Are you ready to take your skateboarding skills to the next level? Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro, finding the right pair of shoes is key to nailing those tricks and perfecting your technique. In this article, we'll dive into the world of skate shoes and explore the best options for beginners. From the materials and construction to the different types and features, we've got you covered. Get ready to kickflip your way into the spotlight with the best skateboarding shoes for beginners.
Components of a Skate Shoe
A skateboarding shoe is made up of various parts, each serving a specific purpose. Here are the main components:
Sole: The sole is the bottom part of the shoe that comes into contact with the skateboard. It is typically made of durable rubber material to provide grip and traction on the board. Skate shoes usually have a flat and low-profile sole, allowing the rider to have better control over the board. Some skate shoes may have a vulcanized sole, achieved by baking the sole to the upper part of the shoe, making it more durable and flexible. Other skate shoes may have a cupsole design, featuring a single rubber outsole unit for increased shock absorption and durability during hard landings.
Upper: The upper part of a skate shoe covers the top and sides of the foot. It is commonly made of leather, suede, or canvas materials, providing flexibility, breathability, and durability. Skate shoe uppers may include design elements like perforations for ventilation and padding for protection and comfort.
Outsole: The outsole is the layer of the sole that comes into contact with the ground and provides traction. It is usually made of durable rubber material that can withstand the wear and tear of concrete, grip tape, and other surfaces.
Insole: The insole is the layer inside the shoe that provides cushioning and support for the foot. Skate shoes typically have a removable insole, allowing riders to customize the level of cushioning and support based on their preferences and needs. Some skate shoes may have an impact-absorbing insole, reducing the shock and impact on the feet and joints during skateboarding.
Each component of a skate shoe serves a specific purpose, and understanding their functions can help you choose the right skate shoe for your needs as a skateboarder.
Skate Shoe Construction Styles
In the world of skateboarding, two popular shoe construction styles dominate: cupsole skate shoes and vulcanized shoes. Each style caters to different needs and preferences, offering distinct advantages. Cupsoles are known for their durability and impact protection, while vulcanized shoes, also called "Vulc" shoes, are praised for their lightness, flexibility, and quick break-in time. Both styles are excellent options. Continue reading below to determine which type suits you best.
|Shoe Type||Pros||Cons||Best For||Not Recommended For|
|Cupsole|| || |
|Vulcanized|| || || |
Skate Shoe Materials
When it comes to skateboarding, choosing the right shoe material is crucial for performance and longevity. Different materials offer unique benefits and drawbacks that cater to various skateboarding styles and preferences. Canvas, a lightweight and breathable material, has been a favorite since the 1970s, although it wears down quickly when subjected to rough grip tape. Leather is highly durable and can withstand extensive wear and tear from tricks, but it lacks breathability. Suede strikes a balance between canvas and leather, combining durability with a thinner and more breathable construction. However, prolonged use can result in dampness. Textile is a popular choice for newer "tech" skate shoes, providing a lightweight, breathable, and durable option often combined with suede or other protective materials. Understanding the characteristics of each material allows skaters to make informed decisions when selecting their ideal skate shoe. Continue reading below for more information.
|Shoe Type||Pros||Cons||Best For||Not Recommended For|
|Canvas|| || || |
|Textile|| || |
Types of Skate Shoes
Skateboarding shoes come in different styles and designs, each offering unique benefits and drawbacks. High-top skate shoes have a collar that extends above the ankle, providing extra support and protection during high-impact tricks. Mid-top skate shoes offer moderate ankle support while allowing more freedom of movement compared to high-tops. Low-top skate shoes have a lower collar and are ideal for skaters prioritizing flexibility and mobility. Slip-on skate shoes offer convenience and comfort with their laceless design but may not provide the same level of support and stability as traditional lace-up shoes. In the end, the choice between high-tops, mid-tops, low-tops, and slip-ons depends on individual preference and skating style. Each shoe style has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to consider factors such as ankle support, flexibility, mobility, board feel, and convenience to choose the right skate shoe for your needs.
What Makes a Good Skateboard Shoe?
As mentioned earlier, durability is essential for skateboard shoes, considering the amount of wear and tear they endure during tricks. Here are the five key factors to consider when choosing a new skateboard shoe:
Unlike regular sneakers made from various materials, a good skate shoe is always made of suede. Fabric and textile shoes are not as resistant to grip tape and can get holes after just a few skate sessions. Suede material offers the highest lifespan, usually lasting around three months or more.
