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The 12 Best Cheap Skate Shoes in 2024

Written by Chris K

Are you looking for the best cheap skate shoes? Shoes are crucial for skateboarding for performance, technical skateboarding, and impact absorption when doing gaps and stairs.

The most important thing in finding cheap skate shoes is to find a durable shoe. Some skateboard shoes are built to last and will help you spend less money while still offering high performance riding.

Would you like some help picking the best cheap skate shoes for your budget and style of skateboarding? Check out the guide to the best skate shoes below.

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The 12 Best Cheap Skate Shoes

New Balance 306 Skate Shoes

If you are looking for a shoe that makes kickflips feel effortless, you should get the New Balance 306 skate shoes. Not only are kickflips easy, grinds feel easier to lock on while wearing New Balance skate shoes.

The 306 skate shoes are the American Skateboarder Jamie Foy’s pro model shoes. They are one of the most durable skate shoes on the market.

They feel light but solid when skating, and they provide a good reaction with tricks right out of the box and last a very long time. In addition, these shoes have an amazing grip for skateboarding.

The uppers are made of durable suede with rubber underlays, making the shoes super durable. The lining and tongue are mesh which makes the shoes breathable. There is also internal hidden toe protection for added durability.

The insole is cushioned for added impact support, but there isn’t enough padding under your foot and no arch support, so these shoes are best for technical skateboarding.

New Balances 306 skate shoes have a herringbone vulcanized sole, which holds up against the toughest wear and tear. The bottom tread wears much more than the upper, but the grip stays consistent.

These shoes need to be broken in to feel comfortable, but they are reliable and offer a comfortable ride. They do fit small, though.

While these shoes are stylish with outstanding construction and no-sew overlays, one downfall is the laces shred easily. I recommend putting shoe goo on your laces where they meet the side of the shoe so they last longer.

What We Like

  • One of the most durable skate shoes
  • It makes kickflips feel effortless
  • Good reaction with tricks
  • Reliable and comfortable ride

What We Don’t Like

  • Thin laces shred easily
  • It takes a while to break in

Adidas Busenitz Skate Shoes

Adidas creates some of the best cheap skate shoes on the market, but the best Adidas skate shoes are hands down the Adidas Busenitz Skate shoes.

The Adidas Busenitz skate shoes are the most durable skate shoes you can get as they are made with 100% suede with a suede upper. In addition, they have a reinforced heel cup and a padded geofit collar that wraps around your ankle, offering extra support, stability and comfort.

The skate shoes are made with excellent materials, including lace closure, a molded sock liner for impact protection, and enhanced comfort and fit.

In addition, the shoe is very well padded with full impact support, so you can hit stairs and take big drops and landings without pain.

 Surprisingly, this shoe still has a lot of board feel, considering they have a rubber cupsole rather than a vulcanized sole. Just note that it will need to be broken in to give it more flexibility.

The Adidas Busenitz comes with a textured midsole, which will help with your flick. It gives you great board control and flick while firmly gripping your skateboard.

In addition, these shoes will help you stick to your skateboard, which is perfect for performing tricks.

The outer sole has a deep tread pattern for longer life and durability. It also comes with recessed eyelets, which keep the laces away from high wear areas, which will help prevent shredded laces.

The tongue is mesh which helps with breathability, and it helps protect your ankles from ankle bites.

While these shoes are on the bulkier side, they have a very tight fit and run a little small. So, I would suggest sizing up by half a size. I would not recommend these shoes if you are looking for a slimmer fit.

Adidas is one of the best skate shoe brands as the Busenitz is a fantastic skate shoe that is consistently comfortable and can still be used as a casual shoe.

So if you are looking for a comfortable skate shoe that will last you, I highly recommend getting the Adidas Busenitz skate shoes.

If you love Adidas but aren’t interested in getting the Busenitz, I recommend the Adidas Men’s Daily 3.0 Skate Shoe and the Adidas Women’s Broma Skate Shoe.

