Your skate shoes are one of the most important parts of your skateboarding gear. This is the main contact point between you and your board. Every trick and all the actions you do have to go through your shoes. So picking the right skate shoe is important. Have you ever tried skating with work boots or Crocs? Yeah, we don’t recommend it.
Your shoes are the basic control point of your skateboard. If your shoes are too big, too heavy or just generally uncomfortable, you’ll have a harder time learning how to skate. So, let’s take a look at what skateboarding shoes are, and why you should invest in your shoes.
Skateboarding shoes are designed specifically for, you guessed it, skateboarding! There’s a wide range of skateboarding shoe manufacturers that have different features to make it better for skating. For instance, they’ll generally have a thick, rubber sole.
This makes it easier to grip the board, and last longer for tricks like kickflips and ollies. Some will thick insoles to cushion the landing and impact, which greatly reduces the chance for injury and shock. These are just a few ways shoe brands have made skateboarding shoes better over the years.
Of course, the shoe that you’re wearing won’t make you a better skater. It’s not like having a pair of Nike Zoom Janoski’s will suddenly make you tre-flip. That comes from practice. But, skateboarding shoes do make the journey more enjoyable. Especially when you find a pair of the “perfect” pair of shoes for you.
When looking at buying a new pair of shoes, make sure you get a high quality pair. While skate shoes are getting cheaper, it doesn’t mean the quality of really cheap pairs will be high. We recommend going with name brands like Nike, Adidas, FP Footwear and Vans. All of these are safe bets when buying a new pair.
Okay, now let’s get into the nitty gritty of it.
Making Your Skate Shoes Last Longer
Once you’ve found your perfect pair of skate shoes, you probably want to make them last. It sucks having to spend money on a new pair of shoes every month. And because of all the different points of contact, your shoes can get beat up real fast. So, how do you make them last? The answer isn’t to skate less.
Wearing down the bottom of your skate shoes
One of the most popular ways of stopping is dragging your toe or the bottom of your shoe on the ground. While this works, it greatly reduces the life of your shoes. After skating around the streets for awhile. the bottom of your shoe will start to rub off and before you know it, there’s a hole there.
Instead of doing this, try taking full steps to slow down. You won’t be pushing, but the impact from it will slow you down. Your leg is what applies the stopping power.
Dragging your foot against the ground while you are skating becomes a habit very easily.
Use “Shoe Goo”
Another point that you will see as a very common solution is using the item Shoe Goo. This is basically a gluey substance that you can put on your shoes to repair or cover parts of your shoes. If there is a tear, this can help glue the pieces back together. It can also be put onto the stitching of your shoes to give those weak parts of the shoe a bit more strength.
There are many ways to use this product or similar products to it. It is just putting an extra cover on the areas that get the most use and abuse. This product is useful, but not great for style. However, it does extend the life of you shoes and can keep you in a pair for a bit longer. So, it’s a thumbs up in our book.
When Skating Vert
There is another type of wear that can happen on your shoes. This most frequently happens when you are skating vert or transition. When you are wearing knee pads and are doing a lot of knee slides, you will be wearing out the top of the toes of your shoes. This is because of the way that a knee slide goes, part of the shoe gets pressure and slides as well.
When you are knee sliding it is like you are kneeling on the ground and leaning back a bit. This is the position of the knee slide, but moving forward. So, if you look at that position, you will see that the top part of your shoes are against the ground. This results in the top part of the toes getting worn down. Which is just annoying, because it’s not a spot that frequently gets worn down.
There are a couple of things that you can do to prolong the inevitable in this situation. One of the most common things done in this case is to take a couple of strips of duct tape and putting them across that top toe edge. I know what you’re thinking, that destroys the whole style aspect of the shoe. Well, it’s probably for the best.
This has the added benefit of protecting the top of the shoes from that wear. At the same time, it gives you a part of the shoe that you can, essentially, take off and replace. The duct tape wears down, you take it off and replace it. It looks weird and maybe not as fashionable, but it will get some extra life out of the shoes.
Making some repairs
Additionally, you can use the Shoe Goo to put on that same edge. A little tip with the Shoe Goo is that when you put the glob on there, instead of smoothing it out with your finger which leaves you with a bit of a rough finish. You can use a piece of ice to smooth it down with and that will smooth it out a bit.
Additionally, shoes are designed for longevity and durability. You can look at the edges around your shoes as some sort of meter to track how long they’ll last. That’s where they get most of the wear and tear.
When looking at getting a new pair of shoes, make sure the soles are high quality and durable. You don’t want to spend $80 on a brand new pair of shoes, only to have holes in them in a week. Some will have cloth toes, others will have a higher rubbing edge. It just depends what you like.
So, these are the main points to keep in mind so you can get the most out of your skate shoes.
- Buy high quality shoes. Make sure it’s durable, but also comfortable
- Don’t put extra, unnecessary wear and tear on the shoes
- Shoe goo those parts that are weakest or start to tear
- Use duct tape as need be
And that’s it! How long have you had your most recent pair of skate shoes? We want to see them, no matter how worn down they are! Snap a photo and tag @brailleskate, #brailleskate and #brailleskateboarding. We love seeing you guys skate, so post those photos!
Looking to add some more tricks to your arsenal? Check out Skateboarding Made Simple. It’s the most detailed lesson plan for skateboarding that exists. With 7 different volumes, you’ll go from learning how to ride on a board, to skating skateparks and landing more advanced flatground tricks in no time!