Reebok Acquires Frye: 1987
In 1985 Alberto-Culver sold Frye to Stanley I. Kravetz, a former executive of the New Hampshire footwear manufacturer Timberland Company. Kravetz narrowed Frye’s focus to the women’s line on fashion boots and the men’s line on boots with classic western styling and hand-sewn loafers. The changes, however, proved inadequate to the challenges, In May 1987 Kravetz sold Frye to Reebok International Ltd.
Primarily a running and aerobic shoe manufacturer, Reebok had recently launched a diversification program that included the 1986 acquisition of the Rockport Company, a manufacturer of casual shoes. Kravetz remained Frye’s president. Under Reebok, he attempted to position Frye as a nostalgia brand, hoping to persuade grown-up hipsters to reacquaint themselves with Frye boots. Although lightweight versions of the boots sold well in New England and on the West Coast, and loafer sales were strong, Frye’s performance did not measure up to Reebok’s expectations.
- The first retail store opens.
- The first apparel line is introduced.
Once again, Frye was the victim of a false spring, as fashion designers invariably moved on to new trends. In 1993 Kravetz licensed the Frye brand to the Jimlar Corp. of Great Neck, New York, a major footwear company founded in 1957 by brothers Jim and Larry Tarica. Jimlar acquired Frye in 1998.
Best Usa Made Cowboy Boot: Abilene Bison Leather
Youd think that American made cowboy boots would be easy to find. Youd be wrong.
Despite their design heritage, most western style boots are made overseas. There are a few hand built and custom options you can find that are built in the USA, but many bump up close to $1,000 per pair. And thats not something Im interested in.
So where do you go if you want a quality pair of cowboy boots that are made here at home and dont cost a small fortune?
Their Bison Leather boots are the best value USA built cowboy boot I could find.
What I Like
Where To Buy Frye Boots
In addition to Fryes official website, below are the top five online retailers where you can purchase authentic Frye boots.
If youve been planning to buy secondhand Frye boots or are looking to shop via an unauthorized reseller, it is best to do some research first in order to avoid being scammed. You need to be particularly careful when buying shoes on eBay.
There are a lot of counterfeit Frye boots circulating online, which are being passed off as real Frye boots. Read our seven-step guideline below to help you authenticate Frye boots.
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Best American Made Steel Toe: Thorogood Steel Toe Moc
Choose between the 8-inch and the 6-inch version, depending on your needs.
If youre working in tough conditions and you wear these every day, you can expect them to last between two and three years . At just over $200, there are few better deals out there.
What I Like
There are a few classic color options, though I like the Tobacco leather the most because of how it ages.
The polymer sole has a decent amount of abrasion resistance so it doesnt wear down too quickly.
I like that you can get an 8 version if your work demands a little more ankle support and protection.
What I Dont Like
Because the sole is a harder polymer, its not as slip resistant as other options, so I wouldnt recommend this boot if you walk on oily surfaces a lot .
What Other Reviewers Say
After reading through dozens of reviews, its clear that the Thorogood Moc Toe is beloved by guys who put their boots through hell.
One complaint that came up a few times is that theyre not insulated, which could be an issue if you work in extreme cold often. Otherwise, a great pair of Fox River or Darn Tough socks should help you out.
The Thorogood Steel Toe Moc can take a beating and keep your feet well protected. Theyre not the most stylish boots, but theyre a fantastic value buy considering the quality.
What Is Fryes Return Policy
This Frye boots review found out that they offer free returns. If customers are not happy with their orders, they are encouraged to visit their return portal on their website. Customers will receive an email with a pre-paid return label, then have 60 days to return their purchases. The products must be unworn and in new condition.
Refunds are made in the original form of payment within 10 business days of the return. If customers would like an instant return, they can select their instant return option and receive their refund as store credit.
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Runner Up: Red Wing Iron Ranger
Red Wing boots have been crafting American Heritage lines in Red Wing, Minnesota since 1905.
The Iron Ranger is one of the most iconic boots in the US today, and the line is inspired by what early iron miners in the Midwest used to wear on the job.
The Red Wing Iron Ranger is a tough boot that works equally well for work and for style.
What I Like
The 270-degree Goodyear welt can be recrafted and offers plenty of water resistance.
The midsole is made with all leather and cork, so the boot continues to break in and get more comfortable over time while staying durable.
Its a stylish bootway more so than other work boot styles.
What I Dont Like
Theres a tough break in period.
What Other Reviewers Say
Reviewers have been loving on the Red Wing Iron Ranger for years. These boots have a wide range of fans, including motorcyclists, electricians, hipsters, and everyone in between.