Skateboarding can be tough on your feet, with various ways to injure your toes and ankles. It is crucial to have a shoe with extra padding to protect your feet and increase the shoes' longevity. Look for shoes with additional padding around the heel and toes for maximum protection.
Skateboarding involves various foot movements that put stress on the shoes. You need a shoe with high elasticity to maintain its shape throughout its lifespan and prevent it from becoming loose.
Skate shoes differ from regular sneakers with their flat sole design. Traditional sneakers have curved soles that align with the arch of your foot, while skate shoes have flat soles for better balance on the board and reduced risk of injuries.
While the shoe's sole plays a significant role in foot protection, the insoles are essential for impact and vibration reduction. A thick and flexible molded insole provides optimal cushioning and fits the shoe and foot shape perfectly. This is particularly beneficial during high-impact skateboarding activities.
Skateboarders need shoes that are both durable and comfortable. Several additional features can enhance the overall performance and longevity of skate shoes:
Heel bruises can end a skate session early. To combat this, shoe manufacturers have incorporated heel-saving technologies into their shoes. These features include low-profile Zoom Air Bag heels and EVA foam to protect the heels and provide extra cushioning.
Rubber toe caps are added to some skate shoes, protecting high-wear areas. They cover either the external toe area or the rubber below the uppers. This design prevents holes in the upper material and increases the shoe's lifespan.
Elastic gussets connecting the tongue and midsole keep the tongue centered and prevent pressure points. This feature ensures a snug fit and improves overall comfort during skateboarding.
Double-Wrapped Foxing Tape
Foxing tape, the rubber strip bordering the shoe's bottom, is reinforced with a second layer in some skate shoe models. This added layer increases durability and enhances the shoe's longevity, particularly in high-wear areas like the toe and heel.
These additional features can make a significant impact on the durability and performance of skate shoes, ultimately enhancing the skateboarding experience.
Etnies Joslin 2
Named after professional skateboarder Chris Joslin, the Etnies Joslin 2 is a high-quality skate shoe based on the Etnies Marana model but with updates. Despite its initial bulky appearance, the Joslin 2 is lightweight and flexible, providing impressive performance.
Feedback from riders confirms its impact resistance and grip, making it ideal for ollieing stairs. The shoe offers excellent durability, with the Michelin soles showing minimal signs of wear after more than two months of skating. It features extra padding in the heel and ankle areas for superior comfort.
- Extremely comfortable with great arch support
- Decent insoles for impact protection
- Flexible despite its bulky look
- Michelin soles offer exceptional grip and arch/heel support
- May not be as durable as expected
- Wears quickly after lace protectors and toe stitching start to deteriorate
The Etnies Joslin 2 excels in board feel and grip, despite being a cupsole shoe. The Michelin outsole provides excellent traction once the shoe is broken in, and the bulky appearance does not hinder flexibility.
The shoe has a slightly bulky top shape that narrows towards the toe box, allowing for precise movements on the skateboard. It maintains its shape well even after months of use, although noticeable wear starts to appear after around 50-60 hours of skating.
The Etnies Joslin 2 impresses with its sturdy and stylish design, featuring a massive tongue, quality suede, and thick ankle padding. However, the lace protectors may deteriorate quickly.
Comfort is a standout feature of the Joslin 2, thanks to its impressive padding and impact-absorbing capabilities. The cushioning can handle high-impact maneuvers effectively.
Durability is the shoe's only significant concern. It may wear out relatively quickly compared to other options, especially after approximately 50 hours of use. However, the sole remains highly durable.
Fit and sizing are reliable, with the Joslin 2 offering a secure and snug fit. It is true to size and suitable for skaters with wider feet.
Overall, the Etnies Joslin 2 is a high-performance skate shoe with excellent comfort and grip. However, its durability may leave something to be desired compared to other options on the market.
Converse Louie Lopez
Louie Lopez, a skater born and raised in Los Angeles, California, began his skateboarding journey at the age of 5. Growing up in a city known for its skateboarding culture, Lopez quickly gained recognition for his exceptional skill. At just 7 years old, he was already winning contests all over California and catching the attention of major skateboard brands like Flip and Globe.
