Bmx Shoes Vs. Skate Shoes: The Major Differences [Explained]

Written By Saraf

Many people go around biking on dirt tracks and cross-country courses wearing different kinds of shoes that aren’t necessarily mountain biking shoes.

Now, wearing skate shoes for organized racing is pretty common, but is it safe? Does it affect your performance?

If you are also confused between BMX shoes and skate shoes, then you are in the right place.

Whenever you are participating in any kind of sports or activity, wearing the right gear is very important. It not only affects your performance but also ensures your safety.

So, to know the extent of their similarities and differences read this article till the end.bmx-shoes-vs-skate-shoes

What Are Bmx Shoes?

Before I tell you about the similarities and differences between them, it is important that you know what BMX and skate shoes are.

So, BMX shoes are shoes specially designed for the purpose of BMX.

But what is BMX? BMX is a type of bicycle racing that is very similar to motocross and has jumps and dirt tracks in addition to the usage of specialized heavy-duty bicycles.

It is very strenuous and intense. Since heave-duty bicycles are used, it is very important that your feet are well equipped and well protected from any potential injuries.

The BMX shoes are specially designed, keeping in mind the needs of the cyclist and the proper handling of heavy-duty bikes.

Check out our separate post on Bobs Shoes VS Toms.

In fact, BMX shoes are quite similar to mountain biking shoes, constructed with rugged frames. Due to their special features such as pedal grip and sufficient support, you will have complete command of your bicycle.

Hence, during races or treks, you will have full-foot confidence thanks to the alignment of the treads.

The majority of BMX shoes have a cushioned collar, a reinforced toe cap called a dura cap, and a structure called pedal feels.

These features are included to provide support and comfort.

They also contain vulcanized or reinforced rubber grip for complete traction, as well as pop cush insoles.bmx-shoes

By wearing BMX shoes, you give yourself the peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t lose your grip on your pedals during drifts or even time-lapse races.

Due to their high degree of comfort, it is possible and simple to manage extended journeys without causing you any kind of discomfort and reducing the chances of injuries.

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What Are Skate Shoes?

Now, let’s talk about skate shoes.

Skate shoes are designed to be perfect for skateboarding.

Since you need proper grip for skateboarding, these shoes have

hexagonal threading or waffle-like patterns on the base of the sole – this

provides efficient grip to the skateboard and prevents chances of slipping or injuries.

The soles maximize your balance on the skateboard and enable you to perform all kinds of challenging tricks.

They usually have padded tongues for comfort as well multiple

layers of stitching, called triple stitching.

The triple stitching ensures that the shoes don’t wear and tear easily since you will be skateboarding in them – hence, increasing the durability of these shoes.

It prevents the shoes from ripping apart during skateboarding.skate-shoes

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Why Do People Confuse Bmx And Skate Shoes?

Many people are often confused between BMX shoes and skate shoes. But why is that?

Is it simply due to their similar appearances? Well, the answer is not that simple.

Since BMX shoes and skate shoes look very similar, at first sight, it is tricky to tell them apart.

Skate shoes and BMX shoes share many of the same characteristics and features. BMX and skate shoes have an unusual characteristic, that is they are comfortable to wear and include a technology that provides a strong grip.

Moreover, people have been using them interchangeably for a really long time. Skate shoes have been used for BMX for so long that some people are oblivious to the existence of BMX shoes altogether!

A lot of people are under the impression that a BMX shoe is any shoe that is suitable for riding and competing in BMX races; and since skate shoes can be worn for BMX races, people tend to think they are also BMX shoes.

Moreover, certain riders believe that the label “BMX shoes” is purely a marketing tactic because some BMX shoes do not fulfill their needed function, whilst some skate shoes perform better on the pedal – which is a common misconception.

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What Are The Similarities Between Bmx And Skate Shoes?

When it comes to comparing two different footwear, it is very important to know the similarities, besides the differences, so that you know how they compare.

So, besides the obvious similarity in their appearance, what are the other similarities between Bmx and Skate shoes?

I have elaborated on them for you below.

Soles Of Both Shoes Provide Excellent Grip

One of the most prominent similarities between Bmx and skate shoes, when it comes to features, is that they have great footing, friction, and/or traction in their soles.

This is the main reason people think skating shoes are okay as Bmx shoes.

Due to the strong grip, there is a big similarity between BMX shoes and skate shoes, and that is the fact that they adhere well to hard surfaces and are resistant to abrasion.

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Both Shoes Provide Ankle Support

The next most important similarity between BMX and skate shoes is that they both provide good ankle support.

Since adequate ankle support is necessary for both BMX and skateboarding, these shoes share some similar properties when it comes to providing support.

The usage of cushioned collars, high and low tops, small cut profiles, and big profiles are all design elements that are shared by BMX shoes and skate shoes.

The design of the high-top version provides excellent protection for the ankle, while the design of the low-top version ensures ease and improved movement. Cushioning, as well as improved grip and control, may be achieved by the utilization of either a tiny cut or a broad profile.

Both Have Dura Cap Reinforcement Rubber

Since both these shoes are used during activities that put stress on the feet and shoes, they both have dura cap reinforcement rubber – which is another similarity that they have.

