More reasons why basketball shoes are best for outdoor quads

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    I built my first outdoor quads in 1996 using Nike Zoom Air flight 96 BB shoes.
    I looked at 100’s of shoes before selecting these as the best ones.

    I believe these Nike BB shoes are the all time best shoe you could ever find to make a pair of skates for long distance outdoor skating on rough concrete and asphalt. Nike recently released a limited Retro production run of these shoes, and having searched unsuccessfully for 10+ years to find a better shoe than these to build my next pair of outdoor skates, I jumped right on buying another pair. The remaining PICs illustrate the unsurpassed features of these shoes. First and foremost is the stiff, air encapsulated foam cushioned, perfectly FLAT sole:

    Second, is the side & heel reinforcement with lightweight structural foam and carbon fiber:

    Third is the sole grooving – enhacing the bonding to the plates, since I only use glue to mount my plates (which is stronger than screws) and further stiffens the sole. And Fourth is the carbon fiber arch which after 20+ miles your feet will be saying – YES!

    Finally, here is a view if the old glued on plate at the toe, just prior to me ripping off these 10 year old, too-short plates as a test. I found the glue so strong I could barely get them off, and had to use a steak knife to help separate them. Screw mounting is just way too OLD SCHOOL a concept for mounting ANY skate plates. Note that after 12+ years of mostly straight ahead skating there was still no indication of any significant failure of the glue bond.

    I will be documenting in this forum the building process for my rebuilding of these old shoes into new outdoor skates. [see below]

    … I recently ripped the plates off my 14 year old Nike Zoom Air 96 BB shoe skates. The Panther plates were way too short, and I needed to test just how strongly the urethane glue job was holding after all those years. Well, surprise, surprise, I could not rip them off and needed to use a screw driver pry barand a saw-tooth knife to assist the process – pulling, prying, and and cutting my way down the length. After nearly getting a hernia from the effort, I no longer have ANY RESERVATIONS in recommending that people glue their plates with urethane adhesive.

    Meanwhile, I have been considering how I wanted to rebuild these old shoes into skates again. Since I am now a total convert to HEEL STOPS for outdoors, I considered that I might need to add a piece of carbon fiber to the shoe sole this time, because the heel ends of many plates are too narrow for use under the ball of the foot with a flexible sole. I decided to cut away the central tread ribs under the ball and heel zones this time to save weight (less glue). I also decided to use a much lighter pair pair of Omega plates, in place of the Panthers.

    Since I always do reversed mount plates for outdoor builds (HEEL STOP, BABY) the first problem with the reversed mount, was that the Omega plate’s wide toe area was too big to match up properly with the Zoom Air shoe’s heel zone. So, I decided these nylon plates needed to be reshaped at their big ends into a smaller and more sculpted match for their new reverse mount heel zone location. I soon found out my size G Omega plates were dyed black and made from two different colors of nylon material – white and red. The new shape looked way better than the original industrial oval design. Also notice the 2024 aluminum bolts ready to have their heads sawed off to do the reversed kingpin upgrade too.

    My next step was to cut two pieces of 1/8″ thick Dragonplate carbon fiber sheet (30 grams) to go between the narrow ends of the Omega plates and the balls of the Nike Zoom Air shoes. Since the reverse mounted Omega plates would provide good amount of nylon to heel contact area, the carbon sheet was not extended all the way into the heel zone, but it was continued toward the heel just enough to bridge across the molded-in carbon fiber arch of the shoe. This allows the sole carbon plate to better integrate with the primary internal structural feature of this shoe – the carbon arch.

    So far, I have glued only one carbon plate to one shoe, and I am starting to think I should glue the plate to the carbon first instead. This is because it turns out that during clamping, plate slips around easily on the carbon when it’s already bonded to the sole , making harder to hold the plate in its correct location against the carbon already attached than it is without any shoe interfering. I guess I will end up doing one skate each way to see what works best.
    Will post more PICs as the project proceeds & glue dries.

