Do You Actually Need Skate Shoes to Skateboard? (Answered)

adidas busenitz skateboard shoes

There’s a lot of debate about what kind of skateboarding gear you need in order to start skating. Some people insist that you need skate shoes, while others say that any old sneakers will do.

Skateboarding in regular shoes, runners, or basketball shoes is not a good idea. Skate shoes are essential if you want to get the most out of your skateboarding session.

Is it really necessary to wear skate shoes when you skateboard? You need skate shoes if you want to learn new tricks on a regular basis. The sole, insole, cushioning, and grippy soles of your skate shoes provide the best grip while riding your board. Regular footwear will not give you as much ‘board feel’ and will result in less control.

How Are Skate Shoes Different Than Regular Sneakers?

Skateboard shoes are designed for skateboarding and are more durable, provide more grip but often not designed for every day walks.

Skate soles are thinner compared to regular shoes to provide maximum board feel and some shoes have insole technology that can withstand a lot of impacts. You’ll feel the difference right away. This also explains a bit why runners and basketball shoes take away a lot of board feel.

The thick soles make handling a board very difficult. Only experienced skates are able to deal with the cons of regular shoes, but why would you ride a board on normal shoes anyways (unless you only plan to commute).

Grip & Footprint

Skate shoes have large soles that make contact with the skateboard’s deck via a larger surface area. The rider may maneuver their skateboard with optimum balance and control thanks to a broad foot.


Skate shoes are made to last a long time. They’re heavier than running shoes because they’re designed to withstand the abuse skaters inflict on them. Skateboarders frequently jump down and over obstacles, slide their feet over the grip-tape, and stop by dragging their foot across the ground.


Skate shoes have a flat sole that comes into contact with the entire surface of the shoe and the skateboard. Flat soles also allow for optimum grip.

Can You Skateboard In Running Shoes?

Running or regular walking shoes are fine for beginners. However, if you want to skateboard for more than a day or two, we suggest avoiding running shoes.

Skaters frequently use their feet to execute tricks, propel, maneuver, and even bail by jumping off the skateboard while attempting a tricks and maneuvers. Skateboarding is a tough sport, and running shoes makes it much more difficult; it puts the skater at a significant disadvantage and increases the chance for injury.

How Can You Tell If A Skateboarding Shoe Is Actually Good?

The shape of your feet, as well as the type and brand of board you skate on, will have an impact on which skate shoes are ideal for you. While the best skate shoe is dependent on your foot’s form, there are a few factors to consider. Not all skate shoes are made equal.

  1. Find suede skate shoes; this material is better able to deal with friction (grip tape) than other materials such as canvas.
  2. Make sure the shoe provides adequate heel cushioning; the less risk of a heel bruise, the better.
  3. Take a look at the seams; not all shoes have them on the front of their shoe. Your shoes will last longer and won’t fall to pieces as quickly because of it.
  4. If you have the cash, invest in insoles with shock absorption. These are extremely comfortable shoes, and they make you feel like you’re walking (or skating) on a cloud.
  5. High-top skate shoes will add ankle protection. High-tops protect your ankles and heels from sharp edges if your board has a little of razor tail. Low-tops give you greater mobility, while mid-tops are a good medium between the two.

What Shoes Are Best For Skateboarding?

The best skateboard shoes are made from some of the biggest and most trusted skateboard brands in the industry. Vans, Nike, adidas, DC, Globe, Emerica, Converse, Etnies, and Lakai are among the top skateboard shoe brands in the world.

Some of the things to look for when shopping for skateboard shoes are: good grip, comfort, durability, style, and fit. The best skateboard shoes will help you nail those tough tricks and landings while keeping your feet comfortable at the same time.

As far as specific models go, the Nike SB Stefan Janoski Max and the adidas Busenitz are two of the most popular skateboarding shoes on the market. The Janoski Max is a vulcanized shoe with a Zoom Air unit in the sock liner for added comfort, while the Busenitz is a cup sole shoe that features adidas’ impact-resistant Adiprene technology in the forefoot.

Whether you’re looking for high-tops, low-tops, or mid-tops, there’s a perfect skateboarding shoe out there for you. So, don’t be afraid to experiment and find the right shoe for your skating style.

What Makes Skateboard Shoes Better Than Regular Shoes?

While it’s difficult to generalize a skateboard brand based on its features, it’s important to understand each skateboard shoe component that will provide you with the best results.


Skateboard shoes are typically designed with flat outer soles. Regardless of how complex or curving their upper parts are, the bottom must remain flat for a variety of reasons.

  • Help to stabilize the board
  • Distributes weight evenly
  • Increases control of the board

Finally, flat outsoles allow for assured footing when landing from tricks, reducing the chance of injuries.


Insoles neutralize the impact of falls and hard landings. Molded insoles are extremely beneficial for individuals with flat feet because they prevent excessive stress. Not only that, but these components, like as the outer soles, protect you from injuries as well.


This component distinguishes high-quality skate shoe manufacturers from those with less of a reputation. Because not all manufacturers create padded versions, this is an important distinction to emphasize. However, there are several advantages to wearing sneakers with adequate cushioning.

  • Padding protects your feet from injury
  • These cushioned regions extend the life of the shoe

Some skateboarding shoe companies only use part-padding on their shoes, which is acceptable. However, at the very least, a pair of shoes should be fully padded around the toes and heel.

Upper material

Skateboard shoe manufacturers also employ various types of upper body components, similar to the paddings. The quality of an exterior is important for protecting you against the abrasive surfaces of grip tape.

Suede and leather, in particular, are essential. These materials are strong enough to withstand heavy movements and may endure extensive use. Cleaning leather is also one of those jobs that will not be a challenge for you.


Skate shoes from well-known brands are generally more expensive than most of the competition. However, if the price of the shoes indicates their performance, it will be worth the added cost.

Skate shoes are generally available in a price range of $60 to $120. They can be cheaper or more expensive, so be sure your budget meets your needs. And if possible, get your shoes on sale!


In short, you don’t need skate shoes to skateboard, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to have a pair. Skate shoes will help you grip the board better, perform tricks more easily, and protect your feet from injuries.

Pros of skateboard shoes:

  • They help you grip the board better
  • They make it easier to perform tricks
  • They protect your feet from injuries

Cons of skateboard shoes:

  • They can be expensive
  • You might not be able to find the right size/style for you

Keep in mind, that you don’t need skate shoes. If you’re just starting out, don’t feel like you need to go out and buy a expensive pair of shoes right away. Just focus on having fun and perfecting your skills!

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