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.