What are Skate Shoes? Why Do You Need Them?

Last updated 30. May 2019

What are skate shoes?

Skate shoes are more commonly used than we think. You might have owned one yourself without knowing the fact that you’re wearing skate shoes. Skate shoes (click here for full review) look cool and trendy but they are especially designed to assist skateboard riders. The sole consists of a special vulcanized rubber with minimal to no tread pattern at all. It also has a comfortable suede upper with double or triple stitching to add more durability.

Do you have to wear skate shoes to skate?

vans-skate-shoesIf we are to answer this question in one word, it would be “NO”. You don’t necessarily need to wear skating shoes for skating – you can even do that in Army boots or barefoot. However, skate shoes are designed to help the wearer skate better and more professional. Skate shoes also help in performing those difficult tricks more easily.

Skate shoes have grippy, flat and usually those wide soles to help riders hold on and control their skate boards better. Also the extra padding on the sides ensures maximum comfort and stability during those demanding tricks.

The more high-tech skate shoes have longer and comfier leather and are stuffed with more advanced feature.

Summing it up, you don’t need to have a pair of skate shoes to start skating but since they assist a great deal in learning and mastering the game, it is advisable to get one if budget isn’t the constraint.

The most important thing here is to understand the fact that skateboarding is fun and requires little to investment. If you don’t want the skate shoes yet – let it is, don’t let it hold you! What’s more important is you go out there and SKATE!

What is the difference between skate shoes and normal shoes?

Skateboarding shoes are very different from the normal shoes. They are particularly designed to assist you on the skateboards – not while running or walking or sprinting.

Here are a few major differences highlighted.

Outsole: The outsole material and design is the biggest differentiator between the two. The outsole of the skate shoes are crafted out of the stiffer material (rubber), which can resist some heavy abrasion. The making of the outsole ensures that you can easily grip onto concrete and grip tape.

Midsole/Insole: Skate shoes don’t offer much arch support. These special shoes are designed keeping two thing is mind. The impact and the boardfeel. Having said that, some cheaper skate shoes don’t provide the support they should on landing. The front of the shoes or the toe area is designed thin to give the riders more feel of the board. The back portion or the heel is designed in a way to keep the impact of landing minimum.

Outer Construction: The outer construction of the skate shoes is where you will be likely to see a lot of reinforcement. Many manufacturing companies tend to innovate (in terms of design and material used) in this area and claim that they are the best. However, we recommend suede as it is favoured by almost every professional skateboard. The material adds more durability to the shoe and is more comfortable than any other.

Other: Buying a normal shoe is easy. People usually consider things like durability, style and comfort when buying normal shoes. Even if you buy shoes that are lacking in some aspects, you can still wear them, however, buying an inappropriate skate shoes can put you in danger of injuries.

What is a vulcanized shoe?

Vulcanized shoes are tough, durable, and sturdy in nature. The shoes have a unique design and look – they are twice baked. Their most unique part is the outsole of the shoes, which is made out of rugged rubber and wrapped around the heat-resistant upper part of the shoe.

Now in case you are wondering what baking is – it is the process of heating the two parts together to attach them. The vulcanized shoes are first baked before the rubber outsole is attached to the body and the second, more serious, steam baking takes place after it has been attached to the shoe to make the overall body more durable, comfortable and grippy.

The construction of vulcanized shoes involve some serious heating. So, you will not find materials like Ethylene-venyl acetate (also known as EVA) and Thermoplastic rubber (TPR) which are not heat resistant

Vulcanized shoes are easy to make and thus are usually produced in bulk. The bulk production automatically lowers the price. As we have already mentioned above that no TPR or EVA is present in these shoes which are known to provide cushion and comfort. The insole of the vulcanized shoes become essentially important.

So, why sate in vulcanized shoes? First of all as they are produced easily and in quality, they are cheaper than other alternatives. Secondly they give better board feel and are quick to break in. Last but not the least you get the option to replace the insoles.


We have tried our best explaining skate shoes. Other than that we have also briefly listed down the method involved in the making of these shoes. The main idea of this write up is to help our readers understand the skate shoes better, so that they can make the right choice for themselves. If you have questions or want to add something, feel free to contact us.

Happy Skateboarding!


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