Climbing Shoe Anatomy

 
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Last – when a climbing shoe is manufactured, it is built around a foot-shaped form. This form is known as a last and has a large impact on the fit and style of the shoe. We use custom made lasts during our resoling process.

Upper – this is the leather or textile material that holds the whole shoe together. We do not alter this section of the shoe as it affects the fit.

Rand – the thin rubber layer that covers the tip of the shoe and wraps underneath, between the sole and the upper. This rubber will become thin with wear and eventually a hole can form.

Cup (sole concavity) – this is not present on all shoes. Some aggressively down-turned shoes also have a concave shape to the sole just underneath your toes that can help hook into pockets or small toe holds. This is particularly helpful on overhanging terrain, but can reduce contact area, and therefore friction, during smearing.

Sole – the 3 to 6 mm layer of rubber on the bottom of the shoe. The sole of a new or freshly resoled shoe will have a sharp edge that allows precise edging on small foot holds. As the sole wears, this edge becomes rounded and provides less contact area, and therefore less friction, on small sharp features.

Arch – the arch of the shoe contributes to how aggressive the shoe will be and is built in during manufacture. Aggressive shoes will be built around an aggressive last. This is particularly important as the arch can be affected during a resole if the appropriate last is not used.

Our Process

Our process has been meticulously designed to maintain and improve the performance of modern climbing shoes. Most of our tools and equipment were custom engineered to suit our need and allow us to meet our strict quality standards, with a focus on performance and durability. We can maintain the complex shape, downturn, and toe cup (concavity) in an aggressive shoe, or add concavity to a previously flat shoe upon request.

We begin by carefully inspecting your shoes. If you have requested a half resole only, we check to ensure the rand has enough rubber thickness remaining. If the rand is too thin for a quality repair, we will recommend rand repair. Because we must stand behind our work, we will not perform a resole without rand repair if we feel that it is truly needed.

A last is chosen from our custom suite, and inserted to retain the shoe’s shape during the resoling process.

We remove the worn out soles, and if needed, a section of the worn rand. Old and worn rand is replaced with new rubber which is blended to a smooth barely-there seam.

The new soles, of your chosen compound and thickness, are glued onto the shoe and pressed using our custom machinery to achieve a stronger-than-factory bond.

The shoes are given a final grind to trim the new sole and achieve a precise edge that is tailored to the specific shoe.

This process is under constant scrutiny for opportunities of improvement. As climbing shoe technology advances, so too will climbing shoe resoling. 

Resole Criteria

Can your sole be saved?


You May Need Rand Repair
If the rand is worn too thin or has a hole in it, your shoes will require rand repair. If you send your shoes in before the rand starts to wear thin or forms a hole, you will not need rand repair and will be eligible for a cheaper service! See the photos below for a guideline.

You can gauge the thickness of the rand by pressing your thumb into various spots on the tip of the shoe. You’ll be able to feel thinned rand as a very soft spot.

 
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Half Resole Needed

This shoe is ready for a Half Resole. The sharp edges have worn rounded, edging performance suffers, and the seam between the sole and the rand is just starting to recede downward.

 

 

Rand Repair Likely Needed

The edges are gone, edging performance is poor, and the seam between the sole and the rand has receded downward significantly. It is likely that the rand has thinned enough to make rand repair essential.

 

 

Rand Repair Needed

This shoe needs Rand Repair. The edges are long gone, the rand has thinned and formed a hole. Performance is poor in all aspects and further climbing risks damage to the shoe.

 

Your Shoes Could be Beyond Repair
If your shoes have major holes or tears, a repair may alter the fit of the shoe, or result in major performance and durability issues. We will not perform repairs on these shoes.

It is possible that the leather upper of your shoes has become rotted, cracked, and brittle underneath the rand. This happens as a function of age, and the care the shoe has received through its life. Sometimes this cannot be determined until the shoe is partially deconstructed. In this case, you will receive a full refund of service charges, and we will give you the option of having your shoes returned as-is, or having us dispose of or recycle the shoes for you.

Please contact us with photos of any questionable shoes before you send them in. You can email photos to info@ontarioresoles.ca


No-Edge Shoes (Futuras, Geniuses, etc.)
Yes!  We can resole these shoes to look and perform just like new. We are an authorized La Sportiva resoler, and offer authentic La Sportiva replacement No-Edge Soles.  

Note that for a No-Edge Shoe Resole, you must have La Sportiva shoes, and XS Edge and 5.0 mm rubbers are not an option.  

We can also resole these shoes with a conventional style sole and edge. The part of the sole that wraps up and over the toe is split and removed, maintaining the scum patch — see photo.


Previously Resoled Shoes
We can resole shoes more than once! Especially if you send in your resoles before needing rand repair. 


Approach Shoes
At this time we do not offer resoling of approach shoes.

Rubber Compounds

Finding Your Sole


Rubber matters!  Stack the odds in your favour by choosing a sole that suits your style of climbing or bouldering.

We offer a large selection of compounds and thicknesses to choose from:

+ Five Ten Stealth C4

Available Thicknesses: 3.5 mm

Additional Cost: $0.00

Hardness: Medium

Stealth C4 is Five Ten's tried and true rubber. It is very versatile and is great for an 'all around' shoe. It is relatively sticky on overhangs, great on vertical climbs, and performs well on edges.

+ Unparallel RS

Available Thicknesses: 3.5 mm

Additional Cost: $0.00

Hardness: Very Soft

Unparallel's RS rubber is the softest compound we offer. If you want maximum sensitivity, this rubber is for you. It will allow you to hook your toes around holds and feel exactly what is underneath your foot, and it will provide great friction on low-load smears: think ultra-steep overhangs. Note that with such a soft and thin sole, durability and performance on small edges will be poor.

