - you can use various adhesives to prevent or counteract further signs of wear. Simply apply it to the affected area, smooth it out and let it harden and you can skate the next session unscathed. Due to constant contact with the griptape, shoelaces tear very quickly. Here it is worth putting a small amount of the adhesive on the stressed areas to protect the laces. The use of adhesives is particularly worthwhile for skate shoes made of canvas or for sneakers, some of which are made of textile materials.
✔ After intensive sessions, it is advisable to ventilate your skate shoes properly. On the one hand you reduce unpleasant smells and on the other hand you allow your shoes to take breaks, which extends the dimensional stability.
✔ You should absolutely avoid cleaning agents with aggressive ingredients such as alcohol, acetone, etc., as this can lead to discoloration and damage to the adhesive and impregnation.
✔ Putting shoes in the washing machine is an absolute no-go! This will make your shoes clean on the outside, but you will ruin the padding, impregnation and glue. In the worst case, your shoes will deform and end up feeling absolutely unskateable.
Of course, shoes also need care - not only for reasons of style, but also to extend their lifespan. Dirt, moisture, and sweat put your shoes on every day, so it's worth taking care of them.
You should keep a few basic rules in mind:
✔ Always clean your shoe with a soft brush or a slightly damp cloth so that you don't stress the material too much.
✔ You should rather dab with the cloth instead of rubbing, otherwise you will work the dirt into the upper material. This often happens with sneakers made of canvas or mesh.
✔ The best way to clean the outsole is with clear water or a light cleaning agent such as curd soap or hand washing paste.
✔ Everyday street dirt or dust can be easily removed with commercially available moisture wipes.
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