Last updated on April 6th, 2023 at 05:39 am
You know the drill. After a training session at the gym or a fun day at the crag, you throw all your gear into your trusty climbing pack, hurriedly close up, and head home.
Lo and behold! The velcro straps are covered in grass, leaves, dirt, and grime, all inevitable residents of your gym bag. Climbing chalk gets everywhere, and now it has found its way onto the rubber soles, compromising the stickiness of the rubber.
Worse still, throwing the draws, cams, belay devices, and other hardware on top of your shoes caused your shoes to look mighty warped, and there’s a significant indentation in the sad-looking toe box.
That’s not a good idea! Proper storage for your shoes includes keeping them as clean as you can and not compromising the structural integrity and shape of the rubber.
The humble rock climbing shoe bag is that protective barrier between your favorite climbing shoes and the rest of the world. The shoe bag might just be the most underrated piece of kit at your disposal.
Typically made of fine mesh, climbing shoe bags let your shoes breathe air while still keeping twigs, leaves, dirt, and other unwanted visitors away from your precious climbing shoes.
It’s good practice to always place shoes at the very top of the pack to prevent damage to the shoe’s shape and keep the top pockets (or the “brain”) of your pack light.
The Best Climbing Shoe Bags
There are plenty of climbing (and non-climbing specific) shoe bags to choose from that will help keep your shoes in good condition. Below are a few of our favorites.
Ultra-lightweight and fully breathable, the La Sportiva shoe bag fits a pair of kicks neatly within. Popular with climbers, this fine mesh bag allows for maximum airflow while you travel home, and the pull cord conveniently seals the bag.
Like most other breathable bags, the netting is fine enough to keep out particles yet transparent enough to let those shoes breathe for optimal hygiene and odor control.
This stylish bag by So iLL features mesh on one side and rubber on the other. It is less lightweight than the La Sportiva shoe bag, but we really like the durability of this shoe bag.
A zippered closure seals the bag. The ideal placement for this bag would be to have shoes placed on the top of your bag, with the rubber facing downstairs to protect against any debris from the rest of your gear, yet venting the package upwards.
In addition to the lightweight mesh bags, more rigid crampon bags are designed for maximum durability and will feature a mesh side. Often made of stiff nylon, the construction of these bags will give another layer of protection to maintain the shape of your shoes.
Two of our favorite crampon bags include the Petzl Fakir and the Black Diamond Crampon Bag. Similarly priced, these two bags feature reinforced nylon and a mesh side for venting.
Climbing shoe bags don’t have to be solely from climbing brands, as this bag from Sgt Knots can attest. Made with 100% polyester mesh, this shoe bag is breathable, lightweight, and resistant to moisture. The design allows for maximum airflow and keeps the larger particles out.
This simply-designed mesh bag by Energetiks holds a pair of climbing shoes comfortably. The closure is with a simple drawstring, and this Australian company ships worldwide.
Not to mention the awesome color scheme will look great with your pink climbing shoes!
This affordable bag from Koyee comes in a five-piece pack. Tough and durable, these simple bags with a drawstring closure give you plenty of options for use in addition to holding your precious shoes. The mesh is fine enough to keep out even the smallest particles of debris.
For the environmentally-conscious climber, these organic cotton bags by Small Fish are made with natural, organic ingredients. Made with premium 100% cotton that is non-toxic, these eco-friendly bags are machine washable.
They are roomy enough to hold shoes and come in a pack of 5, so you’ll have plenty to give out to your climbing buddies to help them better care for their shoes. The stitching is sturdy enough to stand up to multiple washes and rough use. The cotton is tough enough to protect the contents while remaining airy and breathable.
Is It Time To Get A Climbing Shoe Bag?
Proper care for your climbing shoes will go a long way in prolonging their lifespan and reducing the need to clean them.
Less cleaning equates to a reduction in wear and tear. If all else fails and your shoes need a cleaning despite your best efforts, here are some tips to help keep them in tip-top shape without compromising the structure.
Many options are available for you to keep particles away from your shoelace eyelets, velcro straps, rubber soles, and shoe interior. The ideal bag will not let in dirt and gunk while being breathable enough to keep your shoes vented for the ride home.
We hope this article has made it easier for you to maintain your favorite shoes and preserve their life!