What We Like

  • 100% Suede
  • Cupsole great for impact absorption like stairs, gaps, big drops
  • Durable
  • Breathable
  • Comfortable
  • Reasonable board control and flick
  • The tongue helps against ankle bites
  • Recessed eyelets help prevent laces from shredding
  • Excellent grip on the skateboard
  • Great as a casual shoe and skate shoe

What We Don’t Like

  • It runs a little small
  • The shoe is a bit bulky, so avoid it if you want a slimmer shoe.

eS Accel Og Skate Shoe

eS Men's Accel OG Skate Shoe, Black, 5 Medium US
  • Advanced cupsole construction providing supreme comfort, durability & grip
  • Premium quality suede upper for longevity and style
  • Puffy tongue to keep foot snug and have a fresh 90's look. Perforated side panel for foot ventilation and fresh style
  • Iconic éS branding on tongue, heel, insole & lower center lace loop

Want one of the best cheap skate shoes and most durable skate shoes you can get? eS Accel OG Skate Shoe is the one you should buy. It is made with 100% suede, high quality, and superior comfort.

These skate shoes are cupsoles that hold your feet in nice and tight. The cupsole construction provides supreme comfort, durability and grip. In addition, these shoes fit true to size while being large enough for wide feet.

The Accel’s are a 90s puffy shoe, so they are nostalgic and are light enough for casual wear but tough enough for skating. They have a relaxed medium feel and are comfy right out of the box, but they may take a bit to get used to when you ride.

The upper is suede which adds longevity and style, while the puffy tongue keeps the foot snug. There is a lot of material, so if the shoes or suedes rip, you will still have some material in place, so there will be no holes, thus helping the shoes last longer.

One downfall is that, while there is a perforated side panel for foot ventilation, your feet will still get hot.

The Accels have a lot of foot and heel protection. The padding is perfectly placed and proportioned for maximum protection.

Surprisingly, even with padding, you still have a great board feel with these shoes. You will be able to flick and get technical. When you pop your skateboard, it will flick more powerfully.

eS’s Accel’s are great for day-to-day wear too, and the sole lasts forever. The shoes are low profile, so there is the possibility of your skateboard hitting your ankles during tricks, but the padding should help prevent that.

Are you looking for new shoes? Then, why not pick up some of the best skateboard pads.

What We Like

  • One of the most durable skate shoes
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Great for daily wear
  • It makes your flicks way more powerful

What We Don’t Like

  • It takes a bit of time to get used to
  • Laces are thin

Vans Unisex Sk8-Hi Core Classics

Does your skateboard hit your ankles when you are doing tricks? Then, Vans Sk8-Hi Core Classics are for you. These legendary high top shoes will help protect you from ankle bites while providing ankle support.

I know the image above shows the low tops – just be sure to click the high tops before purchasing them to get the right ones.

The Sk8-Hi Core Classics are a good quality shoe and at a great price. They have the high-top lace up classic shoe look that vans are known for.

The Sk8-Hi’s are comfortable and ready to wear right out of the box. They do not need to be broken in. In addition, they are vulcanized shoes which means they have less padding, which enhances the board feel.

Van’s Sk8-Hi Core Classics are made with rigid but thin material. They have sturdy suede and canvas uppers with reinforced toe caps which help prevent wear and tear during technical manoeuvres.

These shoes are designed for skating! They have good contact with the deck and have fantastic grip, so they stick to grip tape and your skateboard.

Flip tricks are more manageable with these shoes, but they are not suitable for gaps, stairs, and hard landings due to them not having a ton of padding.

The Sk8-Hi Core Classics run a bit big, but they are great for wide feet as they fit better. They are made with suede and canvas, but the canvas isn’t in a high use area, so they are still extremely durable.

In addition, it features a suede toe cap that runs down the sides with the canvas in the middle of the shoe.

These shoes last about a year or two, depending on how hard you skate. They have a waffle tread on the outsoles, which are long lasting and give your shoes an excellent flick for flip tricks and technical skateboarding.

A bonus feature in the Sk8-Hi’s is they have a thicker insole than the average vulcanized shoe. I still wouldn’t recommend these for gaps and stairs, though.

The Sk8-Hi shoes are easier to get comfortable as you ride, but one downfall is that the shoes get soft after a while, meaning you will lose some stability.

While the Vans Sk8-Hi Core Classics are among the best cheap skate shoes, they have better quality shoes. Opt for the pro line version if you have the extra cash, as the insole is 100 times better.

What We Like

  • Hi Tops will protect your ankles.
  • Vulcanized sole, which is suitable for technical skating
  • It makes doing flip tricks easy
  • Designed for skateboarding
  • Comfortable
  • Great board feel
  • Good for wide feet
  • It comes in many different colors and styles

What We Don’t Like

  • Sole is not as cushy as other shoes, so you may want to replace them.

