The 411 on Climbing Shoe Resoling

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Brand new climbing shoes versus a pair that have seen better days.

Climbers’ opinions on resoling really run the gamut. At your local gym you’ll find a climber who’s resoled the same pair of shoes three times climbing alongside someone who would rather buy a brand new pair every time their shoes feel a little worn out. I personally fall somewhere in the middle, usually resoling a pair once and then only using them as a gym shoe. If you’re new to climbing and have no idea what I’m talking about, trust me, in 6 months when your edges are worn down and the rubber on your climbing shoes is wearing thin, you’ll be asking yourself, “Do I really want to drop another $150 on shoes or should I get these babies resoled for a whole lot less?” Today I’ll give you my thoughts on resoling, a few recommendations on when and where to resole, and a chance to WIN A FREE RESOLE from Ramuta’s Resoles.

Here at Crux Crush we’ve gotten a lot of questions about when to resole your shoes. The only real rule is to get it done before you wear through the rand. What is rand, you ask? It’s the rubber on the toe of your climbing shoe, which happens to be the part of the shoe that gets the most action and thus usually wears out first. To ensure that your shoe comes back as close to the original shape and fit as the original you’ll want to get them resoled before you have holes here. Besides rand wear, if your edges are becoming very round and slick or if you can feel the rubber getting thin under your foot then it’s likely time for a new sole.

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Both shoes have rand wear, but the pair on the right likely cannot be repaired.

Now, let’s talk resoling pros and cons. Starting off the pros column is that you’re saving upwards of $100 by not having to buy a new pair of shoes. Depending on how much work your shoes need a resole will usually run you between $30 and $50. You’re also conserving in general by only replacing what is necessary (the sole) and hanging on to the body of the shoe, which likely has some life left in it. The downside is that your shoe will never be “just like new” again. This is just a fact you’ll have to accept. It’s difficult to replicate the exact sole of the original shoe, but more importantly the body of the shoe has likely broken in and changed over time, so the new rubber is ultimately being put on a different shoe than the original. Personally, I only resole a shoe once. By the time they’re ready for a second resole the body of the shoe is usually very worn, so a second resole will result in a very, very different shoe from the original. However, some climbers I know will resole two or even three times before finally calling it quits on the shoe.

You may have a resoling company nearby, but most likely you’ll have to ship your shoes out for resoling. Most climbing gyms also work with a resoling company to help you out with the process. Once you’ve shipped them out you can usually expect to have them back in 2-3 weeks, so the turn around is relatively quick. I’ve had mine resoled by Ramuta’s Resoles out in Montana and have been really happy with the results. Turns out that you can try them out too… for free! Here’s how to win your resole from Ramuta’s: 1) Follow @cruxcrush on Instagram 2) Post a picture showing us why you deserve a free resole 3) Tag it #cxcresole and we’ll pick our favorite by Friday 01/24/14. A few other companies that we suggest checking out are The Rubber RoomRock and Resole, and Yosemite Bum Resoles. (This contest has ended. Thanks for participating and congrats to our winner!)

Ultimately, whether or not to resole comes down to personal preference based on a number of factors including how picky you are about your climbing shoes, how quickly you beat them up, and how much money you want to drop on a new pair. So, where do you lie on the resoling spectrum? Ponder that while you give this video a watch.

Climb on!
Mary

Photo credit: www.rubberroomresoles.com

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6 thoughts on “The 411 on Climbing Shoe Resoling

  1. Eric says:

    Don’t forget New England Resoul (http://newenglandresoul.com), right in our own backyard! In addition to their competitive pricing and great service, they offer pick-up and drop-off at several local gyms including MetroRock and Boston Rock Gym.

  2. Josh says:

    I was about to send my “gym” shoes out for a resole, when I thought to look on Craigs List. I found a “once used” pair of shoes that would do great for a gym only shoe for about the same as a resole.

    I’m still contemplating sending the first pair out, but probably only if I can’t find another deal like that.

  3. Another thing to keep in mind is that the quality of the shoe will determine how well it will take a resole. I have a pair of Katana laces I have resoled three times and they are still a go-to shoe for me outside. A lower quality shoe wont hold up so well over time. Personally I’ll keep resoling a shoe until it completely blows out or I give it away, just seems wrong to get rid of a shoe that mostly still works fine.

  4. Keith says:

    I have serious issues with the way that most resoles change the intrinsic shape of the shoe. Ramuta and Rock and Resole have managed to keep the crazy cup-like shape of my solutions through a resole (I’ve also heard that rubber room is good). Other times (from other companies), I’ve gotten the shoe back and it’s effectively turned into a flat-lasted slipper. No bueno. So props to you guys for giving away a quality resole.

  5. […] this week, the ladies over at Crux Crush got people talking about resoling with this post.  An interesting topic and one that climbers have strong opinions about I’m sure.  I happen […]

  6. Ruby says:

    Lost Soles Climbing in Houston Texas do a great job of keeping the shape of down turned shoes and creating a great edge. I’ve had a pair of shoes resoled six months ago and climb pretty regularly and they are still in good shape.

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