The Best Shoes For Longboarding (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Take your riding to the next level with these top-rated shoes for longboarding
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BY Corrina Murdoch / LAST UPDATED ON January 11, 2021
Whether you’re a casual rider or an exercise enthusiast, longboarding is a great way to experience the great outdoors. Helping you improve core strength and balance while getting your heart pumping, longboarding is a hugely popular activity. Similar to a skateboard, a longboard is larger and made for cruising around. That is, of course, provided you have the right gear. And when it comes to longboards, the key is proper footwear.
You want something with traction and support that is flat enough to optimize the surface area where the shoe touches the board. To help you track down the best shoes for longboarding, we’ve scoured the internet for the top selections. Check out this breakdown of the leading longboard shoe contenders.
Comfortable and stylish, these rubber-soled shoes are easy to wear over long periods. The lightweight structure makes it easy to balance and perform tricks.
- Available in multiple styles and colors
- Breathe well and aren’t prone to premature wear and tear
- Tend to run small, so ordering a larger size can be helpful.
- Can take a while to break in the shoes
Sleek and simple, these slip-on shoes provide a tight hold on your foot while giving you a full range of motion. The flat sole optimizes the surface area on the board.
- Straightforward and breathable design
- Easy to break in the shoes and the flat base gives you full control on the board
- Slip-on nature of the shoe can result in wear on the heel
- The shoe itself lacks any substantial arch support
Featuring a classic longboarding-shoe appearance, these shoes are crafted out of high-grade synthetic materials. They fit well and make riding easier.
- Flat base of the shoe gives you full control over the longboard
- Breaking in quickly, the shoes have reasonable arch support and a breathable design for optimal comfort
- Laces are more decorative than they are functional
- Sole of the shoe is fairly heavy and takes getting used to
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Benefits of Shoes For Longboarding
- Optimizes the surface area on the board. The main idea behind longboard shoes is to give you a flat surface that best connects with the board. It enables you to achieve faster speeds and be the most comfortable while riding.
- Makes performing tricks much easier. Since longboarding shoes connect with the board, it is easier to use the muscles in your feet and legs to control the motion of the board (and yourself while on it).
- Improves your balance while riding. Proper footwear should have a reasonably heavy and entirely flat sole that makes it easier to stay comported while on the board. This is also helpful for your core muscles.
- Supports your leg muscles while boarding. Since quality longboarding shoes still have support (just inside the shoe as opposed to on the outer structure) your legs won’t tire as easily because they don’t have to compensate for flawed soles to keep you stable.
- Slows down the process of wear and tear. Because longboard shoes are made for riding, they won’t wear down as quickly as something with a prominent arch. So long as they are used for the appropriate purpose, longboard shoes can last for a long time.
Types of Shoes For Longboarding
While longboarding shoe types have a lot in common, they can be differentiated into two distinct sets. The first of these is the slip-on shoe. Sized to provide an exact fit, these shoes have a flat, and usually heavy, sole. Textured for traction, the firm base lends itself to good balance on the board. The rider simply slips the shoes on and gets going quickly. It’s worth noting that the shoes’ heels tend to be prone to wear and tear as a result of how they get put onto the foot.
The other common type of longboarding shoe is the one that has laces (which aren’t just ornamental). Like slip-ons, these shoes have a flat and heavy sole which optimizes the surface area between your feet and the board. However, the laces enable you to get a tighter (or looser) fit and are therefore somewhat more accommodating to those with sore leg muscles. These shoes tend to last longer though result in your taking more time to get ready for a ride.
A well-known name around the world, Adidas is a German brand that opened its doors in 1949. Since that time, it has become one of the best-reputed brands in the sportswear industry, with major brands like Reebok under its belt. Among its top selections is the Adidas Originals Women’s Sneaker.
An American brand that focuses on gear for snowboarding and skateboarding alike, DC has been around since 1994. With products including shoes, jackets, and other clothing, it has a strong foothold in the industry. One of its most popular offerings is the DC Men’s Court Graffik Skate Shoe.
Shoes For Longboarding Pricing
- Under $50: In this price range, you can find longboarding shoes of the slip-on type. Usually, the footwear is lightweight and comfortable, though isn’t the most durable.
- Between $50 and $100: Shoes in this price range are either lace-up or slip-on and tend to have quite heavy, flat soles.
- $100 and up: Within this price range, you can find shoes that are highly durable and have ergonomic accommodations in addition to the flat and heavy soles for which these shoes are known.
The sole of a longboarding shoe is perhaps the most important feature of this gear. The sole should be reasonably flat and heavy enough to provide a good balance. Ideally, the base of the sole is textured enough to provide good traction. While the sole won’t usually promote arch support, the interior structure of the shoe should keep your foot comfortable. The sole needs to be waterproof and durable so it can support the rider in all conditions and for a long time.
