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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible boot and value, if you get through the break in
I had purchased this as the rebranded version through LL Bean.
The only difference is the branding (Katadhin Iron Works Engineer), the lifetime satisfaction guarantee, and the LL Bean version also has a toe cap.
Unless you are sold on the toe cap (as I was) it is a better price here on Amazon.

The leather is top notch.
A thicker cut is used...
Published on January 28, 2012 by Erich B. Wenis

versus
86 of 102 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice boots, for about a month. Might as well be made in China.
I'll keep this short and sweet.

These were great boots, for just over a month. With normal, occasional wear, the Vibram sole split at the toe and began pulling free of the welt. These boots were worn under normal, casual conditions. The same conditions under which pairs of dress shoes have survived for well over two years. They're not exactly what I would...
Published 21 months ago by M. Deppisch


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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible boot and value, if you get through the break in, January 28, 2012
By 
Erich B. Wenis (Woodbury, CT USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I had purchased this as the rebranded version through LL Bean.
The only difference is the branding (Katadhin Iron Works Engineer), the lifetime satisfaction guarantee, and the LL Bean version also has a toe cap.
Unless you are sold on the toe cap (as I was) it is a better price here on Amazon.

The leather is top notch.
A thicker cut is used unlike many boots on the market, with double and triple stitching on most seams.
With the oiled leather it is not neccesary to use any additional protectors, but most people will tell you it is a good idea.
I had applied a layer of Mink Oil first, allowed this to dry and applied Obenauf's HD Leather Protector.
SnoSeal will do nearly as well as the Obenaufs at a cheaper price.
All of this darkens the leather, but my preference is a deep brown anyway.

By doing so not only did it soften the leather to make the break in easier, but the water just rolls off, and any dirt is easily wiped away.

I mentioned the break in period, as it can be rough going.
The type of leather used, while wonderfully solid and durable, is tougher to break in.
Most people recommend a 2 week minimum if worn most of the time, and up to 2 months if worn intermittently.
So long as you size it right, this will mold beautifully to your foot like a glove.
The top collar rubbed my right ankle quite a lot at first, but after nearly 2 weeks I only feel the slightest pressure on that side still, and expect this to go away after a short time.

I typically wear size 11s, and picked out the 10.5 as they are known to run large.
FYI I wear size 10 Doc Martens, and size out to a 10.5 in the Red Wing Iron Rangers as well.
Keep in mind it is a bit more narrow than most boots, so order the EE sizes if you have wide feet.
I am on the borderline with width, but after the break in, the leather will stretch and mold to a better fit on the normal D width.

There are many online reviews of people using these boots for 10 or 20 years.
Treat them right, and you can expect the same, as I do.
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71 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice boot, January 22, 2011
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I meant to buy another pair of my favorite Carolina boots only to discover that model is no longer being made. The Carolina boot that replaced it is now made in China. I have nothing against products made in other countries per se, however, I have been very disappointed in the sizing of almost every pair of shoes/boots I have ever bought that was made in China. I wear a US size 11EE as measured numerous times over the years in numerous shoe stores. Unfortunately, this often translated into Chinese-made shoes and boots in sizes up to 12 EEEEE (one brand of well-known boots I tried in size 13 EW was too small for my size 11 foot).

After discovering the Carolina boots were no longer available, I intended to go by the Red Wing store but looked at their prices and backed off. Red Wings are good shoes but Red Wing really likes them a lot. It was time to try something different. I was happy to find out that Chippewa still makes their products in the USA and continues to maintain a good reputation at a reasonable price. I had never owned any Chippewa boots before but I went ahead and ordered my usual 11EE from Amazon.

The boots fit well. At first, they felt a little loose. I put on some thicker socks and tightened the lacing. New leather boots always need time to conform to your feet and some heel slipping is pretty much normal until the soles flex a bit. After a couple of hours wear, they began to feel really good. As the leather stretches and molds, it is easier to tighten the laces and the looseness is gone. They feel good and the rounded toes offer plenty of "wiggle room". In other words, they fit true-to-size for my feet.

They appear to be well made. While the label says "Handcrafted In The USA" it does not say "Made In...". As best I can tell from this difference in wording, the boots were put together here in the USA but the leather and other materials may have been made in another country. It seems many American tanneries have closed due to environmental regulations that made it unprofitable to continue to produce leather. The tanning of most leather today is done--where else?--China. So while shoes and boots may still be "handcrafted" in the USA, the materials are often from other countries. At least the actual manufacture of the boot is here and Chippewa continues to build these boots to fit my made in the USA foot.