When he was 13, Lopez made his first video appearance in Globe's "United by Fate" in 2007. Two years later, he turned pro for Flip Skateboards and also made a big change in shoe sponsors by joining Converse.
In January 2019, Lopez released his first pro shoe, the Converse Louie Lopez CC. For this design, Lopez drew inspiration from two existing Converse models, the All-Star CC and the Breakpoint CC.
Durability-wise, the shoes felt a bit strange during the first hour of use, as is typical with new shoes. However, once broken in, they proved to be excellent for skating. Throughout the first week of skating, there were no noticeable signs of damage except for what Lopez himself humorously refers to as "sole pubes."
After a month of regular use, the shoes showed minimal signs of wear except for a ripped lace. Overall, they remained durable and reliable.
By the end of the second month, a hole appeared in the ollie/kickflip area of the shoe, right near the toes. During the third month, the shoes started losing their shape, with the mid-section becoming floppy. Another hole appeared in the toe section, known as the "360 flip hole."
The suede material held up impressively well, resisting visible wear for a month. The additional padding on the heel made the shoes a must-have for heelflip enthusiasts. Even after 3 months of intense heelflip maneuvers, the heel pad remained intact.
The Chuck Taylor vulcanized sole provided great grip and held up well against the grip tape, only becoming slightly blunt towards the end of the 3-month testing period.
In terms of cushioning, the Converse Louie Lopez CC featured a vulcanized rubber outsole with the original Chuck Taylor tread patterns. The thicker sole offered excellent foot arch protection and made landing impacts feel almost painless. The shoe also came with molded Ortho Lithe sock liners, which used the Nike Zoom Air unit for added shock absorption, particularly in the heel area.
The shape of the Converse Louie Lopez CC was a unique low-cut silhouette with a pointy toe box. It struck a perfect balance between lightness and durability, providing a snug fit that still allowed flexibility in the mid-foot section to accommodate various foot types.
When it came to board feel and grip, the thin design and low-cut silhouette of the Louie Lopez CC provided a unique experience similar to certain Nike SB models. The premium quality suede contour of the shoe allowed for effortless flicking and improved grip compared to thicker, less responsive shoes.
In terms of comfort and stability, the thick Converse Chuck Taylor sole initially felt destabilizing due to its thickness. However, it ultimately provided sufficient stability and excellent protection against impacts. The premium leather interior contour added to the overall comfort of the shoe, though some users found the tongue to be a bit problematic, requiring frequent adjustments during skate sessions.
Overall, the Converse Louie Lopez pro models proved to be durable, long-lasting, and resilient despite their thin and low design. They became a favorite choice for many skaters, and the availability of various colorways made them even more appealing.
Check out the Converse Louie Lopez shoes on Amazon and compare prices (affiliate link).
Cariuma Catiba Pro
In 2019, Cariuma made a significant impact in the skate shoe industry. This Brazilian company, founded by two board sports enthusiasts, gained widespread recognition for its eco-friendly and uniquely designed shoes.
Cariuma became a prominent name in skateboarding, with its brand appearing in video games, sponsored posts by renowned skaters and influencers, as well as animated ads. Their marketing strategy was undoubtedly effective.
But does the Catiba Pro, one of Cariuma's star products, live up to the hype? Let's find out.
Durability-wise, the Catiba Pro, made of premium suede and organic cotton canvas, impressed with its triple-stitched patch in the flick points of the shoe. These patches showed no visible signs of wear even after intensive use.
The laces, made of recycled plastic with metal aglets, proved to be more durable than most stock laces, withstanding ripping and tearing.
During the first few sessions of wearing the shoes, the grip tape caused slight damage to the logo, which raised concerns about their longevity. However, the shoes felt great right from the start, without needing a breaking-in period.
After a month of regular use, the ollie and heelflip reinforced patches remained intact, indicating the shoe's responsiveness and durability.
In terms of cushioning, the Cariuma Catiba Pro featured a raw natural gum rubber sole with a classic Herrington pattern. The shoe had a thin carved outsole and an organic cotton sock liner, providing comfort and impact resistance.
The shape of the Catiba Pro was thick and roomy, with a wide toe box. It hugged the feet closely while allowing ample space for breathability. The shoe's shape made it suitable for various foot types, similar to some Adidas models.
