How do I know if my climbing shoes are worn out?
Once your sole is worn through and you start climbing on the rand, your shoe won't be functioning as it's supposed to anymore. In between the sole and the rand is a visible line where the sole was added. Keep an eye on this line — it's what determines how worn your shoes are and whether you're due for a resole.
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.
- Keep Your Shoes Clean:
- Only Wear Them While Climbing:
- Keep Climbing Shoes Out of the Sun:
- Proper Storage:
- Wear Shoes Properly:
- Ensure You Have the Correct Fit:
As a general rule, climbers should only buy aggressive shoes when they can consistently boulder at least V4 and have over 1 year of climbing experience. Aggressive climbing shoes will help climbers send highly technical bouldering problems that require precise footwork on tiny foot holds.
On average – assuming you climb once or twice a week – climbing shoes should last around 3-9 months. At this point the toe box normally has enough wear to need a resole and possibly toe rand work. There are many things that affect this. But if you get them resoled in time – they're good to go again!
Depending on how often and intensely you're climbing, climbing shoes last, on average, three to nine months. At this point, the rubber and rand begin to wear thin and holes form. Once this happens, it's best to stop wearing them and determine if it's best to repair or replace them.
Socks can help reduce chafing. If your shoes are causing you pain in some high-rubbing areas, a thin pair of socks can help reduce friction and will add a layer of protection. A pair of socks can help break in, and stretch, a pair of climbing shoes.
Climbing shoes should last about 3-9 months if you climb once or twice a week. Your shoes can last up to two years if you are a casual climber who only climbs once every few months. It also depends on which routes you take. Routes that are more difficult will cause your shoes to wear out faster.
- tearing/damage or cracking of the rubber (sole, heel or toe)
- delamination of the sole.
- severe wear/tearing of the upper.
Climbing shoes should be replaced once they're worn out, or once the rubber gets glossy and hard (oxidization). Keep them clean and practice good footwork and they will last longer, and resole them before you start to wear through the rand.
Should my toes be bent in climbing shoes?
Curled toes are stronger than flat toes and will help you stand on small foot holds. You never want your toes to be so curled that it feels like you're standing on your toenails – that's a sure sign that your shoes are too small.
Climbing Shoe Storage
All the shoe manufacturers agree on one thing: don't leave your climbing shoes in the sun. Sunlight, extreme heat, and extreme cold can all cause shoes to degrade.
Climbing shoes above $200 usually have softer rubber for more grip on small holds. This means that the outer sole will wear down more quickly due to scuffing of the toes against the wall. The shape of the shoes also have a more aggressive downturn to support your body weight on small holds.
In general, Rock Climbing requires tight shoes. A heel loop can help you to fit your feet in your shoes. Some models have subsidiary loops near the heel loop.
Alex Honnold's climbing shoes of choice are the La Sportiva TC Pros which are the Tommy Caldwell signature shoes. In the “Free Solo” documentary, Honnold climbed the Freerider on El Cap wearing TC Pros the entire way. These shoes were designed by Tommy Caldwell specifically for granite big wall climbing in Yosemite.
A shoe last is simply the 3D mould any shoe is built around. This simple – yet crucial – tool will ultimately determine everything to do with the shoe's shape including the width, downturned profile, or asymmetric nature.
We recommend you get your pair either the same size as your street shoe size or half a size smaller (in US sizes).
Even if your harness has been properly stored and/or used and it shows no visible damage, you should retire it if it is more than seven years old. If you're a climbing professional such as a mountain guide, or you climb full-time, you should retire your harness as early as one year after its first use.
If you have a small hole in the toe or sole of your climbing shoes, a shoe repair kit will work best. Many climbers may use glue, like Shoe Goo, Barge Cement, rubber glue, or even super glue. In this situation, cover both sides of the holes with glue, smooth it out, and then let it dry completely.
Aggressive. These shoes have very downturned toes and lots of heel tension to put your feet in a strong and powerful position for challenging overhanging climbs. Most aggressive shoes have an asymmetric shape that curves toward the big toe, focusing power over the toe for precise placements on small holds.
How do I make my climbing shoes less slippery?
1) Warm them up
All climbing shoe soles are made of a rubber compound that will become sticker when heated. If it's a sunny day, leaving your shoes out for a bit will definitely help with friction, just make sure not to leave them in the sun too long or the glue will start to melt and the rubber will warp.
Climbing shoes should be tight but not excessively painful around your toes. To make sure you're able to trust foot placements and feel secure inside the shoe, your toes should feel slightly compressed in the rubber toe box, but not painfully so! The shoe should fit to your heel well, with no wiggle room in the heel.
Climbing shoes should feel snug all around your foot, without gaps or dead space that will reduce sensitivity. Gaps around the heel or under the arch can cause the shoe to slip and slide around when you heel hook or cam your toes into a crack. Beware of shoes that are too short.
How many times can I resole my climbing shoes? If resoled early enough, a shoe can be resoled up to five or six times. Realistically though, you are more likely to resolve once or twice before retiring them for good.
What is the rand of a climbing shoe? The rand of a climbing shoe is the supporting rubber that is around the sides and toe of your shoe, which the climbing rubber is attached to. This layer of rubber wraps around from the top to the bottom of the shoe to help maintain the shoe shape and characteristics.