Do it Yourself SkateShoe Repair

by on March 7th, 2015
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If you’re a hardcore skateboarder, you know skateboard footwear takes a shredding. It’s inevitable, skateshoes vs brutal abrasive grip tape is a formula for shoe destruction – it’s just a matter of how long before it happens. By all accounts, not long! It doesn’t take long at all for those pricey shoes to show serious wear and tear, regardless of brand chosen or how much you spent. You’d think as high cost as some are they’d be self-repairing…no such luck.

The good news is there are various methods to repair damaged skateshoes that you can do yourself relatively cheaply and quickly. Below are a variety of methods known to work effectively.

Repair Option #1 – Sewing

If the damage is limited to disintegrated stitching and provided there is enough thickness of the fabric left to work with, the shoe can be sewn back together. If there’s a hole worn through the fabric, another piece of leather or suede can be used to patch the area. While it may look better with the patch on the inside, that’s not going to be the most comfortable.

Ideally you’ll want to use strong thread like the type used for upholstery and there are even special curved needles that can make the task easier. You can get creative and cut the fabric into interesting shapes in contrasting colors. Then they’ll have the look of customizations instead of home-made repairs.

Keep in mind this challenging mending assignment is best left to older skateboarders or their moms. This is probably the most tedious method and not something that can be done “on the fly” or in a hurry at the local skate park.

Repair Option #2 – Duct Tape – Quick and Painless

You don’t have to be a red-neck to value the versatility of duct tape. When considering shoe repair products, duct tape may not instantly come to mind. However, duct tape may well be responsible for the fastest, least hassle, shoe repairs possible. While the results aren’t as good-looking as other options, and many skateboarders are all about their “look”, it can seriously salvage shoes when you’re in the middle of a day of skating and a major shoe blow-out happens. Given that the shoes are just going to continue to be abused the longer they’re skated, it doesn’t make sense to spend too much time, money or effort on repairs.

Duct tape can be used with nothing more than your hands as tools. Now it’s even available in a wide range of colors with silver and black being the most common to find. It’s easy to carry with you, fairly inexpensive, can be found virtually everywhere from gas stations and dollar stores to hardware stores and the automotive aisle of grocery stores.

To make repairs, first clean the area to be mended as much as possible while still keeping it dry – so you’ll want to brush/scrub it with something like an old toothbrush or clean with a slightly damp cloth. Next tear off a piece of duct tape long enough to cover the entire length of the damage. With firm pressure, smooth the tape across the ripped, torn or almost worn-through area. If necessary, use multiple strips of tape applied side by side to cover the width of the damage, being sure to overlap the tape’s side edges for added adhesion and strength. For holes or threadbare areas, it’s best to apply tape to both the outside and inside of the shoe. Make sure the inside tape is smoothed out really well so it won’t create a tape wrinkle bump that irritates the wearer’s foot.

Some skateboarders prefer to wrap the tape all the way around the shoe, across the sole and back over the top several times, typically at the toe cap area. Granted, not the sleekest look, but it serves the purpose if that’s where the problem is.

At some point the tape may let go, not to worry. Just re-patch the shoe with duct tape again and skate on!

Repair Option # 3 – Shoe Goo to the Rescue

Shoe Goo is a very popular shoe repair product. This shoe repair adhesive is industrial strength glue designed specifically to repair shoes, not just skateshoes. This thick adhesive dries to resemble rubber. It can be found in many shoe depts., skateboard shops and even hardware stores.

It’s advantages include that it can be used anywhere on the shoe, including to re-glue loose insoles or even the sole to the underside of the shoe.

Hole Repair: Manufacturer recommends putting tape, such as duct tape, over the hole on the inside of the shoe. Next apply a layer of Shoe Goo glue on the outside. Smooth the surface with an ice cube before it’s dry for a better appearance. If no ice is available, just skip it. The tape prevents the goo from oozing into the shoe and forming a knot on the inside. Remember the goal is to fix them so you can keep on wearing the shoes, not make them miserable to wear.

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WARNING: Must removed the duct tape before 2 hrs or it’s there for keeps!
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Rip Repair: Clean the area and make sure it’s dry. Apply Shoe Goo to each side edge; wait a couple of minutes so the glue starts to setup. Then press the edges together firmly. Continue to let dry approximately 10 minutes longer. If desired, then apply a layer of Shoe Goo over the top of the repair and smooth the surface with an ice cube before it’s dry. This will reinforce the area to prevent or prolong the time it takes for it to tear again.

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FACT: Shoe Goo won’t stick to ice. ==============================================================================

Proactive Repair: It’s smart to patch your skateshoes before the damage is too far gone. At the first sign of wear (or even when brand new if you desire) put a layer of Shoe Goo over the critical sections that get the most abuse: toe cap, ollie panels, etc. That way friction from the grip tape will wear off the Shoe Goo layer before it gets down to the shoe material. If you are persistent you can keep reapplying the Shoe Goo layer for some time and make those kicks last much longer.

If you want to put on multiple layers at one time it’s possible, but you need to do it slowly to avoid hideous drying times. After applying 1 layer (remembering to smooth with ice cube) wait 2-3 hrs before applying the next layer. Thinner layers won’t slide off like a thick wad would plus dry much quicker.

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TIP! After applying the final layer for any of these Shoe Goo repair methods, it’s best to wait at least 24 hrs before wearing the shoes to allow goo to completely dry.
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WARNING: If you’re tempted to speed up the drying process with a hair dryer, be aware generally that still takes quite a while and can mess up all the work you’ve done. You may be disappointed with your results. So decide if you’re really willing to take that risk.

With these skateshoe repair methods in your skateboarding “tool box” there’s no reason why you can’t make your skate shoes last much longer. More Skate Less Wait!


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