We take a look at the new and sustainable climbing shoe refurb service from Scarpa.
This review was originally scheduled to post by Dave just as the pandemic took hold and was ‘shelved’ as Scarpa ceased to accept resoles. Happily things are back to normal resole wise though be aware that the factory virtually shuts down during August so don’t plan on sending your resoles off then! I’ll be sending a pair of winter boots (Mt Blanc Pros) off soon so we’ll update the review with those too.
I’ll start this review with a tale: I have, in the past, had climbing shoes resoled with mixed results. I have also decided to try to be more sustainable in 2020 and decided that my Scarpa Vapour V shoes needed a little love. So packed them up and sent them off to an established climbing shoe resoler together with my payment details. A month went by, then after 5 weeks I decided to contact them as I hadn’t heard anything from them. So I fired off an email asking if a) they had received my shoes and b) if they had was there any chance of letting me know when I might get them back. After a day or so I got a reply saying that yes they had got my shoes (phew!) and b) the current waiting time was 13 weeks. Yep, that right – 13 weeks! I’m sure you can guess my response – send them back please; which they duly did.
It was by chance that I met and was chatting to the Scarpa rep and my local climbing gym when he mentioned the new shoe refurbishment service from Scarpa for Scarpa climbing shoes. The service is also available for many other Scarpa shoes and boots. I decided to ask if they would refurbish both my Vapour V’s and my trust Maestro shoes. I could end this review here by saying that they came back truly awesome – almost like new, but I thought you’d like a little more detail about the process.
Scarpa have made a bold statement in saying that they are fully promoting and committing to the idea that you should be considering refurbishing your shoes multiple times as opposed to throwing them away and buying new every season or two. If you think about it it makes sense really – it’s very rare that the upper gets trashed. Maybe if you’re a hardcore crack climber, or your local rock is super rough the uppers may split but for most of us it’s the sole and the rand that wears away. If you get them at the right time a traditional resole can extend the life of your shoes for another season or two.
I have used a resole service in the past, but usually for my ‘comfy’ shoes that I used to use for work or the climbing wall and maybe bouldering circuits. But, never for performance shoes.Those I always had new – the refurbishment service changes that completely. I will have complete confidence that these refurbished shoes will perform as good as a new pair. In fact the sole on the Vapour V’s is so good I’m having to wear them back in! This goes for the Maestro shoes too – they have come back in a fully clean with a ‘as good as new’ sole unit.
So let’s go through the process for UK and Ireland customers, . You can link directly to the Resole Service through a link at the bottom of the scarpa.co.uk webpage – this gives you full information about the service and a contact form. I would advise sending good quality photos of the repair you want done so that staff can make a decision whether it’s worth sending the shoes in. There is also a drop off service available through Scarpa approved partners. Who they are can be found on the Resole Service page through the link above.
There are several circumstances where shoes cannot be repaired – if the uppers are dried out (maybe from being stored for several years in low humidity) or the shoe material worn completely through (i.e. you can seen your toes poking out – there will not be enough material to bond a new rand at that point). With good enough photo attachments you should get an accurate response from staff as to whether they can be repaired or not. From there you send your shoes to Scarpa in the UK . You pay the cost of postage to Scarpa in the UK and they cover the postage costs to Italy and back to you. Also several of the more modern, performance models such as the Chimera, Furia, etc. that have soft and flexible soles will need to have a rand fitted as that re-tensions the shoe to the correct alignment.
If you have another pair of shoes then you can continue to crank away until your new shoes arrive in about 4 weeks. My order stretched over the Christmas break so were about 4.5 weeks. A great turnaround considering my point at the beginning with the 13 week turnaround. An email from Scarpa informed me that my shoes had arrived back at their warehouse and that would be with me within a couple of days. I then got got a message from the courier that the shoes would be arriving on a specific date. So, I was well informed throughout the process as to the progress of the service. Scarpa say they repair any make of Scarpa shoe, including some hiking boots so whatever model of shoe you own, they should be able to repair and refurbish them. Scarpa are now using vegan friendly glue on all their climbing shoes so if your model is vegan friendly then you’ll be fine with the service.
The shoes arrived boxed and in fantastic shape, fully cleaned, including the velcro fastenings on the Vapour V’s and a lovely clean looking Maestro with a complete resole along the length of the shoe. They have both performed perfectly and although not as snug as when they were sent off they have broken in nicely after two weeks of climbing in them. Everyone who has seen them has been super impressed with the quality of the service and I cannot recommend it enough – a thoroughly old school solution bought bang up to date and well in tune with the current zeitgeist.
The Scarpa Resole Service and price list can be found at scarpa.co.uk
Disclaimer – CGR reviewers and writers are never paid to provide a review and the website does not take advertising or link to affiliate sales. We are a bunch of keen climbers and travellers that accept sample products and offer an honest and independent review of the item. The reviewer will often keep the sample after reviewing it for both hygiene and safety reasons and more often it’s in no fit state to return!