Skate shoes are often associated with skateboarders and skateboarding activities. Everybody can conclude that simple fact from its name only. These types of shoes are becoming more and more popular as kids who were born in the 90s grow up and start skate boarding. While other types of shoes come in and out of the spotlight every year, skate shoes remain classic shoes which will always on high demand. With their raising popularity, there are new models with new styles coming up every year.
After all, skate shoes are not normal shoes or sneakers. They are made with different construction and revamped with innovative technology year by year. And like many other iconic pop culture, skate shoes often come with surrounding myths and misconceptions. Think that you know well about your skate shoes? Think again! Take a look at the article below for 8 things that you mightn’t know about your skate shoes.
1. Skate Shoes Are Different From Normal Shoes
As I mention above, skate shoes are skate shoes and normal walking shoes or sneakers are the different types. The only common they share is their purpose, which is to cover your feet and protect them from touching the ground.
The constructions of both types of shoes are hugely different. The outsoles of skate shoes are made with high quality rubber material, which is highly abrasion resistant and shock absorbent.
The inner soles are made with little arch support. Hence, you might feel tired when walking on these shoes for a long time. Still, they are highly protective against shocks and impacts.
In addition, they come with thin padding in the toe area and heel area. The toe areas are reinforced with special materials such as canvas, suede and leather to make them even more durable and long lasting.
Besides construction of the skate shoes, there are a lot of things that you need to consider when you want to choose a suitable pair of skate shoes such as lace and asymmetrical collars as well as material of the shock liners.
One great benefit of using skate shoes for skateboarding is that they reduce the impact on your foot when you land on the ground. Also, skate shoes are made for this sport.
Hence, they are more durable and highly abrasion resistant than other normal shoes of the same price range. In addition, wearing a pair of stake shoes makes it easier for you to do tricks with skateboarding.
Last but not least, you shouldn’t use skate shoes for walking as they offer little cushioning and arch support. And you shouldn’t use walking shoes for skateboarding.
With normal shoes, you would find it super challenging to do some skateboarding tricks and jump. In addition, the risk of getting injuries will increase when you don’t pick up the right shoes for the right tasks.
2. There Is A Wide Range Of Choices For Skate Shoe’s Materials
When choosing a pair of skate shoes, you have a wide range of choice for materials including grain leather, suede, polyurethane (PU) coated leather, canvas and canvas vulcanized rubber. All of them have their own pros and cons. Sometimes, the choice of the best material depends largely on personal preference.
Proper full grain leather is probably the material of highest quality which is super durable and comfortable. Also if you are looking for natural product, this is the material that you should choose for your skate shoes.
One more pro of this material is that it can break in quickly; bringing you quicker comfort in case you buy a new pair of shoes. However, real leather break in easily, it would stretch out in no time as well. And caring and maintaining real leather shoes are truly challenging tasks.
Just like proper full grain leather, suede material is durable and comfortable. The advantages of suede material over real leather are its cheaper price, longer lasting and its ability to provide you with a wide range of color. Not to mention that suede leather is easy to care for and would not stretch out quickly.
A new type of material is the PU coated leather. This type of leather is made by cutting a thick layer of hide in half and coating each of the layers with plastic made of polyurethane. This material was made popular in the early 00s with the image of white leather shoes.
They are also durable and looking shiny. However, they would not be as soft on your skin as real leather and suede leather skate shoes.
Another new choice of skate shoes’ material is the canvas. Canvas shoes are cheap and stylish. But they are not as durable and long lasting as other types of skate shoes.
To make canvas shoes more durable, shoe manufacturers add in the vulcanized rubber patch to the backside of the canvas. When your foot touches the ground, the rubberized patch will touch the ground instead of the canvas, preventing the canvas from fraying.
3. Different Heights Affect Balance
Besides material, heights of skate shoes are of hot debate. If you are like me, you would like to have a pair of skate shoes with flatter side. It means that there is not so much difference between the height of the heel and the height of the toe area.
Think about running shoes. A typical running shoe will have a steep side with the height of the heel higher than the height of the toe. It would help the runner to reduce the impact on the heel, which hits the ground first when she or he runs. However, with a high heel like that, it would be more static for the wearer.
We, as skateboarders, need to move around a lot, not just aiming for a single direction. Hence, shoes with flatter side will bring more balance. They also support us to pivot around without any difficulty when we skateboard.
4. The Choice Of Skate Shoes’ Tongue Doesn’t Affect Durability
With tongue of the skate shoes, you have two options- one is the puffy type and one is the slimmer type. Basically, the choice of skate shoe’s tongue doesn’t affect the durability of the shoes but your personal tastes and experience.
Since it covers the top of your foot, the tongue would not support your foot when you land onto the ground. Even when the tongue is cushioning, it doesn’t really make your feet more comfortable. The tongue, whether it is puffy or slim, would not add more cushioning; it is merely a cover for the top of your feet.
