I had ranted a while back about Frye Boots, where I had mistakenly said that since the Frye Boot Company was bought out by a conglomerate, that all of their boots were now made in China. I have learned that statement is not accurate.
To prove it, someone sent me a new pair of Frye Campus Boots, which were made at a plant in Arkansas, USA. I can see it on the box and in the label inside the boots — “Made in the U.S.A.”
I stand corrected, and this post was written not only to respond to the person who sent me the boots to acknowledge, publicly, the error of my thinking, but also because I really LIKE the Frye Boot style. Some of their boots are still made in the U.S.A., while some others are made in China. The person who sent me the boots said that some of the shorter boots and newer styles made in the Frye name are made overseas. But what we know as traditional men’s Frye Boots — campus and harness boots — are made here in the U.S.A.
I am uncertain, yet, if the quality of the leather and the boot’s construction is the same as I know from my vintage Frye Boots made back in the ’70s and ’80s. I can tell already that something’s amiss: a Frye Boot cardboard insert was attached with a string to a boot pull inside the shaft of the left boot. When I pulled on it gently, the entire boot pull came off. And this was on a new pair of boots! If I didn’t get them for free, I would have returned them. Yeah, I hate to say it, but new Fryes just aren’t made the way they used to be. Cheap, cheap, cheap….
These boots are very handsome, in the traditional Frye sense of style. Big clunky, rounded heels, and the traditional rounded toe. The height is 14,” which is also the traditional height that vintage Fryes had (though the current harness boot style remains only at 12″.)
The leather has the same colorations as found on the vintage styles, with some streaks of colour throughout. The new-to-me Fryes are in the “banana” color, which again is classic for Fryes. They are lined with leather and feel comfortable. The boots that I received are one size larger than I usually wear, but they do not seem to swim on my foot (as I can only wear my left boot right now since my right leg is in a cast.)
I am glad to be “re-fryed,” and to celebrate the nostalgic occasion, I put on a pair of bellbottom jeans to go with the boot (fortunately, bellbottoms have a wide opening, so they’ll fit over the cast on my right leg.)
Nothin’ like a pair of traditional Frye campus boots in their style. And it’s a good thing, too, as my buddy FBLSD has joined the Boots Wiki Team and has updated the Frye Boots section of the wiki. Check it out!
Life is short: enjoy your Fryes!