Can You Skate in Basketball Shoes? Ultimate Guide On Suitable Kicks for Skating

Can You Skate in Basketball Shoes? Ultimate Guide On Suitable Kicks for Skating

Every game requires specific footwear whether it is basketball or skating. The shoes might look the same, but each has something different to offer.

Let’s discuss Can You Skate in Basketball Shoes?

You’ll also learn in the article:

  • Should you skate in basketball shoes?
  • Why skate shoes are always better gear for skating.?
  • which basketball shoes are most similar to skate shoes?

Can You Skate in Basketball Shoes?

No, you cannot skate in basketball shoes. Some suggest you can, while true boarders know you cannot get the most out of your skateboarding session without wearing skate shoes. It is hard to get the board feels when you wear basketball shoes with thick cushioning and insole. At the same time, skate shoes have just the right cushioning and great control and stability to turn at different angles while performing tricks.

 If you use basketball shoes for skating, then: 

  • You may not get the desired outcome in basketball shoes.
  • It’s hard to feel skateboarding with the thicker outsole of runner and basketball shoes.
  • It’s dangerous not to feel the board and still try to perform tricks on a skateboard.
  • An expert skater would only recommend using a skateboard if they wore optimum footwear.

You might want to check our guide on Best Basketball shoes for outdoors!

Some Basketball Shoes That Are Good For Skating

But certain basketball shoes are close alternatives to skate shoes. Nike Dunks is one of those basketball shoes. 

Dunks are basketball sneakers with certain features that make them better, if not the best, shoes for skating.

Related: Are Basketball Shoes Good for Walking?

Can You Skate in Basketball Shoes? Ultimate Guide On Suitable Kicks for Skating

Why SB DUNKS Are Perfect For Skateboarding

Nike SBs are one such sneaker that was redesigned for skateboarding. These are perfect dunks for skateboarders because these have various variations to meet the skating requirements in the streets and on the ramp.

For example, if you want to go skating on the road, you can choose low-top SB dunks. The low-top version will give superior ankle protection while giving lots of freedom to perform tricks on the street. 

Moreover, the rubber outsole gives the skaters an excellent grip on different surfaces. The low-cut version will prevent your feet from getting sweaty and soggy from the heat on the streets because they allow more airflow around the feet.

The cushioning on a specific area is not so high to compromise the feel of the skateboard. SB dunks are made keeping in mind the specific needs of skateboarders. 

It is suitable for any beginner or a seasoned pro, you will always maintain your grip, and it will help you skate your best.

Wait, Do We Have Jordans, Too, With Features Good for Skating

Jordan 1 are dedicated basketball shoe. There never was any redesigning in the brand to skating. Therefore many skaters are skeptical about wearing Jordans as skate shoes.

But Jordan 1 has such qualities and comfort levels that you would like playing in them. The retro-style Air Jordan 1 is in high-top, Low-top, and Mid-top shoes. 

Ankle Protection

High-top Jordans ensure you do not roll your ankles during skating maneuvering. The heel area is cushioned to prevent bruises and pain in the ankle area.

Traction and Cushion

The outsole of Jordan 1 is great for giving solid traction on different surfaces. It is originally designed for hardwood, but it’s good on the board.

The secure laces go up to the ankle, giving a better lockdown. The cushion is made of Nike’s Air technology, where the airbag in the midsole provides good impact protection.

What Do We Think Of Jordans and SB Dunks As Skate Shoes?

While Jordans have many features that match the requirements of a skater but besides being durable and stable shoes, these are still more expensive than average skate shoes. 

But overall, SB Dunks and Air Jordan 1 are decent shoes. Any skater can consider them for their style, comfort, and durability.

Also Check Related: Can You Use Basketball Shoes For Volleyball?

What Makes A Shoe A Skate Shoe?

Can You Skate in Basketball Shoes? Ultimate Guide On Suitable Kicks for Skating

Skate shoes have a few key differences that distinguish them from others. Here are a few things we want in a skate shoe, but a basketball shoe may or may not have it.


Skate shoes bear so much pressure when you perform tricks. So the durability of shoes matters a lot. That’s what you may or may not get in basketball shoes. Basketball shoes designed for indoor courts are not very durable outdoors and on streets.

Moreover, leather and Super suede are more durable than modern mesh upper materials. Dedicated skate shoes have durable upper and outsole. That ensures their longevity for the maximum period.


You must have noticed that skate shoes have double or triple stitching on their upper material. That’s because skate shoes undergo very tough conditions and face a lot of wear and tear. 

A skater can perform a trick after dozen hours of practicing. So the shoes bear all the stress. This kind of reinforcement is necessary to make sure that shoe won’t tear apart while you are performing a trick.

Shoe Lace Protectors

Skate shoes come with a special shoelace protector or very strong and durable leather shoe laces. 

It’s because ordinary shoelaces won’t bear the stress you exert at the time of maximum maneuverability. 

The shoelace protector protects the laces from being shredded in the wheel.


Skate shoes give maximum protection from rolling down your ankles when you perform hard tricks.

So many skaters prefer high-cut shoes with padding in the heel and on the sides of the shoe for a higher level of protection.

Skaters mustn’t lose the board feel, and the outsole has a solid grip. 

The wider outsole with a slight outrigger on the forefoot area makes the shoe more stable for high jumps and landing on the board.

Specific Purpose

Skate shoes aim to make skating more secure and comfortable for a skater. Skate shoes have a different outsole and midsole structure than basketball shoes.

Skate shoes have two types of outsole, one, Cupsole, and Two, Vulcanized.

The Cup sole is made up of a single piece. It’s thicker than the Vulcanized outsole. At the same time, a Vulcanized outsole is better for being more flexible and lightweight.

Pros of Skating in Basketball Shoes

  • Durable material
  • Reliable traction on a skateboard
  • Lateral stability
  • Maximum ankle protection

Cons of Skating in Basketball Shoes

  • Skate shoes have double or sometimes triple stitching to ensure upper material longevity
  • Most skate shoes have to lace protector to protect the laces from tangling in wheels which basketball shoes don’t have
  • Not Flexible outsole

Check Out: Can You Wear Basketball Shoes Outside Or Outdoors?


Skate shoes are the ones that remained true to their style for decades. They have a rich culture and are backed by a strong liking of skaters.

Now you can see why it is necessary to have skate shoes. It is as important as any other gear for a skater. But we do have a choice as Jordans and SB Dunks if you want to play in basketball shoes.

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