Photo History of Climbing Footwear circa 1974

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Messages 101 - 120 of total 141 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Mimi

climber
Mar 16, 2013 - 01:27am PT
Rock on!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FJR6mOKrUI
R.B.

Trad climber
47N 122W
Mar 16, 2013 - 01:30am PT
You forgot to add "Black Beautys" which were a Vibram-waffle stomper leather boot, but man could they allow you to pick an edge as thin as a dime.

Edit: Hey, at least I am consistant eh? http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1271198&msg=1271471#msg1271471
docsavage

Trad climber
Albuquerque, NM
Mar 18, 2013 - 03:24pm PT
The bare foot now, that was something. Throw a couple leather spats on it & you're good to go for Dresden ( ... or maybe that was later, around '76-'78 ish).
Kironn Kid

Trad climber
Mar 18, 2013 - 03:40pm PT
I actually still have my original EB's from that period. I'll have to post a snap of them.

EB's on the left. Wore them up Half Dome.
Abissi

Trad climber
MI
Mar 18, 2013 - 03:55pm PT
I used to wear a pair of Galibier Black Beautys. Full length steel shank Which made them really cold to wear in the middle of Winter) full umber rans and a Vibram sole. I traded mine in for a down payment of a 67 Plymouth Belvedere from a friend
geiger

Trad climber
Doylestown pa
Mar 18, 2013 - 04:52pm PT
We quickly learned to put a leather wrap around the upper of the EB's as well as a haul loop on the back.
SammO

Social climber
Ohio
Mar 18, 2013 - 09:19pm PT
I worked for Neptune at his first shop, circa 1974-5, then 1980 did the Boulder Bootworks w/ Scott Johnston in a tiny hole behind a sports bar and
King Soopers; many memories of the shoe trade, tho' only a fraction of Komito's history. Did a replacement rubber flaps on Lefoux Boots, a real
bitch; broke scores of needles trying to stitch thru the nylon midsoles of Choonards/aka Vasque Ascenders - the stiffest rock shoe-boot ever made. Kevin Donald I recall saying how he was standing nonchalantly on a thin faceclimb in Eldorado when his foot dropped an inch and scared him - he'd been standing on some invisible nothing an inch above the hold he thought he was standing on all along!
I bought my first rock shoes from Ski Hut, mail order, about 1969, and amazingly they fit- Voyager fake kronhofers that were actually far better than the German originals by virtue of a stiffer midsole that gave a better edging shoe.
EBs were a superior shoe for all-around use mostly because the rubber was stickier - Galibiers and others had astonishingly hard, brittle soles that broke off in chunks, sort of like old superball rubber. The RD was ridiculously overbuilt, with actual fullgrain leather outers, smooth side in against your foot. The EB peculiarity was the thin canvas upper actually was a laminate with a thin rubber layer which made the shoe upper totally unbreathable, if not entirely waterproof. This certainly aided in the heat and sweat build-up which caused the notorious stench and inner cardboard rot.
I had a working fan system that drew air down thru the gluing table top to keep the brain damage to a minimum, and one day I knew instantly that
somebody had come in, because I was hit by an overpowering stench - the guy had EBs that had a few chunks of rotten cardboard left inside the soggy shoes - against every plea, I kicked him out with dead skunk shoes in hand.
The sidepanel biz was a real cottage industry, essential to crack-climbing durability, but also easy to customize with colors and designs.
Original Fires were strangely wonderful in even thin cracks, because the solid rubber rand box toe gave great protection when torqueing toes, and the substantial midsole made handcracks almost comfortable! You had to "smedge" on thin holds, which created the unique worn hole under the big toe, before the actual sole edge itself wore down.
My own best edging shoes were the original Megas, the first odd toe-down designs that also featured a weird space beneath one's heel- you could put
a marble in your heel, and not feel it while climbing! Only trouble was it took 6 months to break them in. After that, I could edge on nickels,
without strain. Rubber was both sticky (nowhere near Fires, tho) yet hard enough to not distort off small edges.
Patrick Edlinger's Dolomite shoes were IMO really mediocre, stiff foresole but slippery rubber jobs that made his Snowbird win even more
impressive.
5.10 rubber eventually surpassed the earlier Boreal and Sportivas for stickshion, but Vibram and others have caught up, and differences are negligible. Shoe quality of 5.10 has generally been awfully poor, so how good does original rubber have to be to offset bad fit, etc? I worry about the future availability of resoling sheet rubber now that Adidas owns the company; some MBA genius will surely decide they can make more money by just selling new shoes, without recognizing how cheap halfsoles have become integral to affordable footwear. Maybe Chuck kept his aftermarket options open, and can still sell rubber outside the 5.10 corporate shell? That would be really shrewd of him.
I hate the current extreme incurved downtoed shapes, and suspect many people with pronation issues are improperly served by them- straighter
lasts are what runners who pronate need, and climbers should be no different.
Last, of course, Mr. Gill's photo circa 1959 isn't fair, because we all remember how every shot of him makes it look like his feet are on holds, when the reality is he's always entirely suspended by his fingertips alone - especially true with RDs!
Don'tKnowHim

