Skateboarding is an intensive sport, so you must care for your shoes to avoid wearing them fast. How long do skate shoes last, this depends on the kind of skate shoes you wear and how you maintain them. In this article, we will share our little secrets on how to make your skate shoes last longer.
What Are Skate Shoes?
Skate shoes have soles that provide a superior grip for skating and a great board feel. They were first produced in the mid-90s and are often made with vulcanized rubber or polyurethane. The shoe’s upper part will have triple or double stitching to increase durability.
Common Areas Prone to Damage
Every pair of shoes has some areas that are weaker than others. So, pay close attention to the following:
- Toe box
- Shoelace region
- Padding around heels
- Heel region
How Long Do Skate Shoes Last?
Despite technological advancements, skate shoes still wear down quickly. The average lifespan of any skate shoe is between 2 to 6 months, assuming you often skate. This depends on the kind of skate shoes you wear. A quality shoe may last longer than six months, depending on how you maintain it.
So this is one of the challenging aspects of skating because skate shoes are expensive, and many individuals find it difficult to keep buying them.
Some people go so far as using their life savings to purchase new ones. The worst part is that they keep wearing down, regardless of brand. As a result, many people have given up on their favorite sport, and some have tried various techniques to extend the life of their shoes, but they keep breaking down at the slightest opportunity.
You can use a few steps and techniques to extend the life of your shoes, which will, in turn, help you save money. This article will explain the measures you need to take to achieve this goal.
13 Ways to Make Your Skate Shoes Last Longer
Invest in Quality
Focusing on quality when you buy a new pair of shoes will pay you in the long run, just like it does with anything else you buy. You won’t need to replace your shoes frequently if they are built well because they can withstand more impact than a pair of cheap shoes.
Don’t Buy Random Shoes
Materials are vital when it comes to a skate shoe. Suede is highly recommended because it provides an excellent board feel, whereas leather feels more rigid. Buy from popular brands like Adidas, Etnies, Emerica, and DC. These brands emphasize lace exposure and better stitching, which is essential for a skate shoe’s durability.
If you are new to skating, avoid buying any random sneakers, go for shoes with vulcanized soles or cupsoles. Cupsoles last longer, providing less board feel, while vulcanized shoes wear down faster but provide more board feel. Brands like Vans provide shoes that deal with this issue but are costly. If you feel like getting them, they are nice and offer an excellent board feel which is what we crave while skating.
Avoid buying canvas shoes because they can damage within a few days; they are suitable for casual wear. Leather is durable, but only when it’s of high quality and has many layers, so suede shoes are ideal for skating. However, everything comes down to preference; you can try them all and learn from experience.
Avoid Buying Small Shoes
In addition to skateboarding, wearing shoes too small for your feet is always uncomfortable and painful. Many skaters do not consider their shoe size when buying new pairs. As a result, they buy smaller shoes, hoping that they will expand along the line. This is not ideal because skateboarding on its own is hard on your feet, and wearing a shoe that doesn’t fit will only cause more problems for you.
Store Your Skate Shoes in a Safe Place
Not all shoe damage occurs while they are on your feet. Choosing the right place to store them after you take them off is crucial because it can hasten their deterioration.
According to research, keeping your shoes in the wrong place can lead to fading, scratching, and other damage. Don’t just toss your shoes in the closet; keep them out of the sun. Neatly line them up in pairs on the base of your wardrobe or a shelf, leaving plenty of space between the pairs.
Avoid Using a Washing Machine
It’s simple to throw shoes, especially canvas ones, in the washer and dryer for a quick clean, but doing so will cause them to degrade faster. Instead, use a hand cleaner to scrub the shoes and do it immediately to remove the stains before it becomes too late.
Stay Away From Hot Glue
Avoid using hot glue because it is very destructive and could result in a burn or chemical reaction. Even though It might react less to suede or leather shoes, it is still not advisable. Do not put it on canvas shoes because it will react fast and damage the shoe. Furthermore, it doesn’t last as long as shoe goo which keeps your shoes in better shape. Therefore it is better to use shoe goo or regular glue.
Avoid Using Your Skate Shoe For Other Purposes
This is another option to consider when thinking of how to improve your skate shoe’s longevity. One of the major problems we see today is that most skaters wear the same pair of shoes for casual wear and skating. This is not good because wearing one shoe for both purposes will only decrease longevity. The soles will wear out faster than anticipated, which applies to all shoe brands.
