These boots have been with me on many an adventure, traveling along to the various resorts I've visited over 10 years. Mika gave them to me, along with a badass Nitro 162 "lizard" longboard, as a birthday present in 1995 when I was a sophmore in high school.
At first, I had to wear two to three pairs of thick, woolen socks because they were a little too big for my then still-growing feet. Now they conform to my feet as if they were crafted from precisely crafted neoprene. They've been used so hard that the rubber is starting to separate from the aincent leather, and the heel backing has worn down to just a millimeter thick. Everytime I use the boots, the binding presses on a sensitive pressure point on my right foot, but it becomes less painful over time.
I had the pleasure to hang out and ride along with a cousin of a friend, who just so happened to be one of the top 10 boarders in Japan (a real kicked back guy named Takeshi), and he gave me some good pointers. As we were discussing the nuances of old and new equipment, he remarked that Kemper had gone bust and that he wanted a pair of boots like mine. The boots they have nowadays are much easier to rachet tight, take less time to get on and off, and are prettier. Despite this, there's something special about durable equipment of any kind that has been lovingly taken care of and well used by its owner. What an awesome pair of boots, these Kempers of mine.