Rock climbing shoes are made to be beaten up. There comes a point in every climber’s life when their shoes will reach a moment when they’ll want to replace them. We’ll review the signs of wear and tear, indicating when you should resole and when to replace climbing shoes.
Resoling Your Climbing Shoes and When to do so
When it’s time to resole your shoes, it will ultimately depend on how much you climb and how good your footwork is. Some people can climb in the same pair of shoes for a year, while others only last a season. There isn’t a set period for when you should resole your shoes, but there are indicators you can use to find out if it’s time for you.
There comes a time in every climber’s life when the toe of their climbing has become rounded, and there is no longer an edge. If your shoes look like this, it’s time for a resole. Climbing shoes aren’t made of very much rubber; they’re only a few millimeters thick, so when your shoes become rounded, you’re gambling with getting a hole in the toe. Don’t fret, though! You can still resole your climbing shoes if you have a hole in the toe, but a cobbler must use a Toe Cap to fix it, which will change the structure of the front of the shoe a little bit and be more expensive to fix. i.e., Your shoes won’t fit the same.
Many beginner climbers aren’t aware of the process of resoling your climbing shoes, so we’re here to tell you that it’s common among climbers to get the most extended life out of your climbing shoes. Some only like how their shoes fit once they’ve been resoled a few times.
There will still be a minor break-in period after you’ve had a pair of climbing shoes resoled. Of course, this won’t be as major as when you first bought your shoes, but know that they might be stiff when you receive them back from a cobbler.
Climbing Shoe Cobblers
When it’s Time to Buy New Shoes
You can only resole your shoes for a while. Sure, you can try, but the mold of the shoe will keep degrading, and it’ll lose its structural integrity. If you’ve resoled a pair of climbing shoes three, maybe four times, and you notice that it isn’t holding up everywhere but the edge, it’s time to grab a new pair.
It’s also a good idea to have a backup pair ready when you plan to have your current pair resoled. There are few climbing shoe cobblers, so wait times will vary depending on the time of year and where you send your shoes. While waiting for them to return, it’s wise to have a backup pair that you can alternate in your rotation. You can keep flip-flopping which shoes you wear, too, so you always have a fresh pair ready to use. When one pair is at the cobblers, break out the new pair, then when those need a resole, break out the resoled pair.
How to Get the Most of Your Climbing Shoes
Improving your footwork is the best way to get the most out of your climbing shoes. It’s a simple solution in theory. Improving your footwork will mean you won’t drag your toes up the wall, fidget around on footholds, and scrape off that precious rubber each time you place your foot. When you master your footwork technique, you’ll notice that your climbing shoes will last longer. Again, this still depends on how much you’re climbing.
- Resole your shoes before you burn a hole through them.
- Always have a backup pair of climbing shoes in your arsenal for when you plan to resole your climbing shoes.
- Improve your footwork.