Skate shoes need to be replaced more often than I like and can end up being pretty expensive over the course of the year. If you skate Mob Grip then maybe you’re buying shoes every other month.
Many skaters try to extend the life of their shoes by using products like Shoe Goo, TrickTape, or even just normal tape to cover holes in their shoes. Unfortunately, there comes a time when even the most frugal and economical skaters understand that it’s time to buy a new pair of shoes.
But when is this?
Are there signs to look out for that will let you know if it’s time?
Luckily, there are some simple signs that will let you know if you need to replace your skate shoes. Let’s dive into it.
Signs That You Should Throw Your Skate Shoes Away
1. You Have Filled Holes with Shoe Goo More Than a Few Times
Shoe Goo is a lifesaver and you should always use it to extend your shoe’s lifespan. But if you have used Shoe Goo more than a few times and it seems like the shoe’s actual upper is disappearing, then it’s time to let those shoes go.
Wearing shoes that are mostly Shoe Goo starts to border on the homeless person look once you’ve patched them up a few times. You obviously aren’t trying to impress anyone with your shoes during a skate session, but there is a point where your shoes look like a disaster.
Eventually, whole sections of your shoe upper will wear down and then there is nothing to support your Shoe Goo anyway.
2. You Have Random Holes Appearing in Your Socks
This annoys me to no end and ends up costing me money too.
It’s impossible to always preemptively add more Shoe Goo or predict when new holes are going to show up in your shoe. The result is that a hole appears, you don’t notice, and then you end up eating through your sock. I live abroad in South Korea right now and we always wear slippers in the office as it’s a cultural thing. And having holes in all my socks is not exactly a professional look.
So yeah. If you are suddenly seeing lots of little holes in your socks then it is likely time to invest in a new pair of skate shoes.
3. You Have Holes in the Bottom of Your Shoe
Recently this is what made me ditch my last pair of shoes. Not only had I made a hole in the bottom of my shoe, but I put a skateboarding insole in the shoe and wore another hole through that.
Some skaters don’t have this issue as they don’t drag their foot to stop, but rather just powerslide or use their tail. But I drag my foot and also ride my cruiser board often which has soft longboard wheels which makes powerslides impossible. I also don’t want to start dragging the ball of my foot across the pavement to stop so I knew it was time.
If you think it’s time to invest in some skateboarding insoles and want the critical info I learned by testing four different skate insoles, then check out my guide here.
4. You Are Tired of Wearing the Same Pair of Old Shoes
Another thing to consider is just if you personally want to get a new pair of shoes.
It’s nice to mix things up from time to time and even if a shoe’s life can be extended longer, sometimes just replacing them is the right move. Of course, you need to have the disposable income to actually do this, but if you can then why not?
Support your favorite skate shoe company and even favorite pro skater by buying their model shoe. I’m looking at those Jamie Foy New Balance Numerics next 🙂
How Long Do Skate Shoes Last?
It’s obvious that how long a skate shoe lasts depends on how often you skate and the shoes that you are skating. I have my own experience and estimate for this question, but I decided to gather some data from an online poll to answer this a bit more scientifically.
60% of skaters who skated at least 2 to 3 times a week needed to replace their skate shoes after 1 to 3 months of skating. It is very rare to have a pair of skate shoes last more than 6 months and rare for shoes to last only a week or two. You can extend your skate shoes somewhat indefinitely if you are willing to be generous with Shoe Goo and avoid canvas shoes.
This data is from online threads, my experience, and some of my friend’s experiences and is a total of 30 skaters answering. The data is not perfect, but it should give you an idea.
Recommended Next Pair of Skate Shoes
I am only going to recommend two shoes here as there are so many killer models on the market that it’s impossible to say any shoe is the “best” skate shoe.
Vans Old Skool Skate Shoe
I almost always skate Vans and have been since I started skating in late elementary school. My last pair of shoes were a gold pair of Vans Old Skool sneakers that you can probably see in a bunch of pictures on my site. Check out a full review of them here.
The shoe is affordable, has a solid vulcanized sole, flat yet grippy tread, and a thick upper that won’t wear out to quickly. They also are super trendy with non-skaters so you can wear your pair as a casual shoe until it gets too ripped up.
New Balance Numeric Jamie Foy 306 Skate Shoe
I am recommending this sneaker because it looks sexy, has great reviews, and I’m a Jamie Foy fanboy. I actually recently wrote a way too detailed article about Foy and his skating career so far. Just keep in mind that I haven’t actually skated this shoe so far.
This shoe is on my Christmas list, but know that it is on the expensive end for a pair of skate shoes. The shoe is listed for $85 on New Balance’s company site and just about the same price on Amazon.
If you’re curious about what features actually make a skate shoe different than a normal sneaker, check out my in-depth guide on what makes a skate shoe a skate shoe and why.
So that’s it.
If your shoes are mostly Shoe Goo, have holes in the sole of the shoe, and are literally falling apart, then it is time to invest in a new pair of skate shoes. Expect to pay anywhere from $50-$90 for a new pair of quality skate shoes and I recommend buying the pro model shoe of a skater that you like and want to support.
Do you have any other signs to add to this list? Reach out and let me know.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and look out for more articles from Board and Wheels.