It was only a few decades ago when everyone was wearing Converse shoes. If you didn’t have a pair, you wanted to. So, it has been a staple of skate fashion for a long time. But, when it comes to the question of “are Converse shoes good for skateboarding?” there’s more to consider.
For instance, while skateboarding, you need a shoe that is flexible, durable, and lightweight.
This article will delve into what to expect from Converse shoes. Then, when you finish reading, you’ll have the insight you need to choose between your Chuck Taylor shoes or a brand like Nike or Vans.
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The History of Converse Shoes in Skateboarding
You might be surprised to learn that Converse started out making basketball shoes. The shoes for basketball players were made of rubber and canvas. They offered traction and grip while being flexible and lightweight.
When skateboarding was a new hobby, many skaters rode their boards barefoot to make it feel a bit more like surfing. Having bare feet let a skater get a great board feel and much better control.
When non-surfers started skateboarding, they searched for a shoe that offered that same level of control.
The Chuck Taylor basketball shoe was borrowed by the skateboarding world. It turned out it was one of the best skate shoes there could have been. All the qualities that made it a fantastic shoe for basketball players made it excellent as a skate shoe.
When skateboarding became even more popular in the 1980s, several shoe brands catered toward skaters, which meant Converse lost a bit of popularity.
Airwalk and Vans were two of the most loved skate shoes of the decade. They were highly durable and improved on Converse shoe features, such as offering suede or leather instead of canvas and adding additional cushioning.
In 2009, Converse decided to put out shoes specifically for skaters in the Converse CONS line. In truth, this was a resurrected line since the original CONS line was made in the 1980s and designed for the needs of basketball players.
The Converse CONS line offers the same style expected of a classic Converse shoe, but it has modern features. This makes it a better skate shoe than the classic Chuck Taylor All-Stars.
Why Are Converse Shoes a Great Skate Shoe?
Many people believe that Converse shoes are excellent skateboarding shoes. However, one of the things that set the company apart is how many shoes they offer.
In addition, they have created a full line of skate shoes, known as the Converse CONS line. These shoes come specifically designed for skateboarding, with a ton of excellent features.
Numerous shoe brands are capable of handling the rigors of skateboarding. But Converse is a classic shoe that real skaters have been using for several decades. So the Converse CONS line is built thinking about skateboarding.
The great skate shoes in the CONS line have rubber soles and rubber backing made of the exceptional CONS Traction Rubber. This version of rubber has been engineered to create better grip, flexibility, and durability while offering the feel of the board underneath a skater’s feet.
CONS models have extra cushioning inside to provide better shock absorption and allocation. In addition, whereas the classic Chuck Taylor was a very thin shoe, the newer Converse shoes are made to safeguard the foot better and increase comfort.
They do all of these things while keeping the popular Converse style.
Other Converse Shoes
The CONS shoes are excellent for skateboarding, but that doesn’t mean that every Converse fits the bill.
The best shoes for the sport will have a rubber toe cap, an elasticated tongue, and come in high-top or mid-top versions to offer better ankle protection and support.
In addition, you want to choose a model in suede, not canvas. The issue with canvas is that it can rip after you do a few tricks. This will create holes more quickly than durable materials like leather and suede.
Canvas is okay for cruise riders, but a technical rider will tear the shoes apart in no time. Even the grip tape on the deck can break through the canvas, especially if the grip tape is new. Remember these things when you shop for shoes.
Related: Best Skateboard Shoes
Factors Top Skate Shoes Have in Common
You can skateboard in athletic shoes by Nike or Reebok, slip on any tennis shoes, or wear almost anything stylish without an open toe.
However, the top skating shoes are made to create increased comfort while avoiding the chance of injuries. This is why Converse shoes are a good choice.
If you toss on basketball shoes, you run the risk of accidents or injuries. While these shoes have a good amount of support, it’s hard to feel the board. Since it can be confusing to keep track of all the top shoes for skateboarding, we want to share the factors to watch for.
When you are skateboarding, your shoe needs to be durable, supportive, lightweight, and flexible. Think about how frustrating it would be to go skateboarding in a pair of clunky boots. You could end up tripping over your feet time and time again.
Heavy shoes will slow down a skateboarder and can result in extra fatigue. The excess weight also makes it more challenging to sense the board under your feet so you won’t have as much control.
You need your feet to steer and control the skateboard, so the right shoe lets you feel what’s happening under you. Flexibility will also make it easier to stay on your feet if you start to slip.
No matter which shoe you decide is right for you, your skate shoe should be comfortable and protective while being largely unnoticeable.
