How to Wash Climbing Shoes: A Step-by-Step Guide

The Importance of Cleaning Your Climbing Shoes Regularly

When it comes to climbing, your shoes are an essential piece of equipment. Over time, dirt, sweat, and grime can accumulate on the soles and uppers of your climbing shoes. Not only does this affect their performance but neglecting proper cleaning can also lead to unpleasant odors. That’s why it’s crucial to regularly wash your climbing shoes.

Gather the Necessary Supplies

Before you begin washing your climbing shoes, make sure you have all the necessary supplies handy:

1. Mild soap or specialized shoe cleaner: Avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the materials.
2. Soft brush or sponge: Choose a gentle option that won’t damage the delicate surfaces.
3. Warm water: It helps in effectively removing dirt and stains from your shoes.
4. Towel or cloth for drying: Make sure it is clean and absorbent.

Step 1: Remove Excess Dirt

Start by gently tapping your climbing shoes together outside or against a hard surface to remove any loose dirt or debris stuck on them.

Step 2: Prepare Soapy Water Solution

Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild soap or specialized shoe cleaner appropriate for delicate fabrics like those used in climbing shoe construction.

Step 3: Clean The Uppers

Dip the soft brush/sponge into the soapy water solution and then squeeze out excess liquid until slightly dampened (avoid soaking). Gently scrub the uppers of each shoe in circular motions, paying attention to areas where sweat tends to accumulate such as around ankles and toe boxes.

Step 4: Rinse Off Soap Residue

Once you’ve cleaned the uppers, rinse them under running water or using a separate container of clean water to remove any remaining soap residue.

Step 5: Clean The Soles

Now it’s time to focus on the soles. Dip your brush/sponge into the soapy solution again and gently scrub the soles, paying attention to removing dirt from crevices and edges where grip is crucial. Rinse thoroughly once completed.

Step 6: Dry Properly

After washing, gently pat both the uppers and soles with a clean towel or cloth to remove excess moisture. Ensure that they are dried completely before storing them in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

Tips for Maintaining Your Climbing Shoes

Avoid Machine Washing

Climbing shoes are delicate and often made of sensitive materials such as rubber and leather that can be damaged by machine agitation. Handwashing is always recommended.

Never Use Harsh Chemicals

Ensure you’re using mild soap specifically formulated for cleaning climbing shoes or a specialized shoe cleaner approved for delicate fabrics. Avoid bleach, detergents, or other harsh chemicals that could degrade their performance.

Air Them Out After Every Use

Allow your climbing shoes to breathe after each session by removing them from your gear bag and exposing them to fresh air. This helps prevent odor buildup caused by trapped sweat.

In conclusion, washing your climbing shoes regularly not only ensures optimal performance but also extends their lifespan while keeping unpleasant odors at bay. By following these step-by-step instructions along with some basic maintenance tips, you’ll keep your climbing shoes in top shape for many adventures ahead!