How To Clean Climbing Shoes?

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To clean climbing shoes, rinse them with water and scrub off dirt using a soft brush. Then, let them air dry completely.

Taking care of your climbing shoes is essential for maintaining their performance and prolonging their lifespan. Regular cleaning removes built-up dirt and helps prevent odors. In this guide, we’ll show you the step-by-step process to clean your climbing shoes effectively.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your shoes in optimal condition and ready for your next climb. So, let’s dive in and learn how to clean climbing shoes properly.

How To Clean Climbing Shoes?


Why Cleaning Your Climbing Shoes Is Important

Regularly cleaning your climbing shoes is essential for maintaining optimal performance and prolonging their lifespan. Learn the effective ways to clean climbing shoes, ensuring they stay in top condition for your next adventure.

Importance Of Maintaining Cleanliness For Effective Climbing

Keeping your climbing shoes clean is crucial for maintaining their effectiveness and ensuring a safe climbing experience. This article will highlight the key reasons why cleaning your climbing shoes is important and the risks associated with neglecting their maintenance.

Bacterial Growth And Odor Control:

  • Climbing shoes can accumulate bacteria, sweat, and dirt with regular use, leading to the growth of harmful microorganisms.
  • Bacterial growth can lead to unpleasant odors and increase the risk of foot infections and skin irritations.
  • Regularly cleaning your climbing shoes helps eliminate bacteria and prevents the development of foul odors.

Preserving The Shoe’S Performance:

  • Over time, climbing shoes can lose their grip due to the buildup of dirt and oils on the outsole.
  • Maintaining cleanliness ensures optimal contact between the shoe and the climbing surface, improving overall performance and adherence.
  • Clean climbing shoes provide better friction and precision, allowing you to make confident moves on different types of rock or indoor climbing walls.

Prolonging The Shoe’S Lifespan:

  • Cleaning your shoes not only enhances their performance but also extends their lifespan.
  • Dirt and debris can degrade the shoe’s materials, weakening its structure and reducing durability.
  • By regularly removing dirt and maintaining cleanliness, you can prevent premature wear and tear, ensuring your climbing shoes last longer.

Preventing Damage To Climbing Gym Surfaces:

  • Dirty climbing shoes can leave marks and scuff the surfaces of indoor climbing gyms.
  • Regular cleaning removes excess dirt and oils from the outsole, reducing the likelihood of damaging the climbing gym’s walls and holds.
  • Maintaining clean shoes shows respect for the climbing community and helps preserve the gym’s facilities for everyone’s enjoyment.

Avoiding Cross-Contamination:

  • Climbing shoes can come into contact with various surfaces, including rocks, dirt, and gym floors.
  • Cleaning your shoes between climbing sessions helps prevent cross-contamination of bacteria, fungi, and other harmful organisms.
  • By eliminating the risk of carrying contaminants to new climbing areas, you contribute to the overall cleanliness and hygiene of the climbing community.

Maintaining clean climbing shoes is vital for your safety, performance, and the longevity of the shoes themselves. Regularly removing dirt, bacteria, and odors from your shoes will ensure optimal grip, prevent damage to climbing surfaces, and reduce the risk of infections or irritations.


By following proper cleaning practices, you can enjoy a better climbing experience while respecting the environment and fellow climbers.

Preparing Your Climbing Shoes For Cleaning

Learn how to clean your climbing shoes effectively with these easy-to-follow steps. From removing dirt and grime to ensuring their longevity, this guide will help you prepare your climbing shoes for cleaning and maintain their performance on the rock.

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s crucial to properly prepare your climbing shoes. This helps ensure a thorough and effective cleaning, allowing your shoes to maintain their grip and longevity. Follow these steps to prepare your climbing shoes before cleaning:

Removing Excess Dirt And Debris:

  • Begin by gently tapping your climbing shoes together, allowing any loose dirt or debris to fall out.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to remove any remaining dirt from the surface of the shoes. Be gentle to avoid causing any damage.
  • Pay attention to the crevices and hard-to-reach areas of the shoes, ensuring all dirt and debris is removed.

Checking For Any Visible Damage Or Wear:

  • Inspect your climbing shoes for any visible signs of damage, such as cuts, tears, or separation of rubber.
  • Look for excessive wear on the soles, especially around high-friction areas, like the toe or the edges.
  • If you notice any damage or significant wear, take note of it for repair or replacement.

Preparing Your Shoes For The Cleaning Process:

  • Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it can cause damage to the materials.
  • Add a small amount of mild detergent or climbing shoe cleaner to the water. Be cautious not to use harsh chemicals that could deteriorate the shoe’s performance.
  • Immerse your climbing shoes in the soapy water, allowing them to soak for a few minutes.
  • Gently scrub the shoes with a soft brush or sponge, focusing on any stubborn dirt or stains.
  • Rinse the shoes thoroughly with clean water to remove all soap residue.

By following these steps to prepare your climbing shoes before cleaning, you will ensure a more effective cleaning process and help prolong the life and performance of your shoes.

Cleaning Methods For Climbing Shoes

Climbing shoes can be cleaned using various methods to keep them in optimal condition. Follow these steps to effectively clean your climbing shoes and maintain their performance and longevity.