DC Pure Casual Skate Shoe

DC Men's Pure Casual Low Top Skate Shoe, Black/Black/White, 6 D D US
  • COMFORT: The lightweight, padded tongue and collar provide added comfort and support to your feet; Ventilation holes help your feet breathe while on the move at the skatepark, or on the way to class, work, or to hangout with friends
  • UPPER: The Pure upper is constructed with leather, nubuck, or suede and feature the DC Logo; Match the Pures back with DC tees, hats, fleece hoodies, shirts, pants, jackets, and more
  • OUTSOLE: Our Pure is contructed with a cupsole that provides extra foot and ankle support when you're on your feet
  • PURE: The classic skate silhouette is always evolving with on-trend colors and new materials that keep the OGs coming back for more and the younger generation hungry for the latest-and-greatest skate styles
  • DC SHOES: We’re passionate about skateboarding and we spend as much time on our skateboards as we do in the design lab so that we can always be ahead of the trends when it comes to knowing what skateboarders need to perform at their best

DC’s Pure Casual Skate Shoes are one of the best cheap skate shoes for skateboarders looking for a bulky comfortable shoe that offers excellent protection but is fantastic for trick skating like doing flip tricks.

The shoes I recommend are 100% suede, but you can get these shoes with leather, nubuck or suede uppers.

They are comfortable and lightweight, with a padded tongue and collar that adds extra support to your feet. In addition, the Pure Casual Skate shoe comes with a lace protector, which helps keep your laces from shredding.

These shoes are a bit chunky as it is a cupsole that provides extra foot and ankle support while protecting your feet during intense jumps. However, it has a synthetic sole which is hard and doesn’t provide a lot of flexibility. Also, being a larger, puffier shoe, it can be hard to feel your board.

The Pure Casual Skate Shoes have good arch support, so they keep your feet comfortable, but they are a bit noisy when you walk. Also, they are thicker shoes, which will make your feet hot, but these shoes have a mesh lining and ventilation holes that will help your feet breathe.

DC shoes are very grippy with a thread that lasts a long time. Plus, there is a lot of material on the toe area for endless ollies. These shoes are very affordable and will last about a year or two. They fit tight, so I recommend sizing up.

What We Like

  • Very grippy
  • Protects your feet
  • Very affordable
  • Breaks in quickly
  • It comes in multiple colors

What We Don’t Like

  • The shoes squeak
  • The shoes are a bit chunky

Etnies Kingpin Skateboarding Shoe

Etnies Men's Kingpin Skate Shoe, Black/Black, 5.5 Medium US
  • Die-cut EVA insole EVA midsole
  • 400 NBS rubber outsole
  • Trademark etnies logo perfed into medial side
  • Padded tongue and collar
  • Inspired by our past, Built for our Future

Etnies Kingpin Skateboarding shoes are affordable, durable skate shoes perfect for beginner skateboarders. 

They are made of nubuck, which is synthetic suede. It has a sturdy upper, perforated to be breathable as this is a puffy skate shoe. The Kingpins have a padded tongue and collar, making them feel very secure due to the padding around the shoe.

However, it has a synthetic EVA insole, which isn’t the best insole as it’s a bit thin and feels under cushioned, so there is more impact on your feet during jumps and gaps.

This shoe has a 400 NBS rubber outsole with a ton of grip. It is stiff with no flex, but it does have a quick break in period. The lack of flex helps your shoes hang onto the board, which leads to an outstanding performance; however, the lack of flexibility does mean it is hard to feel your skateboard under your feet.

These shoes have flexibility in the ankle area—heavy duty padding on the collar and tongue for added stability when you need to land tricks.

Etnies Kingpin Skate shoes have excellent traction has it has a herringbone treated outsole, which is very grippy, making them suitable for street riding or ramps.

In addition, the entire sole of the shoe makes solid contact with the skateboard. The only downfall is there is slight wear and tear when you do tricks like ollies and switch heels, but the outsole does hold up well.

You can get the Kingpin Shoes in multiple colors, but they are a bit small, so order half a size up. They are wide, though, so these shoes will work for you with wider feet.

Etnies is a sponsor for some of the best skateboarders in the world, so you know their shoes are sick.

