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Skate shoes come in a large range of styles with a number of different traits specifically designed for certain types of skateboarding.
What's the history of skate shoes?
Companies like Vans and Vision Street Wear started making skateboard specific shoes as early as the mid-sixties and seventies, although the skate shoe market has literally exploded over the past 10 to 15 years. Today's skate shoes are generally defined as having a flat sole made of soft rubber with a reinforced canvas or leather upper. Many skate shoes come equipped with special features like extra stitching in the ollie area, lace protectors, a mid-top or high-top silhouette, and skateboarding-impact-specific padding in the tongue, collar, and heel.
What's the difference between vulcanized and cupsole construction?
In the long run every skater will eventually have a certain style or type of skate shoe that he or she prefers, but one of the most defining aspects of the skate shoe is the sole construction. The sole construction is a huge factor when deciding on a skate shoe, with the vulcanized sole and the cupsole being the most dominant and preferred constructions that are available. Vulcanized soles are usually quite thin and flexible, offering the rider a greater amount of board feel and control for technical tricks. Many of today's top skateboarders prefer the vulcanized sole because of the way it grips the board and flicks the deck while performing flip tricks. The vulcanized sole may offer amazing board feel, although it lacks the extra cushioning and support that is helpful for hitting big drops, long rails, and high impact maneuvers day in and day out. The cupsole construction offers less board feel but provides a major amount of impact support and helps to reduce heel bruises and hot-pockets that can be a painful reminder of why the extra cushioning is important.
Which skate shoes are best for me?
When deciding what type of shoe you want think about where you'll be skating and what type of tricks you'll be doing the most of. If you love to jump down stairs and rails you should probably try a skate shoe with cupsole construction, although if you prefer to skate ledges, flat-ground, and transition, try a pair of vulcanized skate shoes. Just remember that some people switch between the two styles depending on what obstacles they'll be skating that day, while some people always roll in one or the other, no matter what terrain they choose to shred. Only you can decide what type of skate shoe construction will keep your feet happy and your flip tricks looking crispy.
Where should I buy skateboarding shoes?
No matter what type of skating you do, whether it be big drops and rails, low-impact and super technical, riding ramps and parks, or just steady cruising, Zumiez has the perfect pair to meet your specific needs. Zumiez is proud to carry a huge selection of the best skate shoes from all of the top brands including Converse, Emerica, Lakai, Nike, DC, Supra, HUF, Vans and many, many more.