How long do climbing shoes last? What do we do more in The Netherlands: bouldering or sport climbing? What is the average climbing level? Do you buy climbing shoes online? How long do climbing shoes last after resoling? Halfway through 2019, Elementary, still starting up at this time, conducts research about purchase behaviour of climbers concerning climbing shoes. This research finds place mostly in the Facebook Group Dutch Climbing Community. 163 climbers participate in this survey. Here you can read about the survey results.
Participation 163 climbers participated in this survey. While this does not resemble the entire target group -Dutch climbers-, it is statistically seen, sufficient data to make sure the results are not based on coincedence (significancy). For the larger part, participants live in Zuid-Holland*1, followed by Utrecht, Noord-Brabant and Noord-Holland. Two thirds of the participants are male and one third is female. The average age is 33 and 6c is the average climbing level.*2 57% boulders more often, 43% sport climbs more often.*3
Buying, reparing and replacing climbing shoes On average, climbers last 11 months with a pair of climbing shoes. Sport climbers last a little bit longer, boulderers a bit shorter. Boulderers wear out their shoes faster when climbing just as often in the week as sport climbers. Boulderers on average, climb more often in the week. 32% from the participating climbers have their shoes resoled at some point. 24 % from boulderers have their shoes resoled against 42% from sport climbers. Most resole their shoes 1-2 times. Shoes usually last about 6 months after resoling. Boulderers averagely spend a bit more on climbing shoes than sport climbers.
Buying climbing shoes online 55,4% buys online, 28,4% considers it. 16,2% would not buy online. Reasons not to buy online: the need to fit and try shoes before buying. Reasons to buy online: ease, price or hard-to-get sizes. The most important factor to buy online is ease when the size is already known at the moment of buying (78,6%). This is followed by lower online pricing (72,6%), more choice than physical retail and free return shipping (both 50,4%). Price and offer determine the choice for a webshop (81,9% en 64,5%), followed by return shipping possibilities (47,1%). Most common feedback: the offer is out there, but not in the same store. Many stores offer few brands, models or sizes. The most heard additional desire is that for split sizes: the option to buy the left and right shoe separately.
Elementary thanks all those whom participated in this survey. The results provide valuable information, which consequently lead to the birth of Elementary Outdoor Sports. Inspired by the results from this survey, Elementary offers a shoe selector and size guide to make online buying of climbing shoes easier. Because a risk remains that you still purchase the wrong size, you can return ship for free at Elementary. And we did listen to you: we included a shoe in our asortment that allows to buy in split size (EB Split). Our offer partly distinguishes itself from what is out there already and partly meets current demand. Over the course of time, we continue to expand our offer. If you have any specific wishes: let us know.
*1Elementary is located in Zuid-Holland itself and we asked a couple of climbing buddies to participate in the research. This may have lead to a misrepresentation of geographical results.
*2We suspect that the Facebook-group in which the survey is conducted, includes many experienced climbers whom's climbing level does not necessarily resemble the average Dutch climber.
*3The ratio sport climbers / boulderers is in line with Elementary’s own expectations: that more Dutch people boulder than sport climb. At the same time, this goes against statistics from the NKBV that show that sport climbers are representated in larger numbers in The Netherlands. Despite the rising number of boulder gyms in The Netherlands, this country still holds about twice as many sport climbing gyms compared to boulder gyms. Then again, many people whom sport climb, also boulder.