My sneakers were worn down to the point where the grip tape scratched my feet. To make skate shoes survive longer, we tried a variety of tricks. Cutting a piece of an old wetsuit and attaching it to my shoes, for example, was not perfect, but it worked to a certain level. Skate shoes have improved, yet they still wear out quickly in the correct conditions.
There are a few things you can do to extend the life of your shoes. Even if it’s only for a few weeks, it’ll provide you with some time to save money. Considering how and how often you skate, shoes and decks are definitely the most expensive element of skateboarding.
So, how long can you expect skate shoes to last?
Skate shoes, on average, can last between 3-6 months if they are properly cared for. Skate shoes are durable enough to withstand everyday wear and tear. However, predicting how long skateboarders can handle the toughness of their sport is not always simple.
Actually, it depends on the type of skate shoes you use, how often your skate, and what kind of stunts you do.
Top 10 Tips To Make Skate Shoes Last Longer
You can extend the life of your skate shoes by doing the following:
- Apply superglue to the stitching areas where the grip tape on your deck is most likely to come into touch.
- Cover holes with suede patches from previous shoes.
- Breaking with your feet is not recommended.
- Cover holes and tears with Shoe Goo.
- Purchase a high-quality, non-abrasive grip tape.
1. Locate the Areas That Are Most Likely to Deteriorate
There are a few spots on your skate shoes that wear down more quickly than others, obviously, it depends on what type of skater you are. If you heelflip more than you kickflip, you should pay more attention to that area than someone who solely does kickflips.
If you’re not ready for flips but want to practice ollies, make sure you treat the area and repair it as needed. The side of your shoe where you ollie and under the ball of your foot where you rotate are the spots to look for.
Kickflipping is done on the front of your foot, while heel flipping is done on the collar side. Finally, your laces have the potential to rip. Consider putting more emphasis on the following areas:
- Shoelaces and their nearby area.
- Boxes for your toes.
- Your shoe’s soles.
- Around the heels, there is cushioning.
- The area around the heel.
2. Stitches should be glued together
Apply superglue to your shoe stitches whenever you’ve got a new pair or a pair you haven’t skated on yet. Only use it where your skateboard grip tape is more likely to come into contact with it. This method will most likely need to be repeated on occasion, but it will keep your shoes from tearing apart.
Please remember that superglue should only be used to secure the stitches; using it to patch holes will cause you to lose control of your deck. If you’re unsure, look at your previous shoe to see where the glue should go. Use it in the following areas:
- The area around your nose and toes (kickflips)
- Your shoe’s backside (ollies)
- Your shoe’s collar is (heelflips)
3. Avoid canvas shoes in favor of suede
You’ll need a suede or leather shoe with suede on the upper, heel, and nose at the very least. Suede is preferred because it has the broadest feel, whereas leather has a firmer feel. Buy from well-known skate brands; most of them have thicker stitching and account for lace exposure. Some people even buy shoes with rubber toe caps, although not everyone enjoys the way they feel.
Look for Vans, Lakai, Etnies, DC, and other similar brands. Cupsoles last a little longer but have less board feel, whereas vulcanized shoes have more feel but degrade faster. Vans offers a pro series that addresses this issue, but they are costly.
Apply Shoe Goo to your ollie, kickflip, and or heelflip spots once you’re ready to use them for skateboarding. Apply superglue to the stitching places as well, or at least where your grip tape will most likely come into touch with it.
Suede and leather shoes endure far longer than canvas shoes. Your skate shoes will be destroyed by grip tape, and the suede will endure the longest. Even suede will deteriorate over time, so try strengthening them.
If at all possible, avoid buying canvas shoes unless it’s summer and your feet need to breathe. When you have new grip tape on your canvas shoes, they can wear down in a day, so only use them for cruising and longboarding. Leather can last a long time, but only if it is well-treated and has different levels.
4. Patch Holes Using Shoe Goo
Glue is the most typical method for repairing your shoes. You can use hot glue or skate shoe goo to repair your skate shoes. It may appear that applying this to your new shoes is a loss, but your shoes will last at least twice as long. Before I skate on my skate shoes, I normally wear them for a bit. My old shoes are ready to be ruined when I get a new pair.
When holes begin to appear, you can either use hot glue or shoe Goo to repair them. When Shoe Goo is applied, it sets into a rubber covering that protects the shoe from the glue. If you made it all the way through, use duct tape to mend the inside of your shoe first. After you’ve applied the tape, apply a little amount of Shoe Goo or hot glue.
Squeeze a small amount of glue into the hole and make sure it’s completely filled. Use ice cubes to spread out the adhesive if you have them. It will provide a smooth, flat surface. Using your fingers will cause the Shoo Goo to stick to them, resulting in uneven areas or bumps. Another advantage is that the Goo will dry up faster.