To maintain the performance and longevity of your climbing shoes, regular cleaning is essential. Here are different methods you can use to clean your climbing shoes effectively:

Handwashing With Mild Soap And Warm Water:

  • Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water.
  • Add a small amount of mild soap and mix it well.
  • Dip a soft brush or cloth into the soapy water.
  • Gently scrub the outer surface of your climbing shoes using circular motions.
  • Pay extra attention to areas with dirt and stains.
  • Rinse the shoes thoroughly with clean water.
  • Remove excess water by gently squeezing the shoes.
  • Let them air dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

Machine Washing With Caution And Use Of Laundry Bags:

  • Place your climbing shoes in a mesh laundry bag to protect them during the washing process.
  • Use a gentle cycle and cold water setting on your washing machine.
  • Add a small amount of mild detergent specifically formulated for delicates.
  • Start the wash cycle and let the machine do the work.
  • Once done, remove the shoes from the laundry bag.
  • Rinse any remaining soap residue by hand.
  • Squeeze out excess water and reshape the shoes.
  • Allow them to air dry naturally.

Using Specialized Cleaning Products For Tough Stains:

  • If your climbing shoes have stubborn stains or odors, consider using specialized cleaning products designed for climbing shoes.
  • Follow the instructions provided on the product label for the best results.
  • Apply the cleaning product directly to the affected areas.
  • Use a brush or cloth to gently scrub the stains.
  • Rinse off the cleaning solution with clean water.
  • Remove excess water by gently squeezing the shoes.
  • Air dry the shoes thoroughly before storing or using them again.

Remember, proper cleaning methods are crucial for maintaining the performance and lifespan of your climbing shoes. Regular cleaning after each climbing session or when they become dirty will help keep them in top shape for your next adventure.


Drying And Storing Your Climbing Shoes

To clean climbing shoes effectively, it’s crucial to properly dry and store them. This will prevent odors and extend their lifespan. After climbing, wipe off dirt, air dry, and keep them in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.

After giving your climbing shoes a thorough cleaning, the next step is to dry and store them properly to maintain their shape and longevity. Following these guidelines will help ensure that your shoes are ready for your next climbing adventure:

Air-Drying In A Well-Ventilated Area:

  • Find a well-ventilated area where you can hang or place your climbing shoes to air-dry. This will allow moisture to evaporate more efficiently and prevent any build-up of unpleasant odors.
  • Avoid leaving your shoes in a closed container or a damp environment, as this can promote the growth of mold and bacteria.

Avoiding Direct Sunlight And Heat Sources:

  • While drying your climbing shoes, it’s important to keep them away from direct sunlight and heat sources such as radiators or heaters. Exposure to excessive heat can cause the rubber on the shoe to deteriorate and lose its grip.
  • Instead, choose a shady or cool spot to dry your shoes. This will help preserve their structural integrity and ensure that they remain in top condition.

Properly Storing Shoes To Maintain Shape And Longevity:

  • Store your climbing shoes in a dry environment, ideally at room temperature. This will prevent any moisture-related issues and maintain the integrity of the materials.
  • To maintain their shape, it’s best to stuff your shoes with newspaper or tissue paper. This will help them retain their form and prevent any unnecessary creasing.
  • Avoid storing your climbing shoes in cramped spaces or under heavy objects. Instead, choose a well-ventilated area where they can be stored upright or hung with care.
  • It’s a good idea to keep your climbing shoes separate from your other gear to reduce the risk of damage from sharp objects or excessive pressure.

By following these simple steps for drying and storing your climbing shoes, you can ensure that they remain in optimal condition for your next climb. Take the extra time to care for your shoes, and they’ll continue to support you on your climbing adventures for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Clean Climbing Shoes?

How Often Should I Clean My Climbing Shoes?

Clean your climbing shoes after every climbing session to remove dirt, sweat, and odor.

Can I Machine Wash My Climbing Shoes?

Machine washing is not recommended as the harsh agitation can damage the sensitive materials of climbing shoes.

What Is The Best Way To Clean Climbing Shoe Rubber?

Use a soft brush or cloth with mild soap and water to gently clean the rubber soles of your climbing shoes.

How Can I Remove The Odor From My Climbing Shoes?

To get rid of odor, sprinkle baking soda inside your climbing shoes and let it sit overnight.

Can I Use A Hairdryer To Dry My Climbing Shoes?

Avoid using a hairdryer as excessive heat can warp and damage the materials of your climbing shoes. Let them air dry naturally.



To maintain the longevity and performance of your climbing shoes, regular cleaning is essential. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can effectively remove dirt, grime, and odors from your shoes, ensuring they remain in top condition.

Remember to always begin by brushing off loose dirt before using a gentle cleaning solution and brush to scrub away stubborn stains. After cleaning, air drying your shoes in a well-ventilated area will prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.

Lastly, storing your climbing shoes in a cool, dry place will help preserve their integrity for future adventures. By investing a little time and effort into cleaning your climbing shoes, you can extend their lifespan and enjoy optimal performance, ensuring you’re ready to conquer any climb that comes your way.

So, don’t neglect this important aspect of your climbing equipment maintenance routine!

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