Photo History of Climbing Footwear circa 1974


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 81 - 100 of total 168 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Mar 8, 2013 - 10:30pm PT
This thread is morphing into "somethun outta control".

The Cortina on the bottom of the shoe pile looks like it has some epoxy on it. We used to shore up the leather with epoxy to keep them from wearing out. Seems like I may have done that to Kronnies to.

Trad climber
phx AZ
Mar 8, 2013 - 10:49pm PT
That shoe looks like he should have been pacing laps at the local high school. Incredible what you climbed in ; if you laced a pair of those on , I commend you.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Mar 8, 2013 - 10:54pm PT
I remember those Adidas leather 'dress' track shoes. I never had any but I sure remember them.

The Corinas were not bad at all. Like any shoe - you wore them tight. The ones in the pick look a bit beat. When they were new, you edged. When they wore down you smeared. They were good training for what came next. It was never really about the shoes. I skipped the whole EB phase with Robbins boots and then started using PAs and RDs and on and on! Kamps did amazing things with Cortinas. Can't remember Shoenards - never had any - may have tried then on but maybe they didn't have them in Idaho at the time.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 8, 2013 - 11:09pm PT
Almost ninety posts and no love for the Fabiano Black Beauty!?!

Pure unbridled stiffness.

When I had a chance to climb with Fritz Wiessner back in high school he was wearing a pair along with an Edelrid woven rope chest harness craging around Tucson! Or were those Hanwags...

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 9, 2013 - 01:31am PT
Shounards came out after PA's and even EB's, I think. My buddy bought PA's and I bought Shoenards as our first shoes in 77 or so. Shoenards sucked at anything but mixed aid/easy free.

It seemed like forever at the time, but when Fire's came out, they had several years where they were THE shoe.

I found an old titanium ice screw when scrounging around today. BITD, the eastern block climbers were behind the Iron Curtain. I guess there was a good black market, because some of them were making ice screws out of titanium. The workmanship is top notch, done on a lathe, and the thing weighs about two ounces. I traded for it in Europe and hung onto it. When they got permission to go climbing, they would bring this kind of stuff over and trade for money because they had little money.

It really is amazing quality. You could tell that somebody knew what they were making, and the spirals are precision cut on a lathe.

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Mar 9, 2013 - 06:27am PT
Shoeinards appeared in the UK in 77, they worked well on the FAs of some of our crimpy/edgy sandstone routes. Some of which still get high numbers....

In fact a lot of the outcrop routes here, done in EBs and the like, still get high numbers and aren't done that often.

They require a good head, more than good feet I guess ;-)


Social climber
Mar 9, 2013 - 02:45pm PT
What about Black Beauty's?

Like the blue RR's only stiffer, blacker and more beautiful!

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Mar 9, 2013 - 03:07pm PT
What a great thread! Sorry I wasn't around earlier to contribute this October 1972 Galibier Ad from Off Belay Magazine.

Credit: Fritz

Trad climber
Mar 9, 2013 - 10:38pm PT
EB's with customized leather upper

EB's in action

New RR's

carlos gallego

Ice climber
Mar 10, 2013 - 07:45am PT
... years before than I discovered the "Paragot and EB"... I used the "supercalcarea" boots... rigid and paintful...

Credit: carlos gallego

Trad climber
Mar 15, 2013 - 11:56pm PT
More EB's!

Credit: richross

Credit: richross

Trad climber
phx AZ
Mar 16, 2013 - 12:15am PT
For some reason EB's still look so , so cool! Must be the blue and natural white . Love and Rockets !!!

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

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?

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.

Trad climber
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

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.

Social climber
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
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!

Social climber
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.
Messages 81 - 100 of total 168 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews