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Maintenance and resoling: how to extend the life cycle of a La Sportiva product
Simple rules to follow and practical advice that will help you extend the life cycle of your favourite La Sportiva products, according to our experts
When we buy a product, it is in our interest to make it last as long as possible and keep its technical characteristics intact, but it is not always clear to us how to make this possible. It is therefore good to know that there are a few simple rules to follow and some practical advice that will help us extend the life cycle of our favourite products, preserving their characteristics over time, doing the environment a favour and avoiding premature deterioration of materials or onset of phenomena such as bad odour and fungal infections of the skin and nails related to poor hygiene conditions.
Break-in mountain and approach boots
As we know, adapting structured footwear such as the products of the Mountain Boot category to our foot requires a period of use that is neither short nor gradual. At this stage, it is important not to try to soften them by leaving them near faux heat, or by following other home remedies. In fact, the mountain boot will take the shape of our foot only as it is used, which in order to avoid premature degradation of the sole, must be carried out on suitable terrain.
Constant and prolonged use of the product will in any case lead to a level of deterioration such as to compromise its performance and safety. At this point, it is advisable to regenerate the product through the use of the original sole package, which will allow us to avoid having to repeat this running in again, still taking advantage of footwear with characteristics very close to the new product, allowing us to save money and to be the spokesperson for an ethical and responsible choice.
How to look after the hiking boots
We have seen that it is a good idea to extend the life cycle of our mountain boots to avoid to resorting to home remedies to change or soften their shape, use them on suitable soils avoiding particularly abrasive surfaces such as asphalt, and resort to regeneration once the edges and soles are compromised. But there is more... although the use of mountain boots is not daily, it is better to avoid storing them in damp and wet rooms for long periods, as well as in particularly hot environments. Exposure to direct sunlight should also be avoided.
Other good habits are represented by proper cleaning at the end of each session and the maintenance of the boot’s waterproof properties by using specific products.
How to clean and dry them
At the end of a long excursion, it is possible that our boots come out more tested than us: even if it may seem strange, mud and debris not adequately removed can, in the long run, cause early degradation of the materials, as well as favoring the formation of mold and bad smells.
To clean them, just use a brush and warm water, and if necessary, a little neutral soap to remove the most persistent dirt. It is important to avoid the use of aggressive detergents not specifically indicated for the treatment of construction material, as well as to set aside the idea of saving time by putting the product in the washing machine, which could compromise not only the materials but also the structure, making any repair impossible.
For drying, never use external heat sources such as a hairdryer with excessively hot air and avoid exposure to direct sunlight.
How to make my mountain boots waterproof
As soon as they are purchased, the boots do not require any additional treatment since the water repellent substances originally used directly on the construction materials guarantee a certain period of efficiency.
Over time, however, treating your boots with specific products will ensure that the footwear continues to be performing, flexible and resistant, preventing the leather from drying out, and consequently being damaged. The waterproofing process may vary depending on the product chosen for the treatment: the important thing is to check that it is suitable for the material the boot is made of (leather, fabric, nubuck, or suede).
When can I resole my boot?
The most appropriate time to request a regeneration of our product is when a minimum thickness of the toe soles is still present and we have not excessively damaged the rubber edging of the upper protection.
The decision regarding the need to replace more components must remain at the discretion of the professional, as some problems not visible at a first evaluation could emerge during processing (e.g. edges with already marked or very worn aging of the rubber that can break during the removal of the soles and consequently must be replaced).
Find out more about the La Sportiva Authorized Resolers network: La Sportiva Authorized Resolers
Can approach shoes be resoled?
Compared to the more traditional mountain boots, the models of the approach line are not particularly structured, and any possibility of regeneration through the use of generic and adaptable sole packs remains a possibility that only a qualified sole insulator can evaluate case by case and according to the condition of the footwear.
Precisely for this reason, La Sportiva does not yet offer this service and does not supply original spare parts to its external network of authorized resolvers, but the Research and Development department within the company is working to extend this service to the approach category as well, in such a way to be able to give our favourite approach shoes a second chance in the coming years.
How many times can I resole my boot?
Wanting to give a rough indication, we can consider that a first regeneration will almost certainly achieve an appreciable result and thus, extend the life cycle of our favourite product while maintaining comfort and performance.
However, resoling remains a fairly invasive operation and any subsequent requests must be carefully considered, especially taking into account the general conditions of the uppers, inner linings, and the Gore-Tex membrane on which it is not possible to intervene. If a product is overly worn, it is advisable to invest in a new pair.
How to extend the life cycle of my climbing shoes
The climbing shoe is an extremely technical product, in which the type of construction and choice of materials can sometimes accelerate the wear process compared to other more structured products. This does not mean that there are not some good habits to take to extend their life cycle, such as proper maintenance, attention in washing and resoling, but even before that, it is essential to choose a product suitable for your climbing style and usual terrain. Considering these factors will help us not only to make our experience more pleasant and lasting, but also to invest right from the start in a product that is truly designed to best meet our needs. Find out how to choose the most suitable climbing shoe for you: how to choose climbing shoes
How to store my climbing shoes
We know that especially at the beginning, climbing shoes can be a cross and a delight for the user, as comfort is certainly not counted among the main features of this specific product.
To help us make the first outings less painful it is possible to wear them for short periods while staying at home on the sofa, for example, but it is important not to force or try to accelerate this inevitable running-in process with alternative methods, as it could damage the original structure of product and affect the yield.