+ Unparallel RH

Available Thicknesses: 3.5 mm; 4.2 mm

Additional Cost: $0.00

Hardness: Medium

Unparallel's RH compound is the harder of their two options. It is very versatile, has good grip on overhangs, excellent grip on vertical climbs, and performs well on edges. The 4.2 mm thickness is an excellent choice for a do-everything shoe.

+ Vibram Grip

Available Thicknesses: 3.5 mm; 5.0 mm

Additional Cost: $5.00 (for 5.0 mm only)

Hardness: Medium

Vibram's original grip compound. Our only offering in 5.0 mm thickness, which provides good stiffness and durability.

+ Vibram XS Grip

Available Thicknesses: 4.0 mm

Additional Cost: $5.00

Hardness: Soft

Softer and more sensitive than XS Grip 2, XS Grip will conform well to irregularities on slopey holds and rock, with a slight sacrifice in durability and edging performance.

+ Vibram XS Grip 2

Available Thicknesses: 4.0 mm

Additional Cost: $5.00

Hardness: Soft

Vibram's flagship soft rubber. Excellent grip for overhangs and smears, very good all around performance.

+ Vibram XS Edge

Available Thicknesses: 4.0 mm

Additional Cost: $5.00

Hardness: Hard

Vibram's flagship hard rubber. Excellent grip and precision for high-load edges with great durability. Poor performance for low-load holds on overhangs, and slick/polished slopers.

+ Authentic La Sportiva No-Edge Sole

We can resole La Sportiva shoes with authentic No-Edge soles (3.0 mm XS Grip 2). We can also custom cut a No-Edge sole in one of our other compounds.

So which rubber is best?     …all of them, but for different situations.

Before choosing a rubber, we recommend considering how each of the following points will affect your climbing:

  • Softer rubbers (e.g. Unparallel RS, XS Grip 2, XS Grip) tend to provide better grip on overhanging terrain, slopers, and slippery holds or slippery rock.

  • Harder rubbers (Stealth C4, XS Edge) tend to provide better grip on very small footholds and edges, especially on vertical terrain.  They also tend to provide more durability.

  • Thinner rubbers will provide more sensitivity, and excel on overhangs and slopers, but will come with a loss of durability.

  • Thicker rubbers will provide more stiffness, and help with edgeing on vertical terrain with small footholds and edges.  They will offer more durability than their thinner counterparts

  • Light climbers should generally aim for softer rubbers and avoid 5.0 mm thicknesses, while heavier climbers should consider the harder compounds and medium to high thickness.

A note on sensitivity and stiffness:
Shoes with a very stiff midsole and structure will not see the same sensitivity change from different sole thicknesses or compounds.  For example, putting a 4.0 mm sole on a pair of La Sportiva Tarantulas (originally 5.0 mm) would have an undramatic effect on sensitivity because the shoes have a very stiff midsole, so the total stiffness of the shoe is not as heavily dependent on the sole.   However, a soft shoe like a Python or a Moccasym will be heavily affected by sole thickness and compound, because the sole is the main contributor to stiffness.

 

If you are still unsure, please reach out!  We love helping you get the most out of your shoes.

FAQ

+ What is a half-resole?

A half resole replaces the rubber sole on the toe-end of the shoe, where climbing shoes suffer the majority of their wear. A full resole would replace the entire sole, including the heel.

+ Can you resole a No-Edge shoe like a Genius or a Futura?

Yes we can! In fact, we are an authorized La Sportiva resoler; we offer authentic La Sportiva replacement soles to have your No-Edge shoes looking and performing like new.

We can also resole these shoes with a conventional edge if desired.

+ How do I choose the rubber for my sole?

Read this post! If you still have questions, you’ll be in a better position to arm us with the right information when you reach out for help.

+ Do I need rand repair?

You will need rand repair if the rand of your shoe has a hole in it, or has thinned to the point that it would form a hole shortly after a resole. You can gauge the thickness of the rand by pressing your thumb into various spots on the tip of the shoe. You’ll be able to feel thinned rand as a very soft spot. If you are unsure, you can always send us some photos for assessment.

+ Can you resole my previously resoled shoes? How many times?

Yes we can! How many times a shoe can be resoled depends on how well they are taken care of. We have resoled some pairs 5+ times, but we have also received shoes that were rotted to the point of being irrepairable before their first resole. Over time, the upper of the shoe wears and deteriorates from the inside out; this happens much more quickly when shoes are poorly cared for.

+ Are my shoes finished?

Maybe… have you checked your email? You can check our current shop time on the homepage to get a timeframe for when to expect to have your shoes back and better than ever. For mail returns, we’ll send an email as soon as the shoes are finished and shipped. For dropboxes, we’ll send an email as soon as the shoes are ready for pickup.

+ What is your turn-around time? Will my shoes be ready for my trip?

We keep our shop time updated on the home page along with the dropbox pickup schedule. The shop time begins upon pickup for dropbox shoes, and upon receipt for mail-ins.

+ Will you resole a single shoe?

Our policy is against doing shoes one at a time. This is partly because it benefits the customer greatly to keep the shoes balanced in performance by resoling the pair, and partly because our process is designed for pairs, so doing a single shoe would cost more than half the price of a pair, which is poor value. If you feel that you have good reason to have a single shoe resoled, please reach out to us.

+ Can I have my friend pick up my shoes from their gym after using a dropbox?

Yes, but please let us know before your finished shoes are delivered to the gym. We need to add your friend's name to the tag to authorize pickup by them.