What We Like

  • Great shoe for beginners
  • Good for wide feet
  • Fantastic shoe for switch heels
  • Comfortable
  • Lots of grip on the sole
  • A quick break in period

What We Don’t Like

  • Slight wear and tear with certain tricks light ollies
  • Sole feels a bit under cushioned

Osiris Lumin Skate Shoe

Osiris Men's Lumin Skateboarding Shoe, Grey/White/Bingaman, 8 M US
  • Classic skate styling with reinforced high abrasion areas for superior durability.
  • Lightweight padded tongue and collar for added comfort and support.
  • Abrasion resistant rubber outsole for wear, durability and performance.

Osiris Lumin Skate shoes are the best cheap skate shoes on the market. These are skate shoes under 40 dollars, so they are incredibly affordable and durable.

These shoes are 90% suede and 10% synthetic leather with added protection on high abrasion areas for superior durability. So if you don’t want to spend a lot of money destroying your shoes, these are the shoes for you.

So what’s great about these shoes? They have a rubber vulcanized shoe to feel your board, and the sole is thick, so it is suitable for heavy landings.

The sole has a herringbone trim and a super stick sole that sticks to your grip tape, so it is safe to do tons of trick skateboarding.

In addition, the Lumin skate shoes have a lightweight padded tongue and padded collar for added comfort and support. They do fit tight due to the thickness of the tongue but are very comfortable.

The Osiris Lumin Skate shoes are narrow and stiff, so that they may cause heel pain at first, but they will feel great once broken in. Then they will feel super flexible for great feel and control.

These shoes are very affordable, which is great because they aren’t long lasting, so they are perfect for beginners or people who want to spend as little as possible on shoes that they can destroy.

What We Like

  • Short break in time
  • Very affordable
  • Great board feel
  • Good for heavy landings
  • Reinforced high abrasion areas for more durability

What We Don’t Like

  • Narrow and stiff – may cause heel pain until broken in
  • Not long lasting

Globe Tilt Skateboarding Shoe

If you are looking for a puffy skate shoe that fits long and narrow feet, you should try Globe’s Tilt Skateboarding Shoes. These shoes have a fully padded cupsole style with an S-Trac sole pattern for enhanced grip and board feel.

The Tilt Skateboard shoes are made from action and synthetic nubuck and TPR action leather and will last you a few years. They are good solid shoes with a great feel, and they perform very well.

The Tilts have a stable base when landing, but the insoles are thin, so I recommend replacing them.

With Globes Tilt Skateboarding shoes, you will get a good combination of grip and flexibility when wearing the shoes during your skate sessions.

The soles are very grippy, and there are added triple layer protection spots in high use areas like where you hit your shoe during ollies. In addition, the shoes have lace protectors, so you won’t worry about shredding your laces.

One downfall is these shoes are not suitable for wide feet.

What We Like

  • Lace Protectors to keep the laces from shredding
  • Great Price
  • Durable – Will last for years
  • Very Grippy & Flexible

What We Don’t Like

  • Not suitable for wide feet
  • Insoles are thin – you should replace them before riding.

Emerica Low Vulc Skate Shoe 

Emerica Men's Skate Shoe, Black/Blue, 14
  • G6 Insole
  • Vulcanized constructio
  • Triangle Tread Outsole

Emerica’s Low Vulc Skate Shoe is one of the best cheap skate shoes, but it is also one of the best skate shoe brands.

The Low Vulc Skate shoes have a low DNA, which focuses on board feel with low profile control. As the name says, it has a vulcanized construction with a gum triangle thread outsole which gives you the best grip on the board while offering an excellent board feel.

Emerica’s Low Vulc Skate shoe is made of quality materials such as a G6 foam insole. It is made entirely of suede except for a little bit of canvas on the side and tongue.

This shoe is slim, breathes well, consistent, comfortable and lightweight. Moreover, it has a medium style flex suitable for technical street skating.

There is no break in time, and these shoes wear at a good pace, but the grip tape does eat the sole.

If you want better grip tape, check out the post about the best grip tape to find grip tape that won’t destroy these shoes. They don’t stick too much or slip too fast, but I would still make sure you have the best grip tape on your board.

Emerica’s is the best skate shoe you can get if you want an excellent shoe for flip tricks. However, if you are looking for the best longboards under 100, check out the post!

