• Proper storage of your climbing shoes is crucial. Never store your shoes wet. After every session, be sure to take them out of your pack so they can dry.
• Avoid exposure to direct sunlight. If they get saturated and funky over time, you can use a light disinfectant spray or you can try some newspaper balled up inside of the shoes to help gradually absorb excess moisture.
• Keeping your shoes as clean as possible will also extend their life. If possible, avoid doing any approaches or descents while wearing your climbing shoes.
• If your shoes do get caked with mud or dust, you can use a damp cloth to wipe off any debris or gunk. Then, you can freshen the rubber up by lightly cleaning the shoes with rubbing alcohol.
• The most important thing to remember when cleaning and storing your shoes is to avoid exposure to excessive heat or cold. Significant changes in temperature will affect the leather or fabric uppers as well as weaken the glue that bonds the different components of the shoe together. Never leave your shoes in your car. Store them in a cool, dry place with the rest of your climbing gear.
• Additionally, focusing on good footwork while climbing can go a long way in reducing the wear on your shoes. While you warm up, and throughout your session, think about keeping your feet as silent as possible. This pro tip will also improve your technique.
As you break in your climbing shoes, be sure to periodically check the overall condition of the rubber rand and high wear zones. Most often the tip of the toe is the first area to wear thin. Here is a visual of a new shoe, and here is one that is close to being worn through A thin spot can appear, but the area where the two pieces of rubber are glued together may also begin to separate, indicating need for a resole.
Rounding of the shoe edges is to be expected as you wear them over time. This is normal. However, once your edges become very rounded the shoes performance can decrease. Other signs of wear include rubber pitting, or pock marks. Abrasions can appear on the straps and eyelets which may be a result of heel hooking, jamming and other common techniques.
WHEN TO RE-SOLE/AUTHORIZED COBBLER INFO:
There are many factors that affect when you should get your shoes resoled. How much you are climbing as well as the style and rock type are two major factors. Sharp and coarse-grained rock, like sandstone and limestone, can wear your shoes faster than smooth and polished granite. Though you may not expect it, climbing in the gym is typically very hard on your shoes and can wear them rapidly.
Generally, we recommend you get a resole when your shoe rubber is about 80% worn. If you get your shoes resoled early and often, you can extend the life of the shoe and obtain the most number of resoles. If you wait until there is a hole through the sole, rand, or the upper material, then the re-sole will be more expensive, and the structure of the shoe may be compromised during the resole process. Some resolers may even decline to work on the shoes if they’re in poor condition.
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