Are Converse Good for Skating?

What’s up, skater fam? If you’re a diehard fan of the iconic Converse sneakers and have been wondering if they’re a suitable choice for your skateboarding adventures, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to dive deep into the world of Converse and skating, exploring the pros, cons, and everything in between.

Now, let’s start with a bit of history. Converse has been around since 1908, and their classic Chuck Taylor All-Stars have become a cultural phenomenon, transcending the boundaries of mere footwear. These timeless kicks have been embraced by countless subcultures, from rock stars to artists, and yes, skateboarders too.

The Grip Factor

One of the most crucial aspects of any good skate shoe is its ability to provide ample grip and board control. After all, the last thing you want is to slip off your board mid-trick or lose your footing during a gnarly landing. So, how do Converse sneakers fare in this department?

Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The classic Chuck Taylor All-Stars feature a flat, rubber outsole that can offer decent grip on most skateboard decks. However, compared to shoes specifically designed for skating, the grip may not be as reliable or long-lasting, especially as the soles wear down over time.

That being said, many skaters have found success in using Converse for skating, particularly for more casual or street-style skating where the demands on grip may not be as extreme as in a skate park or bowl setting.

Durability and Protection

Another important consideration for skate shoes is their ability to withstand the rigors of skating. Let’s face it; you’re bound to take a few spills and endure some serious wear and tear while shredding those concrete parks and street spots.

In this regard, Converse sneakers can be a bit of a mixed bag as well. The classic canvas uppers, while incredibly comfortable and breathable, may not offer the same level of durability and protection as shoes made with more robust materials like suede or tough synthetic fabrics.

Over time, the canvas can rip, tear, or simply wear down, leaving your feet exposed to potential scrapes and abrasions. Additionally, the thin sole and lack of reinforced toe caps mean that your toes may be more vulnerable to those dreaded impact injuries that can occur during heavy landings or rail grinds.

However, it’s worth noting that Converse has recognized the needs of the skate community and has introduced skate-specific models, such as the Converse CONS line. These shoes feature more durable uppers, reinforced toe caps, and specialized outsoles designed to provide better grip and impact protection for skating.

Comfort and Flexibility

One area where Converse sneakers truly excel is in the realm of comfort and flexibility. The classic Chuck Taylor design features a low-top silhouette that allows for excellent ankle mobility, which is essential for executing tricks and maintaining board control.

Additionally, the lightweight canvas uppers and cushioned footbeds provide a comfortable, broken-in feel right out of the box, eliminating the need for an extensive break-in period.

This level of comfort and flexibility can be a game-changer for skaters who spend hours at a time on their boards, as it can help reduce fatigue and potential foot or ankle injuries that might occur with stiffer, more restrictive shoes.

Style and Versatility

Let’s be real – as skaters, we’re not just concerned with performance; we also want to look fresh while we’re shredding those streets and parks. And when it comes to style, few shoes can match the iconic status of Converse sneakers.

With their timeless design and vast array of color options, Converse kicks have become a staple in skate fashion, seamlessly blending function and style. Whether you’re rocking a pair of classic black high-tops or a vibrant, eye-catching low-top design, Converse sneakers can elevate your skate outfit and help you express your individuality on and off the board.

Plus, their versatility means that you can effortlessly transition from the skate park to your daily adventures, without sacrificing comfort or personal style.

The Cost Factor

Another aspect that makes Converse sneakers an attractive option for skaters is their affordability. Compared to some of the more specialized skate shoe brands on the market, Converse offers a more budget-friendly alternative, particularly for those just starting out or operating on a tight budget.

While you may have to replace them more frequently due to the potential durability issues mentioned earlier, the lower upfront cost can make Converse sneakers a more accessible choice for many skaters.

The Potential Drawbacks

While Converse sneakers certainly have their merits for skating, it’s important to acknowledge some potential drawbacks as well. As mentioned earlier, the classic canvas uppers and flat rubber soles may not offer the same level of durability, grip, and protection as shoes designed specifically for skating.

Additionally, the lack of specialized features like reinforced toe caps, heel cushioning, and impact-resistant insoles could potentially leave you more susceptible to injuries, particularly if you’re engaging in more demanding styles of skating or hitting bigger obstacles.

Furthermore, while Converse has introduced skate-specific models, these shoes may still not offer the same level of performance and specialized features as dedicated skate shoes from brands like Vans, Emerica, or Etnies.


Before we wrap things up, let’s address some frequently asked questions about using Converse sneakers for skating:

Can I use Converse for street skating?

Yes, Converse sneakers can be a suitable option for street skating, particularly if you’re focused on more casual or freestyle skating styles. The flat soles and flexible construction can work well on smooth surfaces like concrete or asphalt.

Are Converse good for skate parks and bowls?

While Converse sneakers can be used in skate parks and bowls, they may not offer the same level of grip, durability, and impact protection as dedicated skate shoes. For more demanding park skating, you might want to consider investing in a shoe specifically designed for that purpose.

How long do Converse sneakers typically last for skating?

The lifespan of Converse sneakers for skating can vary depending on your skating style, frequency, and the surfaces you skate on. Generally, you can expect anywhere from a few months to a year of regular use before needing to replace them.

Can I add insoles or other modifications to improve Converse for skating?

Absolutely! Many skaters choose to add specialized insoles or inserts to their Converse sneakers to improve arch support, cushioning, and overall comfort. Additionally, you can apply grip tape or other modifications to the outsoles to enhance traction and durability.

Are there any specific Converse models that are better for skating?

While the classic Chuck Taylor All-Stars are a popular choice among skaters, Converse has also introduced skate-specific models like the CONS line, which feature more durable uppers, reinforced toe caps, and specialized outsoles designed for better grip and impact protection.


So, there you have it – a comprehensive look at whether Converse sneakers are a suitable choice for skating. While they may not be the most specialized or high-performance option out there, their iconic style, comfort, and affordability make them a popular choice among skaters, particularly those focused on street skating or casual park sessions.

Just remember to weigh the pros and cons, consider your skating style and needs, and make an informed decision that works best for you. Happy shredding, skater fam!

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