The layer on the bottom of the shoe, known as the outer sole, needs to be able to fight against scuffs and scrapes. However, it also needs to provide stability and flexibility to the skateboarder.
Because of this need, many companies who create a skate shoe use vulcanized rubber. This offers better durability for the sole. This kind of rubber also reduces the amount of material needed to provide a lighter and thinner sole.
Nowadays, it’s far from uncommon for the manufacturer to have its own patented rubber engineered to offer flexibility, durability, and thinness.
The feet of skateboarders will experience impact, which is why shock absorption should be included in the sole. This will typically be in the inner and middle soles where padding near the heel and other pads are found. However, it can vary based on which shoe you are considering.
Excellent cushioning in the insole is needed if a skater has flat feet since those people need more support than someone with higher arches.
In addition, you want to consider affordability when choosing the right shoes. No matter how well-constructed they are, all of them will wear out if you skateboard regularly.
When you find a highly durable shoe, make sure you consider the cost related to the amount of durability. For instance, if one shoe costs $100 but is only going to last a few months more than a shoe that costs $50, the more inexpensive shoe might be the best option. This is because it’s more affordable and you don’t lose much use. Check out our article on how to make skate shoes last longer.
One of the best tips we can give you is to watch out for sales; you might find a fantastic Converse shoe for a discount.
Is Ankle Support Better with High Tops, Mid Tops, or Low Tops?
When you need a skate shoe, one of the things you should think about is ankle protection. There are three basic options including, high-tops, mid-tops, and low-tops. You’ll need to go over your own personal needs to determine the right style for you.
Low-tops will have an excellent range of motion, which is a perk, but they provide very little or no protection to the ankles. Your ankle will be exposed and have no support. If you do tricks, abrasions and bruises from the board banging into you are more common.
If you’re familiar with the term shark bite, you know that it refers to a razor tail hitting your heel or ankle. Low-tops are more likely to cause that to happen.
On the other hand, since these shoes have less material, they are also the lightest. Some skaters feel the better range of motion and lightweight nature is reasonable for the absence of ankle protection. It’s up to you to decide your own opinion.
Moving all the way to the other side of things is the high-top. Many shoes are created this way with extra support around the ankle. This won’t prevent breaks or sprains, but it does create better protection from impact.
If you aren’t used to high-tops, keep in mind that they have a different feel. It can take time to get used to them, but the extra support is helpful. For an example of these shoes, take a look at the Vans Highs.
Many high-tops will have extra cushioning to protect skaters. However, this cuts down on feeling the board, which may or may not be a problem. Since the feet can’t breathe as much, they can also get sweatier. The important thing is locating the right shoe and then sticking with it.
A mid-top could be the perfect compromise for skateboarding if you aren’t sold on high-tops or low-tops. They have some amount of protection for the ankles but also offer a reasonable range of motion.
Thoughts About Athletic Shoes and Other Brands
Lots of different shoe brands are designed for skateboarding. A few examples include DC, Emerica, Lakai, Etnies, and more. Every one of these companies makes excellent shoes for skateboarding. You just need to take a look at the options and decide what works best for your needs.
Vans are one of the most popular options for many skaters and have been available for decades. The lightweight Vans shoes have their own form of rubber with a waffle pattern on the sole and a cushioned insole.
Adidas is another option to watch out for. They provide many sporty shoes for all sorts of sports. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s when Adidas became known for its fusion of skate fashion with hip-hop fashion.
Similar to Converse, Adidas offers a set of options made for skateboarding. These have lightweight sole cushioning and vulcanized rubber soles.
While Nike might not be the first name you think of for skateboarding, you shouldn’t discount them. Nike makes a skate shoe as part of the SB brand, which was launched in the early 2000s.
These shoes will be comfortable, stylish, and lightweight with the Nike swoop logo. In addition, Converse has been a division of Nike for nearly 20 years, so both of them know a few things about great skate shoes at this point.
Related: Are Vans Good Skate Shoes?
The best skate shoe is going to have a number of features that are unique to the sport. Some skaters even have additional needs for their shoes, such as heavier or taller skaters than average.
Skateboard shoes should be flexible and lightweight with a high degree of durability. Foot protection and comfort are essential, so a shoe for skateboarding should offer impact absorption while allowing skaters to experience board feel.
Lots of great shoes are available today online and in retail stores, including Converse, which has created outstanding shoes since the start of the sport. It is an excellent option for many people who need new shoes for skateboarding. So if you question, “are Converse shoes good?” the answer is yes.
The CONS by Converse in suede is our top pick from the label. The shoes come in various styles with good durability, excellent protection, and a hefty dose of comfort. Best of all, they have the old-school style of original skate shoes that many people will love.