The most common complaint is with the break in period. The Iron Ranger can feel a bit narrow for the first few weeks, but usually the leather stretches out and the boot becomes much more comfortable.
If youre looking for a Made in USA pair of classic American boots, the Red Wing Iron Ranger is an amazing choice.
It offers an excellent blend of quality, durability, and style.
Depending on how hard you wear these, they can easily last a decade or more, making the investment well worth it
Are Frye Boots Made In Mexico
In addition to China and the US, Frye also makes boots in Mexico. About the boots made in Mexico, theyre produced in the city of Leon, which is known as the home of leather products in the country. In terms of prices, they tend to be less expensive as the labor in Mexico is not as costly as that in the USA.
In Leon, Mexico, you can also see numerous cobbler stores that make cowboy boots. And in general, the boots and shoes from Mexico are of higher quality compared to ones from China.
Leon is in an ideal location that connects to many parts of the world by road, rail, and air , so it is great as the home of leather footwear in the country. However, if the quality is your priority, you should consider USA-made styles or the ones from Mexico rather than from China.
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How To Spot Fake Frye Boots: 7 Ways To Tell Real Shoes
Frye has centuries of experience in the boot-making trade, so its no wonder the brand is one of the leading makers of all-American boots.
The oldest continuously operated shoe company in the United States, Frye uses some of the finest leathers and materials and relies on skilled artisan craftsmanship, allowing this footwear brand to offer iconic leather boots that boast unparalleled quality.
High-quality Frye leather boots for men and women
Fryes roster includes countless styles, ranging from timeless American classics to modern lifestyle boots.
What Is Fryes Shipping Policy
Frye offers to ship anywhere within the United States and also provides international shipping.In terms of shipping options, they provide Next Business Day shipping and UPS2nd Business day within the United States. For international orders, they use DHL Express. Customers can track their orders by going onto their website and visiting their account page.
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How To Tell If You Have Vintage Frye Boots
Note: the information below is about Mens Frye Boots. No postings on eBay or Craigslist that link to this post are authorized by the author.
These boots are highly valued by collectors, and many pairs of these boots appear on eBay and Craigslist with claims of being vintage. True vintage Frye boots were made in the USA and the claim vintage is for a pair of boots made in the 1950s, 60s, or 70s, featuring heel height and label described below. Vintage Fryes were made of entirely US-obtained materials, including the leather. They were mostly machine-produced, but the process at their facility in Marlborough, Massachusetts, required a lot of hand-labor throughout the bootmaking process.
Today, the boots are all machine-made and assembled, with little hand-labor involved. The quality of the materials from which the boots are made are of lesser standard. And the company even states on a stamp on the inside of the campus boot style shaft, made in USA of U.S. and imported parts. Thats a crafty way of saying that it is likely that the leather is from a country such as Pakistan which has a reputation for selling inferior leather. Frye boots available today in styles other than the campus boot are likely made in China.
Update: Information on how to distinguish vintage Frye boots from modern-day Frye-labeled boots is here on the Boots Wiki.
More information on the history of Frye Boots is on the Boots Wiki, here.
Life is short: know your Fryes!
Best Usa Made Winter Boots: Danner Trophy
The Danner Trophy is hard to come byits not a very popular boot, but if you can find a pair in your size, youll be amazed at how warm these US-built boots are.
With 600g of insulation and a 10 shaft, these boots can make a blizzard feel more like a breezy autumn day. At least for your feet.
With a stitchdown construction and waterproof treated leather, these also do a fantastic job keeping your feet dry.
What I Like
There arent too many insulated boots made in the USA and Danner has a reputation for quality.
The waterproofing on the leather helps a lot in snowy conditions.
The self cleaning sole keeps snow and mud off the bottom of your boots.
What I Dont Like
There are very limited sizing options because this boot isnt very popular.
What Other Reviewers Say
There arent too many reviews for this boot, but of the ones I was able to read through, there was nothing but love. One reviewer said theyve had their previous pair for 10 years and theyre just now buying a new pair.
If youre regularly crossing through a creek or your work requires hours standing in the snow, you need an insulated waterproof boot. And if you want a solid pair build in the United States, then the Danner Trophy is the best option on the market.
In my experience, theres no link between American craftsmanship and the finished quality of the boot. In fact, some of the best built boots in my collection come from Colombia and China .
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Best American Made Hiking Boot: Danner Mountain Light
Youve heard of Danner. Theyre American hiking boot legends, and their Mountain Light has done most of the heavy lifting in earning the brand that reputation.
This boot has been around since 1979, fully constructed in Portland, Oregon. Makes sense: Portland is such a great place to take a hike.
