10 Pro Tips to Make Your Skate Shoes Last Longer: Ultimate Guide to Durability

Explore ten smart tips to make your skate shoes last longer. Save money, time, and ace the skating lifestyle with durable footwear.

Are you shredding through your skate shoes faster than a hot knife through butter? We’ve all been there. Those slick, fresh-out-of-the-box kicks are pretty much ready to hit the asphalt playground, only to find them worn thin in just a few weeks. It’s frustrating if you think about it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s canvas, suede, or genuine icon leather; all shoes will eventually yield under the onslaught of the ever-rough grip tape. In this post, I’ll help you tip the odds in favor of your footwear. We’ll dig into the world of skate shoes and talk about tips to make your skate shoes last longer.

What are the best methods to extend the lifespan of your skate shoes?

With a little extra care and attention to some specific weak spots, you can substantially increase the lifespan of your beloved kicks. So, let’s have a little rundown of the top five methods to maximize your skate shoes’ mileage.

10 pro tips to make your skate shoes last longer: ultimate guide to durability | image of a skater wearing vans while riding a skateboard. Source | skateboard salad

1. Locating wear zones

The first step is to understand that not all areas of your skate shoe suffer equally. If you tend to perform more heelflips than kickflips, you should give more attention to the area where you get maximum friction during heelflips. On the other hand, if you’re a skateboarding newbie just starting out with ollies, it’s crucial to supervise the side of your shoe that takes the brunt of your ollie practice sessions.

Knowing these hotspots of wear and tear is essential. Always keep an eye out for any damage in areas like shoelaces, toe boxes, soles, padding around the heels, and the heel area. Regularly examining these potential problem areas allows you to take timely action before your shoes sustain significant damage. Understanding skateboard trucks sizes could also be beneficial in this context as it could help you better gauge the points of maximum shoe-deck friction.

2. Using superglue on stitches

Got some superglue lying around? Here’s a hack you may find handy. You can extend the life of your skate shoes by simply applying superglue to the primary stitching points where the grip tape contact is most likely. However, remember to tread with caution and avoid applying superglue anywhere else. For instance, using it to patch holes could end up reducing the overall grip on your deck, doing more harm than good.

It may not seem like a big deal at first, but this small preventive measure could save your shoes from being completely torn apart. You might have to repeat this process periodically, but boy does it make a difference in how your shoes hold up. Make a point to check out your older skate shoes for reference on where to apply the superglue precisely.

3. Choosing suede over canvas

Your third golden ticket to extending your shoe’s lifespan involves being picky about the material your shoe is made of. Admit it, those stylish canvas shoes may look killer, but they’ll bite the dust faster than you anticipate. Let me break it down for you. Canvas shoes look enticing, and I agree; they let your feet breathe in the summer. But if you’re talking about a face-off with grip tape, they’ll wear down faster.

Skateboarding is one area where suede trumps canvas. Suede shoes offer the best boardfeel and hold out much longer against the destructive power of grip tape. Learn more about choosing a children’s skateboard, which could help you in the long run when buying skate shoes for your younger ones.

4. Patching with shoe goo

The fourth item on our list is the old, trusted friend of every skateboard enthusiast: Shoe Goo. This handy adhesive is not only your go-to solution for patching holes, but it also hardens into a rubber-like layer that adds extra protection to your shoes.

I find it useful to apply Shoe Goo to the shoes, particularly on the points that cause maximum friction with the board. Yes, it takes a little getting used to having this extra layer, but the amount of shoe life it adds more than justifies the slightly odd, rubbery feel.

5. Using old suede patches

This trick is pretty simple but highly effective: using old suede patches to cover worn-out areas of your skate shoes. It’s recycling at its best. Remember to keep those old skate shoes before throwing them out. Cutting them and using them as patches to cover the holes and tears in your new or current shoes works wonders.

Image of a skater wearing suede vans skateshoes while riding the skateboard. Source: pexels
10 pro tips to make your skate shoes last longer: ultimate guide to durability | image of a skater wearing suede vans skateshoes while riding the skateboard source pexels | skateboard salad

Sure, applying these patches may not make your shoes look like they just came out of Foot Locker, but who cares when they’re going to get roughed up anyway? Consider it a patina of hardcore skateboarding—a sign of every serious shredder. Besides, longevity beats looks on the skating ramps any day.

6. Sanding down your grip tape

Overly sharp and gritty grip tape can be a major contributor to shoe wear and tear. Here’s a DIY hack for you: take a little time and effort to sand down your grip tape, ensuring it’s not overly aggressive. This simple step could significantly reduce the friction between your shoes and the board.

7. Regular cleaning

Cleanliness isn’t just about aesthetics here. Keeping your skate shoes clean, especially from mud and grime, can prevent the material from deteriorating faster. Brush and wipe down your shoes post-skate, especially before storing them, to help prolong their life.

8. Intentional shoe rotation

The concept of shoe rotation isn’t just for formal leather or suede dress shoes. It’s equally relevant for skate shoes. Switch between a couple of pairs if possible. Giving each pair some rest reduces continuous wear and tear, thereby aiding its lifespan.

9. Using a non-abrasive skateboard

The use of a non-abrasive skateboard results in the footwear lasting longer. It’s precisely the kind of deck you’ll need for the smoothest of rides without having to replace your shoes frequently. It might be a good idea to check out different skateboard bushings

10. Smoothing your insoles

Believe it or not, the insoles of your shoes also play a big role in their overall lifespan. A smooth insole that fits well not only adds to overall shoe stability but also ensures that there are no internal rough spots that could wear out the shoe faster from the inside.

