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Size: 8 B(M) US|Color: Cognac Smooth Vintage Leather-76431|Change
Price:$276.97+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on July 9, 2013
I read a lot of reviews before I decided to invest in these boots. I saw lots of good stuff and some worrisome things. I'll address the points I remember.

Calf size: my calves fit in these boots *exactly* (I got lucky, I guess). There was no squeezing of my calves and also not a bit of extra room. My calves are 40 cm / 15.75 inches around.

Boot height: I'm 5'8" tall. The boots came up to 2.25 inches beneath the bottom of the patella of my knee (the floating roundish bone) when sitting down, The boots are about 12.5 to 13 inches tall from the top of the bend in the foot. It's hard to get an exact measurement there, since it's just a gentle curve.

Boot size: I wear a US women's size 9.5 (medium width) usually. I got these in 9.5 and they fit exactly, while wearing a regular-thickness sock. I define regular thickness as more than those skinny dress/trouser socks and less than an athletic crew sock. The boots seemed neither wide nor narrow to my foot.

Zipper: The zipper was neither loose nor hard too pull. It took more to pull than a zipper on a backpack, but it did not feel overly difficult to pull. This felt like a good amount, since I don't want the zipper to come undone with a day of walking around. Although I won't need it in this case, here's a hiker's zipper tip for others out there: rub a little chapstick on a stiff zipper to lubricate and ease the pull.

Ankles: Some reviews described the area around ankles as "baggy." This was my biggest worry since I have pretty skinny ankles. The boots do NOT slouch around my ankles. They are not tight on my ankles, but they don't wrinkle or appear baggy. My ankles are 21 cm / 8.5 inches. There is air in there around my ankles, but the boots aren't slouchy.

Provenance: These boots are stamped "Made In Mexico" on the inside of the leather shafts.

Extra: There is an obvious snap closure at the top of the zipper that I knew about. I didn't realize that the bottom of the zipper is also covered with a similar protective/decorative leather tab and snap. This allows the zipper to go down even further and looks very nice. I originally thought it was just a decoration. Bonus!

I'm very pleased with the appearance, feel, style, and even smell of the boots. They are made of soft, thick leather. The stitches are straight, deep, and well done, the parts seem to be of high quality. The fit turned out to be excellent for me. They are just what I was looking for and I'd recommend them to anyone.

Take care, the leather bottoms of the boots are VERY slippery when new. Scuff up the soles a little when you first go outside!

I hope this review helps clear up some questions for others considering this particular style.
99 comments|270 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 22, 2013
I normally wear a size 7.5 or 8 and ordered a size 8 in the Grey Antique Back Zip boots. I have a very high arch and it was tough to squeeze my foot into the boot the first two days. Once the leather was a bit broken in through wearing for two days, the fit is perfect. My calves with skinny jeans are 14.5" and the fit is very snug.

Update: The quality is TERRIBLE! I only wore these boots for two days and the back zipper broke. Additionally, there is significant wear on the toes of the boots. My $25 boots from Kohls look better after two years than these boots look after two days.

Update (January 2014): My replacements sent for free via Amazon are marginally better quality. I should have returned them, but with the holidays I didn't get around to it so now I'm stuck with boots I don't wear. The back snaps do NOT stay snapped and are constantly clacking around when I walk. The sole wear is ridiculous for the amount of time they've actually been worn. I wish I could return them.

Update (March 2016): I ended up sending those (January 2014) replacement boots to Frye who confirmed that they were not knock-offs. They exchanged them for me for free since they were under warranty and the pair I received directly from Frye are significantly better quality. I'm not sure if the ones sold by Amazon were "seconds" quality or why there were issues with two pair but not with the pair I received directly from the manufacturer.
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on December 18, 2014
I ordered these boots for my daughter for Christmas. They arrived and I noticed the soles were worn. There was even dirt on one of them. This is unacceptable. I was not made aware I would be receiving used boots.
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on July 22, 2015
Just received these yesterday, and I am very happy. I bought the brown, antique soft full grain. I already had them in "Black antique soft full grain" in a 9.5 (I typically wear a 10), and I wear them all the time in the winter. So, I had to get them in brown. First, let me say, not all of us are blessed with nice full calf muscles. I am not. These boots are one of the few pairs I've ever been able to find that fit my calfs perfectly, and didn't have huge gaps that made my legs look silly. So, narrow calf girls, these are your boots.

After reading the reviews, I was very concerned about the quality. However, they came in their original box with the Frye certification. As soon as I received them, I compared them to the black pair I already owned. The quality and workmanship is excellent, and on par with my first pair. The fit is also the same (although I wish I needed a half size up because that would save me an additional $50). The zippers and buttons work just fine.

I do wish they were just a tad bit browner, since it's hard to tell what the actual color will be online. This brown has a bit of a "pink-ish" quality. However, I like the antique, since it's matte and has the leather quality I love. The vintage seems a bit too shiny for me.

