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Vintage Climbing shoes?
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By mmohaupt
From Atlanta
May 12, 2008
Red rocks... ahhh how I love Red Rocks..

So back in the day (it was a Wednesday) my uncle use to climb. While he was cleaning out his garage a few months ago he found his old shoes and gave them to me since they are my size (7.5). I plan on trying them out to see what the rubber from the 70-80's was like compared to today but would like to know some of the history.

They are Montelliana Skywalkers. I have searched the web extensively with no result. Any of you seasoned veterans know the history of them? How they started? Were they high end shoes or just middle of the road type stuff. Any info you have would be fun to learn. Maybe I will post up a photo of them later.

~m


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By Ed Wright
May 12, 2008
Magic Ed

Never heard of those. I still have my old Kornhoffers(sp?)and my RD's from the 60's.


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By aluke
From SLC, UT
May 12, 2008

pretty sure 30 year old ruber isn't the same as it once was, sweet find though, lets see a pic!


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By mmohaupt
From Atlanta
May 12, 2008
Red rocks... ahhh how I love Red Rocks..

Sweet! This is good stuff I will shoot a little pic with my phone till I can get my card loader. They are just neat relics that I want to hang up in my office some day (when I have one).

~m


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
May 12, 2008

Back then, they really didn't have high end/low end shoes. Lots of times it was just one model. Either you liked them and they fit or they didn't and you wore something else.


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By KevinCO
From Loveland, CO
May 12, 2008

If you like the way they fit, get them resoled in sticky rubber.

Even if they aren't a high performance fit they can be great for long, easy cruisers.


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By Bernard Gillett
May 12, 2008

Did your uncle's shoes look like this?

Skippin' out of track practice at UW Madison to do Cheap Thrills (1985? '86?)
Skippin' out of track practice at UW Madison to do Cheap Thrills (1985? '86?)


Having never posted a photo in these forums before, I'm not certain this will work, but I just dropped an old photo of mine from 1985/86 into the climb "Cheap Thrills" at Devil's Lake, WI, and I'm attempting to follow directions to copy that photo over here. [EDIT: Hey, it worked!]

I'm pretty sure I had a pair of Skywalkers. They were neat shoes: they had a plastic insole (between the rubber and the leather footbed), and the plastic was cut only in one direction. Hmmm. That doesn't explain it very well.

Imagine a y-axis running from heel to toe through a climbing shoe. The Skywalker had this plastic piece underneath the rubber in the front half of the boot, with several cuts in the x-axis direction. The idea was that the shoe would be rigid when edging (because the plastic didn't bend that way), but it would flex when smearing (because of the aforementioned cuts).

I thought they were a fine shoe; I was able to get up Cheap Thrills in them (my first 5.12a, top roping, though I see in the Devil's Lake section that Cheap Thrills is now considered 5.12b/c. Grade inflation, I guess -- used to be F10C in the Devil's Lake guide we used, and then I think 5.12a in the Extremist's Guide).

The Skywalkers worked great for the little edges at Devil's Lake. They also did fine smearing at Lumpy Ridge, CO (my other childhood stomping ground). I'm sure they'd feel like a pair of bricks laced to your foot compared to a modern shoe, but so did most of the old shoes. Take 'em out for a spin before you hang them up in your office -- the Skywalkers kicked ass for me. I doubt your comparison of 80s' rubber to today's rubber is going to work, though -- the rubber on those shoes has likely hardened to frying-pan slickness at this point. Scrub them up with a wire brush; that might help a little bit.


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By Bernard Gillett
May 13, 2008

PR, are you talking about the Frenzy from One Sport? Don't know if that was a German company, but they had pink and light blue uppers, and a carbon fiber torsion plate (whether that plate was sandwiched between the rubber and the footbed, or just rested in the shoe so that you could remove them without tearing off the rubber, I do not know).

Whatever shoe I'm wearing in that photo (and it sounds like you're with me that it's a Skywalker), I'm pretty certain it had a plastic insole. If I'm remembering correctly, near the end of the life of that shoe, the plastic poked out of the rubber sole, and I repaired it with Liquasole, the stuff used to fix worn-down running shoes.


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By Brian Hansen
From West of Boulder, CO
May 13, 2008

I'll second the confirmation that those are Skywalkers in Bernard's photo. I used them from '84 to '86 or so. Thought they worked fine.


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By Brian in SLC
May 13, 2008
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch

Bernard Gillett wrote:
PR, are you talking about the Frenzy from One Sport? Don't know if that was a German company, but they had pink and light blue uppers, and a carbon fiber torsion plate (whether that plate was sandwiched between the rubber and the footbed, or just rested in the shoe so that you could remove them without tearing off the rubber, I do not know).


I think One Sport was a U.S. company? May have contracted with an Italian firm to provide climbing shoes?

Then they morphed into Montrail?

And, weren't those shoes called the "Resin Rose"?


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By brenta
From Boulder, CO
May 13, 2008
Cima Margherita and Cima Tosa in the Dolomiti di Brenta.  October 1977.

Brian in SLC wrote:
I think One Sport was a U.S. company? May have contracted with an Italian firm to provide climbing shoes? Then they morphed into Montrail?

