FRYE Storm Zip Rain Bootie Review

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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
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The transition from winter to spring tends to come with a lot of rainfall. Depending on where you live, there could be weeks on end of downpours. When that happens, it’s important to be well equipped with clothing and footwear that will keep you dry and protected when you do have to venture outside. With spring right around the corner, now’s the perfect time to start looking into rain gear. Why not consider this pair of booties by The Frye Company?

With their eye-catching front zipper and 1.5-inch block heel, these combat-inspired women’s booties sport a unique look, though whether or not they’re stylish depends on personal preference. In terms of practicality, they have a sturdy and water-resistant upper as well as an outsole with a grippy lug pattern. Combined, they keep you dry and prevent slipping in wet weather. The downside is that they are expensive and are only offered in a limited amount of different sizes. To learn about these features, read on as we go into them in more detail.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Sturdy rubber uppers
  • Convenient zipper outsole
  • Grippy outsole
  • Great water resistance
Cons
  • Not very stylish
  • Size runs large
  • Expensive
Brand

Brand

Before we dive into the specs of this particular bootie, let’s first take a look at the brand. The Frye Company was founded way back in 1963 when a man named John A. Frye opened the first Frye shop on Elm Street in Massachusetts. The very first Frye boot was made in 1888 and is, to quote the company, a “testimony to Frye’s unparalleled craftsmanship.” From then on, it continued to improve its designs and quality. During the second world war, its boots were worn by US servicemen all over the world, and in the 1990s it created its Engineer boot collection as a tribute to working men. Just last year, in 2018, it celebrated its 155th anniversary. Today, the brand company continues to grow and improve with the campaign “The Original. The Authentic. The Only.”
Colorways

Colorways

Not many color options are offered with this model, but the three that are offered are pretty versatile. You can choose between black, grey, and lilac—though keep in mind that this last one looks more like light pink. Since black and grey are neutral colors, they can be paired with all other colors, either bright or toned-down. If you want a more feminine look, then you can choose lilac. The combat-boot style and feminine shade compliment each other well, too. With all three upper colors, they are contrasted with a black outsole and a black pull strap at the back.
Ease of Use

Ease of Use

Though not as convenient as the classic Wellington rain boots, these definitely won’t make you waste your time at the door, either. In fact, they might have more advantages. The zipper at the front means that you can simply step in, zip up, and be good to go. To help pull them up, there’s also a pull strap at the back. The fact that they are zip-up and not just slip-on allows their shaft to be less flexible and wide, providing a more snug and more protective fit around the ankle and calves. The downside, however, is that you can’t adjust how snug they are. With a lace-up closure, you can tighten or loosen the laces to adjust their fit, but with zippers, you just have to make do.
Materials

Materials

The material of a shoe is vital to determining its durability, comfort, and overall quality. You want to make sure that it’s flexible enough to be comfortable, but also stiff and sturdy enough to be protective and to last a long time. If there was a spectrum with comfort on the left and sturdiness on the right, this pair would end up slightly on the right. The uppers are entirely made of rubber. While it is not as flexible as the leather usually used in boots, it is much more water-resistant and protective. The outsoles are made of rubber and leather, and the footbed is made of textiles for a lightly cushioned feel. On the whole, you won’t feel as though this pair molds to the foot, but in return, you get guaranteed waterproofness.
Protection

Protection

As rain booties, these no doubt have to be water-resistant. As we just mentioned, the rubber uppers allow them to be just that. The only downside is that if you happen to step into a deep puddle, some water might leak in through the zipper at the front, so if you do plan to go puddle-splashing, Wellingtons might be the better option after all. But while rubber is a protective material, contrary to the myths, it cannot actually protect you from lightning. While rubber is an electric insulator, just one inch of it under your foot is not enough to keep you protected. What’s more, it can only stand a certain voltage—when millions of volts are striking the ground, an inch of rubber won’t be much use. But look on the bright side: there is only a 1 in 700 000 chance of being struck by lightning in the US. These rubber booties will protect you from the rain, and that’s all you need!
Size

