Climbing shoes are like dogs. They bring us so much joy, but we’re doomed to outlive them. It’s expensive to replace them. And then there’s a painful break-in period where they pee on the carpet/hurt your feet. You can add years to the life of your climbing shoes by getting them resoled. A climbing shoe resole costs less than half the price of new shoes. The only downside is that you have to live without your beloved shoes for a couple weeks after you ship them off for repair. Here are seven things you can do to keep yourself occupied while you wait.
Your shoes are injured. The big-toe rubber wore clean off. There could be rand damage. This is an emotional time. Don’t bottle up your feelings. Make yourself a cup of tea. Take a bath. Watch a slideshow of you and your shoes’ favorite climbing trips. Let the tears flow. Remember that little dime-edge you didn’t think you could stand on back in Lover’s Leap? Your shoes really came through on that one. That slab in North Carolina looked so slippery, but the sticky rubber helped you walk up it like stairs. God, I hope my shoes are OK. They’re probably scared, being in a box, in the mail. They don’t know what’s going on. How could they? They’re shoes.
2. Dig out Your Old Climbing Shoes
Remember your old Nagos? They were your first pair of climbing shoes. You two had a lot of great times together. You sent your first V1 in them. And your first V2. And 5.6, 5.7, 5.8 and 5.9. You climbed outside for the first time in those shoes. Every gash in the rubber is a memory. Maybe it’ll be nice to climb in them for a change. Heck, they’re downright comfortable.
3. Make Excuses for Why You’re Not Sending
I definitely would’ve sent that V11 in the boulder cave if I’d been wearing my Miuras. I don’t know why I even bother climbing in these old Nagos. They’re not downturned at all. I can’t stand on my toes. Hell, they’re downright comfortable. What am I climbing in, fuzzy bunny slippers? I should’ve left them in the closet where I found them. What a piece of garbage. Why even climb if I can’t turn my feet into pointy, curved hooks?
4. Take a Rest Week
Maybe I should take a week off. It’d be good for me. I’ve been climbing four times a week for the past, um, when was the last time I needed my shoes resoled? I’m past due for all my finger pulleys to explode. This is a good thing. I’ll let my tendons heal and come back stronger. In the meantime, I can go through that big pile of mail growing on top of the fridge. There are probably bills that someone expects me to pay. Then I can catch up on all those TV shows my non-climber friends have been talking about. Oh, yeah! My non-climber friends.
5. Catch up with Your Non-Climber Friends
Remember how there are people you enjoy being around that are not rock climbers? So you never see them? This is a great time to give them a call. See what they’ve been up to. Have they gotten married? Do they have kids? You’ve changed a lot, too. You’ve been focusing on overhanging cracks lately. So that’s different. Get a group together and go get a beer. You can all talk about what’s on your tick list. Wait, no. Self-rescue techniques. Hmm. That’s not right either. You can talk about whatever it is non-climbers talk about.
6. Worry About Your Belay Partner
Your belay partner is the real victim here. He has to go two weeks without a belayer, and he didn’t do anything to deserve it. Guess he’ll spend that time bouldering. That’s not so bad. He’ll get some extra power out of it. I hope he doesn’t twist an ankle on a fall, though. Or push himself too hard and get elbow tendonitis. Oh God, or what if he runs into someone else that needs a belay, and they hit it off? What if he likes that person more than he likes you? What if they buy a van together and move to Yosemite? No, this isn’t happening.
7. Buy New Climbing Shoes
If you buy a backup pair of your shoes, you’ll never have to stop climbing. If you think about it, you’re only spending 3/4 of what you’d spend on two new pairs of shoes. It’s actually very frugal. The best part is that you’ll never have to do #1-6.
Title photo: Jake Swartz
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