Climbing shoes is one of the essentials you need when doing any type of climbing activity. Unfortunately, shoes for climbing can quickly wear out if it is used consistently. They deteriorate much faster compared to regular shoes.
So, how long do climbing shoes last? My personal estimate is three to ten months if the frequency of usage is twice a week. If you are not an active climber and just climb a few times in a year, you will probably see the climbing shoes last for a more extended period.
The Lifespan of a Climbing Shoes
I know a friend who is a very active climber who tends to change his climbing shoes frequently every three months. I also know someone who is not very active due to his busy schedule tends to replace his climbing shoes annually.
What does it mean? The lifespan of climbing shoes will be determined by different factors such as the frequency of usage, the climber’s technique, and the brand. When used by you, a pair will last for a year while another will last for only six months, which is totally fine.
But the good thing about climbing shoes is they can be resoled and used again. The most important thing is to have it resoled immediately if you feel that the sole is starting to wear out and does not perform as expected.
Another plus factor is having it done by a good resole. If you can find a shoe repair shop that can resole the shoes in high-quality, it is expected that they can be used multiple times again.
Factors Affecting the Lifespan of a Climbing Shoes
As I mentioned earlier, three general factors affect the lifespan of climbing shoes. All of which are contributing factors that help determine how long the shoes last.
Frequency of Usage
The more you use your climbing shoes, the shorter the lifespan will be. If you climb three to four times a week, it will probably deteriorate faster than you think. This situation is the reason some climbers own three to four pairs of climbing shoes in their position.
However, climbing shoes should last for more than a year or possibly more if you use them once a month. It can even last up to five years if you are using it barely in a single year.
But the best thing about climbing shoes is that the sole is replaceable. Those worn-out soles can always be replaced to extend the lifespan of the shoes. If you do this type of maintenance, you will see some climbing shoes last for years.
The Climber’s Technique
The way you climb will also affect the shoe’s lifespan, particularly on the technique you are using during the climb. The more you scrape your shoe during the climb, the more it will wear down due to friction.
A similar thing to check is how you rotate the foot on holds. There are some movements that may require pivoting your foot on holds but can be prevented if you hit the best portion of the holds.
You will also see some climbers constantly bouncing and readjusting their feet during the climb. These constant movements can add extra wear to your shoes which can affect their lifespan.
High-quality shoes last longer. That’s just the way it is. Those well-built shoes will last for a long time compared to cheaply-made shoes. Also, those cheap shoes rely purely on rubber in keeping the shape of the footwear.
On the other hand, high-quality shoes use high-quality materials during the manufacturing process. It also comes with excellent stitching and a well-planned design that fits the needs of the climber.
How Long Do Hiking Boots Last
Similar to hiking shoes, the lifespan of hiking boots depends on several factors. If the hiking shoes are determined by how many months or years in their usage, hiking boots are usually measured by how many miles they are used.
The average usage of hiking boots should be around 500 to 750 miles but similar to hiking shoes, there are also other factors to consider. It also depends on how the hiker is frequently using the boots and the quality it is made.
Some hikers usually remove their boots at the edge of the trail. These types of hikers will usually get the most extended lifespan out of their hiking boots. Some hikers also think it is not practical to do it as the boots will eventually wear out when used on pavement.
The longevity of the hiking boots can also determine by their weight. Usually, the lighter the boots are, the shorter is its lifespan. Meanwhile, those heavyweight shoes come with more durability and can take up to 1000 miles of usage.
However, please be reminded that buying expensive hiking boots does not necessarily mean they will last longer. As I have mentioned earlier, it all depends on different factors. I have seen a lot of hikers a good amount of mileage from their less expensive shoes.
It is all about how the hiker handles the shoes in terms of usage and maintenance. It is also about the brand and how they manufacture the boots. It is not how expensive the shoes are but how well it is being manufactured.
Learning how long do climbing shoes last is essential if you want to pursue climbing as a hobby seriously. If you spend a lot of time climbing in the gym, I suggest having more than a pair of climbing shoes because having one does not last long.