27 of 40 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Chippewa Apache Lace-Up Boot (Shoes)
I purchased these boots because I wanted something that was made in the USA. Many of the popular brands of boots have their products imported these days. Brands like Timberland, Red Wing, Dr. Martens...they all have most, if not all, of their footwear made overseas and sometimes it shows in the quality of the finished product. My last pair of Timberland boots began to separate where the upper attaches to the sole of the boot. I figured my money would be better spent on a good pair of American-made boots. That led me to these because I have heard some good feedback about Chippewa boots and I decided to give them a shot. Well...so much for good ol' American craftsmanship. I am returning my second pair to Amazon and will not be getting another pair. I'll be asking for a refund this time because these are clearly not made any better than an imported boot. When I looked at the first pair I noticed that some of the eyelets/lace hooks were completely misaligned. I also noticed that one boot was about 1/4" taller than the other. I understand that these are handmade and are going to have slight imperfections but stuff like this is really unacceptable. So I arranged for an exchange and had a second pair in just a few days. Since I had a bad experience with the first pair I gave the new ones an inspection just to make sure they were good...but they weren't. The stitching on this pair was terrible. There were several spots where the stitching went off the edge of the leather panel and you could pull up the edge of the leather. How does something like this pass a quality control inspection??? I know that you can't expect perfection with any product and that is not what I am looking for. But I simply can't accept blatantly poor craftsmanship. I know there are boots that cost far more than these because of waterproofing and other safety features that are built into them, but that doesn't mean a boot should have lower quality standards because they are worth $170 instead of $300. I am greatly disappointed to see such poor quality in an American-made product. I expected the "made in USA" label to imply better quality but that is not what I received. About the only compliment I can give these boots is that the leather used to make them seems like it is extremely good quality leather. But what good is it if the poor construction of the boot is not likely to hold it all together for very long? Thumbs down for you Chippewa.
Edit on 2/21/13:
I contacted Chippewa customer service regarding the issues I had with two pairs of their boots. The response I got was less than adequate. It was more or less a pre-written response that was probably pasted into the email sent to me that basically said "we take pride in our products...blah blah blah...we have very high quality standards...blah blah blah...here's our warranty policy now go away because we don't really care if you support stuff that's made in the USA." The response was from a representative named Linda. Her follow-up response after I told her that her first reply was a bit weak basically said "I'm sorry if my first response was not adequate"...she then repeated just about everything from the first email then told me to return them for inspection to determine if they are, indeed, defective. Not once were my comments regarding quality control and poor workmanship directly addressed in any sort of personal manner which tells me that any specific comments I made were probably not even read. I guess "made in USA" just doesn't mean what it used to. Very sad. I decided to take away a star and drop it down to only one star. If I could post a review with zero stars I would after this. Poor quality control AND customer service...not good.
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Initial post: Apr 9, 2013 4:53:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 9, 2013 4:56:01 PM PDT
Barclay G. Virden says:
I had almost the same exact experience with their customer service.
I thought that the attached insole was inadequate (and permanent to boot... get it?) and that the "wide" size felt standard.
I wrote Chippewa.
I got the same "send them back so that we can determine if your boots are, in fact, defective" email.
I wrote again thinking that maybe they weren't really clear on my issue(s) and got another form email back.
Other US boot makers have always been very attentive and top-notch when I've contacted them.
They seem to appreciate that we appreciate and choose to support our domestic companies.
I was fairly unhappy with the Chippewa boot and completely disappointed with the impersonal communication from them.
I never actually got past the Chippewa robot.
Bought Thorogood and couldn't be happier.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2013 5:37:57 PM PDT
Rick N. says:
I have read very good things about Thorogood boots. I haven't been able to find them anywhere around my neighborhood to try them on so I ended up getting a pair of Red Wing 1907 boots at a local store. They are a bit pricier than both the Chippewas and Thorogoods but it was worth it since I am very happy with them. The Thorogoods I was looking at look very similar to the 1907s I got but I was hesitant to get them without being able to try them on to see how they fit. I agree that I think it is poor that Chippewa doesn't seem to show the same appreciation toward their customers that other America boot companies do. That is enough for me to stay away from the brand. And the fact that my experience is not an isolated incident and is happening to other people shows that they need to step up their game.
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