When it came to board feel and grip, the rubber sole of the Catiba Pro stuck firmly to the grip tape, offering excellent control without compromising movement. The seamless connection between the sole and outsole facilitated flicking, eliminating any friction against the grip.
Comfort and stability were key features of the Cariuma Catiba Pro. The handmade vulcanized construction with stitch midsole ensured a comfortable fit. The removable insoles, made of cork, organic Mamona oil, and memory foam, provided excellent arch support and conformed to the foot's shape.
The Catiba Pro had a chunky style that might not appeal to everyone. However, for those who appreciate the old-school aesthetic, these shoes were a great choice.
Overall, the Cariuma Catiba Pro delivered on its promise of sustainable style and endless comfort. While the shoes were priced higher than some comparable models, their durability and ethical values made them worth considering.
Check out the Cariuma Catiba Pro on Amazon (affiliate link).
The eS Silo is a retro-styled skate shoe that has been updated with modern features. Although breaking them in can be a bit challenging initially, they offer comfort and support for those seeking a more comfortable skate shoe option.
It's important to note that the eS Silo is not primarily known for its durability or board feel. However, it serves as an excellent choice for skaters who prioritize comfort and support.
The shoes have received positive feedback in terms of impact protection. Despite not feeling as cushioned as some other options, they still provided sufficient protection for high-impact maneuvers.
Durability-wise, the eS Silo showed signs of wear after around 70 hours of skating. The stitching near the toe area raised some concerns, but overall, the shoes held up well. However, they might not be the best choice for skaters seeking long-lasting durability.
The eS Silo offered good board feel and grip, considering its bulkier design. While not as responsive as vulcanized shoes, they still provided enough control and flexibility for most skaters.
The shoes had a bulky appearance, though they were slimmed down compared to the classic 2000 model. They featured a round toe box and an elevated midsole, offering ample arch support. The shape of the eS Silo made them comfortable in the heel and ankle area.
In terms of style, the eS Silo had a chunky look that appealed to fans of old-school skate shoe aesthetics.
Cushioning-wise, the eS Silo featured STI Energy foam, which provided a comfortable feel. The insoles were not particularly impressive compared to competitors, but the overall construction of the shoe ensured excellent impact resistance.
Fit and sizing-wise, the eS Silo was true to size and provided a snug fit. Although they appeared puffy, they were relatively lightweight, making them comfortable to skate in. People with slightly wider feet would find these shoes suitable, especially if other options felt too small.
In conclusion, the eS Silo excelled in providing comfort and support. While they might not offer the same level of durability or board feel as other shoes, they still served as a reliable choice for skaters in need of additional comfort and support.
Check out the eS Silo skate shoes on Amazon (affiliate link).
The Etnies Veer skate shoe is a relatively recent addition to the Etnies footwear collection. It shares similarities with the Etnies Marana but features an updated sole tread pattern.
When it comes to durability, the Etnies Veer has received positive feedback. It has shown excellent resilience, with no significant signs of wear even after extensive use.
However, some users with narrow feet experienced issues with the fit. It's worth considering other options if you have narrow feet to ensure a comfortable fit.
The shoes offered decent impact protection, particularly for ollies down 5-stair sets. While they didn't provide a cloud-like landing experience, they still performed well without causing significant discomfort.
Regarding grip, the Etnies Veer performed better on flat surfaces than on mini ramps. The shoes showed some slipping on dusty ramps, so it's important to note this potential limitation.
Durability-wise, the Etnies Veer demonstrated resilience except for the stitching near the toe area, which raised concerns. Skaters with narrow feet should be cautious as the stitches may come loose. The soles showed minimal wear and remained intact, thanks to the Michelin composite construction.
Cushioning-wise, the insoles of the Etnies Veer were not particularly impressive. The impact resistance mainly came from the sole itself, which effectively dealt with primos and provided a foamy sole for added protection.
Fit and sizing-wise, the Etnies Veer stayed true to size and offered a snug fit, hugging the feet comfortably. While they had a bulky appearance, they were lightweight, making them suitable for extended skate sessions. Skaters with slightly wider feet would find these shoes to be a perfect fit.
In terms of board feel and grip, the Etnies Veer delivered excellent control and ample grip. While it took some time to break them in, their performance improved over time.
