Climbing shoes are a crucial piece of gear for any climber, as they provide the necessary support and grip to help you tackle even the toughest routes.
However, finding a pair of climbing shoes that fit perfectly can be a challenge. Sometimes, the shoes you find might be a bit too big or too wide, which can cause discomfort and make it difficult to perform at your best.
In these cases, shrinking the shoes can be a great solution. In this article, we’ll show you how to shrink climbing shoes to get the perfect fit.
Before you begin, you’ll need to gather a few materials. These include:
- Heat source (such as a hairdryer or heat gun)
- A towel or newspaper
- Preparing the Shoes
How do you shrink climbing shoes?
Shrinking climbing shoes can be a bit tricky because they are typically made of materials that don’t shrink easily, such as synthetic fibers or leather.
However, there are a few methods you can try to make your climbing shoes fit more snugly. Here are some suggestions:
Wetting and Drying Method:
- Start by thoroughly wetting your climbing shoes with water. You can either soak them or run them under a faucet.
- Once the shoes are wet, put them on and wear them until they dry completely. This can take several hours or even overnight.
- As the shoes dry, they will naturally shrink and mold to the shape of your feet, which can make them feel smaller.
- Be aware that this method may not work for all types of climbing shoes, especially those with non-stretchy synthetic uppers.
Heat and Stretch Method:
- This method is more suitable for climbing shoes with leather uppers.
- Start by preheating your oven to a low temperature, around 150°F (65°C). Make sure your climbing shoes are clean and free from dirt or debris.
- Once the oven is heated, turn it off and place your shoes inside. Leave them in the warm oven for about 10-15 minutes.
- Carefully remove the shoes from the oven and put them on immediately. Wear them until they cool down and mold to the shape of your feet.
- This method can help stretch the shoes slightly, making them more comfortable and potentially smaller in feel.
Professional Resoling or Modification:
- If you have access to a skilled cobbler or a climbing shoe resoling service, they may be able to modify your shoes to make them smaller.
- Professional cobblers can often shorten the length of the shoes or modify the shape to achieve a tighter fit.
- However, keep in mind that this method requires expertise and may not be suitable for all types of climbing shoes. It’s best to consult with a professional before proceeding.
Remember, shrinking climbing shoes can be a challenging process, and there is always a risk of damaging the shoes or altering their performance.
If none of these methods work or you’re uncertain about trying them, it’s recommended to consult with a professional or consider purchasing a new pair of climbing shoes that fit properly from the start.
Can I shrink any type of climbing shoes?
Yes, the process of shrinking climbing shoes can be applied to most types of climbing shoes, including leather and synthetic shoes. However, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure that your specific shoes can be shrunk.
Is it safe to shrink climbing shoes at home?
Yes, it’s safe to shrink climbing shoes at home as long as you follow the instructions carefully and use caution to avoid overheating or damaging the shoes.
How can I know if my climbing shoes need shrinking?
You can tell if your climbing shoes need shrinking if they feel too big or too wide, or if you have a lot of room in the toe box. In these cases, shrinking the shoes can help them conform to your foot shape and provide a better fit.
Can I shrink my climbing shoes multiple times?
It’s possible to shrink your climbing shoes multiple times, but it’s important to note that each time you shrink the shoes, they will become a little bit smaller. Therefore, it’s important to shrink your shoes in small increments to avoid over-shrinking them.
Can I shrink my climbing shoes using a stove or oven?
While it is possible to shrink your climbing shoes using a stove or oven, this method is not recommended as it can cause overheating and damage to the shoes. It’s best to use a heat gun or hairdryer to shrink the shoes.
Shrinking climbing shoes is a great way to achieve a perfect fit, and can help you perform better and stay comfortable while climbing. By following the instructions outlined in this article, you can shrink your climbing shoes to get the perfect fit.
Remember to use caution and follow all instructions carefully to avoid overheating or damaging the shoes. Happy climbing!