Why do skaters wear Vans?

Vans' rugged construction and unique soles made them popular from the earliest days of skateboarding. The ideal combination of grip, comfort and durability gives skaters control and confidence without sacrificing the ‘feel’ of the board. 

Vans pioneered design features specifically for skaters over the last five decades. Heavyweight, reinforced canvas and suede uppers provided resistance to wear and tear, with padded collars and high tops adding protection for exposed ankles. 

The enduring build quality, premium design and classic silhouette have deeply ingrained Vans shoes in the skate culture. Investment in long term partnerships and events has developed a deep relationship that remains centred around the product where it all started - great shoes, on and off the skateboard.

Skater sitting next to skateboard

What makes skate shoes different?  

Skate shoes are designed to meet the needs of skateboarders, specifically for grip and durability. Traction between shoe and board is essential for maintaining control and is achieved with a minimal tread and wide sole, with materials chosen to handle the wear and tear of hours of practice. 

A fusion of functionality and style is what makes a skate shoe a skate shoe. A perfect shoe is crafted to provide protection and handle stress when it is pushed to the limit. A flat sole with arch support allows riders to maintain command of the deck during the most demanding tricks. Reinforced toe caps and padded heels can provide extra protection for your feet while the rubber sole adds cushioning for comfort, an ideal combination demonstrated in the Skate SK8-Hi and the Skate Sid.

What material is best for skate shoes?

The materials used to make a skate shoe are chosen based on functionality, endurance and style. Skate shoes can be made from leather or canvas. Suede is best for toughness and durability, while canvas provides a lightweight, breathable option.

Skater on ramp

Suede is leather with a rough surface, made from the softer parts of the animal skin. Strong enough to withstand abrasion, a suede skate shoe will also stretch and soften as it is worn to form a comfortable fit around your foot.  Canvas skate shoes are versatile and do not require breaking in, providing a light and comfortable option like the Rowan Pro or the Kyle Walker Pro. Key areas on the shoe that suffer the most damage, such as the toe and Ollie area, are often reinforced with leather patches.

Lamp post with stickers

What are the most durable skate shoes?

A durable skate shoe, like the Vans Skate Old Skool, has a strong sole that can handle the street and the skateboard without splitting, while the upper parts of the shoe will need to deal with scrapes and scratches without tearing. Build quality is essential in choosing a long-lasting shoe.

Key stress points in a skate shoe should be constructed in tough leather or reinforced canvas. Double or triple stitching will ensure there are no weaknesses in the outer sections that could compromise performance or security. High-quality, rubber soles should be rigid so that they remain flat after heavy use and can handle friction without wearing holes. Designs incorporating a wide tongue will help stabilize the shoe and minimize slipping during intense action.

Skater performing jump

Related Content