Surface wear is one of the major causes of damage to wire ropes in multilayer winding systems. This damage leads to performance degradation and affects the service safety of wire rope. To reveal the wear evolution and the performance degradation of wire rope in service, the correlations between the wear characteristic parameters and the residual strength were investigated. The results show that the variation in the wear parameters is affected by the wear distribution and the structure of the wire rope. The main wear mechanisms between wire ropes are adhesion wear and abrasive wear. Different wear parameters should be combined to evaluate the wear state of the wire rope. The tensile temperature rise could accurately reflect the wear evolution of the in-service wire rope under the condition of a large wear degree. The negative correlation between the residual strength and the wear area of the damaged rope samples is the strongest.