The Market for Unusable Rock Climbing Shoes

If you read my most recent entry, you know I got the Bandits from Evolv and was really excited about them. But then I wore them in the hotel for just a little longer than both times that I tried them on in the store. My toes were feeling a little cramped and it wasn’t good.

What I thought was tolerable was suddenly painful. I was then stuck with figuring out what do I do now.

You see, whenever you buy climbing gear today, retailers refuse to accept returns or make exchanges for fear that the product might be damaged or altered in some way. My receipt from Erehwon said so very clearly. If they resold the returned or exchanged item that may have been changed in some way, if it fails to perform the shop doesn’t want to be held liable in any way. This concerned me because my size 11.5 Evolvs were not going to be climbed in very much by me.

So what do you do in this situation? First you try to avoid it by trying on as many rock climbing shoes as possible and you do your homework, reading reviews and such. Then you base your experience by the rental shoes you wore at the gym. I did all this but I think my shortcoming was that I hadn’t climbed in about ten years.

I also read a lot of advice, but I worried that the only way to get a better sized pair of Evolv Bandits was to do what a lot of folks have been forced to do: Sell them for a marginal loss (I hope it’s only marginal!) on EBay or some other exchange.

Since I was on the road, and had more time to obsess about this at night than I would when I’m at home with the family, I surfed the Internet at length for a solution. So I compared the prices of new rock climbing shoes on Ebay to their retail price. The possibility of breaking even seemed within reach, but I’d have to include shipping and there still wasn’t any guarantee. More than likely, I’d take a 20 percent hit.

With the shoes still on cramping my feet, I took them off. Then I put them back on lacing them a bit differently, hoping it would make a difference.

I eventually went to Evolv’s website and Hallelujah, my prayers were answered! Evolv allows customers to exchange new, unused shoes not worn outside the home, within 30 days of purchase. I’ll just have to fill out a form and mail them to Evolv.

Not bad, but my sizing miscue ruined my plan of packing neatly and lightly on my flight home however. I had hoped to ditch the shoe box and squeeze the shoes between my toiletries and my ties. Instead, my shopping bag from Erehwon with the shoe box holding the shoes would be my “personal item” to take onto the airline, in addition to my carryon. Oh well.

Thanks for coming by again. If you enjoyed this post, please consider following the Suburban Mountaineer on Facebook or Twitter. Happy reading and carpe climb ’em!

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