Someone searched the internet with a question, “why are Chippewa boots so expensive?” which directed the visitor to this blog. But the post to which the question was directed did not answer the question.
The answer is simple: Chippewa motorcycle boots are still made in the USA, and are made with quality materials and craftsmanship. While the boots are not hand-made, the steps in their assembly and construction are supervised by humans. U.S. humans.
Then compare that process with boots made in China, for example: X-Element, Joe Rocket, River Road, and even some of the best-known U.S. labels: Red Wing, Frye, Harley-Davidson. Boots made in China are made with inferior materials and are assembled almost exclusively by machine. The quality is poor, and there is no “craftsmanship.” You are paying more for the label (license) than for the product.
Boots made in China are inexpensive. The manufacturers use very cheap labor and low-end materials to offer their U.S. retailers a lower price. But believe me, they’re still making a lot of money on the deal.
Compare these differences:
Chippewa Motorcycle Boots — most are fully leather-lined; Vibram soles; soles stitched on; some have steel toes; hardware is resistant to oxidation (rusting); leather is top grain, smooth, and unblemished.
Chinese Motorcycle Boots — mostly unlined; neoprene or other cheap rubber soles; soles are glued on, not stitched; steel toes are rare; hardware is not treated so it rusts easily; leather may often be a bottom of a cowhide split (see explanation here) so it is blemished, uneven, and lacks lustre.
So why are Chippewa boots more expensive than these Chinese-made knock-offs? Now that you know more about how the boots are made and what they are made of, as well as where they are made, you understand that it costs more for better materials and craftsmanship, and to support U.S. workers who are paid a decent wage and benefits. I support U.S. labor. I would far rather pay a little more to keep a fellow American employed than export the labor to China. (And I know that no one in China will read this blog post, because China still blocks Blogspot through internet censorship.)
I really did not mean for this post to go on the tangent to promote American labor and sound like I am bashing China. But facts are facts. Quality is quality. Workers need good jobs, and I support my fellow countrymen.
Life is short: know quality when you see it, and invest in that quality while supporting U.S. labor.