The soles of your shoes receive protection from the dura cap reinforcement, which helps to ensure that they will continue to be sturdy even after being subjected to harsh circumstances. Because of this, the shoes have a level of durability that is unparalleled.

Both Provide Comfort And Flexibility

Both BMX shoes and skate shoes are comfortable and can be worn for long hours by the wearer.

They are also very flexible which allows the feet to move, bend, and improve grip on the skateboard and skateboard.

Despite the fact that these shoes are constructed from tough materials, they offer superior cycling performance in terms of grip and impact absorption.

In addition, they are constructed in a bendable form that provides your legs with the necessary balance and helps to keep them at peace.

Both Shoes Are Durable

Bmx and skate shoes are both highly durable.

As you probably know, both BMX and skateboarding require a high level of activity. Due to this, the shoes that you wear during these activities are subject your shoes to wear and tear.

Hence, both BMX and skate shoes, are made using tough fabrics that will not only provide protection to your feet but also sustain for a long time instead of ripping apart when subjected to these activities.

Moreover, they have intricate, layered stitching, called triple layer stitching.

What Are The Differences Between Bmx And Skate Shoes?

Now that you know the similarities between them, let’s get to the main deal.

What are the differences between Bmx and Skate shoes?

I have listed them for you below.differences-between-bmx-and-skate-shoes

Skate Shoes Are Less Durable Than Bmx Shoes

Even though both the shoes are of tough, durable material, the durability between them varies.

BMX shoes are much more durable than skate shoes. Especially if you use them for BMX racing, then Skate shoes will wear and tear much faster than BMX shoes.

The design of most skate shoes includes an additional cush design as well as a waffle sole design; yet, the design is not tough enough to withstand BMX rides that are particularly challenging.

Bmx Shoes Provide Greater Ground Grip Than Skate Shoes

One of the most notable distinctions between BMX shoes and skate shoes is that BMX shoes have thicker soles with patterns and provide greater grip. This contributes to the building of its strength as well as its resistance to abrasion and friction.

So, even though Skate shoes provide a lot of grip, it is not as much as BMX shoes do.

As a result, BMX shoes are more fit to be used for their purpose whereas Skate shoes will wear out faster and not be as efficient as BMX shoes.

Bmx Shoes Provide Better Arch Support

Arch support is a critical factor that should be taken into consideration while purchasing shoes for specific activities.

You may come across some skate shoes which do not provide arch support, but you will never come across BMX shoes that do not provide arch support because of how vital it is in BMX riding.

Can Bmx Shoes Be Used For Skating?

You require great grip and support for skateboarding, you can definitely use BMX shoes for skateboarding since BMX shoes have better grip and support than skate shoes as it is.

A BMX shoe designed for skating has to have a flat base, a slim shape, and the appropriate sole structure in order to keep your feet attached to the board.

Only then will it perform well for skating. Because the majority of BMX shoes are equipped with this capability, it is not a terrible idea to skate in your BMX shoes.

Nonetheless, I would recommend you use skate shoes for skateboarding as they have been specially curated for skateboarding.

Can Skating Shoes Be Used For Bmx?

Yes, you can use Skate shoes for BMX racing.

Since BMX shoes can be quite expensive, skate shoes can be used as an affordable alternative to your BMX shoes.

But since BMX is much more rigorous than skateboarding, chances are your skate shoes won’t last as long.

Moreover, there are some specific factors that you must take into consideration before deeming a pair of skate shoes eligible for BMX racing.

First, make sure that the shoe has the proper traction and patterns at the base so that it provides sufficient grip to the pedal.

Next, make sure that your skate shoes provide adequate arch support since it is vital for BMX racing and it is a feature that is available in all BMX racing shoes.

So, when you pick a pair of skate shoes for BMX racing, make sure it provides arch support.

Lastly, you need to ensure that your skate shoes are fitting and don’t have any chances of getting loose or slipping off your feet while you are biking.

All these factors can result in dangerous accidents and must be paid close attention to.

However, if you pick your skate shoe correctly, you can use them for BMX racing for as long as they last anyways.


Now that you know how BMX and skate shoes vary, you can tell for yourself why they are the best option for BMX and skateboarding respectively.

While you can wear them interchangeably, it is necessary that you take into consideration the specific features of the shoes, such as arch support, grip, fit, and durability.

I hope this article was informative and helpful for you. If you have any feedback or queries, let me know in the comments below.

About The Author
Saraf has a utmost passion for footwear and fashion. She loves helping people in all sorts of ways, that’s when she decided why not help people in this regard as well? So now, she’s here with all her expertise.


  1. I fail to see how BMX is more “rigorous” than skateboarding, on the body or the shoes, or how skate shoes are built any less durable, and if not more so. In skating you’re standing, not sitting, CONSTANTLY using your entire body. When you slam, its usually on solid pavement. The shoes are essentially being sanded down with high-grade sandpaper from multiple angles, not simply making contact with pedals and the ground on the bottoms. This is not to say BMX is not a rigorous sport, but skate is the more rigorous and rugged of the two.


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