/ Dear Rock Shoe Retailers/Importers
I would love to know when you plan to reduce your prices now the Euro is 15% weaker against the pound than it was a year ago. I do recall the prices being hiked and the reason given at the time being the exchange rate...
Yours waiting with baited breath for all those fantastic reductions due to the Euro going belly up,
I just dont like it when I have my pants pulled down.The only reason rock shoes cost what they cost is because we are expected to pay it.
However Big Stone and Beyond Hope both buy stock (Evolv and 5.10) in USD which has had a pretty neutral currency position for the last 24 months (C. $1.5 : £1) so the prices for those brands should be fairly reasonable.
I did notice a big jump in shoe prices in 2009 led by La Sportiva, so think the higher prices we now pay is simply down to a group effect where no one is purposefully focussing on the value end.
Worth noting Boreal is Spanish and I believe distributed direct in the UK and always seem reasonable, even for the v. technical shoes
Unless im mistaken the euro is still worth more against the pound than it was 5 years ago.
I'm not trying to say it's brilliant that we have to pay so much for something that can wear out in a few months or defending manufacturers making money but having said that I do understand why they have gone up so much.
Rock shoes hardly went up in price for years, the price was kept artificially low especially for the traditionally tight fisted British climber. Fact.
It is also worth remembering that the top end shoes are hand made specialist performance footwear and are manufactued in a country where workers are paid a fair wage (as opposed to your running trainers for example) and they're an incredibly complicated and precise construction, for the performance shoes especially, just think of the fit compared to a running trainer that has foam to fill in the gaps.
With regard to material costs dropping rubber costs are higher due to the oil price, fact, and I'm pretty sure that globally costs have risen due to demand from China.
How much do you pay for a quality pair of road running trainers? About £100, and they're made in a 'sweat shop' for want of a better phrase, but you get the picture.
In case you're wondering I have worked in the industry (not actual rock shoe manufacture!) for about 15 years.
So lets get it straight now its "material availability" that now affects the extortionate pricing policy rather than "Exchange rate".Despite global manufacturing taking a HUGE nosedive in the last two years meaning more raw materials are more readily available.
It rather sounds like B**locks to me, maybe next year it will be the moon ascending in Jupiter that causes a further price hike that we really shouldnt have to face.
I never mentioned exchange rate; oil prices affect all products containing oil funnily enough. You mention material availablity...wasn't this greatly affected by that big wave thing last year and isn't China requiring more materials than ever, doesn't this affect things? To be honest I'm now boring myself, you obviously know a lot more about the industry than me, what is it you said you did for work again?
Recent price increases are due to numerous factors:
1. Vat increases of 2.5% twice in fairly recent years so that Vat is now 20% whilst in the "old days" it was only 15%.
2. Rise in cost of raw materials.
3. Rise in cost of manufacturing in the Far East due to higher expectations of a better standard of living plus stronger environmental and health and safety legislation in those countries (and they've still a long way to go in both respects).
4. Rise in cost of transport.
At the same time the recession has meant that there is a lot of discounting taking place. This has actually had the effect of keeping prices lower than they should be in terms of costs (which for shops have just gone up and up).
I suspect that if every country in the world had equal wages, equal standards of living and equal safety standards then rockshoes would actually be a lot dearer than they are, maybe twice as much.
Rubber,Nylon,leather and sewing machinist's cost the same wether you are knocking up a pair of £5 trainers or stupidly expensive rock boots.
However you look at it we are being screwed....
Yer Bill was way on top of 5:10 wasn't he?! Aye Tim and Neil when they actually worked for DMM who distributed La Sportiva...anyways I can't argue with a man who can't jam. You're so right about everything and I am wrong.......what's that??....what??...oh, I think I can hear someone else talking facts and truth that needs to be put right on another forum muppetfilter, quick! Go go go! looks like you'll not be getting any sleep for a while...
That is hardly a "fact" given it isn't true! Difficult to compare shoes over the last 10 years due to different models, but certainly the costs have gone up substantially in that period. 10 years ago I was buying decent 5.10s for at least £30 cheaper than they are now which is a substantially higher rate of price increase than just inflation.
I don't believe for one minute that companies were subsidising your "traditionally tight fisted British climber".
So when the rate goes the other way, why do they bang up prices immediately, rather than waiting 6-8 months?
No they aren't. Use the BoE's inflation tool and you will see that comes out at £47 (albeit for 2011). Inflation covers all the factors you mention in a crude way.
What, if one sewing machinist is Italy and the other one is Bangladesh or Vietnam?
