I was going through some drawers yesterday and came across two catalogs for Frye boots. The catalogs were undated, but in doing some research, I found one catalog was produced about 1973 and another in 1975. I scanned the pages from these catalogs and posted them on my website. The company sure could produce a great catalog back in the day!
Vintage Frye boots are really cool. I wore them all the time in high school and college, and still wear them frequently to this day. There’s nothing quite like the original Frye boots.
I learned in my research that the John A. Frye Shoe Company was founded in 1863 in Marlborough (or Marlboro), Massachusetts, and continued to produce their shoes and boots until the company was purchased by Reebok, International, in 1987.
Reebok held the company only for two years. In 1989, they sold it to a British holding company by the name of Hanson Industries. Hanson licensed the Frye name to the Jimlar Corporation, based in Great Neck, New York in 1993. Jimlar bought the Frye company name and assets from Hanson outright in 1998. Boots continued to be made under the Frye name in Massachusetts until 2003, when Jimlar closed the plant, and outsourced bootmaking to China.
Since the manufacture of Frye boots was moved to China, it is my opinion that materials and workmanship have suffered. If you want real honest-to-goodness Frye boots, search using the keywords “vintage Frye boots” on eBay.
Meanwhile, have a look at my old catalogs. Enjoy!