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Should I resole my rock climbing shoes?

You’ve been using your rock climbing shoes for years. You’ve lost count of the number of climbs you’ve done in them. Unfortunately, though, they’ve seen better days. After a lot of use, the soles of our rock climbing shoes can start to wear out, leaving you with the question “should I buy a new pair” or “should I resole my rock climbing shoes”.  At this point a lot of people ask “can I resole them?” and the answer is yes, absolutely!

Damaged Rand on climbing shoes

Should I buy a new pair?

Now, we know what you’re thinking. This website advertises new rock climbing shoes, helping you to find the best pair for you. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned pro, if you fit in all shoes or if you need rock climbing shoes for wide feet. Clearly, this website will suggest buying a new pair. Despite this, we’ve tried to put together as fair of a comparison as possible for you. At  the end of the day, it’s your call.

Advantages

  • You get that “new shoes” excitement. That feeling of opening something new that you want never gets old!
  • You’ll now have a spare pair. If you have bought a new pair then you can keep hold of your old shoes, assuming they’re not too far gone. This can be useful if something happens to your new pair. It can also be useful if you do decide to later go down the resoling route as you won’t have to stop climbing while they’re being resoled.

Disadvantages

  • New shoes can be expensive. Buying yourself a nice new pair of rock climbing shoes can be pricey, especially when you go for a higher end pair.
  • You’ll need to break them in again. One of the great things about rock climbing shoes that you’ve had for years, they’ll fit perfectly. They will have moulded to the shape of your feet and you’ll be used to how they feel. Unfortunately, a new pair of shoes, even the same make, will not fit perfectly straight away, they will need breaking in. For tips on how to do this, you can read our post on how to break in new rock climbing shoes.
  • You have to decide on a new pair. Do you go for the same make as last time? Do you try out a new make/brand? While I know some people love this stuff, personally it falls in the disadvantage pot for me.

Should I resole my rock climbing shoes?

Advantages

  • It’s cheaper. If you go for high-quality rock climbing shoes then buying a new pair can be expensive. You can get your shoes resoled for considerably less than the price of a new pair. That being said, if you buy cheaper rock climbing shoes, then it may not be worth resoling them.
  • You won’t need to break them in again. While the rubber on the bottom will have changed the upper will still be the same. This means if it has previously moulded to your feet, it will still fit beautifully.

Disadvantages

  • They’ll never be quite the same again.
  • The footing will feel different. While climbing, your footing will feel slightly off, to begin with as there will be more rubber. You may feel like that you’re less sensitive for the same reason. Don’t worry though, you’ll get used to this in a few minutes of climbing.
  • Resolers can be hard to find. Unfortunately, your cobbler down the local high street is unlikely to be able to resole your climbing shoes. So unless you’re lucky you will likely have to send your shoes off somewhere to be resoled.
  • Time without your shoes! If your shoes are being resoled then you won’t be able to use them. This is even worse if you had to send them off as it could be weeks until you get them back.

It is worth mentioning that if there is damage to the rand (the point of your shoes) then it might cost more.

Recommendation

This obviously comes down to personal preference but our recommendation is that if you buy high-quality rock climbing shoes then it can be worth looking into resoling your shoes. The reason we suggest this specifically for higher quality shoes is that these will cost a lot more, therefore the cost of resoling is so much smaller than the price of a new pair. If you’re a little more budget constrained for the shoes you buy then by the time you get round to needing to resole them the upper may also be going. If the upper of your shoes is going then it’s time to buy a new pair.

That being said, if you decide to buy a new pair then if your old pair are still usable then if something happens or you decide to get the new pair resoled, you still have the second pair so you can keep climbing.

Where can I get my rock climbing shoes resoled?

As we’ve mentioned above there’s a fair chance there won’t be a resoler near to you. This will likely mean that you will have to send off your shoes to their location to get them resoled. You can speak to the staff at your local climbing gym, they might have a local recommendation. If you’re lucky they may also work with a resoler, which will likely mean you can drop them off and pick them up from the climbing gym, very useful.

If your local gym isn’t able to help then below are a few resolers that might be worth looking into.

Resoling

Source: http://www.planetmountain.com

United Kingdom

The Climbing Academy

Cheshire Shoe Repairs

Feet First

United States

Ramutas Resoles

How do they resole rock climbing shoes

If you’re like me and find it interesting to think about how they resole rock climbing shoes, I’ve included a YouTube video of someone actually resoling a rock climbing shoe. Enjoy!

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