5 Ways To Make Your Climbing Shoes Last Longer

Climbing shoes are one of the single biggest investments you will make as a climber and the odds are that if you're climbing regularly, you'll go through at least one pair a year! However, if you don't look after your shoes properly, you could well be replacing them far more often than is necessary.

With that in mind here are five simple tips to help you get a little more mileage out of your shoes.

1. Get the right shoes for the Job

This might seem like an obvious point, but it's amazing how many people overlook it (and how quickly they go through their shoes as a result). Don’t get yourself some super-tight, downturned, pointy things if you plan on climbing multi-pitch trad routes all day. Apart from being exceptionally uncomfortable, your pointy shoes won’t stay pointy for long if you're constantly standing flat footed on big ledges. Similarly, if you buy a shoe that is too small for you, you may find they wear out faster, especially the rubber around the toe.

If you're unsure about what shoes would best suit your climbing or how tight you should be sizing, you can get expert advice from one of our Gear Geeks in the EpicTV Shop.

Right Shoes for the Job

2. Keep them clean

If all that fancy rubber is caked in dirt then it does no good for the rock, the longevity of the rubber itself or (most importantly) your climbing. Sometimes it’s impossible to keep your soles completely dirt free, but you should certainly try to give them a quick scrub before you set off on a route. There are plenty of ways to do this and many people carry beer towels or bits of carpet to the crag to help them clean their shoes before leaving the ground.

As far as I'm concerned though, the best way to clean dirt off your shoes while at the crag is to spit on them and rub in the saliva with the palm of your hand. It sounds pretty grim but I promise you it works! 

Keep them Clean

3. Those boots ain’t made for walking

So don’t be walking around in them! The natural motion of walking will stretch your climbing shoes in ways they weren’t designed to stretch rendering them useless in double fast time. This is especially important to consider if your climbing shoes have an asymmetric shape. 

As well as taking your shoes off between climbs outside, try to take them off more often when you're training indoors too. You don't need them on for campus board training after all! If you're multi-pitching, rap off rather than walking down or carry approach shoes with you for the walk off.

Not made for Walking

4. Let them breathe

Cultivating pungent climbing shoe aromas is a fine art, but it won’t do your shoes any favours. Your climbing shoes would greatly appreciate being given some air after climbing sessions so try not to be lazy and leave them in your bag. After all, they have been hugging your smelly feet for hours, surely it’s the least you can do?

Permanently damp climbing shoes can actually start to decay so try leaving them somewhere cool and dry. Be careful not to leave them out in the sun though as the heat can cause the rubber to warp.


5. Resole

Even if you follow all of these suggestions, the day will come when your much-loved climbing shoes will start to show their years. If you're not willing to part with them just yet, then luckily there is a solution. Resoling is a great and economical way to essentially make your old shoes brand new. As well as this, you can also mix things up a little and ask to have a different brand of rubber than you had on your original shoe. Imagine Stealth rubber on your Miura VS! 


Do you have your own tricks for helping your shoes last longer? Let us know in the comments!

Comments (1)

tryclimbing's picture
Perhaps you have just taken an interest in rock climbing, or you have been a long time climber and you need to replace your old, worn-out shoes. Either way, you are going to want to make sure that you find the best pair of shoes for your needs. visit my blog: https://tryclimbing.com
11th May 2017
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