The Etnies Veer had a chunky style that might not appeal to everyone. However, for those who appreciate the aesthetic of old-school skate shoes, they were a solid choice.
Overall, the Etnies Veer skate shoes were praised for their durability, board feel, and impact protection. While they may not be the best option for skaters seeking maximum board feel, they provided ample support and comfort for longer skate sessions.
Check out the Etnies Veer skate shoes on Amazon (affiliate link).
New Balance Numeric 306
Let's move on to a vulcanized shoe. The New Balance Numeric is not only visually appealing, but it is also one of the most durable vulcanized shoes on this list. Despite not having a unique backstory, these shoes excel in durability.
The design of these shoes by New Balance is top-notch. They are aesthetically pleasing and have multiple layers of protection, preventing them from tearing easily. Here is what the rider has to say about these shoes:
These shoes are great for ollieing off stairs, except when it comes to bailing. The impact absorption is not the best, which is a common trait for vulcanized shoes.
They offer excellent grip, but you will start to see some wear on the soles after around 60 to 70 hours of skating. If you frequently perform flip tricks, the rubber around the toe area may also wear down.
They feel almost indestructible. After 50 hours of use, there are no signs of wear. The main downside is the lack of support for ollieing stairs, which can lead to discomfort. Replacing the insoles can provide some additional protection.
These shoes lasted me three times longer than my previous skate shoes, and despite the pain associated with ollieing 7-stairs, they are the best skate shoes I have ever used.
- Surprisingly durable for a vulcanized shoe, thanks to the lack of stitching on the nose and high-quality suede.
- Offers superior board feel and flexibility, making it ideal for skaters who perform flip tricks.
- Less durable compared to the Adidas Tyshawn (still more durable than average) and less impact resistant, but this is expected from a vulcanized shoe. Skaters with heel bruise issues should consider shoes with more support.
- The laces tend to rip quickly, so reinforcing them with Shoe Goo or carrying an extra pair is recommended. The soles also wear down faster than the suede.
These shoes are surprisingly durable, despite their fragile appearance. After 20 to 25 hours of skating, the laces may start to rip, but there are no significant signs of kickflip or ollie holes or tearing.
These shoes feature high-quality suede and a reinforced band on the side, which adds an extra layer of protection. Even after many hours of ollieing and flip tricks, there is still an extra suede layer.
The upper toe panel effectively covers the ollie area, and the stitching is placed far enough to avoid contact with the grip tape easily.
The outsole near the toe area shows the earliest signs of wear, but it still holds up well after 70 hours of skateboarding. The suede can likely withstand at least 120 hours of use, although the outsoles may need repair by that time.
The soles are starting to wear down, affecting the grip, although they are not as durable as Michelin insoles, they last longer compared to Vans.
Board Feel and Grip:
Vulcanized shoes typically offer better board feel than cupsoles, and the New Balance Numeric 306 is no exception. They require about 30 minutes to break in, and after that, you can confidently land kickflips, treflips, and other technical tricks.
After 15 hours of use, the grip may slightly decrease, but it does not significantly affect performance.
Fit and Sizing:
The New Balance Numeric 306 fits true to size. There is no need to get a smaller or larger shoe. They feel very comfortable for individuals with average feet. Those with high arches may experience some discomfort on the top of their feet.
Available on Amazon.
I was initially skeptical about these shoes, but as soon as I tried my first drop-in, I was convinced. The Adidas Tyshawn provides exceptional comfort, board feel, and heel support. We tested two pairs, one for street skateboarding and one for transition skateboarding.
The Adidas Tyshawn is a result of collaboration between Adidas team riders, including Tyshawn Jones, and footwear designers led by Scott Johnston.
These skateboarding shoes offer remarkable board feel, even for a cupsole shoe. They are the best skate shoes we have tested and excel in almost all aspects.
Feedback from the rider and me:
The soles provide excellent grip and effectively handle impacts, even when skating 7-stairs. It does not take long to break them in, and they instill confidence from the first time you ride in them.
I am amazed at how durable these shoes are. Even after 150 hours of skating, they still feel like new. The shoes remain flexible and offer strong support for ollieing stairs, making them highly impact resistant.
These are the best skate shoes I have ever used in terms of board feel, durability, and flexibility. I used to skate with Vans vulcs, but they don't compare to the Adidas Tyshawn. I can't think of any negatives. I highly recommend these shoes to everyone. They outlasted three pairs of Vans. Still shredding!
