La Sportiva mountaineering boots: 1928-2000

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cybele

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
Feb 10, 2018 - 09:21am PT
Bill Leo from Ouray Mountain Sports said this week that he sees the Makalu more as a hiking /trekking boot than a vertical ice boot. I do see in the picture, Marlow, that you posted of the tan Makalu, the sole curves up a bit toward the toe. A good boot for vertical ice should probably be flat, how the K2 looks, no? It is so hard to tell from pics though. And few stores anywhere have small sizes actually in stock I can try, even if I wanted new model boots.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 10, 2018 - 09:29am PT
Concerning the eBay size 40.5 Sportiva K2: I see what you mean about the toe box, Cybele. Not so boxy.

Except that the pair you posted are so covered in duct tape it's hard to directly compare to the used K2 on offer at eBay.

Ray Olson had a pair of the K2 and remarked how well insulated they were as compared to other single boots on offer at the time from Sportiva.

And yes, the Makalu was more of a trekker.
cybele

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
Feb 10, 2018 - 09:44am PT
Here they are. Tongue label says Mountain with the guy climbing. Too bad wrong size.https://www.ebay.com/itm/La-Sportiva-Italy-Mountain-Gore-Tex-Mens-45-5-12-Mountaineering-Hiking-Boots/253386003197?hash=item3afefb92fd:g:FAcAAOSwY~laP6KW
cybele

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
Feb 10, 2018 - 09:48am PT
Lol, Tarbuster, yah I saw no need to scrimp on Dollar Tree duct tape. When the sole separated up in Cody a few weeks ago Erik cleverly swedged a wire around the sole & toe then I added duct tape to protect/waterproof. The duct tape on the other boot is really just to make it match. I do have some standards for my duct taped fashions, after all. :)

My feet almost never got cold in 14 years of ice climbing in these duct taped wonders. Bought em for $40 off some chick at the ice park in probably 2004.

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 10, 2018 - 10:05am PT
Erik cleverly swedged a wire around the sole & toe then I added duct tape to protect/waterproof.
Ha! The man is an artist with a swedger and a roll of duct tape!

(Stole that line from a movie called Miller's Crossing, wherein a gangster boss, after putting down his would be attackers with their own weapon, is described as an artist with a Tommy Gun.

The line comes after (not shown here) this somewhat lengthy (if poorly reproduced) scene:

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 10, 2018 - 10:08am PT
My feet almost never got cold in 14 years of ice climbing in these duct taped wonders. Bought em for $40 off some chick at the ice park in probably 2004.
^^^
I really think you are describing a pair of Sportiva K2. (From the 1990s).
Ray Olson said he was standing around in his while other guys were getting frostbite, and he remained safe & toasty.

Look very closely at the two ribs of foam up at the ankle on your black boot and on the eBay K2. Same boot.

[edit] Except a half size smaller, which could change everything, and not for the better in terms of warmth.
cybele

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
Feb 10, 2018 - 11:43am PT
ok Tar lol too funny Erik just watched the shootout. He said, "that must be the longest clip [not the video clip, the gun clip] in the universe." Or is it called a drum? Or a magazine? The guy shot thousands of bullets and just kept going. I like it.
Uh oh, I predict thread drift...LET'S TALK ABOUT GUNS!!!! Hahahaha
cybele

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
Feb 10, 2018 - 11:45am PT
The comment about the ribs is very helpful. The tongue logo does not match but when I hear back from Sportiva I can point out details like the ribs! Sometimes I don't notice things like this.
cybele

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
Feb 10, 2018 - 11:47am PT
Google says a belt? Ammo belt?
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 10, 2018 - 01:43pm PT
Thompson submachine gun had drum capacities of either 50 or 100 rounds.

45 caliber Thompson submachine gun fitted with drum
45 caliber Thompson submachine gun fitted with drum
Credit: Google image search

That gang boss from Miller's Crossing would have needed belt feed to snap off as many rounds as he did, and that system is impractical when firing the weapon while walking down the street in pajamas!
https://www.quora.com/In-a-Light-Machine-Gun-would-you-prefer-having-a-Belt-Fed-system-or-a-Box-Fed-system-Why

.........................................................

Cybele, I wonder if you should be looking at a Sportiva Nepal?

This is a reasonably warm single boot designed and built for mountaineering/ice climbing, and there are usually a good range of them on eBay.

At least four different generations/builds to choose from: Nepal Top, Nepal Extreme, Nepal Evo GTX, Nepal Cube.


Nepal Top:
(Less insulation)

Nepal Top
Nepal Top
Credit: Google image search


Nepal Extreme:
(The heaviest of all the iterations)

Nepal Extreme
Nepal Extreme
Credit: European eBay seller


Nepal Evo GTX:
(Lighter weight iteration of the extreme)

Nepal Evo GTX
Nepal Evo GTX
Credit: EBay seller


Nepal Cube GTX:
(Cube is the newest, stiffest, lightest, warmest, and feel to me like they are built with slightly higher volume over the foot)

Nepal Cube GTX
Nepal Cube GTX
Credit: Google image search

..............................................................

Examples of used Nepal Evo GTX/Women's:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/La-Sportiva-Womens-Nepal-Evo-GTX-Boot-EU-Size-37-5-Color-Lime-Green-Style-281/361638546656?hash=item5433564ce0:g:adoAAOSwkl5XgDc5

https://www.ebay.com/itm/La-Sportiva-Women-s-Nepal-EVO-GTX-B3-Mountain-Boots-Size-Size-UK6-EUR-39-6/192445058217?epid=19014237681&hash=item2cce9e8ca9:g:dUkAAOSwMEtadDNa
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 14, 2018 - 12:37am PT
Just to finish up on the boot Cybele was interested in identifying and replacing.
Did a little more digging, and found the more insulated black Sportiva model from the 90s/2000s was not the K2, but the K3.

