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How To Care For Your Rock Climbing Shoes

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Rock shoes is an investment that every rock climber will make. Therefore, it is natural to want to get as many benefits you can from these shoes. Knowing how to properly care and repair them when necessary will guarantee you a long-lasting relationship with them.

Rock climbing / deep water soloing in Mallorca, Spain.

Caring For Your Rock Shoes

As with most shoes, cleaning and maintaining your shoes should be done as instructed in the manufacturers’ care guidelines. Here are some tips you should also practice.

  • During Use: Make sure your feet are clean and dry when you wear your shoes. This is to keep dirt away from the shoes and also to prevent unpleasant odor. You can also use foot deodorants and baby powder.
  • After Use: Take them out of your backpack in order to prevent the formation of mold and mildew. Use damp cloth to wipe the insoles and linings from dirt and dust, and the rubber soles from grit and sand. Coarse sandpaper or a small wire brush against the sole can also be used to deal with grit that has been impacted in the sole. Dry your climbing shoes by airing them and avoid exposing them to direct sunlight. When washing the shoes don’t put them in the machine, instead prefer to hand wash them with mild soap and water.
  • In between Uses: Storage should be done in a cool, dry place. Hot storage areas can weaken the glue binding the rubber sole and the upper shoe. Using a shoe bag, preferably made from nylon, when storing the shoe would also help.
  • For Climbing Only: Use your rock shoes for rock climbing only. They are not meant for walking or hiking, or any other activity.

Repairing Your Rock Shoes

Beyond the basic care accorded to your rock shoes, you may also make some minor repairs. The best thing is to bring your rock shoes to professional cobblers or shoe repair shops, however you can do some repairs by yourself, especially when they are easily remedied.

  • Resoling: There are now many resoling kits being sold but you should be careful when choosing which one to use. This is quite an important process so if you do not have enough confidence, get a professional cobbler to do it for you. Basically, resoling means the replacing the whole sole, or parts of it. You will have to choose the quality of rubber that will be used for resoling your shoe. Many suggest that resoling should be done when 80% of the rubber is worn in order to lessen the expense of the repair.
  • Rand Repair: The rand is the band of rubber around the rock shoe and located above the sole. When climbing, the rand around the toes tend to perforate. The key here is prevention. Do not wait until the rand is fully damaged and filled with holes before you repair it. Some find the expense too high, but considering the long-term benefits, you can consider it as part of the investment cost.

Treat Your Rock Shoes Well

Your rock shoes care for you when you are out climbing, so you should also do the same. More than lasting long, a well-cared pair of climbing shoes will also give you the quality of performance you want and will keep you safe. Thus, give your rock shoes the high level of care they deserve.

 

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How to Choose the Best Rock Climbing Shoes For You

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Are you happy with your climbing shoes? Is it everything you expect it to be, or do you find that it falls short in delivering what you really need? Maybe that is because you chose the wrong type of climbing shoes. There are different varieties out there that are suitable for the various types of climbing activity. Take sport climbing, for example. You cannot simply choose just any climbing shoe for this activity. You have to pick the right one if you want to get the most out of the experience.

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How To Care For Your Climbing Rope

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Climbers are fully cognizant of how essential their climbing ropes are. After all, there is something humbling at how such a seemingly simple piece of rope could hold one’s life. Therefore, it is important to give it the respect that it is due, and the only way to do that is to accord it the proper care and maintenance. Let us get into some things you should do and some others you shouldn’t do in using and caring for your climbing rope.

Things you Should Do to Care for your Rope

If you want your climbing rope to work the way you want it to, then:

  • Use the rope only for what it was originally designed for: The climbing rope is for climbing purposes only, do not use it for hauling purposes around the house.
  • Coil and uncoil it properly: When it is new and you are uncoiling it for the first time, hold it like it is a spool and have someone to pull the rope from it. A “backpack” or “butterfly coil” would be very handy in coiling it because it will prevent the rope from twisting. In case the rope is twisted, let it hang free and unwind it with your hand.
  • Switch the ends alternately after they experienced a fall: The end that has taken the frequent falls tend to stretch more quickly, so try alternating them to avoid one end from weakening too much and also to give the stretched end time to regain its strength and elasticity.
  • Maintain a record on rope use: Remember that ropes have their corresponding fall ratings they can “endure” before they should be retired from use. Make sure to keep a log of all the times you used the rope, and the number of falls you have taken while using it.
  • Rappel and belay properly: Do not be too jerky or too harsh when you use the rope because it could result to the burning of the sheath.
  • Inspect the rope regularly: Check out for cuts, nicks and other potentially damaging injuries to the rope that could lead to further problems.
  • Use proper storage materials for your rope: A rope bag should be used to stash the rope in when it is not in use. While climbing, a rope tarp should also be used to keep the rope clean because it minimizes the rope’s contact with dirt.
  • Wash it by hand: Prefer to wash it by hand using warm water and mild soap and then air-dry it away from direct rays of the sun.
  • Store it in a cool, dry and dark place: Make sure there are no chemicals nearby, acids, or oxidizing agents.
  • Replace it: When it gets old, damaged, or reached the numbers of factor falls, it is time to replace it.

Things you Shouldn’t Do to Care for your Rope

When it comes to handling and using the rope:

  • Don’t step on the rope or leave it hanging out: Once dirt has worked itself into the rope fibers, it will gradually weaken.
  • Don’t expose it directly to the sun for prolonged periods: Too much sun exposure can cause the webbing or the rope to fade and weaken.
  • Don’t allow nylon to nylon contact: This will only burn the rope.
  • Don’t hit it with ice axes, crampons and other sharp objects: The crampon spikes are particularly damaging to the ropes.
  • Don’t use bleach in washing: It will cause damage to the nylon material.
  • Don’t smoke carelessly around the rope: Cigarette ash can get into the fibers. Worst case scenario, some embers could get into the nylon and burn through the rope.

Take Good Care of your Rope

You could say that caring for your rope is also caring for your own safety and your life. Follow the manufacturer’s care guidelines and use some common sense when it comes to caring for your rope.

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How to Choose the Best Climbing Rope

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Climbing ropes have saved the lives of thousands of climbers. That is no exaggeration. In fact, no other word would describe what a climbing rope is to a climber but “lifeline”. It not only keeps you alive by keeping you connected to something solid, it will also link you to your partner and other climbers.

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How to Choose the Best Belay Device for you

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A lot of skill – and daring – is involved when someone goes out for some serious climbing. More than basic is to know how to belay and rappel properly. But that is not all. It is also essential for someone to choose wisely the type and quality of the belay device that is going to use

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How To Care For Your Crampon

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Considering the amount of abuse you subject your crampons to when you are out walking or climbing, don’t you think that you should at least return the favor and give them the proper care they deserve? Just as you care for your other climbing and hiking gear, crampons are no different. If you want them to last a long time and always be in peak condition, you must be a responsible owner of your crampons.

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