Describing    the    loyalty of   Dave   Page's   clients is   like   beginning   a   joke: a     man     in     Chamonix buys      his      boots      six blocks    from    his    home and   then   sends   them   to Seattle    for    orthopedic inserts.      A       pair       of Vasque   Sundowners   is   pecked   to   death   by   a   Costa Rican   parrot,   and   the   owner   turns   to   Page.   In   fact, almost    every    major    boot    manufacturer    sends    its warranty work to his Seattle workshop. Page   was   a   University   of   Washington   history   professor in   1968   when   he   financed   a   climbing   binge   cutting hiking-boot    uppers    at    a    small    factory    in    Kitzbuhel, Austria.    The    menial    labor    sang    to    the    29-year    old academic's   soul.   "It   was   the   3,000-year   history,"   he says.   "The   materials-the   leather-hooked   me"   By   the next   summer   he'd   left   the   university   and   was   cobbling in   his   basement.   Now,   30   years   later,   he   schools   eight craftspeople   in   the   minutiae   of   Vibram   outsoles   and   D- ring   eyelets.   "I'm   drawn   to   boots   that   aren't   gimmicky," Page   says.   "I   do   most   of   my   mountaineering   in   ten- year-old boots-nothing fancy." "He's   a   phenomenom,"   says   climbing   monolith   Fred Beckey.   "He's   resoled   tens   of   thousands   of   boots.   How many   of   mine?   Seven?   Seventeen?   I   have   no   idea. That's   like   asking   Madonna   how   many   times   she's   had an orgasm." Written by Eric Hansen / Photo by Dave Emmite Outside Magazine / August 1999
Guaranteed to Last The distinguished professor of worn-out boots is hell bent for leather