If you like a pair of traditional skate shoes, you might enjoy wearing the shoes with puffy tongue. And in case you are for a skinny look, go for skate shoes with slimmer tongue. Keep in mind that if you want to tie your lace really tight, a slimmer tongue would look nicer than a puffy one.
5. Sock Liners Are One Of The Most Significant Factors Of A Skate Shoe
Sock liners are the important factor that you need to pay attention when you select a pair of skate shoe. In fact, the quality of the sock liners can represent the quality of the overall shoes.
Sock liners help ventilate air inside your shoes. They also prevent moisture and hot spot from occurring. They also add more cushioning for your feet and make them comfortable during long hours of intensive skateboarding. Hence, sock liners are super important which are worth considering carefully.
The highest quality sock liners are made from polyurethane or ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). The polyurethane is a form of liquid which is poured into a mold to make into the sock liner.
On the other hand, EVA is a kind of foam which is shape into the shape of a sock liner. The former is slightly longer lasting than the latter. Also the former offers a wide range of hardness. You can buy a polyurethane sock liner which is tough or soft, depending on your needs and preferences.
6. Vulcanized And Cupsole Are Different In Many Ways
Vulcanized and cupsole patches are made in a same way. They also contain the exact quantity of both natural and synthetic rubber materials. The only thing that makes these two material different is how they are treated with different levels of head and pressure.
In order to make cupsole, the mixture of rubber materials will be heated at a high degree of temperature. It would then pressed into a mold quickly and clamped tight. The whole process would take about 90 seconds.
On the other hand, in order to make vulcanized skate shoes, the mixture of rubber materials are cut into small strips, which are then use for wrapping. Hence, vulcanized materials are made with low degree of temperature. The wrapping also takes longer time than the making of cupsole skate shoes.
Once again, you should wear skate shoes made from different techniques to see which one make you feel more comfortable. Many people state that cupsole are thicker and more protective. Other people prefer wearing vulcanized shoes because it feels more flexible. After all, it is all about what you want to feel like under your feet.
7. Skate Shoes Get Slimmer
This fact isn’t related to the function factor of skate shoes but on the edge of their styles and fashions. Do you know that skate shoes start to look totally different from their classical skate shoes we often see in the 90s and 00s.
As I mention above, skates shoes are becoming more and more popular when kids born in the 80s and 90s start to skateboard. During the time around the late 90s and years afterwards, the most popular style of skate shoes are kind of puffy and bulky.
Kids wearing these skate shoes might think that bigger shoes would mean bigger protection. Also when wearing big sized items, they might be more outstanding in the middle of the crown.
Things start to change now. People are in more minimalist style and skate shoes are of no difference. Skate shoes are getting slimmer. With slimmer skate shoes, you still get enough protection thanks to the development of technology.
Once again, while slimmer skate shoes are trendy, the choice of which style of skate shoes for you will all depend in your personal preference. You will have more options when choosing slimmer shoes but bulky shoes are iconic and as protective and functional as the newer trend.
8. Hightop Or Lowtop Is Personal Choice
Another topic that I have seen many people argue about is whether hightop or lowtop is the better choice. The answer is varied to different tastes.
After all, hightop is neither better nor worse than lowtop. It depends on your feel and experience of what you totally feel comfortable in.
For example, I know a friend who had an accident while skateboarding and hurt his ankle. From then on, he only wears skate shoes with hightop. To his opinion, it makes him feel safe and more confidence.
In fact, skate shoes with a hightop will prevent shark bites, which is when a board comes out and crashes onto your ankle.
It is worth keeping in mind that to prevent your ankles from getting hurt, you should also pay attention to your pants and your socks. They also help to minimize the impacts of unwanted events on your ankle.
Hence, you don’t really need to wear hightop skate shoes if you want to protect your ankles. Many people like to wear lowptop and their argument is that they provide more air ventilation or styles.
Once again, whether you choose a hightop or lowtop sneaker shoes is not a big deal. If you feel confidence with a certain type, just go for it.
As you can see, skate shoes aren’t just normal type of shoes. There are a lot of things goes behind these shoes. They are definitely not normal shoes for walking but skateboarding with high abrasion resistance and durability. They are made from different materials and different constructions.
There are many things that you need to pay attention to such as the choice of the sock liners or the heel to toe ration. Other things such as lowtop or hightop, cupsole or vulcanized type contribute little to help you differentiate skate shoes. Hence the choices of which stake shoes to buy depend on the mainly your personal preference.
I hope with the article above, you gain more knowledge about your skate shoes and what you need to consider when going shopping for a suitable pair of skate shoes.
After all, it is really worth spending your time picking the right shoes so that you can have a lot of fun skateboarding and stay safe.