Vans Roller Skates




Introduction: Vans Roller Skates

It's easy to make your own Vans tennis shoe skates out of an old pair of roller skates. I chose the old school high tops because they have good ankle support and they're just bitchen.

Step 1: Take Apart Old Skates

I found these skates used on craigslist for $25. They were a size 10 and I wear a size 11.5 so I couldn't use the boots. I'll try to sell them back on craigslist for what I paid. It's cheaper to buy used skates rather than buy all the parts new online. You need the plates, 8 wheels and 16 bearings. It gets pretty expensive. I will probably buy some 72 mm Sims Snakes wheels later to make them even more awesome. 

Remove the insole and unscrew the base plates of each skate. You might want to do one at a time so you can use the old skate as a reference when drilling the holes in you Vans.

Step 2: Remove the Vans Insoles

Reach in and take out the insole. You want the bolts to be under the insole for a more comfortable ride. You'll also want to remove the laces.

Step 3: Align the Plates

Put the plate on the bottom of your Vans and align them properly. I put the back of the plate almost at the very back of the heel. The front didn't quite make it to the front of the shoe because my plates are size 10 and my shoes are 11.5. I used a clamp to hold the plates in place while drilled the two holes in the heel, then I installed the bolts and drilled the fronts without the clamp. I had to remove the wheels so the drill would line up with the holes. Removing the trucks is another option to get access to the holes. 

Step 4: Bolt on the Plates

After you've drilled the holes, bolt the plates on, re-intall your trucks and wheels, put the insoles back in and lace up the shoes. You're ready to skate! 



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    43 Discussions

    Make the sole of the shoe as rigid as possible on the entire surface of the shoe, not just in the fastening of the screws.

    My father
    made some like these for me. As the sole of the shoe was not rigid, I
    felt the loss of stability in tight turns and skids. I felt a slight tingling through the screws under my feet. They needed several repairs because the toe was raised and the boot came out of the screws. They were very cool, but when they were small and I bought some skates with a leather boot I felt a big difference of grip. Very nice but better a real boot for real skate.

    Truly surprised you don't suggest to cut a support plate for the inside
    of the shoe. .050 metal or even wood. Use your insole for the pattern. Eliminates the worry of bolts pulling through and or washer stack up hurting your feet..did this back in the late 70's and early 80's

    Could I do this same method for rollerblades? Also, could I attach boots or high tops instead of vans or converse.

    I will no doubt be making these. I have been I just got back into skating. and I hate the ones you have to rent I the roller rink. thanks

    I Always Go Down A Size In Shoes So Im A 6.5y Its A Little Tight Can I Take The Ibsoles Out Without Messing Up The Shoe For More Room

    I can't get the sole out cuz I think it's stuck in with some industrial strength glue. Do you think I could drill through that sole and just put an insole on top

    Do you think this could be done with shoes that aren't flat, or have better traction on the bottoms/thicker soles than Vans or other skate shoes? Say, work boots? Also, would you have any ideas on how to adapt this for detachable skates?

    1 reply

    I think shoes with a little bit of a heel are actually better. I plan on adding a heel to these skates. If you look at roller rink skates, they have a heel.

    It would depend on how the wheel things are attached to the boot also you'd have to make the base of the shoes stronger for inlines because of the way your weight is distributed ont other four wheels.

    Ok, I was wondering because the boots on my old inlines are too small for me and I'd rather attach the skates to a pair of old sneakers than go out and buy brand new ones.

    how did you get the insoles out of your vans?

    mine seem glued in using some military grade stuff and don't want to budge

    1 reply

    Mine came out easily, a little bit if the insole stayed in the shoe but not much. If you damage the insole while removing it, you can by a Dr. Scholl's insole to replace it. If you go that route, I would look for something that is a little stiff. I plan to put something stiff under the insole anyway.

    Do the plates need to come from skates that are the EXACT same size as the shoes you are using or can they be smaller? Please email me at


    1 reply

    like i already have skates but the boot of mine ripped. can it still work and does it have to e vans only or can i use any shoe i want?

    1 reply

    You can use almost any shoe. I like high tops best but I've seen low top shoes used as well. I've made them out of Vans, Converse and some other no name shoe.