Frye Boot Misrepresentation

I get highly annoyed when I see direct and flagrant misrepresentations such as this in a recent marketing promo that I received:CO_MEN_2013_03_12_Tuesday_03Let me break this down, point-by-point, and explain where the misrepresentation is.

The ad says, “Since 1863, the Frye family has dedicated themselves to the art and craft of shoemaking.”

Yes, technically, the Frye family dedicated itself to shoe (and boot) making. However, that sentence implies that the Frye family is still involved in making boots today. They are not. There is no Frye family involvement in the ownership, design, or production of Frye boots made today.

Next, the ad says, “Their history and heritage have been told in every product they have made for nearly 150 years.”

Yes, technically, 2013 marks the 150th year that boots have been made with the Frye label. But the history and heritage was lost when Frye sold out and the company went through various owners until ending up with a Chinese conglomerate in 2010. “History and heritage” in today’s Frye boots? That is baloney. All that is in today’s Frye boots is profit for Li & Fung, the Chinese conglomerate that owns the Frye name, label, and service marks.

Fryebrownharn103Next, I have an issue with the image of the boots contrasted with the words next to them. The image shows a pair of new, 12-inch Frye harness boots on distressed brown leather with low block heels. Anyone with knowledge of the history and heritage of Frye harness boots knows that the boots in the photo are nothing like the historical and heritage-filled vintage Fryes of the ’80s and earlier. Vintage Frye harness boots were made of high-quality, polishable leather, had higher stacked heels, and were 14 inches tall.

Bah, humbug. Don’t fall for marketing hype. Frye boots made today are inferior and nothing anywhere near the quality of the boots that were once made when the Frye family owned and operated the bootmaking business. If you want Frye boots — real, genuine, high-quality Frye boots — look on eBay or other on-line source for true vintage Frye boots, explained here.

Life is short: caveat emptor!

4 thoughts on “Frye Boot Misrepresentation

    • OBMIT, I think the company that sent this marketing promotion knew precisely what they were doing. I will rely on the good graces of internet searches to direct visitors to this blog post and educate them.

  1. Hi , just purchased a pair of all leather Frye cavalry boots all leather made in the USA. They look hot, and they are probably not the quality Frye made when I bought my first pair tall pair in redwood with braided leather side seams in 1978, but I am reasonably pleased with new ones. They cost slightly less than $150 on sale at Nordstroms. Time will tell. Really admire your new Tidewater boots. The website says they’ll also look good all muddy. Will you share that too? At the level of cost of the Tidewater boots, I would expect and need custom sizing as well as custom made. I wear a 12-12.5A. I have to wear thick boot socks to wear the Fryes. For custom style and fit I have used the Paul Bond Co. The tall shafts and higher heels [2.5-2.75in] I really like as well a the fairly pointy toes.

    Best regards, Don

    • Don, thanks for your note. I do not have any intentions of walking in mud in my Tidewater Cowboy Boots. I like how they look the way they are and don’t really want to damage them and permanent change their appearance. I understand from the owner of Tidewater Cowboy Boots that he does not make custom size, but rather, boots made-to-order. However, reach out to him through his website and explore possibilities. Good luck!

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