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The best skateboard safety gear for women (and adults) Updated for 2024

This guide contains the most highly recommended skateboarding equipment for women

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These top skateboarding helmets and protective gear will keep you safe at the skatepark in 2023

Choosing the best skateboarding safety gear for women and adults

As an adult re-learning to skateboard, I’ve tried several safety gear items over the past few years — and learned a lot in the process. Most adult skaters know that safety gear is important, but it can be a challenge to choose the right items. There are so many safety products available! This means that it can be a bit overwhelming to figure out exactly what you need and decide on the best items that fit properly. This article is focusing on the best skateboard safety gear for women and adults. I’ve received a lot of questions about this, so I’m sharing my personal recommendations.

For female skateboarders, it can be more difficult to find the right fit because these safety products are not made specifically for women. (Hopefully, this will change in the future!)

So, whether you’re an adult skater regularly dropping into bowls and catching air, or a beginner skater starting to roll down ramps (or pushing around on your own driveway ), it’s important to have the proper safety gear.

Female skateboarder wearing a green shirt at a San Diego skate park. She is wearing elbow, wrist and knee pads.  The bottom half of her face is visible and you can see the chin strap of the helmet. Palm trees in the background.
Me, practicing what I preach — at a skatepark wearing safety gear.

How to select the best skateboarding protective gear

Where do you start shopping for skateboarding gear? First, do some online research! See which gear is the most highly rated. Ideally, if you have a skateboard shop (or roller skating shop) near your home, it’s always best to visit in person. You can actually try on the gear, pads, and helmets, as you may be surprised at the various sizing options offered by the different brands. All skateboarding pads are definitely not created equal! You may actually fit into several sizes. If you go to a skate shop in person, someone will be there to help show you the different pads and determine the best fit for you.

Be sure to ask a lot of questions at the skate shop, because chances are, the owners and salespeople have used the safety equipment themselves.

A special note for parents: Although it might be tempting to use your kid’s safety gear (if it fits you), don’t do it! It’s essential to have your own stuff, sized correctly, of course. Gear made for adults is developed for larger people and is tested for adult use. So squeezing into your kid’s or teenager’s knee or elbow pads is not a good idea.

Here are a few of my personal safety gear product recommendations. I have worn all of these items myself and I highly recommend them!  

The Best Skateboard Shoes for Women

Cariuma sneakers for skateboarding. White with the black logo on the side.

Fortunately, skateboard shoes are the most fun accessory to purchase. The best skateboarding sneakers for women are, in my opinion, Cariuma! They are eco-friendly, vegan, and gender-neutral. Plus, they are super-stylish and are offered in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and fits. These sneakers are the most comfortable, cushy fit I’ve experienced in a skate shoe — and I often wear them even when I’m not skating. I have two pairs of Cariuma and I absolutely love these shoes!

Click here to learn about Cariuma and purchase a pair that fits your style!

The best helmet for skateboarding

A collection of colorful skateboard helmets sitting on the grass outside. They are different colors and different brands.
A collection of skateboard helmets

First and foremost, skateboarders need to wear a helmet. You ride a bike with a helmet, so why not wear one for skateboarding? I know several adult skaters who won’t step on a board without a helmet securely fastened — and many adult skaters agree that a helmet is the first thing you should buy.

Before purchasing a helmet for skateboarding, check to be sure it is ASTM F1492 certified, and it’s even better if the helmet is dual certified, which means it meets both ASTM and CPSC standards. The helmet’s original packaging and inside sticker should clearly state this certification. If not, don’t purchase it! You can learn all about the certification here, as well as everything you can ever want to know about skateboarding helmets (and bike helmets, too).

I have three favorite skateboarding helmets:

Triple Eight certified sweat saver helmet for skateboarding gets rave reviews and is available in many colors. Triple Eight is a company that’s known for skateboard equipment, as well as products for biking, roller skating, snowboarding, etc.

Pro-Tec Classic certified skate helmet has been my go-to helmet for several years, as it’s a very comfortable fit. Overall, it feels very snug yet light, has adjustable straps, and is available in a number of sizes and colors. The Pro-Tec company is committed to safety, and also produce a wide array of helmets for several other sports.

