Last Call: Chippewa Harness Boots

The iconic, rock-solid motorcycle harness boot made under the Chippewa label, model number 27868, aka “Street Warrior,” was discontinued by Justin Brands, the manufacturer, two years ago. The company has been slowly sending remaining stock for sale. When they’re gone, they will be gone forever.

Such a sad loss for the motorcycle boot world. Why did this happen?

I can only speculate, because the P.R. people for Justin Brands who answer the phone or respond to email have cut-and-paste non-answers.

We appreciate your interest in the Chippewa Street Warrior boot. It is no longer available. We have many other choices of boots available on our website… (blah, meaningless blah, blah, blah, blah)

This boot among hundreds of other (former) Chippewa-labeled boots was included in the class-action lawsuit in California that Justin Brands had to contend with in 2017 (More info here.)

Essentially, that lawsuit was about Chippewa implied that their boots were made in the USA when they actually were made of globally-sourced parts. The boot industry is like many others — if quality leather, soles, or other parts used to make boots is no longer made in the USA but is available in Mexico or elsewhere — then you buy it from the source, but assemble it in the USA.

So “made in the USA” is technically right; however, the legal hair splitting was all about implying that the boots were a product of the USA, including parts used to build the boot.

This lawsuit tragedy which cost Justin Brands almost a million dollars caused the brand to limit production of their products significantly and focus on producing products for which they get the most return on investment (that is, boots with a lower cost to make have a higher profit margin.)

The iconic Chippewa harness boot was made of superb materials. The leather is durable and strong. The Vibram 430 “mini-lug” sole provides terrific traction for motorcycle operation. The harness straps and rings were thick and strong, and did not oxidize (rust or turn green.)

Overall, these boots cost the company more to make with such quality materials and craftsmanship, so the profit margin was lower than other cheaper boots under that label (such as those in the “original brand” lineup.)

Another tragic consequence of the lawsuit is that most suppliers/vendors of Chippewa boots will not ship them to California. So guys and gals in California who want Chippewa boots have to be creative about getting them. (I hope you’re still on good terms with Grandma in Las Vegas.)

Anyway, if you want this truly iconic boot, as of the date of writing this post, this boot is STILL available. Just enter “Chippewa 27868” in your favorite search engine and go to “shopping” and see what results.

I just did that and snatched up my last pair of these boots for my collection and as a future investment. Unlike many boots, I foresee that this boot will actually increase in value over time as it becomes more rare.

While my favorite Chippewa boot remains the “Ruttman Firefighter” to wear when I ride my Harley, there still are times when I want a boot that is tough, masculine, and easy on the feet to choose to wear when I mount and ride my Harley.

Life is short: get ’em while you still can.

2 thoughts on “Last Call: Chippewa Harness Boots

  1. Hi there Booted Harleydude! Big fan of your website and blog!

    Anyhow, I am trying to snag a pair of the Chippewa 27868 harness boots before they’re all gone, but I’m trying to decide what size to get.

    I have the 27863 steel-toed engineer boots, and find that those fit a little slim in the D width for my foot. I’m wondering – in your experience, do the harness boots fit any wider than the engineer boots? How do the two compare? Trying to decide whether to get them in the D or the EE width.

    Appreciate your website and thanks for your time!

    Best,

    Aaron

    • Aaron, thank you for your kind message.

      I have found the short Chippewa engineer boots to run a bit small in calf circumference. That’s why I cannot wear them.

      The Chippewa harness boot fits better in the foot and especially for the calf circumference.

      If you wear a “D” width in other boots, then the “D” should work fine for you in the harness boot style.

      Enjoy your boots!

Comments are closed.