How to Repair Climbing Shoes

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How to Repair Climbing Shoes

Rock climbing has grown in popularity amongst health and fitness enthusiasts who enjoy the challenge of navigating steep inclines replete with rocks of all shapes and sizes. Although highly advanced rock climbing requires the purchase ofsporting goods equipment, such as rappelling devices and carabiners, most rock climbers simply need a sturdy and pliable pair of climbing shoes. The shoes should protect feet and ankles from severe injuries. Even with tremendous quality and durability, climbing shoes inevitably fall into some type of disrepair. Before attempting to repair climbing shoes, rock climbers should first learn about the parts that form the shoe, as well as learn how to resole climbing shoes.

The Parts of Climbing Shoes

Before they attempt to repair climbing shoes, rock climbers should possess a thorough understanding of the parts that comprise the outdoor shoes. Because of physical pressure, some climbing shoe parts fall into disrepair quicker than others.




The bottom layer of the shoe

Provides the friction to climb rocky surfaces

Typically wears out quicker than any other climbing shoe part


Rubber layer located just above the sole

Runs around perimeter of shoe

Highly durable materials prevent premature cracking


Flap that covers shoe interior

Folds to conform to shin shape

Does not produce pressure points


Located at the back of the shoe

Should snugly cup the foot's heel

Increases climber height

Typically lasts longer than other parts of the shoe

Heel loop

Tightens shoes for climbing steep rocks

Helps climbers fit comfortably into the shoe

Some manufacturers construct climbing shoes with an outside heel loop


Absorbs impact with the feet and ankles

Increases the rate of moisture evaporation

Tends to deteriorate rapidly after frequent use


Most climbing shoes have punched holes reinforced with metal grommets to prevent lace tears

Shorter than average lifespan

Outdoor enthusiasts choose among a wide variety of climbing shoes that vary by shape and design. Yet, the one common denominator that remains involves manufacturer diligence to constructing high-quality and very durable shoes. However, even the most rugged pair of climbing shoes eventually succumbs to enough damage to prompt climbers to perform repair jobs.

Resoling Climbing Shoes

By far, the sole represents the most frequently repaired part of a climbing shoe. The frequency of sole repair jobs means climbers have numerous resources to use for their repair jobs. They can save money if they know when to resole climbing shoes and how to restore the sole to full functionality.

When Is It Time to Resole?

Rock climbers should watch for wear and tear in three areas of the sole. They need to monitor closely the section of the sole that meets the rand. Since rock climbing places a high amount of stress on the ball of the foot, rock climbers should watch for signs of deterioration in the ball section of the sole. Finally, they should pay close attention to the toe section of the sole, which usually becomes the first casualty of climbing shoe sole wear and tear. The damage signs that rock climbers should look for include separation, jagged edges, and pockmarks on the rubber. Catching the early signs of damage only requires simple application of outdoor shoe adhesive to set the errant rubber sections back in place.

How to Resole

Rock climbers that are adept at using hand tools should have little or no problem resoling their climbing shoes. They need to organise climbing shoe rubber, glue, a hammer, a power drill that includes an 8 cm grinding wheel, a utility knife, and a heat lamp. Thedrill allows climbers to remove stubborn rubber sections, the hammer pressed against the rubber forms a secure rubber attachment, and the utility knife helps remove excess glue that seeps from under the applied rubber. Rock climbers can take the easy way out and request that a cobbler resole their climbing shoes. However, turnaround times can prevent rock climbers from enjoying their favourite outdoor activity for up to one month. Rock climbers can request half-sole replacements, which shortens turnaround times.

Types of Rubber

The key to successful climbing shoe repair lies in knowing which type of rubber to use for addressing sole or other shoe part problems. From the hardest to softest rubber, climbers choose from Boreal Fusion, Vibram XSV, Vibram Megabyte, Stealth C4, and Stealth 2. Softer rubber provides more movement flexibility, but it does a poor job of protecting feet from abrasions. Harder rubber typically lasts longer, but it does not provide enough friction for steep rock climbs. Seasoned rock climbers tend to select climbing shoes with softer rubber.

How to Buy Climbing Shoes on eBay

The most prevalent climbing shoe repair job requires rock climbers to resole the bottom of their shoes. The soles take a beating from constant pounding and bending, even if manufacturers produce the hardest type of rubber. Rock climbers can resole the shoes themselves and save money and time, or take the shoes into a cobbler and wait a bit longer to resume their favourite outdoor activity. Unsalvageable climbing shoes mean rock climbers must shop on eBay for a new pair of shoes. You should type buying criteria keywords into eBay's search engine to receive a short list of seller candidates. For example, you can search for climbing shoes by condition, such as new in box or pre-owned .

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