My understanding is that One Sport was acquired by Lafuma a few years back and merged into Millet.


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
May 13, 2008

I feel like this thread is a bunch of old senile guys trying to remember their old shoes. Sad...especially since I'm one of them.

Anyways, though I never used a pair, I seem to recall that the color scheme on at least one version was green and purple, but still pretty much stiff looking high tops like in the photo.

Resin roses looked nothing like them.


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By Clark Gray
May 13, 2008

I have a old pair of Royal Robbins with a brand new Steve Komito sole. I guess that makes me an OFC (old fart climber) too.


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By Kai Larson
From Sandy, Utah
May 15, 2008
Tour Ronde North Face

Brian in SLC wrote:
I think One Sport was a U.S. company? May have contracted with an Italian firm to provide climbing shoes? Then they morphed into Montrail? And, weren't those shoes called the "Resin Rose"?



Resin Rose was a pretty "traditional" all around shoe. It was designed to compete with the Sportiva Mariacher, the Fire, and other all-around shoes.

The Frenzy was a bit different. It was designed specifically for hard edging. It had sticky rubber only in the front, with a pink, soft non-climbing rubber from mid-length on back. It had two sets of laces, and the shoes were different colors (pink and blue, and mirror image blue and pink). They have a carbon fiber insert that stiffens them up.

I still have a pair of the Frenzies. They've been through a bunch of resoles, and I still wear them occasionally on edging routes or very thin crack routes.


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By Doug Lintz
From Kearney, NE
May 15, 2008
Destroyer of popcorn

I know nothing about climbing shoes from the 80's but I did own that t-shirt Bernard is wearing in the pic.


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By berl
From Oregon
May 16, 2008

how about these bad boys? anyone know when they were made? i got them in new condition for $10 at goodwill. in addition to being tough as nails, they are quite stylish, as you can see. also, those blue dots really protect my ankles.

got them for $10 at goodwill... anyone know the model or year?
got them for $10 at goodwill... anyone know the model or year?


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By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From Lander, WY
May 16, 2008
The Shield

I had Skywalkers. I was also a slave to 80's fashion.
There was no such thing then as high end vs middle of the road climbing shoes. They were either super specialized, like these or Fire's, or they were hiking boots. There were only about 4 shoes on the market. Fires were the standard. If I remember, I went with Skywalkers to be different.

summit of Baxters circa 1983
summit of Baxters circa 1983

photo by newcomb


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By Frosty Weller
From Colorado
May 16, 2008
Desert Tower

brl - Those are the Scarpa Rock Stars... and at the time those things rocked! Circa late 1980's?

They were our favorite shoes for a number of years... and of course back then you had one pair of shoes that did everything from Tuolumne polished glass to desert OW's.

My old buddy Keen Butterworth loved 'em so much that when they discontinued them way back, he went out and bought up like 5 pairs of them. Sadly he ran out of them in the late 90's.

Why only the other day during a bouldering sesh he was expressing his sadness about not having any of those for some Veadawoo fat cracks. And matter of fact, I bet Keen would even offer you a handsome profit on that fine pair you got there in the picture!


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By kirra
May 16, 2008

brl ~ those slippa's are *sweet*..!!!

would personally like to see some hi-tops styles in current lineups


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By berl
From Oregon
May 16, 2008

not for sale, frosty! these babies are gonna push my climbing to a new level: 5.double digits

...now if i can only find some neon pink spandex tights...


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By brenta
From Boulder, CO
May 16, 2008
Cima Margherita and Cima Tosa in the Dolomiti di Brenta.  October 1977.

In the early eighties, I had a pair of Scarpas very similar to those shown in the picture except for the color scheme. The canvas was grey and the leather was a darker blue. I think I bought them in 82 or 83.

Shortly before that, I had bought another pair of Scarpas that were effectively "hybrids." They were between a hi-top climbing shoe and a very light boot, and the sole (made by Vibram) had mostly slick rubber under the toes and lugs under the heel. Sort of approach shoes ante litteram, but built more like climbing shoes; you wouldn't want to hike ten miles in them--not even five.

I don't have either pair any more and don't remember what they were called. I still have, somewhere, my old Mariachers from 1985. Last time I checked--maybe a couple of years ago--the original rubber was not bad at all. The only problem is that they are now too tight and I can't wear them any more.


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By Keen Butterworth
From Boulder
May 16, 2008
Bouldering on Rabbit Mtn. Photo by Forrest Weller

Oh man... those Rock Stars bring back some memories. Nothing compares for fat crackin. I've got some sweet cloud lycra from the same era I would be willing to trade...


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By Tea
May 16, 2008
just Jong it!

kirra wrote:
would personally like to see some hi-tops styles in current lineups


look no further..www.acopausa.com/product.jsp?navigation=3&content=12.

Edging, slabbing, fist cracks? A jedi craves all these things.


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By Allen Corneau
From Houston, TX
May 19, 2008

kirra wrote:
brl ~ those slippa's are *sweet*..!!! would personally like to see some hi-tops styles in current lineups


Check out the Evolve Maximus:

www.evolvesports.com/MAXIMUS.htm


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