Bob Lange had been experimenting with plastic reinforced ski boots as early as 1958, but it took some time before the basic design was made usable. The first examples from 1962, built by Lange employee Dave Luensmann, used ABS shells and laces for closure, but were not very successful. A follow-up design released in volume in the winter of 1965/66 used a new thermoplastic shell, hinged cuff, and latching buckles, and became the first commercially successful replacement for leather boots. By 1970 they were almost universal on the racing circuit, and selling hundreds of thousands of examples as the world's leading ski boot brand. Lange entered the hockey market during the 1970s. Lange skates were an outgrowth of their plastic ski boots. Phil Esposito endorsed and used Lange skates. They went out of favor due to their weight non-traditional looks but had the advantages that they were comfortable to wear and offered more protection than traditional skates.
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