How Long Do Climbing Shoes Last? [Ultimate Guide – 2023]

Authored By Trekking Expert
How Long Do Climbing Shoes Last? [Ultimate Guide – 2023]

Climbing shoes usually last around 6-12 months, depending on how often you wear them, the terrain, and the type of shoe.

If you take good care of your climbing shoes and use them for only light climbing, they can last up to two years.

If you use them for more intense climbing, they may need to be replaced more often.

My experience with climbing shoes has been that they tend to last about a year, but it really depends on how often I use them and the type of shoe.

With proper care and maintenance, I’ve been able to extend the life of my shoes a bit longer.

I will concern about the different things that affect shoe lifespan and how you can make your shoes last as long as possible!

Why Do Climbing Shoes Wear Out?

Climbing Shoes Wear

The main reason why climbing shoes wear out is because of the friction between the shoe and the rock.

This causes the thickest rubber to slowly break down and degrade over time.

The lifespan of your shoes also depends on how often you use them.

If you climb regularly, your shoes will not last as long as someone who only climbs a few times a year.

Climbing shoes are designed to protect your feet and provide traction while you are scaling a rock face.

The soles will become worn down, the uppers will start to tear, and the shoes will generally become less effective at doing their job.

Reasons Why Long Climbing Shoes Wear Out?

There are a few reasons why long climbing shoes wear out.

The soles are made of climbing shoe rubber, which is a relatively soft rubber material.

With repeated use, the soles will start to wear down and become thinner, making them less effective at providing traction.

The uppers of climbing shoes are often made of leather or synthetic high-quality materials, which can also break down over time.

With repeated use, these materials will start to tear and fray, making the shoes less comfortable and less effective at protecting your feet.

New Climbing shoes are a critical piece of gear for any climber, but they are not built to last forever.

With proper care and regular replacement, you can extend the life of your shoes and ensure that you always have a good pair to help you tackle any rock face.

How Can I Make My Shoes Last Longer?

 life of your climbing shoes

There are a few things you can do to help extend the life of your climbing shoes:

  • Use big toe caps or rand guards: This help protects the toe box and sides of your shoes from abrasion.
  • Store your shoes properly: When you’re not using them, store your shoes in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
  • Rotate your shoes: If you have more than one pair of long climbing shoes, rotate them so that each pair gets a break between climbs. This will help prevent too much wear and tear on any one pair.
  • Clean your shoes: After each climb, wipe down your shoes with a damp cloth to remove dirt and grit. This will help extend the life of the softer rubber.

Caring for your climbing shoes is important if you want them to last as long as possible.

How To Get The Most Wear Out Of Your Climbing Shoes?

One way to get the most wear out of your climbing shoes is to sure you break them in properly.

This means wearing them around the house for a few hours at a time, gradually increasing the amount of time you spend on them.

Once they’re broken in, you can start using them for shorter climbs.

Another way to get more wear out of your new shoes is to alternate between two pairs.

This way, you can give each pair a day or two to rest in between uses, which will help them last longer.

Climbing shoes are not cheap, and they definitely don’t last forever.

But with proper care, you can extend the life of your shoes significantly. Here are various tips:

  • Don’t leave them in direct sunlight. The UV rays will break down the outer rubber and make them brittle.
  • Store them in a cool, dry place when you’re not using them. A shoe bag or box is ideal.
  • Don’t wear them outside of the climbing gym. This will not only shorten their lifespan but also increase the chance of injury if you slip on something while walking in them.
  • Inspect your shoes regularly for any signs of wear and tear, such as holes in the toe box or cracks in the rubber.

How Often Should I Replace My Climbing Shoes?

The frequency with which you replace your shoes will depend on how often you use them and the type of climbing you do.

If you climb regularly (several times a week), you will likely need to replace your shoes every few months.

For those who only climb occasionally (once a week or less), shoes can last for six months or more.

The type of high-quality climbing shoes you do will also affect how often you need to replace your shoes.

If you do mostly gym climbing, your shoes will last longer than if you’re doing lots of outdoor bouldering, which tends to be harder on shoes.

What Are The Signs To Tell You It Is Time For A New Shoe?

New Shoe

There are several signs that it might be time for new climbing shoes.

The first sign is usually when the shoes start to feel uncomfortable.

This can be because the shoe has lost its shape, or the padding has worn down.

Another sign is when your feet start slipping while you are climbing.

This can be dangerous and is a sign that the shoe does not have the same grip as it used to.