We all know that it is always nice to look good, and skate shoes always suit any occasion, which makes it more tempting to wear them but doing this will only cause more harm than good. So, you need to have one particular shoe for skating and another for casual wear.
Patch Up Holes With Shoe Goo
Shoe goo is a commercial glue that hardens into a rubber-like material once applied. You can patch holes on skate shoes using shoe goo and apply them to areas prone to damage.
When applying shoe goo, ensure that the shoe is clean, especially where you want to use the glue. Then fill the holes on the shoe with the shoe goo and smooth the surface with a metal tip or ice cubes. If you notice larger holes, you can place duct tape on the inside to support, then apply the shoe goo from the outside. Once it’s smooth out, it will blend with the shoe, and you are good to go.
Shoe goo is effective and affordable. It functions like regular glue, making it an easy method to extend your skate shoe’s life without worrying about buying another pair.
Use Tricktape or Suede From Your Old Shoes
You can put suede patches like tricktape on your shoe. These patches are easy to apply and will help you save money. Another method is to cut out some pieces of suede from your old shoe and glue them onto your new shoes to cover holes and tears.
Don’t toss away your old shoes because you have a new one. They can come in handy in this kind of situation. If you are tired of seeing them, you can place them in a black bag and keep them where you won’t see them often. This technique is cheap and practical, which is why most people adopt it.
Make Your Rubber Toe Cap by Using Plasti Dip
Make your toe cap using rubberized sealants like Plasti dip to protect your shoe. Plasti dip is a rubber-based removable coating that comes in a spray container, and you can use it to create rubber toe caps to protect your shoe.
This has the benefit of penetrating your shoes and enabling you to build several layers to harden your shoes. It requires more effort than others, but it is durable.
Sand Down Your New Grip Before Using It
A new grip tape will always make it easier to stay on your board because they provide traction, preventing you from falling while performing tricks. However, it can also damage your skate shoe due to its rough texture.
The best approach is to sand down your grip tape by using pieces of the tape that you cut off while attaching it to your board. It will assist in reducing friction and avoiding wear and tear. If you use less sticky tape like Jessup from the start, your shoes will last a bit longer. However, remember that grip tape is rough and will rip off your shoes over time.
Care For Your Skate Shoes by Applying Adhesives Like Super Glue
Skate shoes are made to withstand higher impact, yet most last for only a few months. Predicting how long a skate shoe can survive is not always straightforward because it depends on how well you care for them. I have seen people with new suede shoes ruining their shoes, whereas people with canvas shoes still have them intact.
The best solution to this is to prevent them from spoiling on time. You can do this by taking good care of those weak places. This relies on how you skate and do tricks. If you heelflip regularly, you must pay more attention to the collar side. If you prefer to kickflip, you should pay attention to the front part of your shoe, while if you like doing an ollie, you should focus on the part where you ollie. This process will help you maintain your shoes because you focus more on those weak places.
So how will you care for those weak spots? You can start by applying super glue to those places. Don’t wait to use them until you notice damages to your shoe. You can apply them to those areas prone to wear and tear, thereby creating another layer on top of those areas.
So when you slide your foot while performing those tricks, the glued area will scrape off, protecting your shoe. You can repeat the process anytime you see the glue layer wearing off, thereby extending the life of your shoe.
Note that super glue is only for stitching parts because it can loosen any time, and using it to patch holes will make you lose control of your board.
Prevent Skate Shoes Laces From Ripping
Lace ripping is common, although many brands consider it. You can use various techniques to keep your shoelaces from contacting your grip tape. For example, you can either replace them or apply shoe goo on them to avoid them falling apart. The downside of this procedure is that you won’t be able to tighten or loosen them again, so it is not the best.
The most suitable way to avoid this is to use lace protectors or hidden lace loops. They can aid in extending their lifespan, but this is not a permanent cure. Wear shoes with laces that sit higher up the ankles to avoid this issue, or get leather laces that last longer. You could also try coating your laces with rubber cement or buy enough cheap laces from Amazon.
Don’t let the fear of ruining a new pair of skate shoes discourage you. This is the tricky part of Skating; you grow by using different pairs. As you grow, you will learn how to prevent many problems before they arise.
Why Are Skate Shoes Important?
Do Skate Shoes Last?
Why Is Skate Shoe Durability Important?
What Are the Top Skate Shoe Manufacturers?
– New Balance
– Gravis footwear
– Puma SE