Social climber
California
Mar 18, 2013 - 09:33pm PT
As to the original picture of this posting, the shoe on the top that looks like a hiking boot is a "kletterschuh." A few people back in the day used it for general scrambling, sometimes as a cheap "aid" or approach shoe.
jabbas

Trad climber
phx AZ
Mar 18, 2013 - 09:34pm PT
Thanks SammO for a little if ever looked into art of reviving the climbing shoe. Sending of our shoes to be resoled had a certain "dark magic" feeling . Enter 5.10 rubber and we felt like we could make new shoes outta thin air - ha ha . It is way tougher than the little page of ' structions made it out to be. A way cool thread -- Thanks .
Redwood

Gym climber
West Sacramento CA
Mar 18, 2013 - 09:46pm PT
PAs: I still have mine. Could not bear to part with them. I remember all those others, too. At one time, Cortinas were de rigeur at Stony Point. Robbins Boots: I saw a British climber lead Coonyard Pinnacle in Robbins Boots.

Credit: Redwood

TMJesse

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Mar 19, 2013 - 12:27am PT
I went on the cheap side for $19 bucks and bought Directissimas. Sold them to my roommate Phil Bone at the Columbia College Apartments in 1979.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=204602&msg=204785#msg204785
Freecloud

climber
California
Mar 19, 2013 - 01:39am PT
What about Fire's? (fee-rays)? Weren't they around during the same time? Can't remember what I had first.
MGuzzy

Trad climber
Orangevale
Mar 19, 2013 - 02:34am PT
Climbing fashion of the days gone by.. Ah to reminisce. I went back through a few photos looking for shots with EBs and thought to myself.. sh#t I climbed that in EBs! I still remember the day me and a friend bought our first pair of climbing shoes (EBs of course) in a Santa Cruz climbing shop. We went to his parents house and immediately tried them out on their livingroom fireplace! Mom was none to happy.
Credit: MGuzzy
Back in the day wearing what I think are my second pair of EB's and crew socks, I was stylin'. The shorts are Chouinard Stand-up shorts, and my favorite "man in the mountain" t-shirt from the Yosemite gift shop. The harness was fished out of a sale bin at the Berkeley REI, consisting of leg loops from one brand and the swami from another because I couldn't find a ready made one that fit me. I cut the chalk bag in half myself and I added the yellow nylon 'cause I heard it kept your chalk from spilling. I even added fleece to the inside, I wanted the most up-to-date chalk bag technology just like the big boys! I bought the yellow Edelweiss rope through the fine folks at the UCHC. It had a fruity smelling water repellent coating and became know as the banana rope. Its now out to pasture as a rope swing in the backyard for the kids.
Kironn Kid

Trad climber
Mar 19, 2013 - 09:52am PT
No. The Fire's came much later. It was because of Matt Cox, Largo and Bachar that I went with the original EB's. I wore them so tight, that they killed the nail bed on my big toes. Decades later, my large toe-nails still grow out very thick and wavy. Necessitating that I remove them about once a year.. Afet the EB's, I went to the original La Sportva (Purple-yellow model)shoes.

