There are very few products available today that are truly, uniquely American. The automobiles that are made by American companies are constructed of steel from Korea and Poland and have engines that were engineered (and possibly manufactured) in Japan. Even the products that are generally thought of as being American are often not. One notable exception to this trend is the Frye Company, maker of Frye boots, shoes and bags. Founded in 1863 by John Frye, it holds the distinction of being the longest continuously running shoe and boot manufacturer in the United States.
The uniquely American nature of the Frye Company is even more interesting when a little is known about the background of the company and the many types of customers that it has served. Both Union and Confederate soldiers wore Frye boots during the Civil War. Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders wore them during the Spanish-American War. Many pioneers depended on the durability of Frye boots for the long trek to the West. General Patton wore his Frye boots throughout World War II.
The frye campus boots was reintroduced in the 1960’s. Modeled after the original 1860’s design, it quickly became the boot of choice for many who were swept up in the cultural revolution of that decade. Frye boots were simply the “in” things to have. As a matter of fact, there is a pair of Frye Campus boots on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. as part of a display of iconic products of the 1960’s! The Frye Engineer boot is an eternal favorite with customers from all backgrounds and styles.
So, those who go out and buy frye campus boots these days may just be looking for a great product that offers solid value. They may be happy to purchase a real American product, made in America by Americans. Maybe they just love wearing shoes and boots that are well-made of the best materials available. But perhaps they are also very much enjoying the idea that there is a good bit of history and background in every single pair of Frye boots and shoes that are sold. Put a pair on and see if you feel it too.