You've Got Holes In Your Climbing Shoes...Now What? A Beginner's Guide to Resoling
|My Scarpa Technos in need of a little TLC.|
I've had the shoes for almost two years now, and prior to my purchase of the La Sportiva Miura VS shoes, they were my only pair. I'd use them for everything - indoor climbing, outdoor climbing, bouldering - and they were in desperate need of some attention.
After much debate, I finally made the decision to get them resoled and am so glad I did! In the process, I learned a lot about resoling and climbing shoes in general.
Why Not Just Buy New Shoes?This is the obvious question. If your shoes are worn out, there's always an option to go buy new ones. But most of us take a while to break our shoes in. We love them. I have sentimental attachments to a number of intimate objects. Plus, good climbing shoes are expensive unless you're lucky enough to have a pro deal. I'd much prefer to resole my Scarpa Technos for $42.50 than pay upwards of $100 for a new pair.
DIY or Go With The Pros?It is possible to resole climbing shoes yourself, though I don't know anyone who has. (If you have, tell me in the comments!) I read this article and decided that wasn't an option for me. After polling the twitter climbing community for the best place to send rock shoes for resoling, the obvious choice was Rock and Resole in Boulder. Aside from doing a bang up job on my shoes, they were incredibly helpful in explaining the parts of a climbing shoe, the different kinds of rubber, and what kind of resole I'd need.
Parts of a Climbing ShoeThe sole is the bottom part of the climbing shoe, and the rand is the rubber layer above the sole that wraps around the shoe, including over the toe. Most rock shoes have a tongue, heel and lacing or velcro, just like normal shoes. This page has a great illustration of the various parts.
Types of Resoling
|Bouldering at Earth Treks. (P. Esteso)|
Types of Rubber
Regarding thickness, the guys at Rock and Resole explained that thicker rubber will give you less sensitivity, but more durability. The majority of shoes come with 4mm rubber, but depending on the type of climbing you're doing, thicker might be better. Though thinner rubber wears out faster, it's often preferred because of the increased sensitivity.
The Verdict After My First ResoleThe folks at Rock and Resole did a fantastic job. I ended up getting half soles on both shoes and one toe cap for $42.50 including shipping. I sent the shoes out from Philadelphia on January 21st and they made it back to me in less than two weeks. I'd consider that a pretty quick turnaround with shipping time included. The shoes look and feel like they've got a better edge than they did when I bought them. They're still soft, flexible, a lot stickier and a lot less stinky!
Have you ever resoled your own shoes, or had them resoled? Do you think it was worth it?