A necessary part of any longboarding shoe is the heel, rising to a few inches above the base of the shoe. It is essential to keeping balance and ensuring the comfort of the rider. The sole of the shoe should be rigid and prevent the foot from slipping out of place while you ride. High-quality shoes are made with reinforced heels that also help to buffer the stress of vibrations while you ride.
Critical to any shoe is the material from which it is crafted. In most cases, the shoe will be made out of a synthetic that incorporates mesh to ensure breathability. The quality of the material will speak directly to the shoe’s durability and functionality. It needs to be flexible enough to move easily while remaining supportive enough to help you retain balance during tricks.
- Size. Once you’ve identified the shoes that you want, and have ensured that the key features are up to par, there are still some other necessary considerations. The first of these is size. Check the chart for each specific set of shoes and make sure that the brand doesn’t run small (or large). A precise fit is necessary to get the most out of your shoes.
- Style. Next, you’ll want to take a look at the actual appearance of the shoes. Will you feel comfortable wearing them? Do the shoes come in colors and designs that you prefer? While the aesthetics are not relevant to functionality, the better you like the shoes, the easier they will be to use.
- Type. Depending on your riding personality, you will lean towards a different type of shoes. If you prefer the convenience and want shoes that let you get back to riding more quickly, slip-ons are ideal. Conversely, if you are focused on performance over speed, lace-up shoes may be better suited.
- Upkeep. Everything requires a reasonable amount of maintenance to stay working over the long term. Longboarding shoes are no different. Shoes that are better ventilated and have a sturdier sole are usually easier to take care of. Think about how easy it will be to wash the shoes, especially if you want something for long-term use.
- Comfort. Especially if you tend to go for longer rides, something that is worth considering is the actual coziness of the shoes. Look at the material used for the insole, whether they breathe well, and if the material is flexible. Consider whether the shoe can accommodate an insole to add comfort if needed.
- Arch Support. Particularly for those who are prone to podiatric issues, having arch support is important. Lack of arch support can cause repetitive stress injuries, so it is critical to look for a shoe that will give you the necessary support when riding. While longboarding shoes are usually flat, the interior can still have a raised component for your arch.
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Care and Maintenance of Shoes for Longboarding
All shoes require a certain amount of upkeep, especially if you plan to keep them over the long term. The best way to ensure that your shoes keep working is to use them for a dedicated purpose. Since these shoes are for longboarding, to prevent unnecessary or premature wear and tear, only use them for riding your board. This way, you won’t damage the soles while walking or wear down the interior with excessive pressure. There are other steps you can take as well.
- Store the shoes in a dry and open area to prevent the salt in perspiration from degrading the inner lining.
- Put the shoes on properly every time to avoid damaging the heel under the force of your foot.
- Lace the shoes up every time if they aren’t a slip-on pair so you can ensure that you get a precise fit.
- If debris gets trapped on the bottom of your shoe, clean it off to ensure that you get the best traction while moving around.
- Use an anti-odor product inside of the shoes to absorb moisture and stop the shoes from breaking down.
- Always consult the sizing chart of the individual shoe before making your pick in case the shoes run small or large.
- Give your shoes some time to break in before going on your longboard by wearing them around the house for a while.
- If you are a serious longboard and want a flat sole, consider a supportive insole to keep your arch healthy.
- When removing the shoes, sit down and use the flap at the heel to take them off to prevent damage to the insole.
- Always wear socks under your shoes to prevent premature wear and tear on the material inside of the shoe (and chafing on your foot).
Q: Are skateboarding and longboarding shoes the same?
While skateboarding and longboarding shoes have a similar design, longboarding rides tend to be longer. Therefore, longboarding shoes tend to be more comfort-focused. However, you can easily use the same pair of shoes for both purposes.
Q: How often should I replace my longboarding shoes?
Wear and tear depending on how often and how intensely you ride. To function, the longboarding shoes need all parts to be working. If one part wears out, you will need to replace the shoe. Irreparable damage to the heel, material, sole, or tongue requires a replacement shoe.
Q: Can I longboard in regular shoes?
While you can, technically, longboard in regular shoes, it will be noticeably more difficult. The flat soles and overall structure are meant to improve balance, meaning regular shoes will make it harder to ride on a longboard. Proper shoes are a small investment to improve both your comfort and the quality of your ride.
Now that you’re familiar with the ins and outs of shoes for longboarding, you can make your pick. It could be the DC Men’s Court Graffik Skate Shoe or the affordability of Soda Perforated Slip-On Sneakers. There’s a shoe for everyone.