How Long Do Climbing Shoes Last?


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Climbing shoes can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, depending on factors like frequency of use, climbing style, shoe construction, and care. Aggressive climbing, rough surfaces, and improper storage can shorten their lifespan. To maximize longevity, clean your shoes regularly, let them air dry, and rotate pairs if climbing frequently.

How Long Do Climbing Shoes Last?

If you’re an avid climber, you know that your climbing shoes are one of the most important pieces of gear you’ll own. They help you grip the rock and keep you secure on the wall. But, like any piece of gear, climbing shoes have a limited lifespan. So, how long do climbing shoes last? Let’s find out.

First off, it’s important to understand that climbing shoes are designed to be high-performance gear. They’re made with specialized rubber that’s optimized for grip and sensitivity, which means they’ll inevitably wear out over time with frequent use. Additionally, the shape of the shoe can change with extended use, as the shoe will conform to the shape of your foot over time.

So, how long do climbing shoes typically last? The answer, unfortunately, is “it depends.” There are a variety of factors that can affect the lifespan of your climbing shoes, including the type of climbing you’re doing, how often you climb, and how well you take care of your shoes.

For example, if you’re climbing regularly, multiple times per week, your shoes might only last a few months before you start to notice significant wear and tear. On the other hand, if you’re an occasional climber and only use your shoes a few times a month, your shoes could last up to a year or more.

One way to extend the lifespan of your climbing shoes is to take good care of them. This means avoiding unnecessary wear and tear by not wearing them around town or on pavement, and cleaning them regularly to remove dirt and grime that can wear down the rubber.

Ultimately, the lifespan of your climbing shoes will depend on a variety of factors, and there’s no set timeline for how long they’ll last. However, as a general rule of thumb, you can expect your climbing shoes to last anywhere from a few months to a year or more, depending on how often you climb and how well you take care of them.

How Long Do Climbing Shoes Last?

This is no one answer because how long climbing shoes last depends on the individual.

The lifespan of a pair of climbing shoes is fairly short. even if you take good care of them. A pair of climbing shoes will typically last for just 4-8 months of use. so you’ll find yourself needing to buy new ones at least once a year.

You should expect to be replacing your climbing shoes once or twice per year. If they last longer than this. consider yourself lucky.

However. some important factors are how often and where you climb.

  1. For example. if you climb outside once or twice a week. your shoes will likely wear out within a few months (you do have the option to resole and such if desired).
  2. On the other hand. if you only climb indoors in a clean space and don’t subject your shoes to mud. dirt. grime. water. etc. your shoes should last a lot longer.
  3. Of course. if you only climb a few times a year. your shoes could last for years. It is really about how much you use them and where you do!

Factors that affect the lifespan of climbing shoes and some estimates for how long they typically last:

FactorsEstimates
Frequency of use6 months to 2 years
Type of climbing6 months to 2 years
Fit and sizing6 months to 2 years
Quality of construction1 to 3 years
Care and maintenance1 to 3 years

How Do You Tell If Your Climbing Shoes Are Worn Out?

Telling when your climbing shoes should be replaced can be difficult and is largely subjective Climbers get quite attached to their shoes and many have a hard time giving them up even when they are clearly worn out.

But just like with any other type of footwear you need to replace your climbing shoes when the rubber wears out and the sole is no longer sticky.

Worn or damaged rubber is often the first sign that your climbing shoes are wearing. but if you catch this early enough. you can resole the shoes up to five times before you have to retire them.

  1. Keep an eye on the toe rubber as your performance depends on a sharp toe. and this can often be one of the first things to wear out. If your toe rubber is worn down to less than 80 percent. it’s time to replace the shoes.
  2. Another sign to look out for is the shoe coming away from the sole. caused by brittle or melted glue. This is a critical issue to address before the shoes fall apart completely.
  3. They’re not sticky anymore. This is the most obvious sign that something is wrong with your climbing shoes – they just aren’t sticking to the wall anymore! If you’ve been using them for bouldering. this might mean that they have lost their small toe edge and no longer provide any support for the ball of your foot. If you’ve been doing routes. this might mean that the big toe area has started to lift off the front of the shoe. so in either case. you’ll need to replace them soon.
  4. Finally. ensure you regularly check the rand. as any damage to the rand can compromise the entire integrity of the shoe. By regularly checking the sole. toe box. and rand. you can prolong the life of your shoes and get the best from your climbing performance.

When Do I Need New Climbing Shoes?

You need new climbing shoes when you no longer have enough rubber on the soles or when other damage has occurred (like holes or rips).

Climbing shoes take a beating. and they don’t last forever. You should replace them if you have holes or tears in the material.

When the rubber runs thin. however. you have two choices. You can replace the shoes entirely. or you can opt to resole them. If you have not done this before. this is a good option (note you can only resole them so many times before they are totally worn out).

La Sportiva Men's Tarantulace Rock Climbing Shoes.  Black/Poppy.  45.5

You need to replace your climbing shoes to avoid the following problems or if you are already experiencing some of these issues it is time to say goodbye to your old climbing shoes.

Preventing Blisters:

The best reason to buy new shoes is that your old ones have become painful. If you have a particular spot on your foot that is tender. it may be time for new shoes. I usually try to get about six months out of a pair of climbing shoes before this happens to me. but everyone is different. Many people will go the entire season without needing a new pair of shoes.