Thousand helmets. I love the look and feel of Thousand helmets, with their signature visor on the front. This is a relatively newer brand, and they offer some very cool and distinctive styles, unique colors and more options, such as vegan leather straps. This company also promotes their high safety standards and carefully-constructed products.

Helmet Tips

The Triple Eight, Thousand and Pro-Tec helmets are rated highly in their reviews. If you want to “fit in” with the crowd at the skatepark and wear a standard helmet, you may want to choose Pro-Tek, while if you want to stand out and look a bit stylish, choose Thousand.

It’s important to note that helmets are created to withstand a few minor hits, and you can continue to use your helmet after a not-to-intense fall, but if you take a big spill or a few repeated falls, be sure to purchase a new one.

Best wrist guards for skateboarding

Skateboarding wrist guards on a beige concrete background. The brand is visible: 187 Killer pads.
Killer Pads wrist guards

A word about wrist guards…

Even if you don’t wear any other safety gear or pads, I suggest wearing wrist guards and make them an automatic part of your regular skate sessions. As I’m sure you’re aware, if you take a fall, it’s natural to put your wrists out first, which can quickly result in injury because your body weight is transferred directly to your wrists.

I have several sets of wrist guards, primarily because my first pair wore out, and then I was traveling and wanted to skate, so I purchased another pair, which are slip-ons. Turns out, those didn’t fit the best, because I wear an Apple iwatch and they are slightly difficult to pull them over. So now I have a new pair with velcro straps, 187 Killer Pads. I wear these wrist guards and prefer the velcro straps instead of the slip-ons.

The velcro straps allow you to easily remove, loosen, tighten or adjust them (or look at the time if you’re wearing a watch). The slip-ons have a snug fit, but they require you to take the entire wrist guard off and you can’t loosen or tighten it.

Best knee and elbow pads for skateboarding

An image of Pro-Tec black knee and elbow pads on the ground facing up.
Pro-Tec Skateboarding knee and elbow pads

It’s self-explanatory that knee and elbow pads are a must for skateboarders because (let’s face it), falls can happen at any time and you definitely want to protect your knees and elbows. If possible, try on the knee and elbow pads from a few brands and compare sizes and fit.

It’s important to check the straps so you have a secure fit, and be sure to choose the knee pads that offer a “sleeve” or a sock (where you actually put the foot through the pad instead of just wrapping it around). This means it’s easier to put them on / off before you put your skate shoes on. Sure, these knee pads take longer and can be a pain to put on and take off, but they will be more secure on your body.

Another popular brand is REKD and this company gets great reviews, too. Here’s a link to their highly rated Heavy Duty Triple Pad set that’s ergonomically correct.

Please note…none of these pads are “standard.” None of these products are made “especially” for women. (For example, you may be a size small in the legs and a medium in the arms.) You may have to try a few and mix and match.

Best skateboard shoes and sneakers for women and adults

Yes, you need skateboarding shoes when you skateboard! And yes, they are made very differently from running sneakers. Skateboard shoes are more than meets the eye and you can spend a lot of time researching the perfect shoe for you. The main difference is that skateboarding sneakers are made with a flat sole that easily grips the skateboard and absorbs shocks. The highest quality skateboarding shoes are well made and have a lot of necessary details: toe caps, strong heel support, and solid stitching.

When you begin looking at skate shoes, you’ll see many styles and brands. Some skaters have a closet full of skate shoes in a variety of colors, patterns and high and low tops.

Top skate shoe companies for skateboarders

My two favorite skate shoe brands are:

Cariuma: A popular brand, Cariuma International is vegan, stylish and environmentally friendly. In fact, they launched their own reforestation program in the country of Brazil, which is the founder’s home country. So, when you purchase a pair of their sustainable sneakers from this ethically-focused company, they plant two trees in the Brazilian rainforest. (I have two pairs of these awesome shoes and I’m very happy with them!)

⮕Click here to buy Cariuma skateboard sneakers!⬅

The Cariuma brand looks great — from the city to the beach — and offers a variety of different styles, and some specific types for women – a big plus.

All their shoes are incredibly comfortable, featuring memory foam and a superior grip. They also offer free returns, which is another added bonus for skaters.

Cariuma also partners with other eco-friendly companies and offer so many cool designs — so they are worth checking out!

