Rock Climbing is not an expensive sport, clear evidence of this fact is illustrated by the sheer number of students that participate. And they are generally poor, right? If sharing the cost of a rope and rack with your partner, then harness and helmeted up, all you need is some shoes. This can all be acquired for less than £400, and then you’re good to go… The equipment won’t wear out for at least 5 years in reality. The only thing you’ll need to reinvest in is a few new pairs of boots.
I climb 5 days a week in the Summer, and sometimes wear the shoes for 10 pitch climbs on Tryfan and Lliwedd for up to 6 hours. Although I have a few different pairs (redpoint sport pair, trad climbing pair, comfy work shoe), they will generally only last 1 year or so. If you’re climbing indoors regularly with some dodgy footwork, then they may only last a couple of months. At £90 a pop, this can be the main expense of your very highly addictive hobby.
I recently climbed this pair through the phases of hard trad shoes, to comfy work shoes. Then just as all the good rubber was gone from the sole (the rand rubber is inferior and slippery in comparison), and before I wore through the rand too much, I sent them to Torquil at www.llanberisresoles.com
I timed it perfectly, if you leave it too long and wear through the rand to the fabric, or worse your foot, then he has to do a long repair which costs a fair bit extra. I dropped them of at V12 in llanberis, from where he picked them up a few days later… before I knew it they were ready for pick up.
Above are two pics of the new rubber soles. The edges are sharp and stiff which will be great, and for technical trad climbing, they should be undistinguishable from new ones. I can’t wait to try them out, they are the second pair I’ve had done. At a third the price of a new pair, you can’t go wrong.
Happy climbing. Terry