What Sets Skate Shoes Apart From Regular Sneakers?

Skateboard shoes, aka skate shoes, are footwear specifically designed for skateboarders. The soles are specially made to grip the deck of a skateboard and make practising jumps much easier and safer. Today, dozens of shoe companies offer skate shoes to shoe enthusiasts worldwide, regardless if they actually skateboard or not.

It is fairly easy to spot skate shoes when you’re out and about—their design is very different from regular sneakers or running shoes. And of course, some other factors differentiate them from other types of shoes.

What Makes Skate Shoes Different? 

1. Skate Shoes Have A Specific Purpose 

Skate shoes first arrived on the scene in the 1960s. They were developed because skateboarders needed a specific type of shoe to be able to grip their skateboard as they skated and flipped.

Every element of a skate shoe is meant to make skateboarding much easier and safer. It’s made of durable material that can survive the wear and tear of active use. Skate shoes are divided into two categories depending on their soles, and skaters choose between them depending on their purpose.

  1. Cupsole – cupsoles are very thick soles that are glued and sewn into the bottom of skater shoes. They are ideal for skaters practising their jump tricks. Because they are so thick and durable, they are also significantly heavier than vulcanised soles.
  1. Vulcanized sole – in direct contrast to cupsoles, vulcanised soles are thinner and only glued to the shoe’s bottom. These soles provide a much more comfortable range of motion and are much more flexible than cupsoles. But because vulcanised soles are only glued to the shoe’s body, they wear out much more quickly and can even fall off after too many jump tricks.  

2. Skate Shoes Are More Durable

Skaters spend hours on end practising their skills, jumping and falling in equal amounts, so skater shoes were designed to handle all the wear and tear that goes with this. Most good skate shoes are double- or triple-stitched for greater durability.

Some skater shoes are made of suede, which is a synthetic fabric that is very durable. It resists fraying because of its non-woven structures. Super suede skate shoes are great to use while practising in half-pipes, as there is little chance of abrasion in the shoe’s fabric.

Some shoe manufacturers use action leather for their skate shoes. Action leather consists of suede leather with a thin coat of polyurethane. These shoes include a reinforced toe cap that keeps skaters’ toes safe in case of falls and increases the overall stress tolerance of the shoe. 

3. Skate Shoes Protect The Skater

Skate shoes were developed because regular sneakers weren’t enough to keep skaters safe. Skate shoes are made with material that will protect skaters from common skateboarding issues such as falls and skids. 

Specific skate shoe features include wider soles for better traction, wider tongues for stabilisation, thick soles for jump tricks, and lace protectors to keep the laces away from a skateboard’s wheels.


Skate shoes have decades of history, and first and foremost, their purpose was to make it easier and safer to be a skateboarder.

The thick soles, double-stitched material, and plastic toecaps are meant to protect skaters as much as possible. They are more than just a trendy fashion accessory; they are a point of pride for skaters worldwide.

Are you looking for skate shoes in Australia? Fallen Footwear has been producing skateboarding shoes and apparel since 2003. We are dedicated to creating the highest quality accessories for all skaters out there. 

Our footwear is designed, tested, and destroyed by our ambassadors to ensure quality and durability.

Check out our store today!