    For 2nd skate decided to glue plate to carbon fiber sheet first. This works much better, Plus I could now test the resulting plate upgrade to see it is SO much stiffer on torsion now too. I used Gorilla Super Glue, and the result is so improved for rigidity I can’t even tell you. Will glue assembly to sole of shoe tonight using black Shoe Goo urethane adhesive. Weight of carbon upgraded bare plate as pictured => 142 grams


    Here are PICs of the glued up builds – one skate ready to roll and one still drying. Will be adding some filler Shoe Glue around the heel after initial urethane adhesive fully cures. I expect to get another 10 years of skating out of this build. Weight 1230 grams without HEEL STOP. This build has SO MUCH MORE structural integrity than a screw mount I cannot even begin to tell you.

    The 70mm Velocity Race wheels will fit easily with this build, and even without the extra 1/8″ carbon sheet they still fit OK.

    Assembled skate total weight with heel stop => 1298 grams.



    What a amazing way of mounting skates.

    Thank you very much for that great review. And by the way, welcome to 100% Quad 🙂


    Really impressive !!

    What kind of glue did you use ?
    Where did you find those carbon plates ?


    original way of mounting your skates !!


    Ca mérite un article !


    Thanks. I am glad to find skaters who appreciate new ideas.

    The carbon fiber laminated sheet is called Dragonplate. It is a birch core with three carbon layers on both faces in a tri-axial lay up (0-90-45 degree).

    I use either 3/32″ (~2.5mm) or 1/8″ (~3mm) thick Dragonplate to increase contact area of plate to shoe. I seal the wood edges with super glue after final sanding.

    As for bonding glue, I use black Shoe Goo brand urethane adhesive between the shoe soles and the carbon sheet (or direct to the wider style nylon plates). It will stick to metal too, but the metal surface must be fresh sanded immediately before glue is applied. The Shoe Goo urethane adhesive will shrink some on drying, so it is best to keep gaps at a minimum by clamping very well while it dries. Drying time is LONG and I use my nose to tell when it is done – residual fumes stink and indicate still not fully cured. Use a wet finger to smooth glue down after initial placement.

    The carbon sheet-to-nylon plate joint is bonded with Gorilla brand Super Glue with added impact resistance and good tolerance for flex. This is very strong glue, but the gap must be a close/tight fit for max. strength. So once again, good clamping is important.
    Some other lightweight (~1090 grams) skate PICs:

    Another BB shoe build:



    nice setups !

    but i’m still doubtfull about the strongness of the glue for a freeride setup.
    what about the skate reaction when you try to slide or jump ?


    Since I only skate speed outdoors, and I do no slides and few jumps I do not know how much stress the glue can take. Based on how difficult it was to remove the glued nylon plates after 12 years, I believe the urethane adhesive has greater strength than screws, as long as the contact area is sufficiently large. I know I could be hoisted upside down hanging from my skate wheels and the glue would easily support me.



    On my next indoor racing build I will be mounting Sure Grip Skins plastic plates to Bont carbon fiber sole boots using this=>
    Thickened G/flex® Epoxy Adhesive, 4.5 oz. tubes of resin, hardener, and application supplies. Tough bond on many different materials. Waterproof, flexible, permanent. NO PROBLEM with ALUMINUM either!

    Details Here =>
    # It makes structural bonds that can absorb the stresses of expansion, contraction, shock and vibration.

    Aluminum boat leak repair=>

    Excerpted info=>
    # In addition to its superior bonding to many different materials and its ability to bond dissimilar materials, Cured G/flex is much more flexible than other epoxies. This is an excellent property for boat building and repair.

    # Polyethylene (HDPE) is a common kayak and canoe material. Its molecular structure resists gluing by most adhesives. G/flex solves the problem; it bonds well to polyethylene and ABS plastics.




    These are the quadskating boots from BONT ?

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