What We Like

  • Incredible board feel
  • Breathes well
  • Wears at a good pace
  • Comfortable
  • No break in time
  • Great for flip tricks

What We Don’t Like

  • Flat shoe with no heel cradle

Lakai Footwear Cambridge Skate Shoe

Lakai Footwear Mens Mens Cambridge Skate Shoe, Black/Gum Suede, 5 US
  • Skate in Style: Contemporary meets classic in the Lakai Cambridge men's skate shoes, perfect for skateboarding and everyday wear.
  • Mixed Material Design: Suede, mesh, and perforated synthetic leather combine for a modern look and vintage vibe.
  • Enhanced Performance: PARA-MOUNT outsole and DELUX-LITE footbed provide advanced vulcanized comfort and support.
  • Maximum Board Feel: Hex-tread ensures exceptional grip and board feel for precise skateboarding maneuvers.
  • Lakai Heritage: Founded in 1999 by pro skateboarders Mike Carroll and Rick Howard, bringing skateboarding lifestyle to your feet.

Lakai Cambridge Skate shoes are among the best cheap skate shoes for tech skateboarders. 

They have a very short break in time and have a great responsive flick, feel great when doing kickflips, and provide a solid feel for flip tricks. Although these shoes aren’t great for heel flips as the shoe doesn’t grab your skateboard very well unless you have a deep concave deck.

The Cambridge Skate Shoe is made of mixed materials like suede and perforated synthetic leather. The upper is suede and a soft mesh with a durable suede toe cap, so there will be less tearing after trick skateboarding.

These shoes have a vulcanized outsole with a very defined edge. The edge does wear down, but it still has a great flick after wear and tear.

These shoes fit true to size but do have a snug feel. As a result, they are easy to slip on while making your foot feel secure in the shoe.

You will be able to kick with confidence when you do flip tricks, but as these have a low profile collar and lack padding, you may hit your ankles easier during maneuvers.

The sock liner is designed with a deep heel cup and contoured arch for stability and comfort. The gum sole has a decent grip, and the tongue has tons of padding for ankle support.

One downside is that the insoles are a bit too gel-like, so they reduce board feel, and they aren’t super thick, but the gel helps provide impact absorption while doing stairs or gaps.

What We Like

  • Very responsive flick
  • Solid feel for flip tricks
  • Great for technical skaters
  • Foot feels secure in the shoe
  • Short break in time

What We Don’t Like

  • The edge of the shoe wears down quickly
  • Not great for kickflips unless you have a skateboard with a deep concave

DVS Enduro 125 Skate Shoe

Are you looking for the best cheap skate shoe for landing sick jumps without hurting your feet? Then, DVS Enduro 125 Skate Shoes are for you. 

They have a rubber shell outsole with an EVA midsole which provides comfort and impact absorption. It also comes with a padded collar and tongue, supporting and protecting while skateboarding.

These shoes are true to size, but they do have a snug fit due to having thick comfortable padding. The upper is reinforced leather with a mesh collar and tongue for breathability.

While they are breathable, they are still hot because there is so much padding. In addition, the perimeter lining helps the shoe stay stable while skating.

DVS shoes are durable and easy to break in. While they are low cut shoes, they have a lot of protection around the ankle. In addition, these shoes have a cupsole design which means they are stiffer but perfect for shock absorption.

The Enduro skate shoes have a large profile but narrow toe, so they aren’t the best for people with wide feet.

What We Like

  • True to size
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Lots of padding, so it is perfect for impact absorption
  • Comfortable
  • Shock absorption on the insole

What We Don’t Like

  • Breathable but hot because there is a lot of padding

Volcom Draw Lo Suede Shoe Skate

Volcom Men's Draw LO Suede Shoe Skate, Grey, 6 D US
  • Suede and Canvas Upper
  • Metal Eyelets
  • Vulcanized Double Tape Construction
  • Molded Rubber Outsole

If you are looking for one of the best cheap skate shoes, you need to pick up Volcom’s Draw Lo Suede Shoes. These skate shoes are under 40 dollars but are still reliable and trustworthy.

The Lo Suede Skate Shoes have a suede and canvas upper, thinly padded tongue and collar, synthetic sole, molded rubber outsole and metal eyelets to keep your laces tight.

These are the best skate shoes for technical skating because of the vulcanized double tape construction. In addition, the shoes are durable, and they keep you stable on your skateboard.

