June 10

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How to Break In Skate Shoes

By Teddy

June 10, 2023


Skateboarding is an exciting sport that requires both skill and proper equipment. One essential piece of equipment for skateboarders is a good pair of skate shoes. However, new skate shoes can often feel stiff and uncomfortable, making it necessary to break them in before hitting the skatepark. In this article, we will explore the best ways to break in skate shoes, ensuring optimal comfort and performance on the board.

Understanding Skate Shoes

What Are Skate Shoes?

Skate shoes are footwear designed specifically for skateboarding. They are built to endure the rigorous movements and impacts involved in the sport. Skate shoes have unique features such as flat soles, extra grip, and enhanced board feel, making them different from regular sneakers or athletic shoes.

Importance of Proper Skate Shoes

Having the right pair of skate shoes is crucial for skateboarders. They provide the necessary support and protection for your feet during tricks, jumps, and landings. Proper skate shoes can enhance your performance, reduce the risk of injuries, and ensure a comfortable riding experience.

Breaking In Skate Shoes

Why Break In Skate Shoes?

New skate shoes often come with a stiff construction that can restrict movement and cause discomfort. Breaking them in allows the shoes to soften and adapt to the shape of your feet, providing a better fit and increased flexibility. It also helps to prevent blisters and hotspots that can occur when wearing brand new shoes for extended periods.

Choosing the Right Size

Before breaking in skate shoes, it’s essential to ensure you have the right size. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to discomfort and hinder your skateboarding performance. Always refer to the shoe manufacturer’s sizing guide and try on the shoes to determine the best fit for your feet.

Wearing Thick Socks

One effective way to break in skate shoes is by wearing thick socks while initially wearing them. The extra padding can help alleviate some of the pressure points and provide a more comfortable fit. Thick socks also create a slight stretching effect on the shoe material, aiding in the break-in process.

Flexing and Bending

To accelerate the break-in process, it’s important to flex and bend your skate shoes manually. Gently apply pressure with your hands to flex the toe box and the sides of the shoes. This helps to loosen up the materials and allows them to conform to the shape of your feet more quickly.

Using Heat

Using heat can be an effective technique to soften the materials of your skate shoes. You can try using a hairdryer on a low heat setting or heating the shoes near a radiator. However, it’s crucial to exercise caution and avoid excessive heat, as it may damage the shoe’s structure or glue.

Walking and Moving Around

One of the simplest ways to break in skate shoes is by wearing them regularly for everyday activities. Walking around and moving your feet in various directions helps the shoes adapt to your foot shape and reduces stiffness. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of wearing them to optimize the break-in process.

Tips for Comfortable Skate Shoes

Proper Lacing Techniques

Proper lacing techniques can greatly enhance the comfort and fit of skate shoes. Experiment with different lacing styles, such as the “straight bar” or “heel lock” method, to achieve a snug fit and minimize foot movement inside the shoes. Adjust the laces to relieve pressure points or tighten areas that require more support.

Adding Cushioning and Insoles

If you need additional comfort or support, consider using cushioning inserts or insoles designed specifically for skateboarding. These accessories can help alleviate pressure, provide shock absorption, and enhance overall comfort while skateboarding.

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Skate shoes are subject to dirt, grime, and wear due to their extensive use. Regular cleaning and maintenance not only keep your shoes looking fresh but also help maintain their performance and durability. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning and drying your skate shoes to ensure they last longer.

Understanding Your Feet

Every skater’s feet are unique, and understanding your feet’s characteristics can help you choose the right skate shoes and optimize the break-in process. Consider factors such as arch type, foot width, and any specific foot conditions you may have. This knowledge will enable you to select skate shoes that cater to your individual needs.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Skipping the Break-In Process

Some skaters may be tempted to skip the break-in process to save time or dive right into skateboarding. However, this can lead to discomfort, blisters, and even potential injuries. It’s essential to invest time in breaking in your skate shoes properly to ensure optimal comfort and performance.

Buying the Wrong Size

Choosing the wrong shoe size is a common mistake that can make the break-in process more challenging. Always measure your feet accurately and refer to the manufacturer’s size chart before making a purchase. Remember that different brands may have slight variations in sizing, so it’s crucial to try on the shoes whenever possible.

Overlooking Support and Padding

Skate shoes with proper support and padding are essential for comfortable skateboarding. Overlooking these features can lead to foot fatigue and discomfort. When selecting skate shoes, pay attention to features such as cushioned insoles, padded collars, and reinforced toe caps to ensure maximum support and protection.

Breaking in skate shoes is a necessary step to ensure optimal comfort and performance on the skateboard. By following the techniques mentioned in this article, such as choosing the right size, flexing and bending, using heat, and wearing them regularly, you can speed up the break-in process and enjoy a comfortable fit. Remember to prioritize comfort, support, and durability when selecting skate shoes to enhance your skateboarding experience.

FAQs

Q1. How long does it take to break in skate shoes?

The time it takes to break in skate shoes can vary depending on factors such as the shoe material, individual foot shape, and how often you wear them. On average, it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to break them in fully.

Q2. Can I skate with new shoes before breaking them in?

While it’s technically possible to skate with new shoes before breaking them in, it’s generally not recommended. The stiffness and lack of flexibility can hinder your performance and increase the risk of discomfort and blisters.

Q3. Can I use a shoe stretcher to break in skate shoes?

Using a shoe stretcher can be an option for breaking in skate shoes, especially if you need to stretch specific areas. However, it’s important to use the stretcher cautiously and follow the instructions provided to avoid damaging the shoes.

Q4. Are all skate shoes suitable for beginners?

Skate shoes come in various styles and designs, catering to different skill levels and preferences. While some skate shoes are specifically designed for advanced skaters, there are plenty of options available for beginners that offer comfort, durability, and support.

Q5. How often should I replace my skate shoes?

The lifespan of skate shoes depends on factors such as usage, skating style, and shoe quality. As a general guideline, it’s recommended to replace your skate shoes every 2 to 3 months or when you notice significant wear and tear, loss of support, or reduced grip on the skateboard.

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