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Picking the best skydiving shoes is not just about making a fashion statement. It is a practical choice that can impact your experience in freefall and on landing.
Whether you are looking for the perfect footwear for your first skydive or an experienced skydiver looking to check out new skydiving kicks—we’ve got a list of our top picks for skydiving shoes.
But first, here’s some advice on what skydiving shoes NOT to wear.
While your toes may love the freedom of a good flip-flop or relish the protection of a steel-toed boot, neither of those options are good choices for skydiving shoes. In the case of the sandal or flip-flop, the 120 mph freefall will swiftly snatch one or both shoes, possibly turning them into flying footwear projectiles, creating a danger to innocent bystanders on the ground below. Steel-toed boots are great for working construction, but they are far from ideal for skydiving. In freefall, legs can collide, and with a steel-toed boot, you could easily injure your instructor.
The best skydiving shoes have a few things in common. While the preferred brands of skydiving shoes may vary, these are the basic features that a good skydiving shoe provides:
You’ll want your shoes to have a flat sole rather than any type of heel. A good skydiving shoe also provides the proper amount of arch and ankle support, so you can comfortably walk on and off the field and have enough support for landing. Sturdy shoes are preferred because skydiving is an action sport, and you’ll want to make sure your skydiving shoes can keep up with the demands of the activity.
Did you know there was a shoe made exclusively for skydiving? Meet the Airwalk VIC. This skydiving shoe was a collaboration between skydiving manufacturer, Firebird Evo, and a shoe pioneer in the action sports community, Airwalk. Made with NYCO material (a lightweight, hard-wearing material used in military combat uniforms), Airwalk VIC shoes appeal to many skydivers because of their rugged, durable construction.
Free flyers are especially pleased with the unique laces cover design. When flying in head up or head down orientations, laces can go wild! Many a skydiver has ended up with a series of angry red lashings along their calves, but this issue is solved by the laces cover, which keeps laces secured and in place—even in the face of a 160 mph fall rate!
Vans are easily identified as the quintessential skate shoe, but did you know they are incredibly popular in skydiving too? Aside from coming in a plethora of color combinations and styles, Vans are a sturdy, lightweight shoe. As an added bonus, the classic, vulcanized rubber flat-sole makes it easy to slide in swift landings.
This skydiving shoe satisfies two things: a desire to look cool and the ability to stay comfortable. Because of the high-top, the ankle is given extra support, and many models also have a foam midsole to provide extra cushioning. From retro styles to Air Jordans—Nike High-tops make for a great skydiving shoe.
You don’t have to go out and buy new shoes for skydiving. If you have a pair of perfectly well-worn-in sneakers you already love, use those! As we said above, the criteria for a perfect skydiving shoe is simply one that provides support and comfort while protecting your precious piggies!
Time to lace up and get your jump on. Schedule your skydive with Wisconsin Skydiving Center today!