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How to clean your climbing shoes

One of the most common questions we get about caring for climbing shoes is; can you wash them? The answer is yes! And you should! In this blog we take you through how to clean your climbing shoes – step by step.


Cleaning your climbing shoes is easy – and will help to keep them looking and performing at their best! Not to mention getting rid of that climbing shoe smell!

Follow our step by step guide on how to clean your climbing shoes:

What do you need to clean your climbing shoes?

Cleaning your climbing shoes is simple and you can use items you already have around the house!

  • Soft Cloth
  • Soft brush or tooth brush
  • Microfibre cloth or towel

You don’t need any soaps or detergents – just some warm water and some elbow grease.

How to clean your climbing shoes

It is best to clean your shoes in your sink or shower as you will need a supply of clean running water – but you can also clean your shoes outside with a bucket.

1. Start by cleaning off any chalk or mud from the outside of your shoes.

Wipe the outside of your shoes with a damp soft cloth to remove any chalk, dirt or anything else which may be on the outside. Pay special attention to any nooks and crannies around the laces or straps.

Don’t use too much pressure on the delicate areas, but make sure you have removed all of the dirt you can.

2. Rinse

Start to rise the inside of the your climbing shoes with warm water (make sure it is not too hot as hot water can affect the glue). This will lift the dirt and flush the sweat salts from the materials increasing surface friction and elasticity plus it will start to remove the nasty smell!

Keep rinsing until the water runs clear – now it is time to start cleaning the insides.

3. Scrub the insides

Using your cloth gently scrub the inside of your shoe paying special attention to the footbed as this is where most of the dirt and sweat will be.

Now use your brush or tooth brush to gently scrub the areas you cant reach – especially in the toes.

Once you are happy that you have given your shoes a good scrub – rinse them again to get all of the dirt you have just dislodged out.

4. Drain and Dry

Once cleaned and rinsed – it is time to dry. Leave your shoes to drain fully for five minutes – allowing as much water out as possible – then start drying.

Get your microfibre cloth or towel and stuff it inside of your shoe – then wrap the towel around the outside of your shoe and squeeze. This should draw out a lot of the moisture inside and on the upper and help to reduce drying time.

Finally leave your shoes to dry – make sure they are away from heat sources like a radiator and out of direct sunlight.

Leave your shoes to air dry in a warm place – then they are ready for you to keep climbing!

We hope you found this article informative and helpful. We would love to hear any questions, so please get in touch with us on Facebook or Instagram. Here you can also share with us your climbing adventures – make sure you tag us in your posts!

If you’re searching for your next pair of climbing shoes – then check out our range. Our climbing shoes are built to last and are designed to offer everything from all day comfort through to cutting edge precision. 

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