I was probably one of the very early skateboarders in the UK back in the 1970's and there was no such safety footwear back then for the pursuit. It seems that nowadays there are shoes for everything and skateboarding is no different. Specially designed skateboarding shoes help enhance your skater style and also help you maintain stability on your board. Well, I could have certainly have done with a bit of grip on my wobbly homemade boards when I was a lad!
As with all specialist and fancy footwear, there are extremes in prices, so before you choose your skateboarding shoes, you will need to think carefully about how much money you are willing to spend. You might also want to take into consideration that shoes made for skateboarding are also especially well-suited for the recreational rider, as well as BMX riding and free styling, so you can actually get a fair bit for your money should you be into the various hip activities around.
But don't get fooled into thinking that you need to purchase a solid pair of skateboarding shoes if you're not heavily into the sport as most moderate skateboarders will find that a decent pair of light hiking boots or trail-running shoes will do just fine. Only you know your level of commitment so only you will be able to make an informed decision into which footwear is best suited to your needs.
As so many of the shoe designers and manufacturers have gotten onto the skateboarding bandwagon, it does mean that when buying skateboarding shoes, you can get lost in the sea of brands, colors, gimmicks and prices. It really is quite overwhelming unless you really know what you're looking for, and don't always take the advice of the salesperson either, as they will try to sell you the shoes that earn them the best commission and not the ones that are best matched to your specific requirements.
My advice would be to collect a list of the top 10 or 15 skateboarding shoes out there and then go read the consumer reviews in each pair. The site's themselves will give you the specific rundown on the shoe, but it's the consumers who have already purchased them that will give you the real rundown on their true worth.
Like anything else, there are new styles and designs coming out all the time which doesn't make shopping for your skateboarding shoes any easier, but here are just a few trusted names (in no particular order) that you might want to look at when scouting around for the best deals: Vans Skateboarding Shoes, Globe Shoes Australia, DC Shoe Co USA, Osiris, Etnies, Emerica, Adio, Nike SB, and IPath.
It's always a good idea to narrow down your list when shopping for any new product, not just skateboarding shoes, and the best way to do this is to use such categories as price, design, style & colours, and brand. Once you have determined what you want and how much you want to pay, the whole process will become a lot easier. Remember, good skateboarding shoes will ensure you have happy and safe skateboarding times ahead.