If your mouse is starting to feel a bit slow, maybe it’s time to replace your mouse feet. Not only do mouse feet wear down over time, but the grooves they sit in can also get gunked up with dust and other particles. Both of these can lead to rougher and slower glide. Thankfully, it’s an easy issue to solve, and our guide to mouse feet replacement will show you how.
How to Replace Your Mouse Feet
Replacing mouse feet (or mouse skates) is a simple task, but it requires finesse and patience to ensure you do it right. Before you start, you’ll want to ensure you have everything you need to complete the job.
- Replacement mouse skates
- Alcohol swabs (or isopropyl alcohol and a microfiber cloth)
- A flat tool for prying your mouse feet off (tweezers, a plastic spudger)
Once you have everything ready, it’s time to get started.
Step 1: Removing Your Old Mouse Feet
First up, remove your old mouse feet. This is a delicate task; you want to remove the feet without damaging the plastic underneath. Ideally, you want to use a dull tool like the plastic spudger from this iFixit Prying and Opening toolkit. Still, I’ve had success with a pair of tweezers or even a small blade.
However, do be careful if you decide to use a sharp tool. Minor scratches in the plastic are fine, but you will feel deep cuts or nicks even after installing new mouse skates. Slow and steady is best here so that you don’t damage the plastic.
To remove the mouse feet, find the groove at the edge of the mouse feet and get your tool underneath. Then slowly pry the skate up until it detaches from the plastic. Once one corner comes unstuck, you can use your fingers to peel the whole skate off.
Some mice will have cutouts to make this easier. For example, the Logitech G Pro X Superlight has a small break in the borders surrounding the mouse feet, which is where I slid my tweezers in:
You can also use a hair dryer to heat the adhesive and make the feet easier to remove. But while it’s helpful, we don’t think you need to rush out and buy one just to do this. Especially not if you’re only replacing the feet on one or two mice. Feel free to use one if you already have it, though.
Watch out for any extra layers underneath the PTFE feet, as you’ll want to remove them too. The G Pro X Superlight has two-layer feet, with sticky black foam underneath the gray PTFE skates. You want to remove this second layer as well to avoid any issues with lift-off distance. You know you’ve got it right when you can see the screws keeping the mouse together.
Step 2: Cleaning Your Mouse
Before applying new feet, you’ll want to clean your mouse to remove dust, oils, and old adhesive. You can use alcohol wipes or soak a microfiber cloth in some isopropyl alcohol; both will do a great job.
The important thing is to remove all the residual glue and prepare the surface for the new mouse skates. It doesn’t have to be pristine, but you should go over each mouse skate area twice to ensure your new mouse skates have a clean surface to adhere to. Try to get rid of all the built-up dust around the groove edges, too.
Step 3: Applying New Mouse Feet
Now, it’s time to grab your replacement mouse feet and apply them. I used a set of Esports Tiger Ice mouse skates, but you can also go for Hyperglide mouse skates or even Superglide glass skates. The process will be the same no matter which brand you go for.
This can be a fiddly task, so it’s once again something you want to take your time with. Remove your feet from the plastic backing and slowly apply them to your mouse. One technique I find useful is focusing on getting one corner (or side) in place first. Once you get it right, the rest of the skate should drop into place cleanly.
Note that you have to get it right the first time, as new mice feet won’t come off cleanly once they’re on. You may want to consider buying a second set of skates to be safe. Companies like Hotline Games actually ship two sets of skates in each package for this very purpose.
That said, I managed to get my Esports Tiger Ice feet on (almost) perfectly the first time around despite being remarkably clumsy. So it’s not too bad.
Some users recommend pushing down hard on your mouse skates and even kneading them to remove air bubbles, but I don’t think that’s necessary. Zowie recommends holding the mouse with both hands and pushing down gently before “glid[ing] the mouse left and right” to bed your new mouse feet in.
That works for me, so that’s what I’d recommend.
Mouse foot replacement may feel intimidating, especially if it’s your daily driver. However, it’s not as bad as it may seem, and the new lease on life it’ll give your mouse is well worth the effort. Don’t rush it, and you’ll be fine.
Does your mouse still feel too slow, even with new mouse feet? Maybe it’s time to clean your mousepad and restore some of that out-of-the-box glide. Check out our guide to cleaning mousepads for more details.