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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Frye boots look-alike reviews

Kristin from BonBon Rose Girls asked if I could find an alternative to the Frye Campus boot. While I didn't find an alternative to the campus boot, I did happen to try three other Frye look-alikes recently.

So after FINALLY finding a pair of brown leather boots that I loved, I have been on the hunt for black boots. I tend to gravitate toward brown boots, so this was actually hard for me! I apologize ahead of time for the dark pics and frump clothes. I wanted to take these pics tonite, even though I'd already changed.

1. The first boots I bought were the Michael Antonio Women's Nicholas Knee High Boot on Endless. I saw these and immediately thought of the Frye Paige boots I'd been coveting. These weren't real leather, but I thought I'd be willing to look past that if they looked really good.

But as soon as I took them outta the box I was disappointed. These were waaaay too shiny, making them look super cheap. They also felt like insulated plastic...ew! The zipper also didn't extend all the way up the shaft of the boot. So it is incredibly hard to get these on and off (I had to ask Evan to help me pull them off).

I ordered these in a size 8 (I typically am an 8-8.5. sometimes 7.5 in sandals/heels). But these run very small and very narrow in the foot. My foot felt really wedged in there, and there was no room to wear thick socks or skinny jeans inside these boots (which is why I'm not wearing them in these pics).

It was a definite no-go.

2. After Kim and several other bloggers have talked up the quality of Target's leather boots this season, I decided to take a look. This led to me finding the next two boots. First up, the Women's Mossimo Supply Co. Katherine Leather Engineer Boots. These ones I ordered just to see what they were like. Harness boots are everywhere now. I loved them last year, and looked for a good quality inexpensive pair to no avail. But now with their ubiquity, I'm kinda over the harness boot style. So I didn't expect to like these boots. These boots changed my mind.

The leather is thick, matte, and wonderful quality (I can't believe these are only $50!). It's smooth and stiff enough to hold its shape (even at the ankles). The heel has stacked look which is nice. And its 1.75" heel gives me enough height to keep my legs from looking too stumpy, while not being too high that I couldn't handle the slick Seattle streets.

I picked up a sz 8.5. The width was great! There's no zipper. You just pull them on using the tabs at the top. But, I found it easy to slide them off and on, and I could wear jeans and thick socks with them. The calves were neither too loose nor too small. I'm pretty sure these would be SUPER comfy for long periods of time.

3. The Women's Merona® Kasia Tall Leather Boots look an awful lot like Frye's Melissa boots. These are also made of real leather, but the leather is more of a pebbled texture, and it's thinner and more flexible than the Katherine boots above. It's a little shinier than the Katherine boots, but not in a cheap looking way.

These are taller than the Katherine boots, hitting just under the knee. Like the Katherine boots, there is no zipper. You pull them on and off using the tabs. This is slightly more difficult since they are taller than the Katherines, but the flexible leather makes it fairly easy to do. Unfortunately, the more flexible leather makes them more likely to buckle a bit at the ankle. So if this bothers you, you might not pick these up.

These are more of a western style boot in that they dip in the front and back rather than being cut straight across the top. I got these in a size 8.5 and they fit very comfortably. I actually don't like the little embossed metal button on these that much. I think I would have liked it if it were not embossed?

The heel is also faux-stacked but it's shorter than the Katherine boots, measuring at .75". Overall, this is a very comfortable boot that fits my calves with jeans and thick socks. (I should say that my bestie, Clara, also picked up these boots and LOVES them. She says they are the most comfortable boots she's ever worn!!)
These leather boots are a decent option - especially for the price, but I'm partial to the smooth thicker leather of the Katherine boots. So I'm going to stick with those, and the Kasia are going back!


Matt said...

Cute boots! Good to read your reviews! And now I noticed Target is carrying a few shoes in my size again too! Maybe the trend will continue! :)

Jamie - Thrifty Threads said...

Wow, thanks for taking the time to seek out and review all these great, budget-friendly alternatives to Fryes. I too find that tend to prefer brown boots over black -- but these beauties might have me changing my mind!

Inkmark said...

did u check They sometimes have really nice boots. I recently fall in love with Matisse boots. The leather is soooooooooo soft.

vintageglam1234 said...

Hooray for these great finds Lori! Now...if only i was living in the states :-)
I might check out my local target and payless shoes for thrifty shoes.

LilMissSeamstress said...

I really like Target boots and I think their quality is improved over time. I am loving my Kaden boots daily and they are so versatile!

Among three I like the third one the best!


Anonymous said...

I like the second pair best!

Follow @UnraveldTreads on Twitter!

Anonymous said...

I love Target's shoes. The Katherine boots look great on you!

kara lynn said...

i love the first pair your listed. i just bought black leather boots finally. i had been putting that off. and i wear them every day. best fashion investment ever.

Laura said...


Thank you so much for the very thorough reviews. It's great to know there are alternatives that are just as good, If not better, than the expensive brands. My first pair of tall boots ever, were Frye's I bought from Zappos last year. I wore them twice. They hurt so badly I gave them away.

And you don't look frumpy girl. Just cute and happy with your new boots.

Lori said...

@Inkmark I have checked Overstock. But I'm a wimp about internet clothes shopping unless I can get free returns :)

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