Tightness:

If you find that your toes feel like they are being pinched when you wear your current shoes. it might be because the shoe is too tight. This is an easy fix by simply buying a larger size shoe or by trying on different pairs until you find one that fits better.

Shoe Wear:

If the sole of your shoe has worn out and you can see your toes through the bottom of the shoe. it’s time for a new pair. A worn-out sole could cause injury if you fall while wearing them.

How Long Do Climbing Shoes Last in Storage?

How long your climbing shoes last in storage depends on how you are storing them and whether you are willing to re-sole them once you want to use them again.

The rubber soles with age and becomes brittle over time. However. you can climb with a pair of 15+ years old climbing shoes with the proper storage.

How to Preserve Climbing Shoes

  1. Keep them clean by rubbing the soles and rands with a wet towel and drying them after climbing.
  2. Use coarse sandpaper or wire brush on areas that have lost grip.
  3. Avoid storing in high temperatures. so the rubber and glue don’t melt.

How Long Do Climbing Shoes Last Indoors?

Climbing shoes last between 3-12 months. depending on how often you climb. your climbing technique. and the quality of your climbing shoes. If you leave your shoes in proper storage without use. they may last years.

Indoor rock-climbing walls are created to match the traction of outdoor rock walls. which wear down the shoe after continuous use and rubbing.

You can reuse the same pair of climbing shoes for years if you have them resoled by a professional. but this can only be done once or twice in a shoe’s lifetime. To help your shoes last longer. improve your climbing footwork. keep the shoes clean and out of the sun. and make sure your shoes are the appropriate fit.

What Climbing Shoes Will Last the Longest?

The longest-lasting climbing shoes seem to be those made by La Sportiva according to various climbing shoe reviews. La Sportiva offers a variety of climbing shoe styles and designs for different tastes. The ones with the most durability include the Mythos. Katana. TC Pro. Miura. and Tarantula styles.

La Sportiva Men's Katana Lace Climbing Shoe 41.5 M EU (8.5 M US)

In general. climbing shoes with the thickest soles are usually the most durable since that is the first part to wear away. Other popular brands reputedly known for their durability include Scarpa Maestro Mid. Evolv Defy. Five Ten Anasazi VCS. and Black Diamond Momentum climbing shoes.

FAQs: How Long Do Climbing Shoes Last?

As an avid climber, you may find yourself asking this question fairly often. After all, climbing shoes can be a pretty significant investment, and you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Here are some answers to this frequently asked question:

How long should a good pair of climbing shoes last?


Assuming that the person is asking how long the shoes will last before they need to be replaced, the answer is generally somewhere in the range of 6-12 months, depending on how frequently the shoes are used and how hard they are used. This is just a general guideline, however, and there are plenty of factors that can influence the lifespan of climbing shoes.

What factors can affect the lifespan of climbing shoes?


As mentioned, there are several variables that can impact how long a pair of climbing shoes will last. Some of these include:

– Frequency of use

– Intensity of use (i.e. bouldering vs. sport climbing)

– Quality of construction

– Quality of materials

– Fit and sizing

– Whether or not the shoes are resoled when they start to wear out

What are some signs that it’s time to replace your climbing shoes?


There are a few telltale signs that your shoes are past their prime and need to be replaced:

– The rubber on the sole is excessively worn or has started to delaminate

– The upper has started to stretch or deform, making the shoes too loose

– The shoes have developed a smell that refuses to go away, indicating that bacteria has taken up residence

– You simply can’t seem to get the same level of grip or sensitivity that you used to get with the shoes

Can climbing shoes be repaired or resoled?


Yes, in many cases, climbing shoes can be resoled or otherwise repaired to extend their lifespan. For example, if the sole has worn down but the upper is still in good shape, a cobbler may be able to resole the shoes for you. However, it’s important to note that not all shoes are good candidates for repair, and sometimes it’s simply more cost-effective to replace them.

How can you make your climbing shoes last longer?


To maximize the lifespan of your climbing shoes, consider doing the following:

– Store them in a cool, dry place

– Don’t wear them outside or on rough surfaces

– Avoid excessively twisting or bending the shoes when putting them on

– Try to minimize the amount of sweating that occurs inside the shoes by wearing socks, using chalk, and taking breaks between climbs

– Have the shoes resoled when necessary

What can happen if you continue to wear worn-out climbing shoes?


If you continue to wear climbing shoes that are past their prime, you may be putting yourself at risk of injury. Worn out shoes may not provide enough grip or support, which could lead to slips or falls. Additionally, shoes that are too loose or too tight may cause discomfort or strain in the feet, ankles, or toes.

How often should you replace your climbing shoes?


Ultimately, the decision to replace your climbing shoes will depend on a variety of factors, including the frequency and intensity of your climbing, your budget, and your personal preferences. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should plan on replacing your shoes every 6-12 months if you climb regularly. By doing so, you can help ensure that you stay comfortable, safe, and perform at your best on the wall.


In summary. your climbing shoes won’t last forever. but you can prolong their life by making sure that you take care of them properly. Each time you use your climbing shoes. the leather and rubber become more worn down.

This is especially true if you often climb outdoors at limestone crags. where the rock is harsh on your shoes. You’ll also wear out the inside of your shoe faster than the outside from smearing. edging. and toeing in on small holds.

You may also be interested in.  What to Do with Old Climbing Shoes?