In addition, the Draw Lo Shoes have tons of grip and make your feet feel great. They are the perfect fit for your feet.

What We Like

  • One of the best skate shoes under 40 dollars
  • It makes your feet feel great
  • Durable
  • It helps keep you stable on your skateboard

What We Don’t Like

  • The tongue and collar do not have a lot of padding.

What Are Skate Shoes And Why Do You Need Them?

Skate shoes are specialized shoes designed to help you skate better, skate more comfortably, and connect you with your board. Skate shoes are made to grip your skateboards and longboards while helping you perform tricks and control your board easily.

Some skate shoes are made for durability and comfort, while others are made to give you a better board feel and allow you to flick better for trick skating. Depending on your riding style, you may want different qualities out of your shoes.

For example, if you do a lot of stairs and gaps, you will want a shoe with good impact absorption. On the other hand, if you’re going to do flip kicks and ollies, you will want a shoe that helps you feel your skateboard flick your board easily.

If you want to elevate your skateboarding and have shoes that last, you should invest in a good quality pair of skateboarding shoes. You don’t have to pay insane prices for skate shoes. Instead, you can have the best cheap skate shoes to last and help you when you ride.

The Different Types of Skate Shoes

From High Tops, Mid Tops to Low Tops or cupsoles versus vulcanized skate shoes, what you wear will change depending on your skating style.

Technical Skateboarding

If you want to do more technical skateboarding, you should look for a shoe with a vulcanized sole. Vulcanized shoes are thinner, which means you will be able to feel your skateboard as there won’t be tons of padding in the way.

Vulcanized shoes are much easier and quicker to break in, meaning your shoe will have more flexibility.

You should get shoes with a vulcanized sole if you need more board feel and control when technical skateboarding and low impact skating like ledges, manuals, and riding on flat ground.

High Impact Skateboarding

If you want to jump stairs and gaps and just hit the ground hard with your skateboard, you will want a shoe that can absorb all of the impacts and shocks to help protect you and your body.

Skate shoes with more padding, comfort and arch support are perfect for skateboarders who do a lot of big drops.

Cupsoles are heavier and less flexible than Vulcanized shoes, so they will take longer to break in. However, they will still work for lighter skating once broken in.

High Tops

High Tops are higher cut shoes meaning they sit above the ankle. These shoes offer more stability to the ankle and help protect your ankle from being hit by your skateboard during tricks. However, the cons with high tops are that they are less flexible and have less breathability than lower-cut shoes. 

Mid Tops

Mid-Top shoes sit below the ankle and provide comfort, protection and stability. In addition, mid-tops offer mobility and ankle protection. Mid Top shoes would be perfect for riding an e-skateboard. So why not check out the best electric skateboard for under $500?

Low Tops

Low Top shoes or slip ons offer the most mobility and freedom. They are lightweight and offer a lot of flexibility when skateboarding. You will have the most freedom of movement to perform tricks wearing low-top shoes. One downfall is they do not provide ankle support.

Benefits of Wearing Skate Shoes

While you can wear any shoe to skateboard, skate shoes are specifically designed for skateboarding. They are built to handle grip tape and wear and tear on specific areas of the shoe that get hit by your board or your grip tape during certain tricks.

The soles of the shoes are made for better performance to land tricks correctly. In addition, they help with your flick, or if they are cupsole shoes, they are built to help impact absorption so you won’t walk away from a skateboard session with sore feet, legs or knees.

Skate shoes can also help keep you stuck to your board when doing things like sliding downhill. Find the best longboard for sliding when picking the best shoes.

8 Things to Look for in the Best Cheap Skate Shoes

It is vital to wear the right skateboarding shoes for your skateboarding style. The right shoes will help keep you gripped to your board, preventing injuries.

Skate shoes will also help absorb shocks and help you perform tricks properly. So if you are looking for the best cheap skate shoes, you should look for these qualities when getting new shoes.

If you want more impact support, you sacrifice board feel, and if you want more durability, you sacrifice flexibility.

I included the prices of skateboarding shoes in a post asking how much do skateboards cost?

Fabrics & Materials

Suede is the standard material for skate shoes. It is comfortable and durable.

If you are looking for a durable shoe, you will want one with a suede upper as it will make a big difference in how long your shoes will last. Plus, suede shoes have a consistent flick and stand up well against flip tricks. However, one downfall of suede is that it gets dirty fast.