- These shoes are incredibly durable, even after 150 hours of use, with minimal wear on the ollie and kickflip holes. The soles provide substantial impact protection, and the suede is of outstanding quality.
- The lack of stitching on the nose prevents easy tearing. Sanding down new grip tape can prevent faster wear.
- In addition to durability, they offer a great appearance and high comfort. They provide enough support for daily wear and can handle 7-stair ollies. They are the perfect cupsole option.
- The only major drawback is the relatively narrow fit. Skaters with wider feet may need to go half a size up. However, the shoes will break in eventually.
- We had difficulty finding the right size. We had to order three pairs before getting the correct fit. Adidas skate shoes are not true to size, at least not in this model.
- Skaters who prefer vulcanized shoes over cupsoles may require some adjustment, but the Adidas Tyshawn is exceptionally flexible for a cupsole shoe.
This shoe proves to be surprisingly durable. It took a long time before the first kickflip hole appeared. The sole is flexible yet durable. After 80 hours of use, there is hardly any visible wear.
The suede material usually fades after a few ollies on most shoes, but not with the Adidas Tyshawn. After skating them for multiple days, there is minimal visible wear.
After 100 hours, some wear starts to show, but given how well the toe section holds up, they can easily last another 100 hours. Even after 150 hours of use, there is not much wear, just a small kickflip hole.
The lack of stitching on the vamp and toe box significantly extends the lifespan of these shoes. They are truly worth the investment and are not overly expensive considering their longevity.
Check the suede near the toes. You will not easily break the suede; instead, you are more likely to rip the rubber toe area. Fortunately, there is an extra layer of protection. Adidas did an outstanding job with these shoes.
After 170 hours of use, the suede near the toe area finally ripped. It is the perfect time to patch them up. These shoes are unquestionably the most durable we have tested, and they are still going strong.
Board Feel and Grip:
The Adidas Tyshawn provides excellent support and stability, thanks to the additional padding on the tongue, which targets pressure points.
The front of the shoe offers exceptional board feel, which boosts confidence. The improved elastic material of the sole provides superior grip, making these shoes one of the best options available.
Form and Shape:
These shoes have a classic low-profile shape with comfortable padding. They also provide some room for the toes, as long as your feet are not wider than average. Even after more than 100 hours of use, they maintain their shape impressively well.
The Tyshawn variant is one of the most stylish skate shoes available. It stays true to the classic Adidas aesthetics and provides a sleek and sexy look. Additionally, they are incredibly comfortable to wear, not just for skateboarding but also for everyday use.
While the insoles may not be particularly impressive, the outer sole offers significant impact protection, surpassing that of Vans or Nike skate shoes. The thickness of the sole may initially give the impression of bulkiness, but they do not feel that way when worn.
Fit and Sizing:
As someone with wider than average feet, these shoes initially felt tight. However, they eventually break in, and the fit becomes more comfortable. It is worth noting that they do not fit true to size, and going half a size up is recommended. This was the case for both myself and the other skater who tested these shoes.
Once you find the right size, the fit is snug yet comfortable, providing excellent grip and balance. People with regular feet will find them perfectly suitable.
If you are looking for durable, comfortable, and stylish skateboarding shoes, the Adidas Tyshawn is the shoe for you. While they may come with a slightly higher price tag, they are worth the investment. These shoes surpass the average skate shoe and excel in all aspects.
This shoe is the number one choice in terms of durability, board feel (subject to debate), comfort, and impact resistance. They provide great heel support and do not lead to sore feet. They are the best skate shoes available, ticking all the boxes. They are not only suitable for skateboarding but also for all-day wear.
Even vulcanized shoe enthusiasts should take notice, although for superior board feel, Nike Janoski's are worth exploring (although we are still testing them).
Available on Amazon.
In conclusion, finding the perfect skateboarding shoe can make all the difference, especially for beginners looking to enhance their skills and confidence on the board. Whether it's the durability of the construction, the right materials for optimal performance, or the extra features that provide comfort and support, these top choices have proven themselves to be the best skateboarding shoes for beginners. So lace up, hit the pavement, and let your feet do the talking – because with these shoes, you'll be ready to take your skateboarding journey to new heights.