14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Proper biker boots, these will last forever!,
I love Frye boots. Well made, distinctive, comfortable, the quality of a British boot with the 60s/70s glamour of the US muscle car and bike scene amongst others, they have become my favourite since I've been able to afford them as an adult. Spending my teenage years in cheaper copies allowed me to appreciate the real thing even more. Their signature Harness 8R's are my first pair which I bought when I was 21, and that seemed an extravagance, but that was in 2004 and I've still got them. They've seen plenty of use but are still immaculate, and after so long the leather is so moulded to my foot that they're more comfortable than trainers.
Ah yes, trainers - I've probably had a dozen pairs of Reeboks and Nikes since 2004, all worn out. My Frye harnesses have seen 20 times more wear than any of those trainers - I'm a boots boy, have been since I was little - and yet they're still as new, bar some heel wear. These Engineer boots, much newer, have seen a year's use and don't have any real heel or sole wear yet. That rather puts their purchase price into perspective, four times the price of trainers, 20 times the wear and counting. You get what you pay for. My Engineer 12R's are black - an oiled leather with a brilliant sleek matt look, not intended to be polished. They're also available in dark brown "Gaucho" colour, which is nice yet somehow isn't quite the biker look, but both colours are made to look great with jeans, whatever shade of blue or black.
So these are the newest of my 4 pairs of Fryes, the others being their (sadly discontinued) leather-soled black Harness 8R's, their famous brown Harness 8R's with oil-resistant sole (my oldest Fryes, having seen out 9 British winters, still like new and are indestructible) and their modern influenced Billy cowboy boot in brown (I reviewed them earlier) for when I want something a bit more distinctive. All look brilliant under jeans and can make any jeans look good, but Fryes are made for Levi's and that's what I go for.
Just a couple of points - Fryes run a little large in my experience, and the sizing is American unless otherwise stated. My feet are size ten UK, which would normally be size 11 US. My "Frye" size, though, is 10.5 US, and they all fit like a glove. Secondly, Fryes generally have a 2 inch heel - bear that in mind if you're tall (I'm 6ft so just about get away with it), and also bear that in mind if you're used to flat trainers as they feel rather different. I've worn boots with a proper heel since age ten so I'm used to it, but if you've always worn trainers you'll need to adjust. They certainly put a little swagger in your step :) Thirdly, the leather is thick enough to withstand anything below a nuclear attack - which is good - but it means a weekend breaking in a new pair round the house. With 12R's, football socks or similar are a good idea while breaking in or they can rub your legs. 8R's are lower than normal socks so this isn't necessary, incidentally.
Fryes are normally difficult to get in the UK, which is a pity given the prevalence of cheap versions from the fashion chains, but Amazon makes it easier. Fryes, Levi's, a black T-shirt and a leather biker jacket, long my favourite look...