5. Use suede or tricktape from old shoes
Adhesive suede patches, such as Tricktape, can be purchased and applied to your shoe. These patches will help you save a lot of money and are simple to use. Another method is to take out some suede from your old shoes and glue the patches in place to cover holes and tears.
Don’t toss away your old sneakers to save money on patches. If you have to, put them in a plastic bag if they smell bad. You have the option of waiting for holes to form or applying them in advance. It makes no difference. This is a technique I tried when I was younger that still works now.
6. Plasti Dip Can Be Used To Make Your Own Rubber Toe Cap
Plasti dip is a liquid that hardens into rubber and comes in a spray container. This has the advantage of deeply penetrating your canvas or suede and allowing you to create many layers to strengthen your shoes. This needs a little more effort than simply applying adhesive, but it is sturdy.
The aim is to use tape to cover your shoes and make a mask to help you apply the spray. Rippedlaces created a full DIY guide on how to do this, however, their website is no longer available. This process works on both canvas and suede shoes and is far more pleasing than those unattractive patches or goo holes.
7. Grab Non-Abrasive Dkl Grip Tape
Grip tape plays a major role in how quickly your shoes wear down, perhaps 99 percent of the time. Consider purchasing more forgiving grip tape to get the most out of your shoes. DKL grip tape, for example, will not rip your skate shoes as quickly as regular grip tape.
It features tiny smooth bumps on the surface and is non-abrasive. Instead of the other way around, you’ll have to cut it before sanding the edges, and then leave it alone for approximately an hour. Because the texture is rather smooth, you may need to adjust to it at first. It is quite beneficial, but not everyone is a lover.
The most common complaint is that it peels off easily and the rubbery substance quickly wears out. This appears to be related to properly sanding it down. If it starts to peel, try trimming the edges and sanding it again.
Another complaint about this grip tape is that it is overly grippy, making even simple tricks more difficult. It simply implies that if you try a kickflip, it will shoot out more since your front foot will hold onto it more, making landing harder.
8. Prevent Ripping Skate Shoe Laces
Even though many brands consider these factors, lace ripping is rather common. When I tried to tie my laces and ended up holding them in my hand, it was always a pain. To keep your laces from going away, you may either replace them or use Shoe Goo.
It’s still not ideal because you won’t be able to tighten or loosen them. Lace protectors are another option for dealing with this. You don’t need them if you don’t rip your laces too often.
Hidden lace loops could be able to make them last a little longer. It’s simply a different manner of tying your laces to keep them from coming into touch with your grip tape. It isn’t a miracle cure, but it can improve. You can use a variety of lacing methods and ignore the bottom lace holes if you choose.
Look for skate shoes with laces that reach higher up the ankles, or stock up on cheap laces that will last longer. Others advised using rubber cement to coat your laces or purchasing waxed hockey laces.
9. Do you have a new grip? It Should Be Sanded
You’ve received your new deck and are ready to smash the streets. The hard new grip is the first thing you notice, and it makes me nervous when I wear new shoes.
To be honest, the grip tape is designed to be gripping and will ruin your shoes regardless, but you can put it off a little longer. Try sanding it down with some of the grip tape bits you cut off. It will reduce friction and help your shoes last longer.
Consider purchasing less grippy grip tape next time. The grippiest are Mob Grip and Grizzly, while Jessup is more shoe-friendly.
- Keep a safe distance from hot glue.
Hot glue should be avoided at all costs, especially when working with canvas. It will cause a chemical reaction, causing the material to burn. This isn’t a good idea for canvas shoes, and I wouldn’t use it on suede or leather either. Hot glue just falls away rapidly, making it more difficult to repair your shoes.
Why is Skate Shoe Durability Important?
The durability of skate shoes is mostly determined by how frequently skateboarders use them. Because the sole of a highly durable skate shoe is more sturdy and can withstand many kicks without shredding, it lasts longer.
Kickflips, power flips, ollies, and halfpipe tricks all require long-lasting skateboarding shoes. With frequent use of these skating tricks, shoes with low durability might cause injury to your feet.
Skateboarders usually expect their skate shoes to produce more tricks and repeated ollies than any prior model in its class, meaning that they will perform better and last longer than past models.
Skateboarding sneakers are also durable if the gripping soles don’t break off too easily, and they help to offer stability to your body when skating.
Durable skateboarding shoes with suitable soles are important for allowing you to feel your board while skating. They should have a longer nose than ordinary sneakers. Then, the top cap of your skate shoe would start sticking out from constant touch with your toes.
How Frequently Do Skateboarders Skateboard?