Harness? We learned and climbed in Swami belts. Those were the days...
qigongclimber

climber
Mar 20, 2013 - 08:08pm PT
RDs were around at least as early as 1972 because that's when I climbed the East Buttress of El Cap in them.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Mar 20, 2013 - 09:51pm PT
RDs were around at least as early as 1972

Mid 1960s at least. The Kronhofers in the first photo on this thread were used as state-of-the-art rock climbing shoes in the late 1950s and early 1960s, not merely as approach or scrambling shoes. I remember Kamps climbing in a pair in the Needles then. I had a pair also. But my favorites before RDs were Zillertals (very stiff, for edging), then PAs.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Mar 20, 2013 - 11:04pm PT
From the Archives of Antiquity. Many of us on ST worked at the Hut at one time or another. I worked there from 1958-1963. The Golden Years in Hutology, when Steck was my boss. Someday, when I have nothing else to do, I will scan the entire series.

Credit: guido
1959 Ski Hut Catalog
1959 Ski Hut Catalog
Credit: guido
Credit: guido
1960 Ski Hut Catalog
1960 Ski Hut Catalog
Credit: guido
Credit: guido
1967/68 Ski Hut Catalog
1967/68 Ski Hut Catalog
Credit: guido
Credit: guido
Ski Hut Catalog 1968/69
Ski Hut Catalog 1968/69
Credit: guido
Credit: guido
Ski Hut Catalog 1969/70
Ski Hut Catalog 1969/70
Credit: guido

can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Mar 21, 2013 - 12:10pm PT
When I was first exposed to climbing in 1971, the sexiest things going were high quality mountain boots. As I was coming from an intrepid backpacker culture this was a natural progression of technology. Regardless of what sport I indulge myself in, I always by the best sh#t on the market. So after being tempted in mountain porn mags I was convinced I needed these 5 lbs rigs. Talk about resistance training.

I saved enough on a PFC's wage until I could buy a pair of Super Guides, I was stoked to say the least. But one of their design failings was from a soft toe box and crampon straps that would inevitable crush it. So Galibier came out with the Super Pro, which was basically the Super Guide with a PVC toe cap. After many years of use the toe caps were gone. Nice boots none the less.
Credit: can't say
Credit: can't say

Another shoe that promised good things but didn't live up to RR's was the Vasque Ascender. It had a nice stiff shank;) and tried to be the next blue suede shoe but it never really matched the RRs for standing in slings. It is stiff as heck so standing on edges is about it's main forte. When I first gave them a shake down run I noticed the toe rand wore thru in about 3 pitches of aiding and jugging. The sole sucked for any kind of free climbing, so I had them resoled by the Rubber Room with C4. Unfortunately my life took me in a direction at this time where I didn't need them, so in a way they are still virgin.
Vasque Ascenders w/ C4 resole
Vasque Ascenders w/ C4 resole
Credit: can't say
Credit: can't say
LongAgo

Trad climber
Mar 21, 2013 - 07:08pm PT
I used Kronhofers from 60's through 70's for all face climbing. With the help of Bruce Cooke, I learned to resole with smooth neoprene for super edging. I also added epoxy around the welt to minimize any bending, covered with rubber glue gunk. Really a mess come to think of it, and pretty poor on friction. These shoes were good in Tuolumne IF you mainly edged, but friction on glassy knobs was far from secure. Had to really keep your butt out. On Glacier Point Apron, Ks demanded even finer edging. For my crack climbing phase in Yosemite, I used EBs.

I seem to recall partner Bob Kamp liked Cortinas early on, even with no customized sole. Imagine doing hard 5.10 and 5.11 edging in vibrum soles on those shoes!

By the 80's, we finally moved on to "modern" shoes where, thankfully, edging and friction power were pretty well combined.

Tom Higgins
LongAgo
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Nov 12, 2013 - 01:37pm PT
Bump
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