Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tall Brown Engineer Boots

I had always wanted a pair of tall brown engineer boots.  But new engineer boots in that style are hard to find!  Wesco makes their Boss boots (engineer style) in brown, but those boots are heavy, expensive, and not quite what I wanted.  I would love it if Chippewa made their engineer boots in brown, but they only make them in black.  So I kept looking.

There are a number of manufacturers of short engineer boots in brown -- Chippewa, Harley (Chinese-made), Redwing, Boulet, and others.  But I wanted boots that were at least 14", preferably 17" tall.  Still looking....

However, I was able to find a rare style of Frye engineer boots while surfing eBay last month.  I bid and won.  These are a style I had not seen Frye offer, so I was surprised and pleasantly pleased to find them.  They are 14" tall and have all the engineer boot features: rounded toe, strap and buckle across the instep and on the shaft.  These boots have a white label in the shaft, and a Frye steer logo on the heel, so that tells me that the boots were made some time in the mid-80s.

The boots also have a thin rubber sole and heel plate as well as a 1" heel, which indicate to me that they were made for bikers.  The sole is rather thin, though, so the traction is negligible (but certainly better than Fryes with leather soles.)

These boots also are unlined, which is also not common (in my knowledge) for Frye boots.  Because of that, the leather on the shaft is thin and unsupported, so the boots flop over when I am not wearing them.  Also because they lack a lining, the boots sag a lot.

Unfortunately, there is no imprint inside the boot shaft indicating the style number or revealing any other details.  Lacking that information, I was dubious that these were genuine Frye boots.  I mean, a creative person could have sewn in the white Frye label on the shaft.  However, the brand imprint on the heel, and a Frye stamp on the sole makes me feel that they are genuine Fryes, not knock-offs.  Hmmm... perhaps my friend who knows a ton more about Fryes than I do can help me learn more about this find.

I was pleased to make these boots lucky #13 in my Frye Boot Collection.

Life is short:  enjoy original, U.S.-made Frye boots!

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