Overall, I'm very happy with my purchase. I will be sure to revise my review if something changes once I'm wearing them regularly.
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on December 8, 2014
I bought these boots in my usual size (8.5), and they fit perfectly. They feel snug with thick socks, which is perfect because I know they will stretch some. They fit my skinny calves and legs perfectly - they look good over leggings or skinny jeans. This is a rarity for me - most riding boots are too large for my calves. I would suggest getting the wide calf size if you have larger/more athletic calves.

There was no "breaking in" period for me with these boots - they instantly felt comfortable enough to wear all day. The leather is thinner than my other pair of riding boots (Justin Santa Fe Ropers), but they are still a good thickness and have a more sophisticated silhouette than your average riding boot. You truly can dress these up or down (not the case with my Justin boots, which have a decidedly more casual look). If you're like me and can't wear heels to save your life but still want a beautiful, dressy boot, you'll love these!
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on November 5, 2015
LOVE these boots!!!! They are great quality, stylish, and fit perfect! I was so over spending money on boots that last one season, I wanted quality craftsmanship that will last, and these will last!!! I am in love with Frye boots!!!!
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on May 14, 2016
I recently bought a few different pairs of Frye boots, taking advantage of the low prices offered by Amazon warehouse. I already have four pair of Fryes and appreciate the quality leather and cute styling. In most shoes I'm between a 7.5 and 8, and I usually buy boots in size 8. This held true for my Fryes (except the Paiges, which run large and are perfect at size 7.5).
I got the Melissa Button and two pair of Melissa Back Zip, all in smooth vintage leather. Having read horror stories on here about fakes, I wasn't thrilled with what I received. The smooth vintage leather was thin, stiff, and very shiny. One pair of the zip backs had glued-in Frye patches at the heel, which hit my instep at an awkward place and hurt. I like the taller, sleeker style of the zip backs, but was concerned as to whether they were authentic. I also got a pair of Phillip Riding- the right boot fits tighter, one boot (Antique leather) is smooth, one has elephant wrinkles.
I realize the deals are good because they might be customer returns or seconds, but fakes should never be sold at all, and so I called Frye customer service.
The rep assured me:
1) Amazon llc is a one of their largest authorized retailers and would not jeopardize their status by selling fakes. Third party retailers, selling through Amazon, might need more scrutiny, but she stated she has never seen fake Fryes.
2) Different styles, seasons, and manufacturing plants show different stamps and patches. Sometimes the interior Frye logo is embossed, sometimes glued or sewn on. Not necessarily fake if it is different than an older pair you have. If you aren't happy with the quality, exchange it!
3) Frye has different names for its leathers, sometimes depending on when it was made or the style, and the shiny finish on the Melissas was probably caused by them being on the shelf for a while. They would soften up and become a softer matte finish with use and wear.
So, there you have it, from to a Frye representative. If you order directly from Amazon, you are getting authentic boots. If you don't like the fit or finish, exchange them for another pair. I'd add that the amazing prices probably mean that an item is a return, a second, or has been on a warehouse shelf somewhere for a while. If you are willing to take a chance and possible go through a few pair, it might be worth it to you (as it is to me ;))
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on December 5, 2013
I was super excited to get such a steal for these boots on Amazon: $261 with special Cyber Monday deals/sales versus the normal $368. But when I opened the box I was sent the wrong boots. They shipped the Melissa Harness Zip instead of the Melissa Back Zip. I was initially disappointed because I really want the Melissa Back Zip, but upon further inspection I started to feel like something was off and I didn't even want to receive the correct boots as a replacement.

Looking closer at the details of the boot I felt the workmanship of the boots was not as high as FRYE should be. The top section of the shaft on the Melissa Harness has a "cuff" of leather going around the whole thing. Viewing it from the back where the little hook is you could easily tell that one side was stitched higher than the other. If you compare it to the pictures of the Melissa Harness Zip on the actual FRYE website you see that it is even all around the boot. Loose threads were coming off from various places and the leather didn't feel right.

Needless to say, I'm returning and getting a refund (good thing Amazon is good about that!). I'll fork over the full $368 for the correct boots from a reputable merchant like Nordstrom or buy directly from FRYE.
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on October 27, 2013
Love, love, LOVE this boot!!! A little snug to zip, but loosened a bit after wearing a few times. Can't go wrong with Frye boots, and this style/color is especially gorgeous.
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on May 12, 2015
These boots are gorgeous. I am of an average size and height, and have a 15.5 inch circumference calf. They are just a wee bit tight at the largest portion of my calf, but know they will easily stretch. There is plenty of room in the foot and ankles for a pair of socks. I usually wear an 8.5 or 9, and ordered a size 9. If my legs were skinnier I could easily have purchased a size 8.5 and I think they would have fit like a glove. But I needed the size 9 for the calves and to fit a pair of boot socks in the winter.

Unfortunately they arrived damaged. The button tabs are made from two pieces of leather fused together. The top right button tab is peeling apart and curling around the snap. Not acceptable for such a pricey pair of boots. I'm hoping the replacement pair arrives in good condition, because they are classy and versatile. I'll be able to wear them to church or to a ballgame, no problem.
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