Red Chili: By Climbers for Climbers
"From the beginning we had a very clear idea of what Red Chili would be: the expression of what climbing meant to us. The phrase "Only climbers know what climbers need" was born with Red Chili, and continues to be our mantra."
In 1995 you could find Stefan Glowacz and Wue Hofstädter
climbing on the west face of El Capitan, Yosemite.
At that time Glowacz was one of the best and most famous climbers on the planet; from 1985 to 1993 he had competed in the World Cup
and almost always finished standing on the podium. After his retirement he dedicated himself to visit wild mountains across the planet, opening new routes of extreme difficulty. The previous year he had opened The Emperor's New Clothes,
which would be the most difficult route in the Alps for a decade.
Arriving at the top of El Cap that afternoon in 1995, the pain they both suffered in their feet - caused by their climbing shoes – was so bad that they imagined to themselves how wonderful it would be to climb with shoes that fit perfectly. They had a vision of a pair of shoes that would fit their feet and were customized so that even after twenty hard core pitches, or a half day of bouldering, nothing would hurt and climbing would be nothing but enjoyable.
This vision became a reality when they realized “Why don’t we make our own climbing shoes? Who knows better than a climber what a climber really needs?”
After descending El Cap, they put their plan into action and after a night of drinking wine and listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, they woke up and saw a red wine soaked piece of paper with two words – Red Chili. They knew what they had to do. Glowacz's design knowledge and Uwe's business vision took care of the rest.
Two years later the first pair of Red Chili climbing shoes
hit the stores. Endorsed by Stefan Glowacz, they soon won the favor of climbers from around the world. In a pretty short time, the Red Chili brand established itself as one of the leading climbing shoe manufacturers worldwide. Whether it’s sport, trad, bouldering or wall, Red Chili has you covered by offering a perfect fitting shoe
that will allow you to enjoy climbing to the max without enduring any pain.
More than twenty years have passed and the company has grown exponentially. They have many more employees (all of which are climbers – a prerequisite to work there), distribute throughout the world, have constant innovations and improvements… but the spirit lives on. They still believe, and we at Barrabes do as well, that nobody better than a climber knows what a climber needs. True to their roots, they have never wanted to move and still maintain the same house in Loechgau, Germany,
as their headquarters.
There they develop all of their climbing shoes and their R&D department provides solutions to the needs raised by their important team of climber-testers, led by Stefan Glowacz himself, who occasionally holds meetings at the climbing wall near their headquarters.
The rest of their time is dedicated to traveling the world, going climbing, and discovering new adventures, feeding their passion for the mountains and exploration, while developing some of the best shoes a climber can wear.
Does it get any better than that?