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Item #: HW2-289
AUTHENTIC, VINTAGE SWISS NAILED BOOTS: ORIGINAL CLIMBING BOOTS FROM 1920s - 1950s
By Swiss Army, Switzerland
Price: $74.95

List Price: $250.00
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Detailed Product Description

REAL 1940s SWISS NAILED BOOTS

We have obtained a few pair of real nailed boots, as issued to the Swiss Army during and after WWII! We estimate their age as 60-70 years old. These are identical to the boots worn by British, European and American climbers before (and after!) World War II, before Vibram soles took over.

The shoemaker or company who made each boot is marked inside the boot. We have actually seen the name Bally, now a high end maker of fashionable shoes.

The boots have about 77 edge and hob nails in each boot! Larger edge nails are marked 'TRICOUNI BREV SUISSE'. The leather uppers and soles are in well preserved condition. This is a phenomenal chance to get an authentic collector's item. No size choice. Excellent condition although they need a good cleaning.

Postage charges will be based on weight, 5 pounds. About $20 USA, $45 Canada, $60-$90 Foreign.

From Wikipedia:

Félix Genecand, a jeweler by profession and passionate climber based in Geneva, Switzerland, designed a new type of boot nail and nailing system in 1912 which was a performance breakthrough. This was because he was able to harden nails for the first time by making them in 2 pieces. The hard gripping part was brazed to the softer malleable part which was attached to the boot by a transverse double nail. The hardened steel nails were aligned with the periphery of the toe of the boot. so giving the boot and the climber the ability to grip a much smaller hold, even to a small pebble.

Additionally the nails could be fitted without the specialist help of a cobbler and ensured greater length of life. The name he gave to these nails was the affectionate nickname given to him personally by his climbing friends, 'Tricouni' after the climb of the same name in the Salève near Geneva.
 
Nailed boots were not only very effective on wet, lichenous or ice covered rock, but were actually better than today's molded rubber soles.  For many alpine climbs of the day, crampons were unnecessary because nailed boots were perfect on nevée slopes and good in ice steps. This very effectiveness arguably slowed down the progression of crampon development and usage.

The critical issue with this type of footwear was insulation, because nails were perfect for conducting heat away from the feet. It was customary practice for alpine climbers to select boots large enough to be used with two pairs of socks.  For Himalayan climbing the sizing was increased to allow three pairs of socks. However, simply adding more pairs of socks could not solve the problem and there were many attempts to improve boot design.
 

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