Mouse Skates: Everything you need to know

Every gamer knows gaining the advantage over your opponent, however small, can be the difference between losing and getting that W.

The famous quote “a man is only as good as his tools” is often followed by “a tool is only as good as the person using it”. And that rings true with gamers; even the best need that edge when it comes to competitive play, and those tools need to be in top condition.

TL;DR - What you'll learn by reading this

I cover everything you need to know about Mouse Skates aka Mouse Feet aka Mouse Glides  I'll refer to them as 'skates' from here on in to avoid confusion.

I'll give you an overview on what they are, what their purpose is, when you should replace yours, and how to go about replacing them on your mouse.

Sound good? Let's dive right in...


So, what exactly are Mouse Skates?

Mouse Skates are the small pads on the bottom of your mouse that keep it gliding smoothly across your mouse pad. The main purpose of them is to keep the mouse elevated from the pad. In doing this, it minimizes the friction generated, but also keeps the mouse close enough to the pad for the sensor to track properly.

All mice come as standard with mouse feet attached, usually made of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE); also known as Teflon. This material is used due to having a very low coefficient of friction.

Your mouse comes with basic skates that are 'fine' and ready to go out the box, however, players who game more frequently may get to a point where they start to feel their mouse is just not as smooth as it used to be. Or that the factory stock skates just aren't very smooth.


When should you replace your Mouse Skates?

Whilst the mouse feet should last for a good length of time, they will need replacing and it’ll depend on how frequent a gamer you are. Some notable situations that might mean you need to change your mouse feet are;


Noticeable Catching

When moving the mouse you can feel the bottom catching, or dragging across the mouse pad, causing extra friction.


Worn-down Material

If you have a look at the bottom of your mouse, the feet should be typically white. The signs that the material is wearing down is if you can see ‘black bleeding’ which is the black plastic showing through the mouse feet.


Peeling

The mouse feet are showing obvious signs of peeling away from the base of the mouse. This is caused by liquid (most times sweat) getting into the feet causing them to lose their adhesiveness.


Replacing your Mouse Skates

When you're looking to switch out your skates, you’ll need to choose replacements that fit your specific model of mouse due to each mouse having a different layout on its base where the skates are installed. The exception being brands who use the same mouse chassis for multiple models, but that will be mentioned on the skates product description.

You can pick up new skates from most reputable gaming retailers, but to save you the hassle, you can find some of the best-rated skates on the market for the most popular mouse models in our mouse skates store over here.

Once you have your replacement mouse skates in hand, it's now time to remove your old ones from the base of the mouse. There are a few different methods to do this, but we’ll cover the main, most reliable method (in our opinion):


Method: Hairdryer & Spudger (removal tool)

This method involves using the hairdryer to heat up the glue underneath the mouse feet. Once the glue has been heated long enough, use a spudger (a flat plastic tool with a sharp end) or a knife to scrape underneath the feet to peel them off — be careful if using a knife!

Be careful when using the hairdryer too, as you want to avoid overheating the mouse, which can cause damage to your mouse (plastic melting or warping) and also cause injury to yourself, so proceed with caution.

You can use the spudger or knife on its own without using the hairdryer, especially if you're unsure of how long to heat the feet up by. This may leave traces of glue on the bottom of the mouse however, which will need to be removed before attaching the new mouse feet.


Installing your new skates

Once you have removed all the old skates from the base your mouse, give the surface a clean by using rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl). This will remove any excess adhesive that may still be present. Leave the mouse to dry, and then it's time to apply the new ones.

Almost all aftermarket mouse skates will be a simple case of peeling and sticking onto the mouse, ensuring the feet are applied evenly to prevent any air bubbles from appearing.

Job done.


Which mouse feet are the best?

There are several mouse skate brands out there, so it can be daunting to know which ones are the best. Like most things when it comes to gaming, it's about personal preference. Different brands and models have their own unique feel and can react differently depending on your mouse pad, sensitivity and play style.

Most skates offer less friction to the standard factory-fitted skates, which is a good thing, and allows quicker mouse movements and a smooth glide.


Conclusion

You may have never thought of replacing your mouse skates, or that high-quality replacements were even a thing, but just like any enthusiast gear there's always a way to step things up a notch.

Keeping the factory-fitted skates will do the basic job, but they tend to wear quicker than upgraded skates and for some people, they can feel sticky or scratchy on a range of mouse pads which isn't ideal.

So if  you want a buttery smooth glide and incredible control for improved reaction times and micro movements, it's recommended to upgrade your stock skates to something like the enthusiast-favourite, Tiger Gaming ICE/Arc, for just a few quid and let's you really get the most out of your gaming mouse investment.

We have a community of gamers and enthusiasts who are passionate about getting the most from their setups, so offering the best mouse skates is important to us.

Check out our full range as we're always adding new models, and these couple nicely with mouse grip tape for next-level grip and control - it's certainly worth a look.

If you have question, have any specific model requests, or want to share some of your own pro tips on replacing skates or getting the mouse out of them, don't forget to join the discussion on our Discord community server.