Skateshoes are a dime a dozen.
The question that remains to be asked is: How to find your perfect pair?
We've taken a look around and made this little guide for you:
Hi top shoes like Lakai's Telford, Adidas' Roster, or Supra's Skytop offer stability and protection for your ankles.
Low shoes make it easier to move your ankles and are lighter.
(Reynolds Lights by Emerica, Encore by Globe, Lakai Manchester etc.)
A mid top such as Vans' Halfcab or Lakai's Carroll Select unite the best of both worlds: Ankle support and moveability for your foot.
There are loads of different materials to choose from.
Usually it's suede, leather, rubber, nubuk or simply canvas.
Suede is most commonly used on the ollie pads, since it has the most grip.
The second best material for the toecap would be rubber.
The side panels usually get a healthy helping of canvas or mesh to increase ventilation and to decrease the overall weight of the shoe.
There are baiscally two kinds of soles: Cupsoles and vulcanized soles.
Vulcanized soles are glued to the upper utilizing a rubber stripe to fix the sole to the shoe.
Cupsoles are poured and then glued and stitched to the upper.
Vulcanized soles are made of thin rubber. This eliminates the "break in time" that most shoes require. A good Boardfeel and the ever so popular "straight out the box skateablilty
The downside is of course that rubbersoles don't hold up very long, and that skating big gaps is gonna hurt!
Cupsoles on the other hand are mainly made of polyurethane which has a lower abrasion then rubber. Some companies like DC Shoes have developed soles that have different grades of urethane for different areas of the sole (the heel, the ball of the foot) customizing the soles for skateboardings' needs. Cupsoles also tend to be a bit more stable and have a little more of a footbed than vulkanized shoes.
To make sure the shoes are ready for skating you will have to break them in for about a day or two.
There are numerous padding systems for your heels in skateboard shoes.
Many manufacturers still use air pads, which tend to burst and are generally a little unstable.
Most shoe companies have settled on using gelpads or a combination of air/gelpads.
These are often found in the insoles of vulcanized shoes.
Nevertheless the most advanced padding is found in cupsoles.
The cutting edge pioneer in terms of research for soles and correct fit is sti LAB.
Sti LAB is a division of Soletech (Entnies, Emerica and És) that strive to develope the most advanced technologies for skateshoes.
Check out www.stilab.com to fully undertand what we mean.