April 12, 2021

How to Shrink Climbing Shoes

by Bernice

Table of Contents

How do you shrink climbing shoes? If there is something worse than having a big climbing shoe, it is too big for you. Big climbing shoes might be a little bit comfortable, but they might not be the best for rock climbing. Below are some ways on how to shrink climbing shoes.

Several people find that their shoes have stretched over time. Some lose weight, and their feet become smaller. Buying new climbing shoes now and then might be a little bit expensive. 

That’s why many people ought to shrink their shoes. Below are a few steps of common ways of shrinking climbing shoes. These methods are best for leather shoes. For those using synthetic shoes, they don’t have a lot of options. 

Can You Shrink Climbing Shoes

How Can You Shrink Climbing Shoes?

Let us take a look at some of the ways you can shrink your shoes. 

Wash them

There is no doubt that your shoes tend to shrink after every wash. For this method to work, ensure that you don’t wear your shoes until they are completely dry. This way, your shoes are likely to take up the shape of your feet. 

Many people have noted success with this kind of method when trying to shrink their rock climbing shoes. This method, however, varies from one person to the other. Some shoes might remain shrunk, but others expand only after one wear. Consider washing your shoes to shrink them; you might see that it works. 

Use Newspapers

The next and most effective way of shrinking your rock-climbing shoes is by placing newspapers inside the shoes every hour after you have washed them. Ensure that the newspapers are changed after every hour to enjoy the benefits. 

This method might get people talking, but at least some people have found success trying it. Remember, if you decide to go with this method, you will be required to change the newspapers after every hour while waiting for the shoes to dry.

How to Shrink Rock Climbing Shoes

Please leave them in the heat

If you are from a usually hot and sunny state, it is effortless to shrink your climbing shoes as you can just be leaving them outside for a few hours. Do not place them under direct sunlight, as this will make them fade. 

When we say you should leave your shoes in the heat, we mean a natural heat form. Do not place your shoes in the oven, microwave, or dryer. This might cause severe damages. 

Using appliances like an oven might cause the emission of harmful fumes. For example, the stench comes from a heated rubber sole. If you do this, you will be forced to get a new pair.

The dryer gives off a lot of heat that, again, will melt your sole. This might lead to the emission of dangerous and toxic fumes. The point is, only use the natural form of the heat-the sun. 

Wear socks

If none of the above methods work for you, the most straightforward approach would be to put on a pair of socks when wearing your climbing shoes. It is one of the most straightforward solutions, other than having to wash your shoes over and over, which in the end, makes them worn out. 

Can You Shrink Rock Climbing Shoes

To some, wearing rock climbing shoes with a pair of socks doesn’t seem remarkable. A pair of socks will make you feel comfortable. It is the most accessible solution, especially if you are in a hurry and can’t find old newspapers.


Buying climbing shoes that are of your size is not always the solution. Sometimes shoes expand and become loose. If you have leather rock climbing shoes, you are on luck because you can use the methods listed above to shrink your shoes. 

Leather shoes stretch over time. You could save yourself some money by simply getting a synthetic pair of shoes. Or, buy a pair of nice socks and always wear them if you feel like your shoes are too big. Socks are great; ensure your shoes are not way larger than your feet. 

If the shoe is too big, you need a new pair; even a pair of socks won’t do much at this point. To save yourself some money, you can sell the bigger pair to a friend or family to get a smaller one.

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About the author 


Bernice often jokes that she is better at climbing than walking. With avid parents of climbing, her first encounter with the high vertical rock walls was at the age of one. Her favorite style of climbing is bouldering.

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