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Quality of Frye vs JCrew Kenton

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    Quality of Frye vs JCrew Kenton

    I really like the Kenton Pacer and the Frye Walter (made in USA). With some discounts they'll both hover around the 160 mark. I know Frye gets a semi bad rap for quality price ratio, but if both were similarly priced around 160 which do you think is of higher quality? Over on goodyearwelt they seem to have at least a semi favorable opinion of each boot given a good price for them.

    Also, as an add on, you can see I'm shooting for a Alden knock off. I also found these http://m.6pm.com/p/gordon-rush-owen-...682/color/7536 . Any thoughts on their style vs quality/price? Gordon Rush doesn't carry that great a reputation, I actually have a pair of their shoes that have held up quite well but we're given me as a gift, I didn't purchase them. If these boots are similar in quality I think it might be a steal for 60 bucks.

    #2
    The Frye Walter boots have a design flaw that results in them coming apart where the tongue is attached to the vamp. I went through several pairs and they all started to come apart rather quickly. I finally ended up bringing them to a cobbler to have them reinforced and they've held up pretty well since then. They also have this green plastic rod that will come out of the mock toe. It serves absolutely no purpose and you can pull it out completely once its starts to pop out. I actually posted in the forum and in the comments on the main site warning people. Other people commented that they had similar issues. See the last comment on the first page of this thread:
    https://threads.dappered.com/showthr...935#post195935

    Some of the comments disappeared from the article on the main site but you can see Joe's update alluding to the issues that other posters and I had:
    https://dappered.com/2013/10/super-1...rsday-handful/

    TLDR; the initial quality on the Frye Walter boots isn't great. That said if you're willing to spend a little to have them reinforced by a cobbler they're a really good looking boot and they'll end up lasting a lot longer.

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      #3
      Excellent, thanks for the pointers 👍

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        #4
        I have two pairs of the Walter lace-ups, and around 4 or 5 pairs of Fryes all together. I also own the Kenton Pacers. Hands down Frye is a better boot. I own about 30 pairs of boots total. No idea why Frye gets a bad rap. I think when they started having some of their boots made in Mexico, the bandwagon hate posts came out. They got the Johnson and Murphy treatment as I like to call it. I own 4 pairs of Red Wings, Chippewas, Wolverines, etc. and Frye in my opinion, is of equal quality to them.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Shade View Post
          I have two pairs of the Walter lace-ups, and around 4 or 5 pairs of Fryes all together. I also own the Kenton Pacers. Hands down Frye is a better boot. I own about 30 pairs of boots total. No idea why Frye gets a bad rap. I think when they started having some of their boots made in Mexico, the bandwagon hate posts came out. They got the Johnson and Murphy treatment as I like to call it. I own 4 pairs of Red Wings, Chippewas, Wolverines, etc. and Frye in my opinion, is of equal quality to them.


          Most Fryes have a flaw on them that would make them unsaleable for most other companies.

          After a more than a few encounters with them, I can confidently say that the overall Fryes quality control is definitely not up there with any of those brands. The materials they use are also generally not very good. For the money they ask for them, they are kind of a bad value. There are usually better brands making comparably designed boots for the same amount of money.

          There are other brands (like say thursday), who have pretty low prices, while having middle quality materials and at least have a little better construction and quality control.

          if you want to research it further, they mention these issues on the Goodyear Welt reddit frequently.

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            #6
            I would also add that Fryes is adding a lot of indonesian/chinese made lines these days, and the quality of the components of these tend to be lower than the Mexican made ones. I think Fryes has been pushing these lower internal-cost shoes more for the faster-turn of the womens shoes market than the slower turns of mens shoes, but it's currently happening to both lines.

            I would especially be on the lookout for these because they often still ask $250-350 for them. If the mexican fryes were ever even close to being some sort of ok deal, then these chinese/indonesian ones really are not.

            If they just wanted a cheaped out line, with bad quality for low prices i wouldn't even care, that would be fine, but it's a bit of a step to keep the price high and demote the quality level considerably.

            https://www.reddit.com/r/goodyearwel..._country_boot/

            this is a good objective review of a fryes boot with quality issues

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              #7
              Originally posted by evanparker View Post
              Most Fryes have a flaw on them that would make them unsaleable for most other companies.

              After a more than a few encounters with them, I can confidently say that the overall Fryes quality control is definitely not up there with any of those brands. The materials they use are also generally not very good. For the money they ask for them, they are kind of a bad value. There are usually better brands making comparably designed boots for the same amount of money.

