For skateboarders, finding the right shoes to suit your style and preferences is essential. Over the years their design has evolved considerably, with everything from vulcanised soles to airbag technology, padded to slimline uppers, hi’s to lo’s and all endorsed by big money pro skaters who get you to part with your hard earned cash. But do any of these…
How To Choose The Right Skate Shoes
Here we have a look at some insights from Neal Shoemaker, a senior shoe designer from Vans, to help you rethink a few things when it comes to choosing your next pair of skate shoes.
- Vulcanized vs. Cupsole
The soles are a very important to a good skate shoe as they are what provide grip on the board. Some companies such as Globe trainers have grown their reputation and popularity through their soles.
Neal says “it’s essentially just baking – a cupsole is like flash-frying something in a microwave, and a vulcanized sole is like baking a cake, almost. It all comes down to preference. Some kids want to skate cupsole because they think it will last longer and they want to jump down stuff. Other kids will jump down bigger things and wear vulc. It’s all about what you want to feel under your foot.”
- The Real Differences Between Rubbers
Development times can vary greatly between manufacturers, with each spending a different amount of time and effort on each part of their next design. Most are constantly tinkering with their compounds, however many skate shoe brands share factories resulting in very similar rubbers.
“It’s a lot easier from a production standpoint to stick with one formula and do it across everything. Every time they have to switch their process, it slows down production. In those cases, it really comes down to the design in the tread pattern, the sidewall pipes that improve flex or feel, even the way you design the mold and how they relate to the actual thickness of the sole.” Says Neal.
- Why Skate Shoes Have Got Slimmer
Original skate shoes from the 90’s and 2000’s such as the original Globe trainers were big and puffy, giving teenagers a way to stand out from the rest of society. However as the fashion of the times changed, their styles became slimmer and began conforming to more standard trainer designs.
“As trends changed, things started to slim down and become more normal—it was a real trend shift. Even now, it goes back to just preference. Everyone is influenced by the overall trend of wearing classic styles—simple, iconic designs. You see them being worn around the world. Skateboarders aren’t immune to those huge cultural trends that you see everywhere.” Says Neal.
- Hightops vs. Lowtops
This is more of a personal choice, based on what you feel most comfortable in. Some skateboarders prefer high tops as it gives them slightly more protection on their ankles. To make this effective you will need a very tall high top which can act like a leg brace.
Neal says “a lot of people will wear an ankle brace, even with a hightop. A hightop will protect your ankles from shark bites, though—when a board shoots out and hits your ankle. It’s also about how you wear your pants, your socks, and how you want everything to actually look.”
- What Design Means for Balance
“There’s different heights that companies use. Vans on the flatter side, as far as the heel-to-toe position. It’s called the pitch – the difference between the height of the toe and height of the heel. If you think of a traditional running shoe, not any of the new barefoot running trends, usually that heel-to-toe ratio is a lot bigger.” Says Neal.
It’s important to try out a range of different designs as each one is suited to a different style. Finding the right amount of pitch you like will help this. Once you have established a design which is right for you, there’s a good chance you will stick with it for many years, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try something new!
- The Tongue Debate
This is another decision which comes down to preference and how much you want you would like your skate shoes to have the iconic skate shoe look. Some people choose the fat tongues for nostalgic reasons, whereas others prefer the natural fit which comes with a smaller tongue.
Neal says “when you have extra foam on the top of your foot, it’s really not doing much or affecting durability, as you’re not having much contact with the griptape, and it has no impact on cushioning a landing. Depending on how tight you tie your laces, it might take a little pressure off your laces due to the cushioning the foam is offering. Honestly, I think all of that is aesthetics.”
Vans, Nike, Adidas & Globe Trainers Plus More At Scorpion Shoes
At Scorpion Shoes we offer a diverse range of footwear including the latest skate shoes from brands including Vans, Etnies, Nike and Globe trainers. We also stock a huge selection of boots, sandals and other types of shoe for both women and men and a variety of styles and colours.
We pride ourselves on our fantastic customer service, so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in contact by calling 0207 267 6195 or email email@example.com