They may look like sneakers, but they’re actually boots. A very tall and sleek one too. Made by Frye they’re made with the best of the best and of course by the best. Frye has been making fantastic footwear for more than 150 years now. In fact, the company claims that they’re one of the oldest and longest running shoe companies in the USA. And it’s true. They’ve been also revered for their use of leather, and you can expect nothing but the best from the quality of the Frye merchandise.
Although today they’re considered a staple piece, Frye had their peak of popularity back in the ’60s. Some of the Frye’s biggest fans and greatest clients included Jackie Kennedy, Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler. Today the list of Frye fans consists of Taylor Swift and Madonna but ever the non-celebrity clients know to appreciate fine craftsmanship.
So, with that in mind, let’s look at Rivington High. As the name suggests, it’s a high top style of boot, and although the look can deceive you, the construction really can’t. It’s an intricate construction and more about the pros and the cons of the boot, read in the review below.
Hope you’ll like it.
Would you look at that outsole! It’s massive. It’s thick and it’s glorious! Made entirely out of fine rubber,
it not only dominates the bottom part of the Rivington model, it’s actually two-toned just to spice things up sartorially. But while describing the outsole, one can’t help but use the words high and very sturdy to try and explain the construction. Because it is. Both high and sturdy, and if you’re looking to add an adjective try stable. But more on that a bit later. When describing it you have to remember that the sheer height of the entire outsole is almost as high as an average heel. That’s right. The outsole reaches 1 ¾ inch in height, which is quite impressive. Secondly, if you look past the two-toned design of the outsole; you’ll see the three different textures. Deep indentations (or ridges) dominated the surface on the bottom part of the outsole.
They go in the opposite direction of the outsole and have very different design and dimensions. The sides of the outsole are covered with a thick strip of leather and final stitching sits on top of that. The stitching is done with a thick, bold thread and regardless if you choose the black or the white version, the color of the thread will remain with the same flesh-toned color. The ridges on the bottom of the outsole will ensure that the traction runs smoothly, but a detailed explanation will come in the traction part of the review.
One of the few flaws about the Rivington High is that there’s nothing special to be mentioned about the midsole. The midsole has no particular padding
, not special insole of any kind and definitely no special features. The lack of attention in the midsole allows you to insert an insole of your choosing in order to make the stability and the comfort much greater. Treat the empty midsole as a blank canvas, and it’s up to you to add things to that area in order to make your life much easier.
Yes, the midsole is not that impressive, but the upper sure is. Leather is present in the upper and it’s glorious. Is a high top style of upper with simple minimalistic stitching on the surface. The stitching that’s done on the surface of the upper is slightly smaller than on the outsole, but it’s tight, compact and secures the longevity of the sneakers. The shaft’s circumference is almost 30 cm in diameter, while the entire sneaker’s shaft measures 14 cm in height.
Awesome right? But suede is not the only material present in the upper though. A delicate waxy type of canvas is also present in certain areas, and it’s precisely that canvas that will ensure the airflow throughout the entire construction. The Frye
’s official website states that the upper is actually created with a Strobel construction. What is Strobel construction exactly? The so-called Strobel type of construction is quite delicate and requires the material used in the upper (in this case the leather) to be sown or merged with a bottom material (in this case the fabric). The merger creates a type of „sock” in the upper’s structure. It’s all done with a special machine called the Strobel machine.
And as a finishing touch, the lacing system is also worth mentioning, and so is the practical pull tab on the back of the structure. The pull tab makes things easier for the person wearing the boots to put them on and then to take them off. It’s much easier when you have a firm grip on that area. The cotton laces, on the other hand, provide a nice delicate contrast to the firm, sturdy nature of the rubber. And in both cases, (regardless if you purchase the black or the write version), the shoelaces will remain with the color that’s found on the upper.
When you have a boot that has these dimensions, this particular design and it’s made with high-quality materials it’s almost certain that the comfort will be on a very high level. However, there are only two areas
from which the comfort will actually come from. The first is the rubber outsole and the second is the leather upper. The middle part of the Rivington is severely underdeveloped as key features are clearly missing from the midsole. It lacks any proper padding, and of course an insole worthy of this particular shoe. There’s a clear handicap in the midsole, and it will become evident after wearing the pair for a prolonged period of time.