And I think the K3 is what Ray Olson a.k.a. FROG was using, which he said were extremely warm for a single boot.

The look is very similar to the black 90s iteration of the K2 (picture on previous page, that I compared with Cybele's duct tape repaired pair), which likely precedes the red colored Sportiva K2 model from the early 2000s (see Marlow's post on the previous page).

Specifically, Cybele described a higher volume toe box, and this might be it here, seen below in this early 2000s Sportiva K3:

Sportiva K3
Sportiva K3
Credit: Gear Trade seller


Cybele's boot for comparison:

Cybele's Sportiva K3
Cybele's Sportiva K3
Credit: Cybele

^^^ This is a pretty good matchup, better than the one I offered on the previous page:
Look at the dual foam ribs at the scree collar/snow cuff, and also the gray-black composite sole/welt area of both boots.

Description of the K3 from the seller:
Purchased around 2004. An insulated, taller and stiffer version of the legendary Makalu mountain boot - these are fantastic all around climbing and winter mountaineering boots - only selling because I have Nepal Tops as well. Made it Italy and suitable for step-in/automatic crampons.
https://www.geartrade.com/item/496897/la-sportiva-k3-mountaineering-boots-classic-excellent-condition

................................

*Not sure how much this detail matters, but the label on the tongue of those K3, seen in further pictures on the link I provided, says "Mountain" as opposed to "Walking on the Moon".

My wife has a pair of Sportiva K4S (very well insulated single boots), and in those boots, which are either of the same generation or even postdate the K3 (early 2000s), the tongue also happens to the have the "Walking on the Moon" label.

Sportiva K4S
Sportiva K4S
Credit: Tarbuster
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 14, 2018 - 08:16am PT

Tarbuster.

Great digging. The K3 looks like Cybele shoe BINGO!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 14, 2018 - 08:20am PT
Agreed!

And to support that conclusion,
check out Ian Parsons scan of the models from the first page:
Sportiva Makalu, K2 and K3 for comparison.
Sportiva Makalu, K2 and K3 for comparison.
Credit: Ian Parsons scan from Climbing magazine
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 14, 2018 - 08:23am PT

Ah... not much digging needed, only awareness... ^^^^
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 14, 2018 - 08:26am PT
I know, right?
Just when I think I'm a good reader, I come to find it isn't always so.
phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
Feb 14, 2018 - 08:32am PT
Cybele, should you change your mind and decide you want new boots, Zappo’s carrys a few La Sportiva boots in women’s sizes, like the Ice Cube. Since they have free shipping and free shipping returns, it’s a good option.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Feb 14, 2018 - 08:37am PT
I used to climb in the red K2's and a friend had the black K3's. Warm boots (the K3's).

She doesn't ice climb much at all anymore, and, they're pretty minty.

Cybele, what size?
cybele

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
Feb 16, 2018 - 07:29am PT
Wow, I didn't look online for a week and POW! Thanks everyone for considering my boot search! La Sportiva got back to me and said yup, they were K3s, so Tarbuster, you are validated! :) Funny, I looked at Ian Parson's scan from way near the beginning of the post, and thought I looked close enough...sigh, how the mind plays tricks. Brian that's really nice of you to ask. The pair I have been using for years says 41 on the tongue, and that size is fine, but they are a bit clunky of course, and I wonder if I could be ok with a smaller size. Not sure. If they even seem close to the right size in either direction I'd love to try them on! BTW wanna sell me an Ushba Basic? I am searching. I shoulda got one when they were for sale in Ouray.

I did buy the Ebay pair Tar found, a 40.5 on maybe a K2 or whatever that was. I got them at 14.99 plus 13 shipping. Worth a try, for sure. I think they will be at the post office today. But Brian, even if the Ebay pair does fit, I sure don't mind owning a couple pairs of ice boots because that way I won't ever have to pay $500 for some pretty-looking new yellow set, lol.

I also am pleased that I can now tease Erik because he always thought my humble-looking mystery boots sucked and I swore to him they didn't!!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jul 23, 2018 - 06:23pm PT
Okay Marlow!
I'm not on location and can't really get their due to disabilities ...

HOWEVER: this just in, being sent to me from my man on the scene at the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow in Denver.

Sportiva Slippers
Sportiva Slippers
Credit: Tarbuster

Sportiva Lace-up Rock Shoes
Sportiva Lace-up Rock Shoes
Credit: Tarbuster

Mountain Boots
Mountain Boots
Credit: Tarbuster

Double Boot: Alta Quota
Double Boot: Alta Quota
Credit: Tarbuster

Dawn Wall
Dawn Wall
Credit: Tarbuster

Adam Ondra: SILENCE
Adam Ondra: SILENCE
Credit: Tarbuster

Archival Sportiva Last
Archival Sportiva Last
Credit: Tarbuster

Archival last
Archival last
Credit: Tarbuster

 The raw files are 550-770 KB, and the resolution for the text is much better than the Supertopo picture function will allow.

 I can happily transfer the originals to you and you'll see that they magnify quite well on your computer.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 24, 2018 - 08:35am PT

Tarbuster.

Thanks for the photos. I'm able to see both year and name of the shoe.

If this is the first La Sportiva shoe:

And the Expedition shoe you posted is from the 1970s,
Double Boot: Alta Quota
Double Boot: Alta Quota
Credit: Tarbuster

Then I am quite sure the second shoe I posted predates the Expedition shoe by some years, so possibly from the 1960s.
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