Boots Made in Spain Frustration

For a number of years, most of us in the “boot world” have been aware of the made-in-Spain Sendra Boots, which have been attractive to those of us on the other side of the Atlantic. Finding those boots in the USA became easier when some stores here offered Sendra boots and served as a U.S. distributor.

Recently, I posted a rave review of Ranch Road Boots that are made in Spain. These boots are…

… well-made and are made with U.S. lasts rather than narrower Euro lasts. They fit fine, and I think that the owner of Ranch Road Boots — Sarah Ford — was on to something regarding the use of U.S. lasts for the boots that she has made in Spain.

It was the lasts that were used to make Sendra boots that made me crazy. The boots looked terrific, but they fit poorly. They were tight everywhere — feet and legs. No manner of stretching would help.

When I was in Chicago a few years back, I went to Alcalas (a local store that carries Sendra boots). I tried on a pair two sizes larger than what I regularly wear, but those boots also were tight on my feet. I did not buy them.

I eventually sold the three pair of Sendra boots I once owned. I just cannot wear them.

A few months ago, I became aware of a new-to-me brand of boots by Embossy Boots and inquired about ordering a pair.

At the time of my inquiry, the upcharge for custom sizing as well as shipping to the U.S. made the boots cost double of their equivalent brothers, the U.S.-made Chippewa 71418 “High Shines.” I was still willing to consider them, but when the purchase process became too difficult due to European internet security, I quit trying.

Recently, though, Embossy Boots offered free shipping to the U.S. So I tried ordering a pair again. I really like how those boots look, as well as know that boots made in Spain are really good. I managed to deal with the hassle of “verified by Visa” by making not one, but three telephone calls to my bank to authorize the charge. That process was a pain in the ass!

After following up with Embossy Boots via email (and they admitted that they were not aware of my order), the sales manager (Daniel) of Embossy Boots began to double-check sizing of their boots with me via email.

I am glad he did. The calf circumference shown on their website is a rough estimate around the outside of their boots, rather than how other boot manufacturers indicate calf circumference with inside measurements.

I had already sent funds for a pair of stock size boots with the calf circumference that appeared to fit me. However, thanks to Daniel’s checking with me, as well as stating that their calf circumference was for the outside of the boot rather than the inside, I decided to cancel my order. I knew the European standard sizing of narrow-foot and narrow-calf boots would not fit me. (American sizing is more generous.)

I tried negotiating with him for marketing value of a review on this blog, but he offered me an “either/or” — either free shipping or free custom sizing, but not both.

The cost would become as high as it was the first time I inquired, so I asked for a refund.

Boots made in Spain are indeed made quite well… but not for those of us who are older and have calves whose muscle tone has relaxed with age. Those boots are made for spindly-legged guys, not for me.

I am not providing a review of Embossy Boots because I do not, and will not, own a pair. I imagine the boots are good, but I don’t know. The sizing is the issue. If you have small feet and narrow legs, the boots may fit you. It probably would be better to wait to visit Spain and buy them over there rather than deal with the expensive cost of shipping, duty, and taxes, especially if the boots do not fit and you have to return them.

Life is short: be happy with the boots you have.