When Do I Resole My Climbing Shoes and Is It Worth It?




When Do I Resole My Climbing Shoes and Is It Worth It?

How Do I Know if my Climbing Shoes Need to be Resoled?

If you climb regularly, then 5 months is a reasonable life for a pair of climbing shoes. The time to get them resoled is when the edges are gone, edging performance is poor, and the seam between the sole and the rand has receded downward significantly. Try to catch this before the sole rubber is thin where it meets the rand, and before you actually wear a hole in the rand. If the rand has thinned enough, it’ll make rand repair essential.

How long can I go on resoling my shoes?

Eventually the mold of the shoe will degrade enough that it will lose its structural integrity. If you've resoled a pair of climbing shoes three, maybe four times, and you notice that they just aren’t holding up (except for the edge), it's time for a new pair.

Is it worth it to resole climbing shoes?

Absolutely! New climbing shoes are expensive, and replacing rather than repairing is just not sustainable. By replacing the soles with fresh rubber, and by this we mean really only the toe of the shoe, you can restore your shoe's grip and improve your ability to climb for a fraction of the cost of new shoes. In addition to the expense, new climbing shoes require time to break in (10 uses, more or less), which can impact your comfort and performance on the wall.

The best part of resoling is that you can choose the rubber you want.

Resoling Climbing Shoes: What's involved in restoring grip & performance? 

Here's an overview of the process: expect a 1-2 week turnaround

Assessment: determine if they need resoling. This involves inspecting the extent of wear on the rubber sole, checking for any damage to the shoe's construction, and ensuring that the upper is still in good condition.

Cleaning: remove dirt, grime, and any remaining adhesive from the old sole. This helps ensure proper adhesion of the new sole and improves the overall quality of the work.

Sole Removal: the old rubber sole is carefully removed from the climbing shoes using specialized tools. This process can involve peeling, scraping, or grinding away the old sole to expose the underlying shoe construction.

Prep: once the old sole is removed, the shoe's surface is prepared for the new sole. This involves roughening or sanding the shoe's surface to improve adhesion, as well as cleaning and degreasing to ensure a strong bond between the shoe and the new sole.

Resoling: the new rubber sole is applied to the climbing shoe using a high-strength adhesive. The sole is carefully positioned and pressed onto the shoe's surface to ensure proper alignment. Excess adhesive is removed, and the sole is allowed to cure and bond with the shoe.

Trimming and Finishing: once the adhesive has cured, any excess rubber from the new sole is trimmed away to match the shape of the shoe. The edges of the sole are smoothed or beveled for a clean finish.

Quality Control: the climbing shoes are inspected to ensure that the new sole is properly attached, securely bonded, and free from defects. Any remaining traces of adhesive or debris are cleaned, and the shoes are ready for use.

It's important to note that resoling climbing shoes should be done by skilled professionals with experience in shoe repair and resoling. They can tell you if your shoes are suitable for resoling and to determine the best resoling options for your specific shoes. You can find reputable individuals and companies on the internet or by asking around your climbing community. A less than pro job can potentially compromise the performance and safety of your shoes. Climb on!

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