Shanatomy, No. 7

Now, if you use your climbing shoes, which I assume you are doing, they’re eventually going to wear out at the places where you use them most, like the toes, for example.  This Shanatomy is going to talk about resoling your shoes.

Resoling is done by professional resolers throughout the country, but there are a few that are pretty big.  Take The Rubber Room, for example, in Colorado.  They know their business and are official resolers for several of the most popular European brands, such as La Sportiva and Scarpa.  Their turn-around time is sometimes eight weeks (that’s eight weeks that you’ll be using your back-up pair of shoes that you bought specifically for this kind of event in your climbing life), but they do a great job, I hear.  Many climbers seem to think so!

So what is a “resole”?  A resole is grinding off the sole rubber of the front half or so of the bottom of your shoe and replacing that rubber with either the same type of rubber that it originally came with or a rubber of your choice.  If the rand (that thin piece of rubber that extends up around the shoe about an inch to an inch and a half or so) needs replacing, then that’s an extra charge, but it, too, can often be repaired.  As far as choosing your rubber, many resolers will give you the option.  Check their websites or call them and find out before assuming that they do, though.

Warning!!!  There is a point past which there is no return for a climbing shoe to be resoled!!!  If you’ve worn clear through the toe, for instance, and can stick your big toe through that hole, or even see it, then that’s a really bad sign.  You’ve worn through the internal layers of the shoe and there is little hope that it can be repaired.  If it can be repaired, it may not last as long as it might have had you stopped using it and gotten it resoled at the proper time in its life.  The time to get a shoe resoled is when it’s wearing thin in a spot or two, such as the toe or the edge, and/or your rand is getting worn, either due to the way the climbing shoe has been used or due to the rubber sole being so thin that it’s almost non-existent.  Keep that rand safe! It’ll save you some money on the resole and it’ll save your shoe for a longer life of climbing!!!  Check your shoes when you buy them – take a photo, even – and compare your shoes to the photo once in a while to see how they’re looking.  Pay attention to how they feel.  Heck, just look at them and you should be able to tell when they need resoled!  If all the rubber’s gone off the toe, it needs a resole!!!

If you resole your shoes when they should be resoled, you can get up to three resoles out of that pair of climbing shoes.  That’s at least $400 in your pocket right now for high-end, high-performance shoes!!!  You won’t have to do much breaking-in the second and third resole around, either!  That’s a major advantage to resoling your climbing shoes!  So, be kind to those expensive climbing shoes of yours, take care of them, resole them when it’s time, have a back-up pair, and save yourself some time, money, and agony! Get your shoes resoled!!!

I hope this is helpful.  This is a much-talked-about subject in the climbing community, but it isn’t always something that beginners (or veterans, for that matter) know about doing.  Until next time, climb on!!!  Or get your shoes resoled if they need it…

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