That is the question. I just sent a pair of shoes off to the good folks at Rock and Resole in Boulder, and then noticed my other main pair is going to need some new rubber soon as well. The topic came up in conversation the other day, and a friend mentioned that he didn’t think resoling was really worth it. Why pay $50 to get new rubber on old shoes, he argued, when you could probably find some new shoes on sale for $100? As I’m firmly entrenched in the resole camp, it got me thinking about whether or not resoling really is the most cost effective way to go.
On one hand, even without a pro deal you can get a new pair of shoes for between $100 and $150. That’s two or three resoles, when you factor in shipping. Even the best, most aggressive shoes start to lose their shape after a stretch of hard use. At some point they go from being high performance tools to flat pieces of rubber on your feet.
On the other hand, it certainly seems wasteful to discard a pair of shoes after the rubber is worn down just on the toe. If you climb a lot, you could be going through a new pair of shoes every three to four months. Even if you aren’t a card carrying member of the Sierra Club, that’s got to weigh on your sense of sustainability to some degree.
I’ve always been one to get shoes resoled, and I don’t think that’ll change for me anytime soon. I have a pair of Muiras that’s ten years old, and while they aren’t my go to shoe anymore, I still take them to the gym, or bolting, and get use out of them. The other option of course is to pass them along to some one else, maybe via eBay or better yet, a cool, local used gear shop.
How about you? Do you resole? Or are you addicted to that new shoe smell?