American Rebel Boots’ Marketing Ploy

Sidebyside2There is a relatively new brand name of boots out there: American Rebel Boots. The company motto is: “Ride. Rock. Run Wild.” Further marketing promo information on websites about these boots reads the same,

Show your wild side in the (product title, such as “Axle Skull”) Biker Boot. American Rebel Black Harness Boots stand for getting wild, renegade music and forging your own path. Pull on American Rebel Motorcycle Boots and break free. Ride. Rock. Run Wild.

I call bulldoogie…

Last week, I saw an on-line promo for a pair of black harness boots marketed with this description:

This boot is inspired by biker attitude, soaring eagles, and pure American freedom. Rebel spirit meets biker attitude. Whatever you ride, wherever you ride, ride it on the edge. American Rebel. Born to Ride. Rock. Run Wild.

I have to admit, whoever writes this ad copy is very good at capturing the marketing hype that appeals to young men who don’t know much about boots, which is the vast majority of millennial guys.

The full suggested retail price for these boots is absurd at $220 to $240/pair. However, they are discontinuing some lines to introduce others, so I found a pair of these boots on sale for $129. By combining a 15% discount for Father’s Day along with an on-line $15 coupon, I snagged a pair of these boots for $94.65 with free shipping.

Before buying, I did my research, and found that these boots are made in Leon, Mexico. That’s fine — boots made in Mexico are okay. I would not have bought them if they were made in China. (BS marketing note: when they say “boots are handcrafted in Leon, Mexico,” it just means that the boots are designed there and people operate the machines that produce the boots. These boots are NOT hand-MADE. Don’t let the words “hand-crafted” fool you.)

The boots arrived within a week. They look nice, shine well, and fit true-to-size. However, when compared with Chippewa harness boots, the following differences are easily noted:

  American
Rebel
Chippewa
 
Leather
Thickness
Thin
About 5 oz
Thicker
About 7 oz
Height 11.5 inches
29 cm
12 inches
30.5cm
Heel
Height
1.25 inches
3.18cm
1.50 inches
3.81cm
Lining Tan
2 oz thin
Black
3 oz thicker
Sole Smooth
Leather
Thick
Vibram 430

Below are these boots compared side-by-side. Chippewa harness boots on the left, American Rebel harness boots on the right.Sidebyside4SidebysideSidebyside3So this is where I call “BS” on the marketing of American Rebel Boots:

  • The boots are made in Mexico — with the label “American Rebel” — really?
  • The boots have a smooth leather sole, yet the marketing is to bikers and talks about “riding.” Bulldoogie!

Any real biker who knows anything about boots knows that smooth leather soles provide absolutely no traction. These are not “biker boots,” but rather, “biker wannabe boots.” Boots with soles like that are dangerous even for walking on rain-soaked sidewalks, much less when operating a motorcycle.

Otherwise, the boots are okay if you want to have a biker appearance, or just want to wear nice-looking boots to the office. Just don’t fall for the marketing ploy of “wearing these boots will give you a rebel attitude and make you tough as a biker.” And by no means pay anywhere near MSRP (US$220 – $240) for American Rebel Boots. They are not worth it. If you find a significant sale or price reduction and combine it with a coupon and get a good deal, and if you enjoy wearing and trying out different brands of boots, then get ’em.

But if you are a real biker and want solid boots that will protect you and provide good traction, then consider alternate boot manufacturers such as Chippewa, Wesco, or Whites that are made with thicker leather and durable Vibram soles. Don’t fall for the gimmicky marketing promotions. It’s all b/s. Really.

Life is short: learn about boots and make good decisions when choosing boots to wear for the right application.