Will these boots last for many years of frequent hard use? This is still an unknown. What I can say is that the boots appear to be put together well, they are comfortable on my feet and they fit perfectly. The material looks to be quality leather, oil-tanned. The soles are by Vibram but they are not heavily lugged so you won't bring a lot of debris in the house. I like them a lot and I am very satisfied with the boot. I may order a second pair as a hedge against this model being discontinued or production moving out of the country.
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86 of 102 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice boots, for about a month. Might as well be made in China., December 13, 2012
By 
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I'll keep this short and sweet.

These were great boots, for just over a month. With normal, occasional wear, the Vibram sole split at the toe and began pulling free of the welt. These boots were worn under normal, casual conditions. The same conditions under which pairs of dress shoes have survived for well over two years. They're not exactly what I would classify as "rugged", as the description claims.

I contacted Chippewa when I noticed the issue with the sole. They replied with the boilerplate response, "While we stand proudly behind our products we are not responsible for damages due to customer abuse or neglect and cannot guarantee any boot that has been repaired or altered. We do not warrant soles against wear."

That's great, and totally understandable. But if they would have accepted the boots back for inspection, or at least asked for a picture of the issue, they would have clearly seen that this was a defect in the manufacturing process (probably not enough glue), and not a result of wear, abuse, alteration or neglect.

I contacted Amazon, as per Chippewa's instructions, and they offered me a partial refund of the purchase price to keep them, or a prorated amount if I sent them back. But not a full refund since it fell outside of the return period. I took them up on their offer to keep them and decided to have them resoled with leather soles at a local cobbler.

The upper of the boot is great quality. They will undoubtedly last for a long time if well taken care of. Other reviews lead me to believe that Chippewa makes a great product. So I apparently got a rare defective pair of boots. Something that would have been understood and completely forgiven if Chippewa had actually stood behind their product.

I bought American made because I expected quality. And I had hoped an American company would stand behind their product. They did not. I guess you get what you pay for. Thankfully Amazon partially stood behind the product they sold so the net loss wasn't too significant.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great boot despite difficult sizing and break in period, December 6, 2012
I love these boots. I've had them for several weeks, and they are incredibly good boots. The leather is top notch. I expect them to last several years, and then I'll have the sole replaced. They're truly really good boots.

But there are some negative things.
words
Break-in: The break-in period is pretty rough. It took at least two or three weeks of daily wear before they really started to break-in. Once they are broken in, they are really comfortable. Early on I treated the boots with mink oil to soften the leather and the waterproof it. If you treat with mink oil, wear thick socks, and keep in mind that these are probably decade boots, a few weeks of break-in is totally worth it. Now every morning, I set them by the register while I'm getting dressed, which makes the leather nice and warm and soft.

Sizing: Just weird. I normally wear a 10 or 10.5. Because I heard these usually ran big, I ordered a ten. They were pretty uncomfortable at first, but that's to be expected with a heavy-duty product like this. It needed to break in. So I broke them in over a period of a few weeks, so the leather would be softer, and the sole would have a little flex. After they broke in, the boots just didn't fit correctly. They were too long, and too narrow. So I ordered a 9.5 EE. The 9.5 EE are almost exactly the same size as my Clark's 10M desert boots, and after mink oil and break-in period, they are great. But I'm left with a pair of boots I don't need...

Arch: They come with a pretty high arch support. It was too high for me. So I bought a heel pad to stick underneath the insole, and it works great.

Orange welt: I was concerned about the apparent orange leather welt in the sole, but it darkens up nicely, and isn't nearly so orange.

I really like these boots. With these peculiar things aside, I'm really happy with them. I wear them in a casual office, short hikes, and photography work that will take me everywhere. Be careful and the sizing, be ready for a break-in period, and you'll like these boots. They are comfortable, look good, and will last a long time.

UPDATE: I wore these boots basically everyday during the winter, and anytime the occasion called for boots in the summer (and sometimes when it didn't). Soon as the weather cools into fall, I'll be back in them most everyday. I'm still loving them. There are times when I wish they were a little less clunky, but other times I'm glad for the heft to them. I think I may like to eventually buy some Wolverine 1000 mile boots for a little more elegance, but I'll keep these for occasions that could use something a little more rugged.

