October 26, 2020

When to Resole Climbing Shoes?

by Brad

Are you a passionate climber who likes to go and frequent adventures? If yes, you probably encounter many situations where your shoes seem to wear off in a couple of months after buying them.

As expensive as climbing shoes are, they don’t last too long, especially if you are an adventurous individual.

When the sole of your climbing shoe starts to become thin and weak, the rubber at the front (the rand) also starts to lose its shape. Overall, they don’t look or feel nice. So, what do you do in such a situation? You will have to resole your climbing shoes.

If you don’t know what resoling shoes mean, we’ll discuss everything about when to resole climbing shoes.

Table of Contents

What Is Resoling?

Resoling shoes is precisely what it sounds like – adding new soles to your old shoes. Since soles get worn off with excessive, rugged, or heavy use, you should remove the old ones and add new soles to your climbing shoes.

This hack is pretty much the best way to revive the shoes.

When to Resole Climbing Shoes?

So, how should you know that it’s time to resole your climbing shoes? There are a few apparent signs that hint you to change the soles. When you start to feel like the rubber under your feet is too thin, has rough patches, or tiny holes in it, it is an obvious sign that your shoes need resoling.

First of all, the sole under your big toe will start to wear down. Why? Because climbers use their big toe the most while they’re active.

Thus, this front space within the shoe is affected first. Then, the rand and soles’ thickness will start to vary around the shoe.

In some places, where your foot exerts the most pressure, you’ll feel that the sole is thinner than the rest of the shoe and that rand is coming apart.

On average, the process of wearing down takes about 3 to 9 months after you buy a fresh pair and start using it. After six months, you must take a close look at your climbing shoes to make sure they don’t need resoling.

where to get climbing shoes resoled

Related Article: How Much Does It Cost to Resole Climbing Shoes?

How to Resole Climbing Shoes?

You don’t have to resole your shoes at home. Resoling professionals are sitting in various areas of your city that can do the job for you and do it better than you.

You can submit your shoes to them, send them in, and receive the shoes looking good as new in a couple of days.

However, if you still want to do it yourself, or if you’re just curious about how resoling is done, below you can read about the process of resoling climbing shoes.

There are two categories of resoling climbing shoes

  • In the half sole repair, you remove the front (worn out) rubber. Then, you replace this old rubber with a new one.
  • Rand repair refers to the fixing of the toe cap. Even though it’s not technically the sole, and you can’t precisely call it resoling, the rand is also a part of the process most of the time. See, when your shoes start to wear off, their rand becomes affected as well.

Remember, if you want to do it yourself, you must have the proper repair kit for climbing shoes. After repairing, you can read about how to clean your climbing shoes.

The kit for resoling climbing shoes includes the following items

  • A cutting tool that is sharp enough to help you penetrate and move through the rubber.
  • A significant heat source, like a heat gun or hairdryer.
  • Sandpaper (or electric sander).
  • Pliers.
  • A hammer wrapped up in cloth or a rubber mallet.

Once you have the kit for resoling ready, here are the steps you need to take to resole your climbing shoes

  • Select and mark the area where you want to cut the sole. The flex spot on the shoe’s sole is the standard reference point.
  • Then, use your selected heat source and use it until the glue and rubber become soft.
  • Peel the rubber away using pliers.
  • Now that the rubber is out of the way target the heat directly towards the glue.
  • Once the glue is mostly soft and gone, use sandpaper to remove any residual dry glue.
  • Use the rubber you just removed and create a template. Doing this will help you cut the exact size of the new rubber.
  • Use glue to attach this new rubber to the shoes.
  • Use contact cement of heavy-duty power to attach the rubber to the shoe.
  • Now, it’s time to use the rubber mallet. It will help you make sure the sole is firmly stuck to the shoe.
  • Allow the cement to dry before you try wearing the footwear.
  • If you notice overlapping rubber, you can use the electric sander for sanding it down.
  • That’s it! The shoes are ready.

What to Do With Old Climbing Shoes

If you think your climbing shoes are old now, there are plenty of things you can do instead of throwing them away in the trash.

Related Article: How Tight Should be Climbing Shoes?

You can do the following things with your old climbing shoes

  • Resole them and use them further.
  • Recycle them if they’re too worn out.
  • Donate them if they’re slightly worn out but you don’t want to use them anymore.
  • Sell them if they still look good. You can even resole climbing shoes first to increase their life and usability. Then, you can sell them.
When to Resole Climbing Shoes

Where to Get Climbing Shoes Resoled

To find where to get your climbing shoes resoled, you’re going to have to do some research. Go onto Google maps and look for the nearest re-soler in your area.

Then, search up reviews (if any) and make sure you pick a resoling professional who is reliable and affordable.

Related Article: How to Choose Climbing Shoes?

How Much Does It Cost to Resole Climbing Shoes?

Resoling climbing shoes can cost anywhere from 40 to 50 dollars, depending on the shoe type and where you get it done. Doing this at the right time can add more than six months of life to your shoes.

This affordability is a popular reason why climbers prefer to resole their shoes instead of buying new ones.

A brand new high-quality pair of climbing shoes can cost more than 100 dollars at a time. So, resoling sounds like a steal, doesn’t it?

Related Article: A List of the Best Climbing Shoes Under $100 dollars

When to Resole Climbing Shoes [FAQ]-p

Final Thoughts on When to Resole Your Climbing Shoes

Resoling is a practical, popular, and affordable way to add more life to your climbing shoes.

The resoling procedure we have described in this article only takes a few hours or a couple of days, but it can help you obtain your money’s worth from your climbing shoes. We all know how expensive they can be.

Hopefully, all the information above will help you understand how to resole climbing shoes.

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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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