My impression is that mark-ups on specialist outdoor gear is still as low in comparison to so many other things we buy as they were when I worked in gear shops in the 90s. Indeed with internet competition now, they could even be a bit less. Unless someone knows differently, blaming the retailers seems a bit unfair.
> That is hardly a "fact" given it isn't true! Difficult to compare shoes over the last 10 years due to different models, but certainly the costs have gone up substantially in that period. 10 years ago I was buying decent 5.10s for at least £30 cheaper than they are now which is a substantially higher rate of price increase than just inflation.
I think that I bought my first pair of rockshoes for £55 in 1994. They were at the cheaper end of the market then, which went up to about £75. Before the recent (last 4 years?) surge in prices, rockshoes were still about £65 on average, with low end shoes being available for around £55-60. I firmly believe that rock shoe prices were fairly stable for about 10-15 years.
"Vat increases of 2.5% twice in fairly recent years so that Vat is now 20% whilst in the "old days" it was only 15%."
I don't really think you can have that one, VAT only dropped to 15% from 17.5% for a very short while and the prices were increasing rapidly before then.
I think muppetfilter has one rock solid undeniable fact nailed, when they put the price up they peddle you some crap about whatever they think you'll swallow and then when the influence of that factor eases they blame something else. This unsurprisingly rubs people up a bit.
My answer to the whole rockshoe prices thing is to never buy a pair at full price and get my boots resoled for climbing easy stuff (most of the stuff I climb).
There must be some interesting economics in there somewhere. At what point do high prices result in less revenue due to fewer shoes being sold as more people resole or buy sale stock? I know that I haven't bought a pair of new shoes for about 5 years, after I stockpiled about 6 pairs of a shoe that fits me beautifully when I saw them going cheap in a sale. They're nearly all gone now, though :(
> So when the rate goes the other way, why do they bang up prices immediately, rather than waiting 6-8 months?
They don't, I deal with Scarpa, 5.10 and Boreal who all deal in Euros (sorry sambo Big Stone don't buy in USD although 5.10 Europe do so thats another factor to build in the Euro/USD exchange rate). It took a good few months for prices to go up when the £ droppped to virtual parity.
Plus you are not actually comparing over the same period. 10 years ago the £1 = 1.45 Euro, then it slowly went down, boot prices remained stable(ish) as the manufacturers were taking the hit, as were the distributors and the retailers. Then the £ nose dived about 4 years ago and it became untenable so boot prices jumped up quite a bit.
Yes the £ has recovered but other factors come into it. Scarpa and Boreal are made in Italy and Spain, the cost of borrowing has gone up significantly in those countries. Plus all of the other factors mentioned by Jon and Stephen.
> No they aren't. Use the BoE's inflation tool and you will see that comes out at £47 (albeit for 2011). Inflation covers all the factors you mention in a crude way.
Which would make my £8/week wage worth £37.65. Looking here: http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~alan/family/N-Money.html the agricultural wage at that time was ca £43/week. Rockshoes cost more than a labourer's weekly wage in 1978. I doubt they do now.
The whole point of inflation stats is that it covers a reasonable selection of goods and can cover things like changes in VAT (which wages stats can't).
just like those whinging about "rips offs" when flying to exotic climbing destinations for 4/5 of F All
"I know it says £175,000 but I absolutely insist on paying you £200,000"
Maybe another way to look at it is that their products didn't increase in price as much as they would/might have done if manufacture remained in Britain.
Something else to bear in mind, if no-one else has mentioned it, is that some of the price of shoes also (eventually) goes to the shop staff's salaries. Probably most people on UKC don't think climbing shop staff are overpaid...
I think the prices have gone up beyond what people deem a reasonable amount to pay - £100 every few months is steep (whoever mentioned running shoes - how often do you have to replace those?)
But what I really wanted to say was, people stop badgering Mr Needle Sports - their prices are exceptional compared to many many more expensive shops in this country.
Holy crap - how often do you climb? Even when I was climbing 3-4 days a week it would take me a year to get through a single pair (which would be my only pair)... can I suggest changing to clogs?
I do admittedly have several pairs, but when I was bouldering 5 days a week, it would be 4-5 months and I was through the toes.
Could be worse though, I could wear la Sportiva, and then have to fork out 120 every few months!
-looks at hole in La Sportiva shoes-
-grumbles in agreement-
In 13 years I have never spent more than £40 on a pair of brand new climbing shoes bought in proper shops in the UK. I have never had a "bad" pair of shoes that I could blame for failure on a route or boulder problem.
I've owned Scarpa, Mad Rock, La Sportiva, Red Chilli and Climb X.
Maybe I am not climbing hard enough to need £100+ shoes?