Being in direct contact with the skin, it is likely that after use the shoe will be dampened by sweat. Before storing them, it is recommended to ventilate and let the product dry to avoid the formation of mold or unpleasant odours, and to do it naturally and if possible, without using a hairdryer or other heat conductors, also avoiding direct exposure to sunlight. Another good practice is to perform a quick cleaning of chalk or rock debris at the end of each use.
How to clean and dry them
As with mountain boots, shoes too, being mainly made of leather, can be subjected to a delicate wash. In this case, however, since they tend to be used for short periods and do not come into direct contact with mud and debris, the need for thorough cleaning is less present.
It is therefore advisable to proceed with a damp cloth to remove the chalk, and in the case of more persistent dirt, wash them with warm water and a little neutral soap. The use of the washing machine and prolonged soaking, which could irreparably damage the materials and structure, should be excluded. For drying, it is best not to use artificial heat sources and avoid direct exposure to sunlight.
Posso risuolare le mie scarpette da arrampicata?
Of course, it is possible to resole your climbing shoes, but since it is an extremely technical product that requires an equally specific intervention, it is important to contact specialized centres. Since 2012, La Sportiva has activated a network of selected and authorized resolers operating in more than ten European markets.
The service offered aims to regenerate the products while preserving their performance as much as possible and to limit the company's environmental impact, through specific training and the exclusive use of original spare parts specially designed for their laboratories.
It is good to know that the most appropriate time to request a regeneration of the product is when a minimum thickness of the toe soles is still present and the protective rubber edging and especially the upper are not excessively damaged.
In the case of holes in the toe, it will be necessary to rebuild the rubber edge by applying additional protection before assembling new soles, which could compromise the level of performance. Watch the video:
Compound, durability and performance: what you need to know
We can say that the choice of the compound always remains linked to the type of product and it is not taken for granted that this originally assembled compound can be equally valid for resoling. A used shoe cannot maintain the same structure as a new product, therefore the choice of the original spare part used and supplied to the network of authorized La Sportiva resolers also takes this fact into account.
The duration of a sole is closely linked to the user. A soft and performing compound used by an experienced climber will most likely last longer than a more resistant compound used by a beginner. This for obvious reasons related to the experience of moving and positioning the feet during the climb.
In any case, it is not possible to precisely fix the duration of a sole, this is very influenced by the characteristics and technique of the user and above all by the terrain of use, indoor walls for example are very abrasive and also the different types of rock they are very different from each other and can give rise to different consumption.
We must consider that, with an average frequency of use of 2/3 times a week and taking into account the fact that the thickness of the climbing soles rarely exceed 4 mm., A couple of months of use will already be sufficient to require the regeneration of the our shoes. The deterioration due to sweating should not be underestimated, which in the case of climbing products can greatly affect the duration of the uppers and seams, especially if the latter is particularly acidic.
How many times can I resole my climbing shoes?
Wanting to give a rough indication, we can consider that a first regeneration will almost certainly obtain an appreciable result, but resoling is still a fairly invasive operation and any subsequent requests must be carefully considered.
A second intervention could be acceptable for a less demanding use or in training, as the product can no longer guarantee satisfactory characteristics linked to support and performance linked to the precision of the uppers, which at this point will have yielded considerably.
If a product is excessively worn, it is therefore advisable to invest in a new pair.
How to avoid wear and tear of my Mountain Running shoes
Unlike other categories, the products of the Mountain Running line have very specific obsolescence and on which it is difficult to intervene as their purpose remains to ensure maximum performance, grip, and lightness during off-road racing for enthusiasts. As with traditional road running shoes, these prerogatives require the choice and use of increasingly innovative construction materials that can hardly guarantee the duration of more than 600/700 km of travel. Even in this case, however, there are some precautions to consider to avoid premature deterioration of the materials, first of all, correct use and washing.
How to care for my mountain running shoes?
Among the main causes of premature wear of Mountain Running shoes, we find in fact the use for disciplines and activities other than those originally designed for these products.
Starting from the base, the most common problem is linked to running on asphalt for long stretches: since it is a very abrasive surface, the deterioration of the tread and the caps that characterize it could in fact occur earlier than expected and therefore limit the life of the footwear.
Going up the level, we think about how the materials of the sole package would risk losing their cushioning qualities and not adequately support the user's weight if used to walk multi-day walks with medium to heavy loads.
Ultimately the upper which, although structured, points to the use of light and breathable materials and which could be irreparably damaged if used to tackle very challenging and exposed routes such as via ferratas and technical approaches.
After that, as recommended for the other categories, proper cleaning and storage in properly ventilated rooms away from direct heat sources, will help to avoid premature deterioration of the product.
How can I clean and dry them?
Given the more dynamic use of the product, you may feel the need to resort to more frequent and decisive washing. However, although removing mud and debris after each use remains a good practice, it is best to avoid washing machines, long soaking in hot water and the use of particularly aggressive tools or detergents.
Quick washing in warm water with a little neutral soap will be enough to ensure a sufficient level of cleanliness and hygiene, avoiding more invasive practices that would inevitably damage and deform the structured parts of the footwear.
As for drying, even in these cases, an airy environment, away from heat sources and direct exposure to the sun, should be preferred.
Can I resole my mountain running shoes?
Unfortunately, resoling these products is not advisable as wear is often linked to the entire sole package and not just the tread. Should you still want to proceed, subsequent use for competitions or training should be avoided.