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Rock Shoe Care | How to Guide

By Scarpa UK

Summer. The temperature starts rising, the days are longer, so you are heading out for more adventures. The last thing on your mind might be caring for your rock shoes. Check out this summer rock shoe care guide and be ready for a summer of climbing fun.

Ok, so this is the UK, so sometimes our summers consist of rain and more rain, but with the summer comes potential damage to your gear. However, with a few simple steps you can keep your shoes in great condition and avoid costly harm.

1. Don’t be scared to clean your shoes

This sounds like an obvious one, but some people get nervous about washing their rock shoes. The salt and chemicals from our sweat gets into the materials and reduces the elasticity, suppleness and strength of the fabrics.

No soap needed, just flush with water and gently clean the inside surface with a soft brush. This will lift the dirt and flush the sweat salts from the materials increasing surface friction and elasticity. Continue to flush and gently brush the inside surface with water until the water runs clear.

Stuff the shoe with a microfibre cloth and wrap the outside, then squeeze. This will draw a lot of excess water out of the materials and greatly decrease the drying time. Finally, air dry in the shade. Keep out of direct sunshine, this can overheat the rubber and cause delamination.

2. Clean your feet!

You’ve spent ages cleaning and drying your shoes and they are looking great, so why would you put dirty or sweaty feet in them? Dirt and sweat reduce the surface grip of the material inside the shoe, causing it to become slimy and increasing movement of the foot inside the shoe. Salt can also come from sweat and reduce elasticity making your climbing shoes crusty and stiff.

It is much easier to clean feet than to clean your shoes, so it’s worth bringing a clean rag or small towel with you climbing. This can reduce the amount of sweat and dirt entering the shoe from your foot.

We all sweat, so it is inevitable that after time our climbing shoes get a bit smelly. Boot Bananas or Smellwell Deodorisers can help absorb moisture and prevent bad odours.

Remember: Clean feet keep your shoes sweet!

3. Never leave your shoes in the car

Knackered after a long day, we’ve all had the thought “I’ll sort that out in the morning…”. So kit gets left in the car and the morning becomes the afternoon. By the time you get back to your kit, your car has been heated by the summer sun.

Rock shoes are built with a heat activated glue, and your car is the perfect solar oven to reactivate it. This will loosen everything up, at best making the shoes bag-out and at worst, cause the shoe to pretty much fall apart.

Remember: Shoes die in hot cars!

4. Clean your rubber

Cleaning the rubber on your rock shoes makes the rubber stickier giving you that extra bit of grip.

Wipe the rubber with a clean damp microfibre towel often to get the best friction out of the rubbers. This bit of shoe maintenance takes no time, but can greatly affect the performance of your shoes.

5. Resole

So you’ve looked after your shoes, got them fitting just right then disaster, the rubber on your sole wears down.

Instead of buying a new pair, sending your old shoes to landfill and hitting your wallet, you can get your old pair resoled.

Most modern top-end shoes are built to the highest standard and should serve you for many years of use. However, just like tyres on a car, the rubber parts of a rock shoe can wear down with use, and that’s why we offer a full re-sole service.

Resoling is cheaper than buying a new pair and reduces waste, it also allows you to keep a good fitting pair.

Hopefully this article has given you some helpful tips on how to care for your shoes and keep them in great condition.