Made with either Dri-Lex or Gore-Tex , this boot has excellent water resistance and the fiberglass shank offers plenty of support without becoming too heavy.
The Danner Mountain Light is well regarded as one of the best backpacking boots of all time, so if youre thinking about going full Americana and wearing some USA-made boots while hitting the Appalachian or PCT, this is the only way to go.
What I Like
The fiberglass shank is lightweight but still offers plenty of solid arch support .
The Vibram Kletterlift outsole does an excellent job on a huge variety of terrain, both dry and wet.
The stitchdown construction is easy to recraft and offers decent weather resistance.
What I Dont Like
Theres limited sizing and the EE width is confusing .
What Other Reviewers Say
Some reviewers say theyve owned the same pair of Danner Mountain Lights since the 80s .
These boots are a bit of an investment up front, but when you look at the inspiring photos of reviewers on mythic looking mountain tops, you start to understand why these boots are so popular.
There are waterproof and insulated versions, so take some time to think about the kind of hiking you do most often.
How Did We Come Up With Our List
Over the years, Ive worn over 50 pairs of boots, and Ive spent hundreds of hours researching brands, both foreign and domestic.
Ive come across several brands that do an incredible job making boots, some of which are made in Indonesia, China, Spain, England, etc.
A common sentiment I hear running the BootSpy YouTube channel is, where are the American made boots?
While US-made boots are a rare breed, Ive tested the top brands myselfthe others on this list I compiled from recommendations made by our YouTube community and those hundreds of hours of research.
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Frye Leather Conditioning Cream $10 $15 At Amazon
We recommend that you treat your leather bags and shoes with Fryes premium silicone-free waterproof balm that will condition, moisturize, and nourish them. You can find the balm and other care products at The Frye Company.
The unique formula creates an invisible, stain-proof shield against rain, snow, and dirt. It also prevents the leathers from drying, cracking, and exposure to salt damage.
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Where Are Frye Boots Made
Featuring boots, shoes, and sneakers that represent American craftsmanship, these shoes are made in the United States and sourced from domestic and imported products.
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Are Frye Boots Worth It
If youre willing to spend a decent amount of money on a good pair of durable boots, this Frye boots review would readily recommend the brand. Are Frye boots high quality? Yes, absolutely! Id say their boots are investment pieces, meaning that youd be paying for boots that will last you a long time.
With a hefty price tagattached, in return youll receive quality, well-crafted boots that are worth the money.As one Amazon reviewer stated, I believe these are going to be keepers and Ill love them for a long, long time!
This shoe company has stood the test of time, which makes them more trustworthy and reliable when it comes to manufacturing high-quality shoes. Also, there are multiple boot styles to choose from, ranging from the 60s inspired Frye Campus Boots to Texan Frye cowboy boots.While a lot of its customers reported having to break in their Fryes, thats the case with many boots and its usually a good sign of an exceptional boot.
Retail Store Opens: 2011
In 2010 Frye announced plans to open its first freestanding store, to be located in New York’s SoHo district. It would serve as a showcase for the full-range of Frye products, which included boots and shoes for women and men, children’s footwear, handbags, accessories, and other leather goods. While the New York store was being prepared, ownership of Jimlar was changing hands. In August 2010 Jimlar was acquired by the Hong Kongâbased Li & Fung Limited, a consumer goods sourcing giant. Frye now became part of Li & Fung’s Global Brands Group. The 6,000-square-foot flagship store finally opened in 2011. Besides Frye leather goods, it carried an exclusive gold and silver jewelry line by the Los Angelesâbased designer Tara Cullen.
With the New York store proving successful, Frye decided to add a second, larger store on Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay. The three-story, 11,000-square-foot store opened in 2013. By then, stores in Chicago and Washington, DC, were also in development. Changes in the ownership ranks were also underway. In 2014 Li & Fung spun off the Global Brands Group.
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Who Owns The Frye Company
While the shoe brand claims to the oldest continuously operated American shoe company, it is now actually a Chinese company. Frye is owned by Global Brands Group Holding Limited, a fashion conglomerate based in Hong Kong.
Check Other Details And Fit
The Frye Company prides itself on creating well-constructed boots made from the finest leather and materials. These boots go through several quality control checks to make sure even the smallest details are fine-tuned.
Another important factor is the fit, which can make or break any boot. Genuine Frye boots should feel good on your feet, even right out the box. These quality pieces are made to be sturdy but comfortable.
Style, comfort, and quality are just a few of the things youll love most about Fryes classic Veronica boots
Cheap replicas might be able to copy the exterior look of a Frye, but will often feel rigid and tough, even after a break-in period.
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