              There are other brands (like say thursday), who have pretty low prices, while having middle quality materials and at least have a little better construction and quality control.

              if you want to research it further, they mention these issues on the Goodyear Welt reddit frequently.
              That might be your opinion, but as an owner of 30 pairs of boots and around 60 pairs of shoes, the Fryes that I have are of excellent quality. I have a pair of Frye Rogans and the 12 Harness boots and they are made much better than my Red Wing Iron Rangers or my Wolverines and Chippewas. They had an issue with the Walter Lace-up and fixed it once they found out about it. They still sell that model, and that problem was years ago. It's internet hysteria on most of these message boards. Just like the sky was falling when Allen Edmonds was sold and almost everyone on here was claiming the end was near. Also saying "Most Fryes have a flaw" and that they would be unsaleable by most companies is just a dopey statement to make. They are worn by tons of people in Hollywood and sports. You just dont seem a fan. And on Reddit, there were threads making fun of the Thursday boots you like, saying they were junk. Internets!

              https://www.reddit.com/r/malefashion...d_experiences/

              https://www.reddit.com/r/goodyearwel...ally_that_bad/

              Comment


                #8
                I can't believe I'm about to say this but the OP can do a lot worse for $160. Especially if Frye fixed the problems they were having as Shade suggests. I can't speak to the quality of any other Frye boots but the Walters are not terrible. If you're going up against the JCrew Pacer boots, the Walter boots are nicer hands down. The leather is thick, soft and pliable. The clicking isn't the greatest but the leather is definitely better than on the JCrew boots. Plus they're completely lined with glove leather which, again, is more than you can say about the Jcrew boots. I've had mine for 4 or 5 years. I beat the hell out of them. They still look good and they're still going strong (after having them reinforced at the stress points of course). I definitely wouldn't pay full price for them but at a significant discount they're a decent boot.

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                  #9
                  I'm glad to hear they are of higher quality than the Kentons. Any opinion on their suede versions of the Walter?

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                    #10
                    where do you guys consistently find discounted fryes?

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by teethtime View Post
                      I'm glad to hear they are of higher quality than the Kentons. Any opinion on their suede versions of the Walter?
                      Sorry, can't help you there.

                      Originally posted by evanparker View Post
                      where do you guys consistently find discounted fryes?
                      No clue. The OP said he can get them around $160. Not a bad value at that price but at full price they're not to worth it. At full price I would just save a little longer and go with the real thing from Alden.

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                        #12
                        I love my j crew kentons. I get lots of complements on them. More so than any allen edmonds that i wear. I think for the price point when they are on sale, they are hard to beat.

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                          #13
                          [MENTION=12001]evanparker[/MENTION] I'm usually in agreement with you on most things, but I think you're a bit off base on this one. "Most Fryes have a flaw on them that would make them unsaleable for most other companies," is a pretty broad generalization about a company that makes a variety of products. Also, the comments regarding Indonesian/Chinese manufacturing are not really relevant considering the OP is specifically asking about the Walter, which is their top of the line boot and made in USA.

                          [MENTION=13237]Geo[/MENTION] Sorry to hear you've had such problems with yours. I've owned my Walter's for 2-years, and I haven't had any of the issues you mention. They are part of a pretty large shoe/boot rotation, but they have been the boots I've grabbed most often this winter.

                          I'm not sure my collection is as big as [MENTION=4677]Shade[/MENTION] 's (I'm scared to count), but I do have boots from Alden, Allen Edmonds, Chippewa, Grenson, Meermin, Red Wings, RM Williams, Wolverine, etc so it is pretty varied. I would put the construction of my Frye Walter's on par to my Wolverines. I did have to take a lighter around the boot to burn any loose stitching, but I have to do that with AE and Wolverine too. They are also the boots I get the most compliments on outside of my Aldens. For their retail price, I would be the first to say they are not worth it. However, I think they are worth it below $200 for sure.

                          [MENTION=16084]teethtime[/MENTION] I just purchased a pair of the Frye Walter Country (suede) a couple months back off of eBay. The suede uppers are noticeably thin, but I guess that comes with suede. Also, it is a rubber lug sole compared to a leather sole on the regular Walter, so they are bit clunkier. No glaring construction defects, but I have only worn them twice. In regards to the Kentons, I bought a pair once and returned them. Not a fan of the soles.

                          For sizing reference, I'm a perfect 10D on the brannock and both my Frye boots are 9.5. I wear a 9 in Red Wings & Wolverine and a 9.5E in AE 5-last.

                          As far as finding them discounted, I purchased my first pair for $160 off of STP with a coupon a couple years back. The Frye Country I got a steal on eBay for a once worn pair for $45.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Nordstrom Rack has the Frye Walter Country for $160 https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/p...color=CHESTNUT

                            6PM has the Suede versions on sale http://www.6pm.com/frye-walter

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                              #15
                              [MENTION=13775]connersw[/MENTION] It sounds like Shade was correct in that Frye fixed the problem. I went through several pairs and they all suffered from the same exact problem. The sales rep at the store told me they were getting a lot of returns and exchanges for the Walter boot for the same reasons. So they definitely knew there was an issue at the time. The sales guy recommended a nearby cobbler and Frye even reimburse me for the expense to have them reinforced. Say what you want about their shoes but their customer service is top notch. Since then I haven't had an issue and I get compliments on them all the time as well. They are a good looking boot.

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