How Are Skate Shoes Different Than Regular Sneakers may earn commission when you buy something through the links or banners on this page.


Skate shoes have been around for longer than you may think; since the 1960s. Unsurprisingly, they have changed quite a bit since they were first introduced. When they were first created, they were intended solely for use while skateboarding.

However, today, they are a lot more versatile and casual. So, you may find yourself, for example, looking at a pair of Asics sneakers and a pair of skate shoes and wondering: what’s the difference?


This is somewhat of an obvious difference, but it matters because it informs the design of the shoes. Skate shoes are designed around skateboarding. While they can be practical for other uses, this purpose is always in the mind of the designers. When the designers for Vans shoes, for example, are planning a new shoe, skateboarding is always the first consideration.

Skate shoes can even be broken into different categories based on the intended purpose. One such grouping is cupsoles versus vulcanized soles. The former is thicker and studier, making them ideal for jump-related tricks due to their impact resistance. Vulcanized soles, however, are thinner but weaker. They tend to be better for skating that requires careful footwork.


If you’ve ever skateboarded or watched someone else enjoy the sport, you know that skaters fall a lot. Trying to master a new move requires practice and practice usually means hitting the ground. Therefore, skate shoes and other items need to be very durable.

Whereas a pair of running sneakers only needs to deal with foot impacts at the speed you are running, skate shoes need to stand up to repeatedly slamming into and sliding along the ground at much higher speeds.

In other words, skateboard shoes need to be tough. They are also designed to handle abrasions from all angles since every fall is a little different.

When you are shopping for shoes, take a look at some skate shoes. You’ll likely notice double- or triple-stitching and multiple layers of material on major impact zones.


Going hand-in-hand with the above is the need for protection. Skateboarders are likely to hurt their feet when skating. So, shoe designers plan for their shoes to protect against common injuries.

For example, they tend to have thick soles that insulate the feet against impact as well as scraping against the ground. Additionally, the tongues are usually wider than other sneakers, especially casual designs. This helps to keep everything stable.

Some skate shoes even include lace protectors to keep everything tucked in place. If you look at some skate sneaker reviews, you’ll see that this feature is a popular one. There’s nothing scarier than realizing your laces are getting caught up while you’re trying to get some major air.

Which one's better for you? Check out some awesome skate shoes to understand the difference better

Skate shoes have a lot to offer. They can give the wearer a cool look and offer impressive durability even for people who don’t skate. Nonetheless, the purpose they are built for is to protect skaters’ feet and help them stay sturdy on their decks.

Check out some good-quality skate shoes the next time you are shopping. You’ll likely be impressed by the quality and design of modern options.

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