How To Wash Climbing Shoes

How To Wash Climbing Shoes?

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced climber, every climber needs a pair of sturdy and reliable climbing shoes. And, if you want your shoes to last for years, you must take good care of them by regularly cleaning and conditioning them. Read on to learn how to wash climbing shoes properly.

Cleaning the Exterior

Removing any dirt and debris from the exterior of your climbing shoes on a regular basis is essential. This will help preserve their longevity and keep all parts of your shoe in good condition, as dirt can cause damage over time.

Start by putting on a pair of nitrile gloves and then use warm water and a gentle brush (like an old toothbrush) to scrub away any caked-on grime. Avoid using harsh detergents or cleaners, as they could damage the material of your shoe and any adhesive that may be used. Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the exterior of your shoes, let them dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Cleaning the Interior

The interior of your climbing shoe is just as important as the exterior to keep them in good condition! Start by removing insoles so you can clean the interior more effectively.

Then, use warm water and a soft cloth or sponge to gently wipe down all surfaces inside the shoe, including around laces and buckles, if applicable. Be sure not to use too much pressure when wiping down these areas, as this could cause damage or breakages.

Once clean, allow the insoles and interior of your shoe to air dry before replacing any previously removed insoles.

Good to read: How Long Do Climbing Shoes Last?


Once the exterior and interior of your climbing shoes have been thoroughly cleaned, it’s time for conditioning! Using a leather conditioner specifically for footwear will help protect against wear-and-tear while also helping keep them looking new longer!

Apply liberally with an old rag or paper towel until all surfaces are lightly coated but not saturated with conditioner; this is especially important for areas like laces, buckles, etc., which tend to be more susceptible to wear and tear over time.

Allow everything plenty of time (at least 24 hours) for drying before wearing it again, so no residue remains on either yourself or any surfaces near where you applied it!

Caring for Your Climbing Shoes

It’s also essential to take care of your climbing shoes after each use to extend their lifespan and ensure their quality performance remains intact. After each climb, remove the laces and allow the laces and shoes to air dry completely before storing them away in a cool, dry area—not in direct sunlight or an overly humid area.

You should also avoid leaving your shoes near heat sources such as radiators, as they can cause permanent damage over time due to excessive exposure to high temperatures.  

Replace Worn Out Parts

Finally, check for worn parts, such as laces or rubber soles, that may need replacing due to lousy wear from regular usage or too much exposure to the elements outdoors. Replacing these parts can help keep your climbing shoes looking outstanding while improving their performance on the wall!

Check out our Gear Guide for recommendations on durable replacements for worn parts like laces and rubber soles so you can get back onto your project without any delays!  

Can You Clean Climbing Shoes With Dish Soap?

How To Wash Climbing Shoes

Cleaning your climbing shoes is almost as important as the actual activity. Not only do you want to rid of unpleasant smells, but a good clean will also prevent premature wear and tear – giving your climbing shoes a longer lifespan.

While a variety of specific cleaning solutions are available on the market, surprisingly enough, you can achieve great results with something as simple as dish soap! Mixing a few drops of gentle detergent in some warm water will create an effective cleaning solution that won’t cause damage to the delicate material of your shoes. Just follow up with an air-dry or low-heat setting for optimal effect!

Also Read: How To Clean Climbing Shoes?


Now you know How To Wash Climbing Shoes? With proper care, cleaning, and conditioning techniques like those listed above, you can ensure that your climbing shoes stay in great shape for years – even decades – into the future! Taking a few simple steps after each outing helps protect against wear and tear while preserving their longevity, so they’re always ready when you need them most! So don’t forget – give those trusty kicks some TLC every once in a while; they’ll thank you later!