Where Can I Find Skateboarding Shoes?

Where can I find skateboarding shoes and scooter shoes that will last longer? This article explains the best shoes and materials to use.

One of the biggest problems with using skateboards and scooters is that they damage shoes very quickly. The sandpaper-like "grip tape" which is placed on top of these instruments to increase traction can scrape the rubber off of the sides and soles of shoes. In most cases, this scraping is more than the shoes are capable of handling, and holes will begin to develop on the sides of the shoe. This can be very, very frustrating""not to mention costly""to whoever suffers from premature shoe wear. Fortunately, there are ways to combat this problem and give those shoes a longer life span.

A common mistake made when buying shoes intended for skateboarding or riding scooters is that they think if a company makes a shoe that they claim is for such activities, that shoe is therefor the most suitable choice. They are not. In fact, many of these shoes can be the least desirable when using a scooter or skateboard. Companies making those kinds of shoes are selling at a high premium, much higher than the average cross-training shoe. It is important to know that the designer skateboard shoe is usually, if not always, made primarily with style in mind, while durability is lower on the checklist. One should not purchase these types of shoes except for walking.

It turns out that many mid to low range costing shoes work well for riding skateboards. The best ones usually come in the form of cross-training shoes found at sporting good stores. These shoes are inexpensive and made to take a beating. And why not? They should, like the title implies, be able to withstand all kinds of training. Adidas and Brooks Sports both make very tough cross-training shoes, and at much lower prices than many competing brands.

Shoe durability for skateboarding or riding a scooter also depends on what type of leather they are made of. Is it genuine leather or synthetic? Does the leather have nubuck in it? Shoes that will best withstand the sandpaper surface of grip tape are made with synthetic leather, and this type of leather should preferably have nubuck in it. Brooks shoes have both of these characteristics. Avoid any shoe that uses rubber padding near the ollie surface of a shoe, as rubber wears faster than any other material when rubbed against grip tape.

For some, no matter what kind of shoe they buy, holes invariably appear after a few weeks of riding a skateboard or scooter. There are two ways of fighting this dilemma.

Shoe Goo is a handy little product that comes in a container that looks like a tooth paste tube. It can be purchased at any skateboarding shop, and may be found in many sporting good stores as well. Shoe Goo is a very thick liquid (about the same consistency as toothpaste, actually) that, when poured on a shoe, will harden after a few hours and will stop shoe wear by acting as a buffer between the shoe and the grip tape. One tube will last a long time and costs only a pittance when compared with the price of a new pair of shoes. This goop can be placed on the side of the shoe (for protection from the skateboard) or on the bottom of the shoe (for the scooter user).

If Shoe Goo doesn't sound appealing, one can try making his or her own homemade ollie protector (Note: This strategy applies only to skateboarding). For those wondering what an ollie protector is, it can be described as an extra piece of leather material placed over the surface of a shoe that will, in the same way as Shoe Goo, act as a buffer between the shoe and the skateboard. It's easy to construct: simply recycle an old shoe by getting a sturdy pair of scissors and cutting out a piece of leather. The shape of this leather should be such that it can reach from your shoelaces to the side of your shoe; and it should cover the part of your shoe you wish to protect. Now, all one has to do is put a few holes in the strip of leather and thread shoelaces through the holes, making sure that the strip hangs over the side of the shoe properly. The homemade ollie protector is ready for use.

With a little practice, all of the above-mentioned tips will prove very helpful in improving a shoe's life span. There are many gimmicks used by shoe companies to lure the skateboard and scooter crowd, but the most effective way to stop the wear and tear from skateboards and scooters is to know which materials really work.

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