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.
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.