My favorite shoes (at the moment):

DC Cure Casual High-top Skate Shoes

10 pro tips to make your skate shoes last longer: ultimate guide to durability | 71 8annbgbl. Ac ux695 | skateboard salad
My favorite shoes (at the moment):

DC Cure Casual High-top Skate Shoes

These have lasted me probably the longest of any skate shoe I’ve had. I love high-tops because they protect my ankles. I got the gray ones, but they get dirty quickly. If you care about that, you might want to invest in a darker tone version.

Which parts of skate shoes get beat down the most?

Sure, not all shoes are created equal in terms of construction, but when put under the grinding assault of a skateboard deck, certain areas are always more susceptible to wear and tear, including:

  • Shoelaces and their immediate area.
  • Toe boxes.
  • Soles of the shoe.
  • Padding areas around the heels.
  • The heel area itself.

Consider these points, especially if you want solid, durable skate shoes.

Does the shoe material matter?

The type of material your shoes are made of determines how well they will cope with the rough love of your skateboard. It’s a no-brainer to go for proven skate brands like Adidas, Emerica, Lakai, Etnies, DC, and so forth. I’m not a big fan of brands like Nike for skateboarding, to be honest. Good shoes, don’t get me wrong, but they wear out fast.

Here’s a quick guide to skate shoe materials:

  • Suede shoes: Your best choice. Offers the most boardfeel and lasts longer than most other materials. Here’s a handy guide on how to choose skateboard wheels if you want to get the most out of your suede shoes.
  • Leather: Not as ideal as suede, but still a solid choice. Just make sure it’s quality up top, not just the heel and nose area.
  • Canvas: Useful for summer days when your feet need to breathe, but be warned, new grip tape can reduce canvas shoes to tatters in a day. It is best left for cruising and longboarding.

Dos and don’ts of skate shoes

Preserving your skate shoes is an art, and just like any other art, there are dos and don’ts to follow. So, gear up for a quick round-up of what to do and what not to do when trying to beef up the lifespan of your shoes:

Use Shoe Goo or similar patching agents on timeApply superglue for patching holes
Sand down the grip tape of your skateboardNeglect regular cleaning
Rotate your shoes if possibleUse overly sharp and gritty grip tape
Keep these pointers in mind to reap the benefits of longevity from your skate shoes.

What are some other tips to prolong the lifespan of skate shoes?

Beyond the aforementioned tips, here are some additional points you might want to consider for extending the life of your skate shoes:

  • Air your shoes outdoors after each session. This prevents the buildup of moisture, which can degrade certain shoe materials.
  • Mix and match between techniques. A combination of sanding your deck and using Shoe Goo could work better than each method individually.
  • Consider using rubber toe caps. They offer a shield against accidents and can keep the shoe material from tearing apart.

Figuring out your skate shoe strategy

As someone still in the early stages of the skateboarding journey, deciding on the strategy for my skateshoe longevity was an unexpected challenge. I was all set and ready to perfect my ollies and kickflips, but my shoes had different plans. I went through three pairs in the first two months. Then, I stumbled upon the idea of reinforcing my stitching with glue, which was an absolute game-changer for me. That said, it’s a personal choice, and you’ve got to figure out what suits you and your skate routine best.

“It’s all about taking timely action before your shoes sustain significant damage. It may not seem like a big deal at first, but these small preventive steps can make your shoes last twice as long, saving you both time and money.”

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here at Steven’s Skateboarding, we understand that there may still be some nagging questions about extending the lifespan of your skate shoes. While skateboarding is pretty straightforward, the art of skateshoe maintenance might seem a bit puzzling. Let’s look at some common questions in this regard.

Does the type of skateboard affect shoe lifespan?

Absolutely. The type of skateboard you use significantly affects your shoes’ lifespan. For instance, using a non-abrasive skateboard results in less wear and tear, hence a longer-lasting pair of shoes. On the other hand, choosing a board that’s harsh on your shoes could mean more frequent replacements. Balance is key, so make sure you’re choosing the lightest skateboard trucks for the nimblest of moves without wearing out your shoes.

Can old shoes be refurbished to make them skate-ready?

Yes, old suede shoes can be used creatively as patches to repair shoes worn thin from your skateboarding sessions. This means you can refine those worn-out spots, practically giving them new life. However, beware that excessively worn-out shoes might not receive this resuscitation well and could continue tearing, patches, or no patches.

Do pre-treated shoes last as long as shoes treated later?

Pre-treated shoes and ones treated post-purchase can vary in their lifespan. A lot depends on the quality and type of treatment used by the manufacturer versus the one used by the individual later. Following the product’s detailed instructions and maintaining the shoes regularly can certainly help enhance their life span, whether they are pre-treated or treated later.

Final thoughts

Learning to skateboard as a beginner isn’t just about tricks; it’s also about maintaining your gear, and your shoes especially form an integral part of that journey. With proper shoe care, you’ll find your skate sessions becoming a smidge less expensive, and isn’t that a score worth chasing? So, which of these tips did you find most helpful, and do you plan on implementing any soon?

And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on skateboarding. Thanks for reading, and keep shredding!

Key takeaways

This article covered the essential methods to make your skate shoes last longer. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Understanding shoe wear zones is the first step in shoe maintenance.
  • Superglue can be a skate shoe’s best friend when aptly applied to stitch points.
  • Suede shoes provide the best balance between durability and board feel.
  • Shoe Goo and old suede patches can do wonders in patching worn-out spots.
  • Regular cleaning, intentional shoe rotation, and using non-abrasive skateboards play a significant part in shoe longevity.
  • Conducting the lifecycle war of your skate shoes involves some Dos and Don’ts.
  • While extending the lifespan of skate shoes comes with advantages, there are certain disadvantages to be mindful of.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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