Lots of people wear shoes down until the grip tape scratches the feet. There are lots of hacks to make skate shoes last longer. One example is cutting an old wet suit and gluing a piece to your shoes.
All shoes suffer the same fate of your grip tape destroy them. It doesn’t matter if it’s canvas, suede or high-quality leather. Eventually.
There are a couple of ways to make your shoes last longer. Depending on how and how often you skate. You can make your skate shoes last longer by:
- Apply superglue to stitching areas where your deck’s grip tape makes contact.
- Use suede patches from worn out shoes to cover holes.
- Avoid breaking with your feet.
- Apply Shoe Goo to holes and tears.
- Buy grip tape that isn’t too rough.
10 Tips To Increase Skate Shoe Durability
Some of the solutions have to do with what to look for when buying shoes, others help fix your current shoes. Picking the right shoes is important, not all shoes are durable.
1. Locate the Areas Likely to Wear
There are a couple of areas on your skate shoes that wear down more quickly than others. If you heelflip more often than kickflip you need to take care of that area more than someone who only kickflips.
If you are just starting to practice your ollies, make sure you treat that area and patch when needed. The areas to look for are the side of your shoe where you ollie, under the ball of your foot where you rotate.
The front of your foot where you kickflip and the collar side where you heelflip. Consider reinforcing the following areas:
- Shoelace and their direct area. Laces do rip.
- Toe boxes.
- Soles of your shoe.
- The padding areas around the heels.
- Heel area.
2. Apply Glue to the Stitches
Once you have a new pair or a pair that you haven’t skated on yet apply superglue to your shoe stitches. Only apply to the areas where it’s more likely to make contact with the skateboard grip tape. This process may need to be repeated occasionally but it will prevent your shoes from tearing apart.
Pay attention to only apply superglue to the stitches, using it to patch holes will make you lose grip on your deck. Apply it to these areas:
- Your nose and toe area (kickflips)
- The side of your shoe (ollies)
- The collar of your shoe (heelflips)
3. Get Suede Shoes, Avoid Canvas
You’ll need a suede or leather shoe, at least the upper, heel, and nose area should consist of suede. Suede is recommended as it provides a better feel of the board where leather feels a bit stiffer. You could purchase shoes that have rubber toe caps but not everybody likes how they feel.
Once you want to use a pair of shoes for skateboarding, apply Shoe Goo to your ollie, kickflip and or heelflip spots. Also, apply the superglue to the stitching areas, at least where you most likely come into contact with your grip tape.
Material does matter, suede and leather shoes last way longer than canvas. The grip tape destroys your skate shoes and suede lasts the longest. Even suede wears so its best to reinforcing them.
Unless it’s summer and your feet to breathe a little avoid wearing canvas. Canvas shoes can wear down in a day when you have new grip tape, only use them for cruising and long boarding.
4. Use Shoe Goo to Patch Holes
The most popular way of fixing your shoes is by using glue. You can either use hot glue or shoe goo designed to fix skate shoes. It seems like a waste to apply this your new shoes but your shoes will last twice as long.
Once holes start to appear use shoe Goo to patch them up. Shoe Goo hardens into a rubber layer once applied and will protect the shoe that’s covered by the glue. If the hole is all the way through, first patch the inside of your shoe with for example duct tape. Once you applied the tape you can start to apply a little bit of Shoe Goo or hot glue.
Use ice cubes, use them to spread out the glue. It will result in a flat smooth surface. Using your fingers will make them stick to the Shoo Goo and create uneven spots or bumps. Check this video to see how it’s done.
5. Use Suede From Old Shoes or Trick Tape
You can use Tricktape adhesive suede patches. These patches will save you a lot of money and are easy to apply. Another option is to cut out some suede from your old shoes and use the patches to cover holes and tears by gluing them.
6. Preventing Skate Shoe Laces From Ripping
Laces ripping is pretty common, Shoe Goo them to stop them from falling apart. You won’t be able to tighten or loosen them anymore so it’s still not ideal. Another way to deal with this is to get lace protectors. If you hardly ever rip your laces, you don’t really need them.
Hidden lace loops could help to prolong lifespan. It’s tying your laces in a different way to prevent them from coming into contact with your grip tape.
You can try a variety of lacing methods over here to see what works for you. One more thing you can consider is to skip the bottom lace holes.
Look for skate shoes that have laces higher up the ankles. Others suggested coating your laces in rubber cement or even using waxed hockey laces.
7. Create Your Own Rubber Toe Cap Using Plasti Dip
Plasti dip is a liquid spray that turns into rubber. It penetrates your canvas or suede deeply and allows you to create multiple layers to fortify shoes. This method works for both canvas and suede shoes and looks a lot better than those ugly patches or goo holes.
8. New Grip? Sand It Down
Grip tape is supposed to be grippy and will rip your shoes anyway but it is preventable. Using some of the scraps of grip tape and sand the grip tape down. It will reduce friction and expand the life of your shoes.
Next time just consider buying less grippy grip tape. Jessup Grip Tape has been found to be more shoe friendly.
9. Get Non-Abrasive Dkl Grip Tape
Grip tape plays a huge part in how fast you wear down your shoes, probably 99%. In order to get the most out of your shoes consider buying grip tape that is more forgiving. Jessup grip tape, for example, won’t rip your skate shoes as fast as the cheap standard stuff.
Another issue some people have with grip tape is that it’s too grippy, making even basic tricks tuff. It basically means that when you try a kickflip it will fly out more because it sticks more to your front foot, making it more difficult to land. This becomes less of an issue after a few sessions and goes away entirely eventually.
10. Stay Away From Hot Glue
Avoid hot glue if you can, especially on canvas. It will trigger a chemical reaction and will burn the material. This is not recommended for canvas shoes and I also wouldn’t apply it on suede or leather. Hot glue just falls apart quickly and makes it harder to repair your shoe after the first gluing.
Bonus tip: Get long-lasting skate shoes
Less expensive shoes wear down faster and a pair of proper shoes made of suede or leather last longer.
Often you don’t think about prevention until holes and tears start to appear. The next time when you buy shoes think about what you need and you can prevent many problems. Glue the stitches, create your own rubber toe caps or get stock ones.
Skateboard shoe lifespan depends on the grip tape, how often you skate and what type of tricks you do. You can destroy canvas shoes apart in a session or suede shoes in a few weeks.