Trivia Week 7

What was the first ski boot to break the color barrier?  The exterior color of ski boots had always been black (or leather brown in the older days.)  Even the first plastic boots maintained the black color until….

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7 Responses to Trivia Week 7

  1. Bob Burley says:

    Not sure as the onset of age makes the memory unreliable. Perhaps the “color barrier” was broken by Raichle of Switzerland with the “Raichle Red Hots”. If the intermittent memory still serves, there was at least one iteration of the Red Hot as a leather boot with a “plastic” overlay giving the shiny red color. Interestingly, as wedeln became more popular, the dreaded “edge bite” gave the Raichle nicks and tears along the instep and ankle cups. Whereas the black boots could be quickly dressed with a little shoe polish, the Raichle blemishes and “fuzz” were a little more difficult to hide. We sometimes asked damsels by the old central firepit in the Octagon if we could pet their boots.

    BTW – Keep this stuff going. It’s a hoot!

  2. Bob Parrish says:

    I had a pair of red fiberglass Raichle Fiber Jet boots (AKA ‘Raichle Red Hots’) in 1969 or 1970(?). The fiberglass shell was hinged on the bottom, and contained a leather walking boot. I remember skiing all day, and not seeing another pair of colored boots on the slopes. However, I seem to remember a friend who had a pair of blue plastic boots the season before. Perhaps these were Trappers (AKA “Trapps”) I believe they had a funky lacing system with continuous cables criss-crossing the instep.

    Alas,I sold my Red Hots years ago on eBay.


    • Greg Morrill says:

      The Raichle Red Hots were the first boots of color introduced in 1968! I got my pair in a Spring sale of 1969. And like you it was lonely for a year or two before colored boots became the norm.

      I’ve been amazed at how difficult it is to find a picture of those boots! I’m told the Vermont Ski Museum may have a pair so I plan to visit again this week.

      Thanks for reading and contributing!


  3. Maryke Gillis says:

    My father had a pair of Rosemount (Rosemont) ski boots. Which I believe were red, white & blue!

    • Greg Morrill says:

      You’re correct. Once the color barrier was broken, many boot makers joined the parade including Rosemount. I’ll be talking about Rosemount in next week’s column. They had a Red and Blue boot plus a model that was Red and Blue with White stars – very patriotic!

  4. Jim palmquist says:

    Just found you. I started skiing in 1955, and still remember my first Henke and Head standards with marker leg breaker bindings and 10 foot long thongs. Wow. In 1962 or so, my father bought a pair of Heurling boots, which were hand made from a mold and were black with white trim. I think they were from Austria. After many years away from the sport I have decided to try again. Imagine my surprise that my Kastle 210 length with Salomon 875 bindings cannot be used. Ouch. Anyhow, thanks for the memories. Jim

    • Greg Morrill says:

      Glad you found the site! I’ll be writing a column about those long thongs later this year.

      If you are taking up the sport again, make sure you get a short, shaped ski at least to begin with. There’s a tendency for us experienced skiers to reject the shorter skis and go for the wide-overall big mountain skis. For anyone that hasn’t skied in awhile the shorter ski will get you back in skiing form quickly! Just think about turning and you’re turning. Plus you can ski longer without tiring. See you on the slopes!

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