The 4.5 cm tall rubbery outsole is the primary source of support. As should be the case. The outsole is thick and very high as you can see. But the height isn’t the only virtue here. The fact that it’s made with the fantastic ridges, that go deep into the surface allow you to have a better grip, a better balance
, and control in almost any type of terrain. But while the outsole it the primary source of support, the leather and the waxy canvas balance each out and create a rock solid support. The foot feels secure against the bare midsole.
With materials like these, the durability is and will remain a non-issue. Seriously. Who can think of the durability when Fry used rubber in the making of the outsole and mix of leather and fine waxy type of canvas in the upper? There’s even leather in the lining and it’s enough to ensure that the boots will remain intact for a long long time. The quality materials used here are one part of the construction. The method of creating the pair
and the stitching used in the shoes is quite a different story. If you’re interested to know how long these will last, just look at the fantastic stitching on two separate areas. On the upper and on the outsole. The second one is called a Strobel type of construction and it’s one of the best things about the Rivington’s.
This particular style of construction of done with a special machine called- the Strobel and it’s sole purpose is to ensure that the pieces and joined together firmly and efficiently.
Sadly the Rivington high
is not blessed with flexibility. The almost 5-centimeter high rubber outsole restricts the flexibility, and so does the rubber used in the upper. However, it’s saving grace is the presence of the waxy canvas right next to the leather, and the fact that there’s practically no resistance and padding in the midsole. The lack of padding in the midsole allows some sort of flexibility, but again the outsole is a way to firm thick and high to allow that flexibility to be proper.
With the great materials like rubber and leather and with the dimensions like these, the stability is basically a no brainer. The outsole is the strongest candidate for providing stability. It allows you to walk freely on every type of terrain and gives you the best possible insulation. Of course because of the leather itself, but also because of the 5 cm barrier that it creates from the ground to your foot.
And what an airflow it is. Yes, the upper is made almost entirely out of leather, but the small patches that are actually covered with canvas are the real life-saver when it comes to the aeration. They’re transporting the air in and out of Rivington’s and the leather is no looking too shabby either. Leather is natural moisture and odor repellent and it allows the transport of air to occur naturally even though the upper’s surface alone.
How do you tackle difficult types of terrain? By creating a shoe that’s not only made out of leather it has a fantastic set on deep indentations. They’ll be able to grab any type of surface and give you the much-needed stability. So, the slippery marble floor, wet tiles, and even ice will become a joke for the outsole here. There’s nothing that the Rivington’s can’t handle and it’s up to you to see just how much they can handle.
A boot that’s this great deserves to have more than two color options, that’s for sure. Black and white color in the upper cannot be the only options for you to pick. It’s sad but it’s true, so Frye needs to step up their game and allow more color and patterns in their roster. Yes, both colors are neutral colors, but a dash of red or blue would be a welcomed improvement to the limited color selection.
But for a pair that has only two color options, this is a pretty pricy specimen. Sure, with the price tag of 258 you’ll get a construction made with the finest materials, the best technologies and century’s worth of respect and trust from the customer. You’ll also get tradition, history and plenty of care put in the making of the shoe, and for some that’s priceless.
Imagine a sneaker but in the form of a boot. And what you’ll get from that fusion is a sneaker-inspired and very stylish boot. A fantastic fusion of styles and textures that transcends time and although limited on color and low on support from the midsole this is a fantastic pair that deserves attention. It’s graced with clean lines and has no distinct pattern or deviations from the style. It’s simple, elegant and amazing.
If you’re looking for a reason to splurge, why not do it with a Rivington High model by Frye? It has a fantastic list of materials, and great craftsmanship into the crafting and the design. That's pretty much obvious once you take a good look at it. But once you put it on, it's a different story. Although it lacks padding the rest of the areas compensate in order to give you the best possible comfort, stability, and longevity. These are an investment that you’ll never get tired of. They’ll become a constant in your shoe closet, and very soon a favorite that you’ll keep in rotation.