by Brad

October 15, 2020

Climbing Shoes Advice How to Clean Climbing Shoes

In case you have climbing shoes, you must know the fact that it is quite challenging to maintain them, given that they are exposed to grime and dirt. Apart from this, sweat can lead to a bad smell, leading to germs, and ailments.

The dirty shoes can prove to be an obstacle to your climbing since they can cause accidents by slipping. In this article, we have mentioned some surefire guidelines on how to clean climbing shoes.

First of all, we will look at how to prevent your climbing shoes from getting dirty. Read our guide on how to choose the best climbing shoes for wide feet.

How to Keep Your Climbing Shoes Clean

Step 1: Wash your feet

Before putting your feet in your climbing shoes, make sure that they are dry and clean. It is particularly important if you are not putting on socks since bacteria might enter into the footwear from the feet.

Moreover, if you are climbing without wearing warm socks, you tend to sweat, and bacteria might cause fungus by entering into the shoes.

Fungi thrive in moisture, and therefore, make sure to keep your feet dry while putting on the climbing shoes, which will prevent you from getting Athlete’s Foot.

How to Clean Climbing Shoes

Step 2: Store the climbing shoes in an open area

It is quite important that you do not store the climbing shoes in tight corners. The fact is that your feet will be sweating while you are climbing.

They will be sweating a lot. This is going to make your footwear wet, and they will be the perfect breeding area for bacteria.

In case you keep your shoes in the dark and enclosed areas, you are helping bacteria develop more within the shoes.

In case you allow your shoes to become dry in an open area, you will prevent moisture from building up.

Step 3: Take your shoes off between climbs

You might be on your climbing trip, but that does not imply that it is imperative to wear shoes all the time.

In case you are not climbing, make it a point to take the shoes off such that they can air out. This will make them smell better by reducing the moisture.

Step 4: Make use of air fresheners

In case your climbing shoes are beginning to smell, it will be sensible to take some other measures apart from the ones mentioned above.

For instance, deodorizing powders will help eliminate any kind of foul smell from the shoes. Just make sure that they will not damage the human skin by coming in contact.

However, suppose taking any preventative measures is not coming of use to you. In that case, what can you do? Is there any way to clean the climbing shoes, or do you need to purchase a new pair?

Climbing Shoes Advice How to Clean Climbing Shoes

The answer is something that will make you happy in the long run. There is definitely a way to wash your climbing shoes. However, the bad thing is that the process might be somewhat time-consuming.

It is very crucial that while cleaning the climbing shoes, you do not damage the materials, which include the rubber.

You should also take into consideration the materials from which they have been made. Try to figure out whether they’re synthetic. After figuring this out, follow the subsequent washing guidelines mentioned below.

How to Clean Climbing Shoes

Step 1: Always hand wash the shoes

When it comes to climbing shoes, the most effective washing method is to wash them with your own hands.

For this, you will require the proper equipment consisting of water, a bucket, as well as a brush.

Step 2: Make use of warm water

After starting the process of cleaning your climbing shoes, make it a point that the bucket is filled only with warm water.

Do not use any harsh chemical substance or anything which might damage the shoes’ materials.

It will be a sensible idea to add some mild detergent in case you would like to get rid of bacteria and also remove dirt. Take care not to overdo it since it might damage the shoes eventually.

Rock Climbing Shoes Advice How to Clean Climbing Shoes

Step 3: Air dry

After following the guidelines mentioned above, hang your shoes out for drying. Never throw the shoes in the dryer since the heat might shrink and also damage them. If somehow you are interested in shrinking your climbing shoes, learn how to shrink your climbing shoes here.

Instead, hang the shoes so that they can be dried in the open. However, make it a point to check the weather before washing the shoes.

You will not like to clean them in case it is raining outside.


Cleaning your climbing shoes will aid in improving your safety. Hopefully, the guidelines mentioned above will help you to clean your shoes in the best possible way.

Further, you can read our step-by-step guides on how to break into climbing shoes and how tight should climbing shoes be?

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About the author 


Brad is a professional climber in the discipline of traditional climbing. He often jokes that he can get a book to read during the long climbs. Of course, it always goes well with a good cup of coffee. Drinking coffee is his safer hobby.

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