Most helpful critical review
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Perfect..............but not this pair!
on October 21, 2013
Before you get your teeth into this review, I would like to start by saying of all the engineering boots I have worn, Chippewa are still my favourite. It is just the latest pair I acquired were ghastly and did not even merit one star........
I will start by saying what I love about these boots and why I own five pairs.
There is an age-old argument of the original engineering boot. Looking at what Brando and his cronies wore in 'The Wild One' they could be either Red Wing, Buco or Chippewa. What was clear, was that the front was shallow and clearly did not have a protective toe. Since all my Chippwa engineers have steel toes, I felt this would make a change. You need quite a shallow instep to wear Red Wings, so Chippewa also scores on its generous EE fitting. After 25 years of wearing various makes of engineering boots, Frye, Walker, Carolina and mostly Georgia, I still think Chippewa are the definitive make. When I win The National Lottery I will travel to Portland Oregon and get a pair of Wesco engineers built, rather like my set of Langlitz Leathers.
In 2000, changing from the now Chinese made Georgia boot, to Chippewa, you could feel the quality. The sole had a slight spring in the step, lightly cushioned compared to cheaper types. I guess the use of Vibram soles paid off. The lining on the lower last of the boots also makes for extra comfort and promotes support to the foot. I have covered thousands of miles both motorcycle and pedestrian and the comfort is second to none. As for looks, I have had many people at various biker rallies and Joe Public ask about them, the quality just shines through. After the waxy finish has worn, they can be polished to a sheen if desired and Chippewa are now also offering a repair service.
The only recent change that has ired me, is the dressy, chunky buckles they now fit, funny how such a small change can ruin the classic aesthetic of a design that should be left alone. I have never had an earlier type buckle break on me, heavens knows why this tacky type is now fitted.
Now for the reason for the one-star rating.....................
I was bought a pair as a gift from a relative visiting the US. Back in the UK, I excitedly opened the box and.....disaster. The leather hides did not match and upon checking the serial numbers, this was not some mix-up. These abominations had actually got past quality control and were identically stamped. The leather was soft and yielding and lost all shape when pulled on. I though I was wearing a pair of 'Ugh' boots. To worsen matters, the leather on one of the stovepipe legs was creased and of such bad quality, it folded under its own weight, despite being new.
I was so incensed, I immediately called Amazon who were superb. After a partial generous refund, I kept the boots for working in the garden. In shorts. At night. When drunk. Lying down.
I used to get my Chippewas from a company who specialised in what was know as 'seconds' boots that had failed quality control and were sold at a greatly reduce price. These would come firmly in that category. Come on Justin Boots, get your act together! How did these pair of duffers slip the net? Reading other unsatisfied reviews, it seems someone is not doing their job properly at Chippewa. On a final note, I have written various e-mails to Chippewa, concerning other matters, all unanswered.
If anyone has had a bad pair, persevere and try another pair, you may be really surprised at how they vary.
Chippewa engineering boots..............................great product, poor quality control............