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how to resole climbing shoes
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Mar 16, 2003, 9:07 PM
Post #1 of 4 (3692 views)

Registered: Nov 4, 2002
Posts: 29

how to resole climbing shoes
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I put a topic in the general forum about how i could learn to resole climbing shoes. I was told to ask Brian. So Brian I know that you work for a resole shop and probably do not want to tell me your secretes but I am just a poor college student from Michigan where the only climbing we have is considered high ball bouldering. hopefully you will help me out.

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Only the good die young


Mar 16, 2003, 9:22 PM
Post #2 of 4 (3692 views)

Registered: Nov 20, 2002
Posts: 121

how to resole climbing shoes [In reply to]
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As a poor college student myself, I understand you wanting to save some pennies. Do yourself a favor, though, and pay to have a professional do your shoes. I'm not saying that you can't do your own shoes, but you'll probably be happier to have a reputable shop take care of it for you. I've had my shoes resoled at a shop that didn't do a top-notch job, and I wasn't happy with it -- and they had all the right equipment and experience. They didn't specialize in climbing shoes, though. I can't imagine how I would have mucked it up.

Since then, I've always had my shoes done at the Rubber Room. They do excellent work. I've heard good things about Flyin' Brian, too. Stick with the pros and save yourself a headache.

Besides you don't want to be worrying about your shoe delaminating on one of your local highballs, eh?


Mar 17, 2003, 9:02 AM
Post #3 of 4 (3692 views)

Registered: Nov 27, 2002
Posts: 155

shoe resoles [In reply to]
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It's not brain surgery to do a resole, but it's easy to screw up. OK, so here's the deal: you need a stove or a heat gun (not a hair dryer), a grinder with a CLEAN wire wheel on one side, and a CLEAN stone wheel on the other, alcohol (to clean the rubber, not yer innards), a razor knife, pliers, and a couple of tongue depressors or the like to spread glue. If you can buy an old cobblers last it'll help later.
1. Slowly heat the sole with a heat gun or stove, and when the glue gets hot it'll let go...begin peeling (with the pliers)inward to avoid peeling off the rand. Pull in, not up, away from the midsole. If you want to do a half sole, cut through the sole first, and at a shallow angle!!
2. Cut out the soles, about an inch oversized, maybe more if you're not graceful wit' yer mitts. If you're doin' half soles, the overlap must be long!!! If you don't know what a scarf joint is, find out.
3. Grind the soles with the wire wheel, enough to get rid of the shine, not enough to dig pits in it. You're trying to give the glue a medium to stick to. Same for the shoes (tho' they only get a very LIGHT going over), but be super careful and avoid the edges. You're going for a fresh contact surface, not excavating new ground.
4. Clean both surfaces with the alcohol, keep your mitts off the new, clean surfaces. think sterile here.
5. Now, using Barge cement ONLY, put a THIN coat on both surfaces. Cover the whole surface of the rubber sole. Let 'em dry, do it again. Thin is the trick here. Two thin is much better that one thick. Let them dry 15-20 minutes. Big vapors here, get fresh air.
6. Next is the hard part...heat ONE sole, and ONE shoe 'till it's so warm you can hardly stand to touch it, but not sizzling. The glue is heat activated...when they're both really good and hot, align them (don't touch the CLEAN glued surfaces)and work like hell to get the sole/shoe pressed together. Be careful not to wrack the shoe when you assemble them, that's why you cut it make it easier to line up now when you have to work fast. If you goof up the alignment, and bend the shoe, it'll stay that way.
7. Immediately slip the shoe onto the last, and pound the sole onto shoe with your wall hammer. Hit it hard!!! Don't park 'yer car on it...that destroys the heel cup.
8. Now, taking your razor knife on a COOL shoe, oil the blade just a smidge, and trim off the extra rubber. Think WD40, and just a drop. It makes the blade cut smoother. Leave a bit extra.
9. With your grinders stone wheel, grind the profile (and joint at the half sole, if that's what you did) to the right shape. Go can always take more off...hard to put it back.
10. Buff the bottoms a bit with the wire wheel, let them sit a day or two to cure, go climbing.
Hope this helps!!! Gene West. Email me if you have more questions


Apr 25, 2013, 6:25 AM
Post #4 of 4 (2512 views)

Registered: Apr 25, 2013
Posts: 1

Re: [wallrat] shoe resoles [In reply to]
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I started resoling shoes again, so thought i'd put a shameless plug in for my business: West coast resolers are in relative short supply, so think of this as a public service announcement of sortsSmile

Regarding wallrat's recommended procedure: I would just emphasize the importance of trimming the excess rubber around the shoe's edges as close as possible. This minimizes the amount of heat generated when machining the edges perfectly flush with the rand. Too much heat generated in this final machining step will weaken the glue and result in future delamination!
The combination of the cost of the do-it-yourself resole kit, and the trial and error required (read: f-ed up first couple pairs most likely) make the just pay a professional alternative pretty attractive.

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