If you find yourself tripping or slipping more often, it could be a sign that your shoes are no longer providing the support they once did.

If your shoes are no longer making you feel good, it might be time to invest in a new pair.

How Should Climbing Shoes Fit?

Some people like their shoes to fit snug, while others prefer a looser fit.

It also depends on the type of climbing you will be doing.

For example, if you are going to be doing a lot of bouldering, you might want your shoes to be tighter so that you can feel every tiny edge.

If you are going to be doing mostly sports easier climbing, you might want your shoes to be a little bit more comfortable so that you can climb for longer periods of time without getting too sore.

In general, it is best to err on the side of a snugger fit because shoes will stretch out over time.

You don’t want your shoes to be so loose that they are falling off of your feet while you are climbing, but you also don’t want them to be so tight that they are cutting off circulation or causing you a lot of pain.

How Do Size Climbing Shoes?

How Do Size Climbing Shoes

Climbing shoes are important gear for a climber.

It is very important to get a pair of shoes that fit you well because if they don’t it can cause all sorts of problems.

Here we will go over how to size climbing shoes so that you’re getting the right pair.

You need to know your shoe size.

You can do this by measuring your foot with a ruler or tape measure.

Once you have this information, you need to find out what kind of shoe last the company uses.

Shoe lasts are the mold that the shoe is built around, and each company has its own specific lasts.

This is important because it will affect the fit of the shoe.

Once you know your size and the last that the company uses, you can start looking at specific models.

Each model will have a different fit, so it’s important to try on a several pairs before you decide which one is right for you.

Climbing shoes are a very important piece of gear, and it’s worth taking the time to get a pair that fits well.

With a little bit of research, you can find the perfect pair of shoes for your feet.

Do You Wear Socks With Climbing Shoes?

While some feel that socks add extra cushioning and comfort, others find them too hot and sweaty.

Ultimately, it is up to the climber to decide whether or not to wear socks with their shoes.

Assuming you do choose to wear socks with your climbing shoes, you might be wondering how long they will last.

How Do Extend The Life Of Shoes?

Here are a few tips to help prolong the life of your climbing shoes:

  • Don’t leave them in direct sunlight. UV rays can break down the materials and cause the shoes to deteriorate.
  • Don’t store them in a hot or humid environment. This will cause the shoes to become misshapen and may lead to the premature breakdown of the materials.
  • Be careful not to get them wet. If they do get wet, then dry them thoroughly before storing them away.
  • When you’re not using them, store them in a cool, dry place. A shoe bag or box is ideal.

By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your climbing shoes last for many years to come.

How To Clean Climbing Shoes?

Climbing shoes usually last around six to twelve months with regular use, but this number can vary based on how often you climb, the type of shoe, and how well you take care of them.

You can extend the life of your shoes by cleaning them regularly and storing them properly when not in use. Here are some tips on how to shoes clean:

  • Remove any dirt or debris from the surface of the shoe with a soft brush.
  • Wash the shoes in cool water with mild soap. Avoid using hot water or harsh detergents, as these can damage the material.
  • Rinse the shoes thoroughly and allow them to air dry completely before storage.

How To Resoled Climbing Shoes?

Source: Youtube

There are different ways that you can go about climbing shoes resoled, and the best method will ultimately depend on the type of shoe that you have and the severity of the wear and tear.

If you have a shoe with a synthetic sole, then you can simply glue on a new sole using a shoe repair kit.

If you have a shoe with a leather sole, then you will need to first attach a new rand (the rubber strip that goes around the edge of the shoe) before you can glue on a new sole.

If you have a shoe with a significant amount of wear and tear, then you may need to first rebuild the entire sole before you can attach a new one.

This involves removing the old sole, cleaning off any debris, and then attaching a new rand and sole using shoe repair adhesive.

Once the adhesive has dried, you will then need to trim the new sole to the appropriate size.

No matter which method you use, it is important that the new sole is properly attached and that the shoes are not too tight, as this can cause problems when you are climbing.

What To Do With Old Climbing Shoes

1. Donate them: Consider donating your old climbing shoes to a local climbing gym, outdoor store, or climbing charity.

2. Recycle: Many outdoor stores and climbing gyms will accept old climbing shoes for recycling.

3. Repurpose: If your old climbing shoes are still in good shape, you can repurpose them as slip-on shoes for around the house.