Skateboarders typically spend 3 to 4 hours skating on weekdays and up to 6 hours skating on weekends. On Saturdays throughout the winter, most skateboarders do their flips all day. As a result, the amount of time spent skating is a crucial determining factor in the life of skate shoes.
Skateboarding shoes from well-known brands like Vans or Nike can last up to a year if you practice or skateboard for pleasure for 6 to 8 hours each week.
What Factors Influence Skate Shoe Durability?
The durability of a skating sneaker is determined by the toe cap’s strength, the sole’s construction, the upper’s stitching, and the range of grip. As long as you’re not too rough on them or rubbing the material down too much with high-impact tricks, an average skate shoe should survive many weeks of skating.
Now, here are a few characteristics of long-lasting skateboarding shoes.
1. Sole Construction
Since the sole is fused and attached to the shoe by the vulcanization (heating) process, vulcanized soles offer a tighter board feel, but this might reduce durability as the rubber structure degrades due to heating. Because the vulcanized sole is thinner and more flexible, it breaks down faster. Vulcanized soles are noted for their traction because the strong tread pattern securely bonds them to the skateboard.
Skate shoes have a thicker, more cushioned, and more durable cupsole. It does, however, usually provide less board feel. It is sewn on the outside and provides better protection in most cases. Cupsoles are firmer and offer extra support in the rearfoot region due to a cup form, which protects your feet from high impact. Cupsoles have a disadvantage in that they are less sticky due to the lack of a strong grip pattern.
If you’re a learner, I’d recommend skate shoes with a cupsole because they’ll last longer and give you more support. You will rip out your vulcanized sole skate shoes in a week if you practice skateboarding with them. You could try vulcanized sole skate shoes if you’ve mastered performing technical skateboarding tricks and balancing yourself on the board.
2. Material and Toe Cap
I always choose skate shoes with suede covering over canvas since it is definitely more durable. When you start doing things like ollies, your canvas shoes will develop huge holes.
Apart from torn soles, skateboarders are also concerned about holes poking through the toe area of their shoes. For most skateboarders, the toe cap is the first part of the shoe to wear out. The sole begins to separate from the top as it wears or totally tears off.
The toe cap is a protective covering that is frequently made of strong, durable rubber and is placed on the front tips of the shoe.
Skate shoes require more durable toe caps since they frequently take harsh falls and are continually in contact with the skateboard. If you do kickflips on a regular basis, toe caps are ideal. The front tip of skate shoes is protected by a sturdy toe cover from being smashed by repeated landings during jumps. Skate shoes’ durability is determined by the toe cap’s material and hardness.
To wear evenly and not rip quickly, a sturdy skate shoe should avoid excessive stitching and have a one-piece toe cap.
Besides that, the portions of skate shoes that are most likely to wear down quickly, including the sides and heel collar, should be double or triple stitched.
Skate shoe laces are very difficult to maintain. They rip easily in the area where the laces emerge from the eyelets. When doing kickflips or heelflips, the eyelet (lace hole) scrapes on the board grip, causing the lacing to rip quickly.
To minimize fraying and wear, skateboarders have started gluing and tape the ends of their skateboard shoe laces.
Top 5 Long-Lasting Skate Shoes
I decided to go on a search for the longest-lasting skate shoes since I was sick of destroying my shoes so rapidly while skateboarding or longboarding.
What exactly do I mean when I say “longest-lasting”? With repeated ollies and kickflips, I want shoes that stay flat and don’t deform. I’m looking for shoes that won’t wear out or develop a hole in the sole after a few weeks of constant braking. In other words, I’m looking for shoes that will endure at least 3 or 4 months of continuous riding.
Hence, after polling testers and fellow skaters, and combining their comments with my own skate shoe experience, I did come up with this list of the 5 longest-lasting skate shoes available:
- Adidas Busentiz skate shoes
- Vans Gilbert Crockett skate shoes
- Nike SD Dunk low skate shoes
- Es Accel skate shoes
- Emerica Figueroa (Figgy) skate shoes
1. Adidas Busentiz Skate Shoes
The Busenitz Pro skate shoes offer a unique soccer World Cup look that has been adapted into a skate shoe style. They’re named after pro skater Dennis Busenitz, who is noted for his speed and ability to skate on every surface.
Many skateboarders claim that the Busenitz is the most durable skate shoe they’ve ever owned. These shoes are made like tanks, with some of the hardest suede sides available.
Overall, a really tough skate shoe that, unlike many others, will not give up after a few sessions of hard skating and heavy sweating. You’ll use them for a long time before they show any signs of wear. However, because they’re so tough, breaking them in may take a little longer at the start.
- Offers a highly durable cup sole construction, single piece toe box, and rugged suede upper designed to resist tough street skate sessions.
- The tongue and collar offer a special anatomical fit that adds comfort to the shoe.
- The heel, ankle, and top of the foot are all well cushioned in this shoe. When performing high heelflips, the tongue even protects your ankle.
- The sole is extremely robust, and in certain cases, the tread outlasts the toe.
- The board’s feel may be bleak, almost deadened. It’s just like trying to write while wearing mittens. When you skate, they may make you feel disconnected, which is the total opposite of what you want. If you push or ollie, you may need to tie them really tight so the heel doesn’t pop out.
- Even if you have the correct size, the heel cushioning does not hold your foot in place as well as it should. You’ll put up with them because they look cool, but your skating will become a little more awkward in the meantime.
2. Vans Gilbert Crockett Pro
The Vans Gilbert Crockett Pro has suede and canvas uppers that are reinforced in critical points, as well as a sturdy, long-lasting sole.
Gilbert Crockett has a reputation for being a durable skate shoe. For a frequent and intense street skater, it will normally last 4 to 5 months, but most shoes would develop holes after around 3 months.
- When skating hard, the slim Ultracush footbed provides a good board feel while yet delivering nice cushioning.
- Van’s proprietary sole structure offers cup-sole support without the downsides of vulcanized shoes, such as a loss of grip and board feel.
- Because they give greater cushioning for landings, the Gilbert Crocketts are ideal for tough skating and BMX riding. After breaking them in, they have a nice midsole cushioning and a sturdy rubber outsole.
- They’re just as well-suited for BMX pedaling as they are for daily commuting on a longboard.
- Walking in the shoes is also made easier thanks to the Ultracush padding.
- Some batches have had stitching and suede material issues, according to skaters.
3. Nike SB Dunk Low
The original Nike SB dunk lows were originally a basketball shoe, but they were quickly grabbed by skateboarders, and the legendary SB skate shoe was formed.
Due to its very durable stiff leather and design, the SB Dunk skate shoe has established a great reputation for being extremely comfortable and long-lasting.
All in all, the Nike SB Dunk skate shoe is well-made and well-fitting. Many skateboarders buy this shoe again after using it for a few years, owing to its remarkable comfort and longevity.
- It’s a tough cupsole shoe with a flexible rubber outsole, Zoom Air in the heel, and plush, responsive cushioning.
- The tongue and shoe collar are cushioned.
- Most foot widths are accommodated in the toe box.
- Despite its robustness, the shoe is breathable due to perforations and sleek and lightweight.
- Due to its very durable stiff leather and design, the SB Dunk skate shoe has gained a great reputation for being extremely comfortable and long-lasting.
- The creases that emerge fast on the stiff leather make some skaters uncomfortable.
4. Es Accel
The Es Accel has been around for a long time and is one of the world’s most famous skate shoes.
Any seasoned skateboarder will tell you that the Accel is the real deal! Some cyclists have worn them since 1998 and believe the quality has improved.
- This is a technical, long-lasting shoe with excellent board feel and control.
- The top is made of high-quality skateboard-grade suede, and the side panels are ollie/abrasion resistant.
- The outsole is made of vulcanized rubber, which is gripping, flexible, and long-lasting.
- For impact cushioning, the entire shoe is padded with PU special foam.
- The Es Accels are classic fat tongue skate shoes with a timeless look.
- They’re light enough for everyday skating yet tough enough for technical skating.
- Beginners may find it uncomfortable to wear because the tongue is different from that of regular shoes.
5. Emerica Figueroa (Figgy)
Another technical skate shoe that lasts longer than typical is the Emerica Figueroa.
Skaters say that these shoes have a great board feel. Many seasoned skaters believe these are the best shoes they’ve ever skated in, and they’re buying them again and again for their comfort, board feel, and stunning style.
- It features a simple design and a thin top for a nice board feel, but it also includes a reinforced one-piece toe cap and sides for regular kickflips and foot braking.
- The cushioned heel collar is quite supportive.
- The vulcanized soles have a lot of tread on them. These skate shoes are well-made, with good stitching and glue.
- It’s also highly durable, thanks to the extra layers on the toe and side.
- However, because the Figgy’s are rather thin, they may not be the greatest skate shoes for people with wide feet.
Also See: 5 Nike vs Adidas Tennis Shoes
There are a few things you can do to keep your shoes from being worn out. Often, you aren’t aware of it until holes and tears develop. Think about what you need the next time you go shoe shopping, and you’ll be able to avoid a lot of problems. Glue the stitches, make your own rubber toe caps, or buy some off the shelf, and patch spots ahead of time.
The durability of skateboard shoes is determined by the roughness of your grip tape, the frequency with which you skate, and the kind of tricks you perform. Canvas shoes can be ripped apart in an hour and suede shoes in a few weeks. There are no shoes that will never rip, but there are several techniques to keep them from ripping straight away.