These boots are rugged, the leather is aging nicely after 10 months, and a couple mink oil treatments really do wonders.

Here are some photos I took of both the new boots, and a few of the boots after several months. For some reason I Amazon won't let me upload them. [...]
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome boots, sizing is wack., December 30, 2011
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I first bought a size 11 pair of these boots after not being able to find a sizing chart that actually made sense for Chippewa, and found that they had about an inch of extra length beyond my toes. (I wear a size 11 normally in all other shoes)

I returned those and went all the way down to a size 10, and those fit perfectly. Chippewa seems to be about one size up in their construction, so keep that in mind when purchasing.

Otherwise, the boots are very well constructed and comfortable once broken in. I treated the leather with beeswax and it took on a gorgeous deep brown color. There are a few loose stitches here and there, so time will tell how these boots hold together.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice looking boot, poor quality control, February 7, 2013
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I expect an American made boot to have quality and good looks, especially to justify the higher price compared to a Chinese made boot. Too bad these Chippewa don’t live up to expectations. I will explain some of my observations of the boots, and the specific problems I am having with them so that you can make an informed decision.

First, they are a good looking boot. Classically cut and shaped. They are comfortable, the leather molds to your feet without being too soft. The Vibram sole is not heavily lugged, so it won’t clog up with mud and snow too bad. However, this might be a problem for those that need good traction in the muck. The boots have 3 normal eyelets, 3 speed eyelets, and then one normal eyelet on each side. I would prefer if the speed eyelets were the last 3, which would make the boots easier to put on and lace quickly.

My problem with them is poor quality control. With the first pair of boots I was sent, the left boot was ¼” longer that the right, and wider as well. Both were marked as 11D, but the left had to have been either an 11 1/2 or and EEE width boot. I called Chippewa to complain and was told that since these are handmade boots, I should expect some variances, and that I should return them to the seller if unsatisfied. Needless to say I returned them.

The second pair of boot I was sent were both the same size, but the left pair had a gouge in the leather by the fourth eyelet on the left side. The gouge was not huge, but it is noticeable. I was concerned that over time it would begin to tear with the stretching and tugging force of the laces. I debated just settling and keeping the boots, but have decided I will take them to task. Chippewa needs to step up their quality control and not allow flawed boots like these out of the factory. And if they do, they need to be marked as factory seconds so the buyers will be forewarned of potential quality issues.

I am now waiting for my third pair of boots. I want them to be nice so that my opinion of Chippewa, and faith in American manufacturing, will be repaired somewhat. I will upload pictures illustrating the points I have made.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boot Search is Over, November 9, 2012
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Boots can be really hit or miss but when these came out of the box I was happily surprised. The leather and the stitching look to be great, only time will tell, and they definitely have a heft to them. Most importantly the fit is really good, I haven't had a boot/shoe/sneaker feel this good out of the box in a long time. The color is a muted chocolate brown, almost ashy but totally versatile with chinos and jeans. The one thing I hope Chippewa would do is to release a un-distressed version. I don't think the current distressing takes away anything from the shoe but I'm not sure it adds much either. I'd like to put those dings and stains there myself:) But that's little to fuss over when you can get such a great boot that is made domestically for under 150$. A+ for Chippewa.

Sizing: I'm always worried about sizing down since I have wide feet (9.5E on a Brannock). I ordered the 9 EE and they fit perfectly. These shoes run 0.5 sizes larger, if you are wearing regular cotton socks and maybe even a slightly thicker wool sock.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good boot, very comfy, September 18, 2013
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Other reviews said this was a bit big, and they're right. Otherwise, this is a great boot. I mink oiled it and it turned a little bit darker brown, but it looks great. Very comfy, well put together. Happy with the purchase overall!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Red Wing, August 28, 2013
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Better or Worse is a subjective term, but I dare use it; BETTER than Red Wing.
Let me start that I have gone through SCORES of Allen Edmonds and Red Wings, Ferragamos, Grensons. Love them all, but I truly love this cheap boots. Cheap but not cheap. Pretty comfortable right out of the box. (I just received it like 10 minutes ago.)

Those who wonder about size, to me it is True to size (without using any insoles, even without socks). I would NOT advise to size down.

Go for it and Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great build quality, December 9, 2012
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Amazing build quality,

Seems to be true to size, You might be able to size down half a size, but I was fine with my true size.
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