Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Not All Harness Boots Are the Same

A new pair of Double H Harness boots came into my life recently. These boots are pictured here on the right, next to a pair of favorite Chippewa Harness boots.

While both manufacturers make the boots in the USA, that is about the end of what they have in common (besides general design).

What are the differences that would affect a purchase choice?

First, the overall height. The Double H boots are stated at 10 inches while the Chips are 12".

Next, the Double H boot shafts are really narrow. I mean "squeeze-on/pull-hard" narrow. You really must have excellent flexibility in the ankle to point the toes and foot into the boot and you have to pull real hard to get them on. Once the boots are on, they fit fine, although you can feel the Double H boot shafts rubbing the lower legs. They are that tight.

Next, Double H boots are unlined, while the Chippewa Harness boots have a leather lining. That lining makes the boots much more comfortable, durable, and solid.

Finally, the soles are different. The Double H boots have a solid rubber sole, but they are not Vibram soles -- the best in the industry -- which Chippewa boots have applied at the factory.

While Double H harness boots are less expensive, the old adage, "you get what you pay for" clearly applies. Double H takes shortcuts in manufacture. The shorter height and the narrower shaft means less leather. The lack of a leather lining and narrow circumference of the boot shaft makes them much less comfortable.

In my opinion, Double H boots are not what they used to be. Chippewa has maintained much better standards in boot manufacture.

I'm not a paid spokes-bootman. I just relate what I feel and observe. I still feel that boots made in the USA are far superior to similar-style boots made in China, such as those under the Harley-Davidson license. H-D does not make those boots, but contracts with a company that engages cheap labor and uses low-quality materials.

Here is a video that I made where I describe the differences of three brands of harness boots -- Chippewa, Boulet, and Double H. You can see what I am talking about in the vid. Enjoy!

Life is short: wear quality boots, and know what you're getting.

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