The most crucial area of the shoe when it comes to the material is the upper. This is where most of the wear and tear will occur, and you will want a solid material to help sustain the durability of your skate shoes.

Canvas: Canvas is less durable and will rip quickly if you are doing a lot of ollies and flip tricks unless there is a rubber reinforcement in the high wear areas.

Having canvas on your shoes where there is less wear is not an issue and can increase breathability and make the shoe less expensive.

Need to wear canvas shoes? Glue on a piece of leather or suede to places where you will get holes.

Mesh: Like Canvas, mesh is not durable for shoes, especially in the upper. However, it is an excellent fabric for breathability, so having mesh in areas like the shoe’s tongue is excellent. Avoid shoes that have mesh on the upper.

Leather: Leather is tough and smooth with a longer break in period than suede but lasts longer. It is slippery/feels slippery at first, but they will skate like a suede shoe once broken in.

Synthetic textiles: Rubber is pretty durable. Knit materials and mesh are not. Mesh is acceptable for the tongue but don’t buy shoes with mesh in the high wear areas like the uppers.

Many shoe brands are putting extra rubber in the toe areas of their shoes, so if you blow out your shoe, you will still have rubber in its place to enhance the longevity of your skate shoes.

Stitching on Toe

When looking for the best skate shoes, check where the stitching is on the toe. You will want to avoid stitching being placed in high wear areas as the shoe will be weaker on areas that are stitched together.

Also, when you do tricks like ollies and flip tricks, your board will touch your shoes in these high wear areas and will destroy your shoes. You can reinforce these areas with glue before any rips occur, though.

It is ideal to get a shoe with no stitching on the entire upper for optimal durability.


The sole is the most important part of your skate shoe. Depending on your skating style, you will want a different type of sole.

For example, if you wish to do stair sets, skating manual pads, flip tricks or skating handrails, you should consider the kind of sole your shoe has before buying a new pair of skate shoes.

Vulcanized Sole

This is a thin, flat, lightweight sole. This is the basic sole on most skate shoes, and it is ideal for tech skating, where you need flexibility and board feel. The cons of Vulc soles is that they do wear out quicker.

Gum Rubber is standard for vulcanized skate shoes and is known for its grip and durability. Look for shoes with a deeper grove in the tread as they last longer.


Cupsoles are thicker, bulkier soles with less flexibility. These soles are ridged, but they offer more protection and comfort than the Vulc soles.

The cons of cupsoles are that they are highly padded, so there is less board feel. In addition, cupsoles are stitched to the top part of the shoe, and the shoe is embedded inside, unlike vulcanized shoes which have pieces glued together.

Cupsoles have a denser rubber compound on the outsole than vulcanized shoes, lasting longer at the bottom.

These shoes have more technology, so the insoles aren’t always the best. However, your shoe will feel great because it is designed for comfort.


When looking for a skate shoe, you might want to invest in a shoe made for comfort. You will want heel supports, a sole that absorbs shocks and enough padding around the tongue and collar to fit snuggly while protecting your ankles from ankle bite.

While cupsoles are more comfortable than Vulc soles, they aren’t great for board feel.

If you want a vulcanized shoe with more comfort and support than most, I recommend getting the New Balance 306s. While they are thin and flexible, which is great for board feel, they have a dual density rubber in the heel for comfort.

Cushioning helps prevent blisters and injuries to your feet. The more padding you have, the better your feel after a skateboarding session. You can replace your midsoles if you are looking for more comfort in your skate shoes.

Be sure that your shoe has tongue centering straps. This will help lock in the tongue so you won’t have to adjust your tongue, keeping your foot comfortable constantly.

Having a breathable shoe is more comfortable than shoes that make your feet hot and sweaty. Look for shoes with air holes or mesh panels in low wear areas that will help keep your feet cool.

Are you looking for a new backpack to carry your shoes? Check out the best skateboard backpack here. Are you thinking of getting skate shoes as a gift, or are you looking for skateboard gift ideas? Make sure you check out the post.


The most crucial aspect in finding the best cheap skate shoes is buying a durable shoe.

Even if the shoes are a little more expensive than the cheap canvas ones, the investment will pay off. You will have a shoe that lasts a few years rather than a shoe that lasts a few months.