Vans. You’ve probably heard of the legendary skateboarding shoe company, Vans, based in Southern California, and it’s worth looking at their vast collection of sneakers that are made for the sport and come in a truly endless array of unisex styles, materials, colors and patterns. In fact, you can even design your own skate shoes on their website, (look for “Vans Customs), which is really fun and allows you completely personalize your shoes, including the laces and the stitching.  

Two feet wearing Vans white high-top skateboard sneakers with the laces tied. The socks are very colorful.
Vans high top sneakers in white

Generally speaking, suede skateboarding shoes are considered the most durable, especially if you’re into more technical aspects of skating, and like to try tricks. Canvas shoes usually don’t last as long, but they are perfectly fine if you’re cruising, just learning and not doing anything too technical.

Just like any other shoes, different brands fit differently. It’s best to try on the skateboarding shoes before purchasing them. So try a number of different shoes and brands to find your best, most comfortable fit (and if you’re interested in learning more about skateboarding shoes specifically for wide or narrow feet, read more here at SkateboardersHQ).

In my opinion, skateboarders might want to consider a pair of high-top skateboarding shoes, as they offer extra ankle support and simultaneously protect your ankles from getting slammed with a fast-rolling board. (It happens more often than you might think – and I have personal experience with this!)

High tops are not guaranteed protection from a sprained ankle, but it’s better than no protection at all. And some skateboard shoes actually have thick, padded ankle protection, so check out the tops carefully and be sure to purchase the shoes that work best for you.

If you’re not a fan of high-tops, you can try a pair of mid-tops, as they still offer “some” ankle protection, but still give you the feel and movement of a low-top. OR — just purchase a pair of ankle protectors! See below…

Best ankle protectors for skateboarding

A photo of black skateboarding ankle guards. The brand is G-Form Pro Ankle protectors.
Ankle protectors

As mentioned, please wear high-top skateboarding shoes! But if for some reason you’re not wearing high-top sneakers, please consider wearing ankle protectors! These slide between the shoe and your foot with a thin strap and offer additional protection on your ankle. They also protect the front and back of your foot. These G-Form Pro Ankle Guards are slim and stay in place — a wise choice for any skater not wearing high-tops.

Best and most comfortable skateboarding socks

It’s time to re-think your socks! You may want to try a few options. There are many to choose from, so go ahead and test some to see what works for you. Cariuma has some great socks to go along with their comfortable and cool sneakers.

Hip / butt / bum pads for women for adult skateboarders

For additional protection, while skateboarding, hip, butt, and bum pads are an excellent choice for peace of mind and a softer impact when you fall. These pads are essentially a pair of shorts that are completely padded in front, back and side that you put on under your workout / skate pants. They will soften your fall and make a noticeable difference, especially if you’re trying new tricks or attempting new ramps at the skatepark.

The only negative is that these types of pads will cause you to sweat a bit, and can be uncomfortable in the summer months. But that’s a small price to pay for this extra level of safety. Besides, these pads have a big upside because they keep you warm during colder weather. So this is an added bonus.

Although they might make you feel a bit puffy, they really are not noticeable at all! Wear them under a slightly-larger sized black workout pants or sweatpants if you don’t want them visible. And remember, no one is looking at you at the skatepark, except your friend taking your awesome skate videos!

A photo of a Pro-Tec skateboard helmet leaning against a skateboard at a skatepark. Random graffiti is visible.

Extras for skateboarding safety

You can’t have enough gear…!

There are a number of other great safety products for skateboarding. You can also purchase mouthguards, shin guards and more.

Don’t forget to ask your skateboarding friends about their personal favorite safety gear. Once you have your new gear, you’re on your way to making new friends as an adult at the skatepark! Please connect with other skaters (all ages and all levels) on our women’s inclusive skateboarding private Facebook group, Women’s Skateboard Community. And if you wish to read more about adult women who love to skateboard, read this!

Best skateboarding gear: summary

 Quick Summary! My recommendations for women’s skateboard safety gear are:




Skateboarding shoes

Cariuma (Our favorite!)



Wrist guards

Ankle protectors

Combo packages (knee, wrist and elbow) pads


Hip, butt and bum pads

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