You know you are talking to a bunch of climbers? I walk around town in walking boots that last years, wear plain t-shirts and jeans that again, last years and handbags? (I'm a slight girl on those ones) but they last ages if you look after them =)
Maybe on a per use basis you are right, but I still wouldn't say it's alot for your money.
Needless to say, when I found a pair of mine for £20 off, I was in there, even though I didn't need any that time!
I know not all climbers are like me, and yes I know some are more well off than others - but say you had £100 to spend on a) clothes or b) climbing shoes, I don't think many climbers would choose clothes. Unless its clothes for climbing =P
I agree that the quality is good, but trainers are over priced extortionately because people will buy them/brands whatever. Climbing shoes are all similarly priced (except la Sportivas ;-) ) so it's not really fair to compare them to overpriced trainers.
But we are all on the same side so there is no point in arguing - quality or not, we all want to pay less and I doubt given a £60 or £100 pair of the same shoe, anyone would pay the higher price...
My Jeans do last ages =) and I don't buy cheap ones I just don't buy them often. Besides I get most of my clothes off my sister =P
What everyone deems being ripped off is different - you think you arn't being ripped off my climbing shoe retailers, some people think its horrendous. I think they are overpriced a bit but I like the guys at my shop so I don't care that much =)
That's the RRP, not a loss-leading entry price or a clearout discount.
You realise that Simond is their own brand now as well don't you? So these are the same shoes as were branded Quechua a few years back.
The decent simond shoes - the anasazi velcro copies - are about £60 now. They've gone up like all other shoes.
They do an orange pair for £40 but they are very basic.
VAT is not an excuse - I don't pay it as I live in the Channel Isles and shoes have gone up for me.
Obviously mass production and a simple model does bring costs down but there are comments on this thread that suggest that the construction of any climbing shoe involves days of meticulous work by highly experienced craftsmen, and that they simply can't be mass produced!
> You realise that Simond is their own brand now as well don't you? So these are the same shoes as were branded Quechua a few years back.
Yep, agree with all the rest of your post too, but I was trying to make the point that below a certain grade, surely it's not the SHOE that's doing the climbing :-) hence citing the example of a friend who climbs more than competently around E1 in some £35 Simond shoes.
la sportiva solutions in paris £88 in london 3 hours away(by train) £125......with present rate of exchange.I bought la sportiva pythons in millau for £67(with present rate of exchange) in march this year they are £90 in shops in uk I think.
La sportiva futuras £130 in london....3 hours away in Paris £88....No I am not sure why the shops in london carry these prices....
trainer manufacturers - now they ARE ripping us off.
When I first arrived in the UK all I had in the way of footwear was a pair of flip-flops. In November, this wasn't ideal. Silly back-to-front seasons.
My friends took me to TKMaxx where I bought a pair of Fila trainers for £20. These lasted me 3 months. During those 3 months I got a job at Ellis Brigham. One day a bloke came in with an old (about a year) pair of Salomon 3d ultra's (trainers). He replaced his old pair, and since they were roughly my size (about 3 sizes too large) and I was skint, I took the pair he left behind. These lasted me several trips to Amsterdam, Scotland, Spain, the middle east, france, singapore and for a few months in Australia, all up I was using them for just over a year.
I'm not sure if you guys are being ripped off with climbing shoe prices, it's a metric shit-ton cheaper there than in oz, but I do know that salomon deffo aren't ripping you off in the shoes department.
I try to get about but often don't find it as expensive as shoes. I'd love to know how you manage it?
I managed it by living like a bum, dumpster diving for food and picking up second hand pairs of shoes from work. Pretty worthwhile in my opinion.
http://www.eurolines.co.uk/ and ryanair/easyjet. When you're paying £70 for a return trip, it's not as expensive as most pairs of shoes. Or 3 times as expensive as shoes from TKMaxx.
And for the return leg home, Airasia used to do a budget longhaul, something like £260 from Paris to Singapore.
Just don't drop prices too much or I'll be out of a job!
> Just don't drop prices too much or I'll be out of a job!
Oooh no! You've broken the seal. This thread will live forever now.
Elsewhere on the site
Tonight's Friday Night Video features the Norwegian town of Rjukan, once believed to be the home of the world's tallest... Read more
Perhaps the perfect Xmas gift for the climber in your life... Wild Country's Crack School has two of the worlds best crack... Read more
Rock shoes stink – let’s face it. Boot Bananas are the perfect way to fight the funk and keep them fresh. They help... Read more
At a bar in Llanberis an old man chimed in And I thought he was out of his head Being a young man I just laughed it off When... Read more
F ounded in 1993, Mountain Hardwear are a pretty young mountaineering clothing and equipment manufacturer but are also one of... Read more