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Skateboarding | Best Women’s Skateboarding Shoes

Skateboarding shoes designed for women? Everything you need to know about finding the perfect pair of women's skate shoes here...

Looking for the perfect pair of women’s skate shoes? Photo: Nike SB

Women’s skateboarding shoes have slowly morphed from big chunky 90s beasts to lightweight, sleek sneakers that we see in the skatepark today. Whether you are a traditional Vans slip-on skate shoe fan or looking for something new, this article will give you everything you need to know about women’s skate shoes.

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How do you choose the perfect pair of skateboarding shoes?

First up, you need to check the sole. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to choosing a skateboarding shoe sole, they just have different properties to suit different riding.

With thinner soles, you’ll be able to feel the board under your feet more – this will help with board control, foot tricks and technical grinds. Thicker soles however are better for cushioning when you’re jumping down stuff. Even with thinner soles, make sure there is still some padding down there otherwise you might end up with a heel bruise. Ouch!

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Cup sole shoes means the sole is stitched into the shoe. They offer more support so they are great for jumping down stair sets. Cup soles are slightly bulkier and therefore give you less board feel. Vulcanised shoes still have protection in the sole but they are a little bit thinner and flexible. They provide more board feel, but offer less support than the cup soles.

How do you choose the right pair of skate shoes for you? Photo: DC

Toe caps are also worth thinking about when choosing your first pair of skateboarding shoes. The bigger the toe cap, the longer the shoe will last. This is good to know, especially if you do a lot of kick flips. Think about where you find more wear-and-tear in your current skate shoes and that will show you where you need extra reinforcement.

When looking at the outer part of the skate shoe, there are a few different types. Low tops feel slimmer and easy to move around in. High-top skate shoes are great if you want extra support and protection when your board slams into your ankles. Ultimately, if it feels great on your foot and skates well, then that is all that matters.

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Women’s skate shoes vs. men’s skate shoes: is there any real difference?

Not really. Women’s skateboarding shoes often come up in smaller sizes with a slightly narrow heel, however generally skate shoes are pretty unisex. However, Nike have made an excellent women’s specific pair of skate shoes that you can read more about below.

Vans Old Skool Pro Skate Shoes

Photo: Vans

When you think of skate shoes, you think of Vans. Based on the Vans classic skateboarding shoe, this leather version will last you for years. The re-enforced toecaps will withstand heavy wear-and-tear and the padded collar provides ankle support. You can also buy mini versions for kids, which are just about the best thing we’ve ever seen.

Nike Women’s SB Bruin High Skate Shoes

Photo: Nike SB

Pro skater Lacey Baker used to put frozen plastic bags in her shoes to make the men’s skate shoes fit better. Thankfully Nike launched their first pair of skate shoes designed specifically for women in 2017.  After listening to female pro skaters, Nike designed the SB Bruin High skateboarding shoe with a shallower forefoot and more tapered heel, designed to provide female skaters with a more snug fit. Less movement inside the shoe means better board control.

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DC Evan Hi V SE High-Top Shoes

Photo: DC

DC have long dominated the skateboarding shoe market. These latest high-top kicks are made with Impact-I technology, featuring inverted cones on the outsole, which offers extra shock absorption. Inside extra cushioning helps optimise fit for ultimate board control. The Evan Smiths are also known for having an extra-durable rubber toe cap while still keeping the simple design and lightweight feel. We are big fans of the Pink Rose edition.

Etnies Jameson Vulc Shoes

Photo: Etnies

Pro skaters Samarria Brevard and Savannah Headden wear the Etnies Jameson Vulc skate shoes, while pro surfer Coco Ho has her own version which is more fitness-focused than this particular shoe. Unlike most skate shoes, the Jameson Vulc has minimal padding which makes them super lightweight. Inside you’ll find elastic tongue straps which keep the Jameson snug on your foot, plus the Geo-Hex tread pattern will stop your feet from slipping on concrete. They are also vegan – bonus!

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DVS Aversea+ Shoes

Photo: DVS Shoe Company

Founded in 1995, DVS have been making skate shoes in California for decades. The Aversea+ are a traditional lightweight skate shoe with EVA footbed, ensuring your feet stay comfortable from dawn ‘til dusk. They come in half-sizes so you can make sure you buy the right sneaker to fit you.

Converse Star Player Shoes

Photo: Converse

Converse aren’t traditionally seen as skate shoes. Some find them not as comfy as regular skate shoes. However they now have a skateboarding collection, which despite being in the men’s section of their website, come up in sizes as small as UK 3. We like the low canvas Star Player for its sleek look and hardy rubber sole.

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Adidas City Cup Skateboarding Shoes

Photo: Adidas

Inspired by retro-style skate shoes of yesteryear, the City Cup are regarded as the best skateboarding shoes Adidas have produced. They offer great support thanks to the double cup sole construction which will cushion hard landings. They are also made with layered leather for extra durability. Like the Converse skate shoes above, these are technically in the men’s section but come up in smaller sizes down to UK 4.

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