The highest wear areas are the tor area, side of the foot at the sole. So when you are looking for durable shoes, be sure to look for the following features:

Stitching & Panels – Avoid shoes with stitching and panels in high wear areas as these sports are more vulnerable to wear. You can apply Shoe Goo to stitches to make sure they last longer.

Toe Caps – Toe caps can extend the life of your shoe. Rubber toe caps can give you grip and flick for flip tricks but can feel bulky in the toe area. Some shoes will have a rubber underlay built under the upper, so you will still have protection if the suede rips.

Ollie Patches – Some shoes, like the Vans Sk8-Hi Core Classics, have extra padding and protection in the area of the shoes that get worn out when doing ollies.

Single Piece Upper – Shoes that have a single piece toe box will last longer. You can apply shoe goo to stitches to make them last longer before they bust open.

Cupsoles – Cupsoles shoes are longer lasting than Vulc Shoes as they have more padding and more technology that add durability to skate shoes.

Shoe Lace Protectors – Shoelace protectors can help reduce your laces breaking and increase the longevity of your laces.

Impact Support

Impact support is important to prevent injury and keep your joints healthy. You will want more impact absorption if you do step sessions and slide across handrails or gaps.

Cupsoles have more built in support and cushioning, making it easier on your body. The insoles play a huge factor in how much impact absorption the shoe provides. You can get insoles made for skating if you find you need more support.

Boardfeel and Flexibility

If you want to have good board feel and flexibility in your skate shoe, you should get a vulcanized shoe.

Vulc shoes are thinner, making the break-in time shorter, giving you more board feel and control. It is perfect for technical and low impact skating like manuals, ledges, and flat ground.

Cupsoles are thicker, so they will take longer to break in but still work for lighter skating.


When looking at the right fit, a snug shoe is the best. They are more responsive, so you will feel comfortable and confident performing tricks.

Of course, you still want your shoe to feel comfortable, but it should feel tight to stay on your foot.

How to Make Skate Shoes Last

  • Invest in suede shoes
  • Get shoes with a rubber toe cap
  • Get shoes with minimal stitching to prevent weak spots
  • Wear a shoe with a lace guard or laces out of grip range.
  • Get rid of stock insoles and get a good pair of padded insoles. They will last longer than stock insoles and feel better on your feet. Plus, they may outlast your shoes, and you can reuse them in future shoes.
  • Prevent damage by using super glue, hot glue, shoe goo or tape to high wear areas, laces and lace eyelets.
  • Repair your shoes by adding pieces of suede or rubber to areas with holes or rips to extend the longevity of your shoes.


What skate shoe is best for you? If you are looking for the best cheap skate shoes, you should pick durable and high-quality shoes.

Also, the longer you have a skate shoe, the less money you will spend in the long run purchasing new shoes. The best way to spend as little money on skate shoes is to get durable and built to last. 

As cheap as some lightweight canvas shoes are, in the end, you will destroy them so fast that you will spend more money buying cheap shoes than if you had invested in a decent, still reasonably priced skate shoe.

Best durability, comfort, and price: New Balance Men’s 306 has a thicker insole that helps with comfort and impact absorption, and the heel has dual density rubber for more protection in the heel.

These shoes have a rubber piece running underneath the suede, so when you wear through the suede, you will have to wear through the rubber before they wear out.

It is a Vulc shoe with more technology, perfect for beginners and people who wear out their shoes quickly. It is very durable.

If you prefer a cupsole skate shoe, I recommend getting eS Men’s Accel Og Skate Shoe. It is one of the most durable and comfortable skate shoes. Plus, they will last you several years while having outstanding performance when you skateboard.

Whatever skate shoes you pick is your personal preference but know that every shoe I have listed in this guide is a good quality skate shoe that will last and help you skate your best.

More Skateboarding Posts

Would you like more advice about skateboarding? Then, check out the following posts to help you pick the best products.

The Best Skate Tool

The Best Skateboard Hardware

The 18 Best Skateboard Bearings

The 13 Best Skateboard Trucks

The Best Skateboard Brands

The Best Skateboard Helmets

The 13 Best Skateboard Decks

The 10 Best Skateboard Wheels for Cruising

About SkateboardWiz


I'm Chris, and I've been skateboarding and longboarding since I was 10. I started SkateboardWiz to show my passion for boardsport while helping people new to the scene find the best boards to help take their skating to the next level.