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  1. #1
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    Klingbeil Boots Closing

    http://skatingforums2.com/index.php?topic=2815.25

    Klingbeil Boots is closing! :

    They are accepting orders until January 14th

    What will they do with the measuring chair? (Figure Skating Hall of Fame?) The history!
    The "extra" hook!
    The skaters: Sarah Hughes, Sasha Cohen, Fumie Suguri, Dorothy Hamill, Phillip Mills, etc...

    Oh the humanity!

    It's the end of an era............


  2. #2
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    I understand that for many people it's sad news, but from your title I thought that someone important in figure skating history had died. Good that I was wrong.

  3. #3
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    My message board experience is that when someone posts a thread with a grandiose title with no details, it's generally something minor.

  4. #4

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    The latest update in the thread the OP linked to says the order deadline is now the 21st.

    Perhaps this would be a better fit for the MITF section of the board. Mods, maybe you could move it?

  5. #5

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    When I read the title, I thought maybe it was a rehash of the glories of 6.0...
    Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...

  6. #6
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    Keegan Messing wore Klingbeils also. Very sad

  7. #7

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    I think a lot of the work that goes into skate boots is still hand craftsmanship. As the patriarchs of these companies retire or pass, so goes the line. I do see new companies springing up, and stock boots can now be ordered with different widths in the ball of the foot and the heel, which are the problem areas for people with bunions and bone spurs.

  8. #8
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    Wow, I had not heard about the closing until this thread got bumped up today.

    I hope that the thread title gets changed so that more people can be made aware of the situation.

    Here is the link to Klingbeil's Facebook page where there is some more info (including the Jan 21st deadline posted above by Debbie S):
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Klingb...391686?sk=wall
    Dear loyal customers. Due to the overwhelming demand for our boots we are changing the cut off date to 1/21/12. Thank you for your support and being a member of the Klingbeil family.

  9. #9

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    This is sad news. Klingbeil makes a great product. I know many that cannot wear Harlick or Riedell.
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

  10. #10
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    Sad news! I love Klingbeils and they've been the only boots that really fit well and did not hurt like crazy to break in (like my old Harlicks). I'm going to order a new pair ASAP. Thanks for sharing this news. The shop was cramped and beat-up looking, with a creepy little old bathroom, but you could tell it had "character." I wish there were some way they could continue, maybe without a store front or out somewhere else with lower rent.

  11. #11
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    I doubt it's a rent issue; I believe they've owned the entire building for many years.

    If Don wanted to move elsewhere, people would travel for Klingbeil skates, but he'd have to move the staff as well. Janice, Lorraine and Wil are wonderful. (Of course, the equipment would have to be moved as well.)

    And he'd have to take the chair, antique skates, the books, the hand-made benches, the decorations, the autographed photos, the lasts...well, at least the staff. He could leave the dust and the bathrooms, too.

    I'm on my fourth pair - they're great skates. My first pair were fitted by Bill K. and they were the best ones ever. I was doing axels on them within an hour. No break in period required.

    Part of the experience were refreshments (strong coffee with evaporated milk and delish bagels), browsing the skating magazines and show programs going back many years. Oh, and getting money in the meters before the metermaids came along.

    Someone on Facebook asked if they could buy their own last as a keepsake. Cute idea.

  12. #12
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    Although I posted this last week, we (at my rink) are still talking about it.

    One of the things we've talked about is the historic "sizing chair." With all the autographs of skaters before they were famous. Maybe someday we'll see it on ebay. I hope they realize what an priceless piece of "furniture" they have there! Figure skating hall of fame?

    And all those magazines and skating programs, along with the autographed photos of skaters, newspaper articles about Klingbeil and their skaters, antique skates, and dust!

    Through the grapevine, I've heard that there is not enough want anymore for their boot. Enough anyway, to keep them going. The price and easy purchase of any heat moldable skate has passed by the old way of custom hand crafted lasts. It has become too "easy" to customize a Jackson, Riedell or others.

    It's unfortunate. My first pair were sized by Bill Klingbeil too. He told me that I would not find a stock boot to fit me because I have a wider foot bed than normal. He had made mine with a wider platform.

    I guess I'm still in shock.....


  13. #13

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    I still have my original pair, going strong. And my signature is on the chair, not far from Sasha Cohen's! Bill fitted my skates, he was amazing. You could always take them back and have them restuffed and shored up; did so in 2007. Admittedly they are still in good shape because my skating has been a bit on and off since 2008 due to job changes.

    I have a small foot (5.5 shoe) and your skate size is usually smaller. When I went to get them in late 2002, Don did my "ceremony" of bringing out the boots perfectly positioned in their box, nestled in tissue paper. I was sitting next to a skatemom, and when she saw those little pudgy-toed boots (I have a wide forefoot), she cooed "oh, those are so cute, are they for your DAUGHTER????"

    Um, no, they're mine...
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yazmeen View Post
    Um, no, they're mine...
    LOL! I think you and I have the same feet.

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  16. #16

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    Great update. I hope they make it, but no matter what at least the owner knows folks cared....

  17. #17
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    According to twitter, Sasha Cohen had no idea

  18. #18
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    I had a feeling this would happen!
    Don't know how likely they're to stay in business, but I hope they will be able to.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkats View Post
    According to twitter, Sasha Cohen had no idea
    From a pic she tweeted of her new skates (a month or so ago), it appears she's not wearing Klingbeils anymore (no setback hook). They looked like Jacksons but I'm not sure.

  20. #20
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    I'm hoping to get answer from Klingbeil, but they must be swamped with orders now, because I can't get anyone to return my calls and their phone line was busy today. Can anyone tell me how much is a pair of custom boots? I vaguely recall seeing $649 somewhere but the order form doesn't say the price. I'm planning to send off my order form this week before it's too late. Thanks, FSU!

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