4. Craft: Use the rubber from your old climbing shoes to craft jewelry, keychains, or even coasters.

5. Sell: Sell your old climbing shoes online or through consignment stores.

Final Words

You may be surprised to learn that climbing shoes can last for years depending on the type of climbing you do.

Climbing shoes are an important piece of gear for any climber.

How long they last vary depending on how often you climb, the type of climbing you do, and the care you give them.

We believe that this will helped you learn about the lifespan of climbing shoes and how long you can expect to use your favorite pair.

If you have any more questions, please contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do climbing harnesses last?

The manufacturer, use, care, and damage all influence how long a climbing harness lasts. When properly cared for and inspected, a harness in regular usage can last anywhere from 1-3 years. Harnesses with adequate storage but no use have a maximum shelf life of 10 years.

What is special about rock climbing shoes?

Rock climbing shoes are specially designed to help climbers get a good grip on the rock. The soles are made from rubber, which provides good traction. The shoes also have a variety of features that help climbers keep their footings, such as downturned toes and sticky rubber patches. Rock climbing shoes are very lightweight, which helps climbers move more easily up the rock face. All of these features combined make rock climbing shoes an essential piece of gear for anyone serious about the sport.

Which climbing shoes are for beginners?

For beginner climbers, it is important to choose a shoe that offers the right balance of comfort and support. The La Sportiva Climbing Shoe is a great way for beginners. It features a cushioned sole that provides comfort and support, while the synthetic upper offers good breathability. The shoe also has a sticky rubber outsole that provides excellent grip. If you are searching for a versatile shoe that can be used for both indoor and outdoor climbing, the Evolve Rock Climbing Shoe is a great choice.

Are climbing shoe machines washable?

Different types of climbing shoes have different materials and construction, which will affect whether or not they can be machine washed. In general, it is not recommended to machine wash climbing shoes as it can damage the materials and ruin the fit. If you do decide to machine wash your shoes, use a gentle cycle with cold water and air dry them afterward. Check the care instructions for your particular shoes before washing them to ensure that you don’t damage them.

Can climbing shoes be used for walking?

It is possible to use climbing shoes for walking, it is important to be aware of the risks involved. Climbing shoes are designed to provide traction and support when climbing, which can make them unstable on flat surfaces. The soles of climbing shoes are often thinner than those of regular walking shoes, which can make them more susceptible to wear and tear. For these reasons, it is important to consider the risks before using climbing shoes for walking.

Can climbing shoes cause bunions?

It is possible that climbing shoes may aggravate an existing bunion or contribute to the development of a bunion. This is because climbing shoes often have a tight and narrow fit, which can put pressure on the toes and lead to overcrowding (a main cause of bunions).

How profitable is a rock climbing gym?

It doesn’t matter what size an operation is, it will have at least 1,000 members and makeup $650,000 in gross annual revenue. An owner of such a business could generate a gross profit of around $250,000 before taxes after paying facility costs and employee salaries.

When to get more aggressive climbing shoes?

Aggressive shoes have a downturned shape that makes them better suited for heel and toe hooks. They also tend to be narrower and fit more snugly than less aggressive shoes. So if you’re having difficulty gripping small holds or feeling secure on steep terrain, then it may be worth considering a pair of aggressive climbing shoes.

What is special about rock climbing shoes?

Rock climbing shoes are designed specifically for climbing. They have a stiff sole that provides good support and grip, and they curve up at the toe so that you can fit your foot into tiny cracks and crevices in the rock. They also usually have a lot of rubber on the heel and toe so that you can grip the rock tightly.

When were climbing shoes invented?

Climbing shoes were invented in the late 19th century, and they were initially designed for rock climbing. The first recorded use of climbing shoes was in 1886 when English climber W.H.FI shower used them to climb the Matterhorn. It wasn’t until the early 1920s that climbing shoes began to be mass-produced. The first modern climbing shoes were made by Italian shoe manufacturer Loriana Soffiati, and they were called “gli scarpini da arrampicata Loriana Soffiati”.

Why do climbers wear small shoes?

Climbers can perform moves that are not as effective in larger shoes with tight climbing shoes in order to increase sensitivity. The ability to heel hook holds in small shoes permits climbers to do things they couldn’t do in larger shoes since their heels would slip too much in the shoe.

Uttam Kapri
Uttam Kapri is a highly experienced trekking guide with over 10 years of experience in the tourism industry. He holds a Master's degree in Sociology and a Bachelor's degree in various fields, including English Literature and Travel and Tourism Development. Uttam is passionate about welcoming people from all over the world for trekking trips in Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet.