“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” has been echoed throughout time, for countless years, and skateboarders have been one of the few subspecies in today’s civilization willing to keep that state of mind alive. Skateboarders have witnessed the reincarnation of our used and abused hardgoods in the form of art, furniture and even accessories, but never before have we thought to refurbish our abused footwear of the past. Beat up old skate shoes either serve as a reminder of what we used to skate in or have been secondary shoes for house chores… until now.
Simon Hooper, aka Wuslanga (@wuslanga), has done the unthinkable.
If his collection of skate footwear doesn’t earn your envy, his latest project will. Relentlessly searching eBay is nothing new to those who have mastered the #sk8shoewars hashtag, but none of them have ever thought of buying a pair of beaters in order to refurbish them to their best quality. After finding out what he did, we contacted Wuslanga so he could share how he revived a 15+yr old shoe for $15 and some change.
- A pair of OG shoes to restore
- A pair of throwaway shoes to steal the sole off of
- Chisel, scrapping tool or wired brush
- Industrial strength glue
- Warm water and a towel
- Suede cleaning product
- Sink, tub or bucket to soak
Instructions from Wuslanga himself:
1. Doesn’t matter how beat the shoes are. If you find your holy grail of skate shoes on eBay or craigslist or from a homie, GET THEM. They can always be cleaned up and brought back to life with a little imagination and some cleaning. I got these Gino Iannucci AXION’s off of eBay last year for $15. They were completely thrashed, full of dirt stains, along with a crumbling mid sole, but they are my holy grail and just so happened to be my size too so why not try…
2. After getting these shoes, I realized just how badly they were beat up but regardless, I still wasn’t gonna throw them away. Fortunately, we even though they were falling apart at the sole, I had some shoes that I didn’t like/wear (Nike Koston 1’s). They were canvas and exploded after one skate session, so I had a perfect sole to transfer over to my Axion’s. Matching the construction from one shoe to the other is deal, hence the transferring of a cupsole to another cupsole.
3. Get yourself a steel wire brush, a flathead screwdriver and some elbow grease. Scrape off and pull off the original sole from the shoe. Do it with care because you don’t want undo some of the stitching on the shoe itself. That’ll make attaching the other outsole that much more difficult and lose the shoes original shape.
4. Give the shoes a good cleaning. You’ll need warm water, soap, suede cleaning agents…etc. Once you’re done, let the shoe sit in the sink or tub for about 1+hour. Pull them out, wrap them in a towel and leave to dry overnight. When the shoes are nice and dry, and you’re happy with the cleanliness of foam removal, you can start working on the bonding process. I used the strongest super glue I could find, you need some quick bonding proper super glue and a lot of it, not the cheap stuff, you need that good shit.
5. I coated the Koston sole in super glue, laid the Gino upper nicely into place and stood in them for some minutes so there was enough time to bond. Bear in mind, I’m a size 12 so I could do this, If your planning on doing this with smaller or larger shoes, I suggest just using your hand or clamps to force the bonding process.
6. Get some brand new laces for them joints, fill in any gaps with glue (if there’s gaps in the side) and now you have your finished product. No more tears over crumbled midsoles. You’ll have the original shoe with today’s technology. Be sure to wear them out and show them off to inspire others to create.
Thanks and good luck.