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Klingbeil Boots Closing

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Kelleys6th, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Kelleys6th

    Kelleys6th Active Member


    Klingbeil Boots is closing! :wuzrobbed:

    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. lauravvv

    lauravvv Well-Known Member

    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. Polymer Bob

    Polymer Bob New Member

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

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

    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. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

    When I read the title, I thought maybe it was a rehash of the glories of 6.0... :scream: :scream:
  6. ryanbfan

    ryanbfan Active Member

    Keegan Messing wore Klingbeils also. Very sad :(
  7. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    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. HisWeirness

    HisWeirness pork cutlet bowl fatale

    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):
  9. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

    This is sad news. Klingbeil makes a great product. I know many that cannot wear Harlick or Riedell.
  10. livetoskate

    livetoskate Well-Known Member

    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. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins Well-Known Member

    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. Kelleys6th

    Kelleys6th Active Member

    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! :rofl:

    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..... :eek:

  13. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

    I still have my original pair, going strong. And my signature is on the chair, not far from Sasha Cohen's! :lol::cool: 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...:shuffle:
  14. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

    LOL! I think you and I have the same feet. :)
  15. Carolla5501

    Carolla5501 Well-Known Member

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

    mkats Well-Known Member

    According to twitter, Sasha Cohen had no idea :(
  17. aemeraldrainc

    aemeraldrainc Active Member

    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.
  18. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. livetoskate

    livetoskate Well-Known Member

    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!
  20. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

    Yes, it's $649. And that includes any extras. When I got mine 6 years ago, it was $545 (I think) but I had to pay extra for a flex notch, lambswool tongue, rolled top, so I think it came out to $610. So not a huge difference if you'd get several add-ons anyway. But I think they also ask for an additional $20 to cover shipping. You can always include your phone number and ask them to call you for a credit card number.

    Try calling in the morning, like around 9 or 10. I got through to them on Monday.

    I hope they stay open for a few more months. Latest info I've heard is March. My coach tells me I've got at least a year, maybe 2, to go before my skates break down, and I don't really have the means to buy a new pair right now, but if they stay open through the spring/early summer, I might just place an order. Right now, I'm having the tongues replaced.
  21. livetoskate

    livetoskate Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Debbie! I got a response today. They ask for a $300 deposit first. I don't really need a new pair right now but definitely want a back-up pair once the current boots wear out. Maybe that is why they haven't generated as much business-- their quality is so good that people don't need to replace their boots as often. I sure wish they would stay in business somehow!
  22. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins Well-Known Member

    They also rebuild skates when they break down. My first pair were rebuilt once - lasted many, many years.
  23. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    So glad to see the update. I love my Klingbeils and my experience with them (via correspondence) was awesome.
  24. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

    Their Facebook page has the following update today:

  25. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    Nice. :)
  26. Lanie

    Lanie Well-Known Member

    I wish I needed new skates, or I'd get some from them.
  27. aemeraldrainc

    aemeraldrainc Active Member

    That's great! I'm happy for them. I'm very moved as well. I'm so sensitive! Hehe.