Size

The slight lack of sizing options with this model is a downside. Half sizes are not offered, so you must round your size to the nearest whole size. Some customers claim that they run in large in size, so we recommend you round down. In fact, even if you are not between sizes, consider ordering a size smaller than you usually would. These booties also don’t come in different width options, so if you have especially wide or narrow feet, you’ll have to hope that you can make do with the standard. However, you’ll be glad to hear that the brand does try to accommodate for those with wide feet by offering “wide calf boots.” As for the shaft of these booties, the circumference of the shaft measures around 13 inches and its height is around 6.75 inches. These measurements were those given by the brand on their site, though keep in mind that they will vary slightly depending on what size you order.
Style

Style

These booties are pretty eye-catching, and it’s most likely because of the flashy zippers at the front. Overall, they display a combination of combat-boot style and the traditional rain boot style. But while most zip-up boots have their zippers on the side or the back, these have it going down the front. This double-faced zipper closure features polished, heavy-gauge metal hardware that makes them stand out from fellow rainboots. The rest of the upper is accented by an Oxfords-inspired detailing. To speak this truth, this pair does not strike us at all as fashionable. The zipper is just too eye-catching and in an unconventional place. For the pink pair especially, it contrasts with the soft-colored uppers and makes them seem rather unladylike. The effect is less obvious with the black pair because the edges of the zipper blend it with the uppers. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference and what kind of look you’re going for.
Traction

Traction

Grip and traction are most often emphasized in athletic shoes, but these features are equally, if not more, important with outdoor shoes. When you’re on the basketball court, grippy outsoles help you make sharp turns and be quick on your feet, but in outdoor shoes, it prevents slips and falls that could cause serious injuries. In wet weather, this is especially important because the floors and pavements are extra slippery. Thanks to the lug pattern on the outsole of these booties, grip and traction are provided. The outside edges of the pattern are open so that when you step on water, the water is not trapped under the outsole to make you slip.
Value

Value

If everything we’ve said so far (even the downsides) has sounded nice and pleasant, then the price tag of these booties might be what makes you falter. We’ll admit—their price took us aback as well. This pair is more expensive than similar rain boots by brands like Hunter and UGG. To be fair, they also have a more unique appearance, which might make them worth it depending on what you think of their style. If it’s any comfort, these booties are still a lot cheaper than the other boots offered by Frye, some of which are more for fashion and don’t even have as many practical features as these. What’s more, the sturdiness of this pair means that you’ll be able to wear them year after year, making the best of the money you spent on them.
Weight

Weight

Lastly, we’d like to touch on weight. The weight of a pair of footwear plays into how comfortable they are. If they are too heavy, walking in them for a long time will make your feet and legs feel very tired. They might also make you feel ungraceful and clumsy. Now, keep in mind that all boots are fairly heavy compared to sneakers and athletic shoes. Leather is known as a heavy material, but rubber can be even heavier. But one customer who has tested these booties claimed that they were clunky and heavy on their feet. Combined with the lack of flexibility of the uppers, this might make them hard and uncomfortable to walk in, so take that into consideration when you’re thinking about purchasing this pair.
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

It’s safe to say that, as rain boots, this pair certainly does their job. With their sturdy and waterproof rubber uppers and grippy outsole pattern, they’re bound to keep you dry and steady on your feet. The only potential flaw is that water might get into the shoe through the zipper, but unless you plan on splashing into puddles, that’s not likely to happen. In addition, they are easy to put on and take off, and they come in three different colors that are suitable for nearly any outfit. That’s not to say they don’t have their downsides, though. Because half sizes and width options are not offered, you may find it difficult to get your perfect size. On top of that, they run slightly large in size, so keep in mind to order a size or so down from your usual size. What’s more, they are pricey compared to similar rain booties offered by different brands, and their funky zipper and heavy-duty look aren’t for everyone’s style. Nonetheless, consider this pair as the next addition to your springtime wardrobe—because when the rain hits, you’ll need it!