Climbing shoes are the first thing piece of gear that a beginning climber gets. Although climbing is relatively cheap compared to many other sports its still a big investment to get a good pair of climbing shoes. You might be wondering how long these shoes are going to last!
How long does a typical climbing shoe last?
The durability of climbing shoes can vary greatly depending on a number of factors including the quality of the materials, the type of climbing being done, frequency of use, and personal climbing style. On average, a well-made pair of climbing shoes can last anywhere from 6 months to 5 years of regular use, but this can vary widely.
Here are some factors that can impact the durability of climbing shoes:
Material Quality: a more expensive shoe might not last longer, this is because the higher quality rubber is usually softer for better gripping. Higher quality materials used in the construction of climbing shoes tend to be more durable on the other hand. Shoes made with premium materials, such as high-quality leather or synthetic materials, are generally more durable and can last longer.
Climbing Type: The type of climbing you do can also affect the durability of your shoes. Indoor climbing on artificial walls with smooth holds tends to be less abrasive on climbing shoes compared to outdoor climbing on rough, natural rock surfaces. Many rock types have sharper edges that indoor holds don’t have. On the other hand, many hold sets have a lot of friction, as well as many indoor walls that have texture that can really scrape your shoes rubber away.
Frequency of Use: The more frequently you use your climbing shoes, the faster they are likely to wear out. If you climb several times a week, your shoes may wear out more quickly compared to someone who climbs only occasionally.
Climbing Style: Your personal climbing style can also affect the durability of your shoes. If you climb finger cracks then your shoes are going to get jammed into tight cracks. Techniques such as heel hooks or toe hooks, which involve using specific parts of the shoe for extra grip, can cause increased wear on those areas .
Climbing technique: Learning to climb with good technique such as quiet footwork can really help your shoes last longer as well as improving your overall climbing! Also how you use your feet when lowered off a route makes a big difference. Especially kids sometimes just drag the shoe along the rough wall surface that is like sandpaper to the rubber.
Fit: Proper fit is essential for climbing shoes to perform optimally and last longer. Shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause discomfort and premature wear. It’s important to find a pair of climbing shoes that fit well and provide the right balance between comfort and performance.
Care and Maintenance: Taking care of your climbing shoes can also impact their durability. Properly cleaning them, storing them in a cool, dry place, and avoiding extreme temperatures can help prolong their lifespan.
It’s important to note that climbing shoes will naturally wear out over time due to regular use. Signs of wear may include a thinning sole, delamination of the rubber from the upper, or loss of grip. When you start noticing a significant decrease in performance or discomfort, it’s time to consider replacing your climbing shoes to maintain safety and performance on the rock or in the gym. Ultimately, the durability of climbing shoes will vary depending on multiple factors, and it’s best to monitor their condition and replace them when needed. With a good shoe its usually a good to get it resoled before it gets into really bad shape. As someone who works at a climbing gym I always recommend saving a good pair of climbing shoes for resoling as they are great shoes for warming up and for longer climbs.
Are you getting new climbing shoes? Check out this article:>> Best climbing shoes!<<