Factory seconds, samples and custom overstocks are pairs of boots that have been created as prototypes, for displays/pictures, leftover custom orders, or with minor cosmetic flaws from production which put them just underneath the benchmark for first quality. We are happy to offer these boots and pass along some savings to our valued customers. Once a size/style is gone, it generally will not be re-stocked as these are offered once per each style's production run. Size range typically runs from 9.5-10.5 on factory samples and prototypes but other sizes may be available depending on circumstance. Any pattern you see listed here can be made also through a custom order but leather and component availability may vary.
Where do factory seconds come from?
With so many manual steps involved in creating a single pair of boots, sometimes imperfections can occur. For every 100 pairs of boots that are produced, we get about 5-10 pairs of these which come out with minor flaws due to the nature of handcrafting a boot with over 180 manual steps.
During the build process, sometimes any of the following examples of events can occur:
1. The sole stitching machine rips the shoe out from underneath and the thread appears crooked.
2. The sewing machine jams in the beginning, middle or end of sewing a quarter while the needle has already poked through and produces a stitch line outside of pattern tolerance.
3. Deviation of leather scarring, texture or shade is more plentiful on one boot than another or on the pair as a whole compared to first quality.
While none of these impact the performance or quality of the boots built, and most of the factory second's flaws aren't immediately noticeable when wearing, we do monitor instances such as these and ensure to mark down the boots as factory seconds on our website should we come across them.
1. Factory sample, prototype or factory overstock.
2. Boots may have scars, indents or imperfections in the leather which put them just under what we would label first quality - or footwear was worn once or twice for photos.
What Determines the Price?
Much like with first quality items and custom orders, pricing depends largely on materials used, mainly soles and upper leather. These are the two major cost-driving components of a boot or shoe but they're also arguably among the most crucial of components. For example, kudu, moose, Dublin, Chromexcel and horse leathers are more costly and difficult to obtain. Therefore they carry a higher price. Second and sample pricing may fluctuate from time to time depending on the grading or condition of each pair when they become available. Commando, Ridgeway and Vibram 430 soles tend to also be a higher priced component used therefore may carry a higher end price. This of course can vary from boot to boot depending on remaining components, use and designation of second or sample status.
Factory seconds will usually be marked down more than samples due to any cosmetic or aesthetic production flaws they may have, while factory samples may carry a slightly higher price due to them being closer to first quality. This can fluctuate depending on the stock which becomes available either in the same or different size and style. New build or newer build models will carry a higher price along with if more costly upper leathers are used. Due to the amount discounted and no structural integrity being affected, factory seconds and samples are final sale, please see the FAQ section for more detail.
So why consider a factory second?
Maybe you live in Buffalo and the snow, slush and salt are part of your commute for 8 months out of the year. Maybe you're looking to go to Wegman's (or grocery store of preference) and want to put on something that will get you from the parking lot to the deli counter in style. Perhaps you don't want to wear a $500+ boot to go fill up your car at the gas station. Or just maybe you're looking for a general pair of boots to beat around which you don't have to worry about taking care of. From groceries to the gas pump, factory seconds make a great addition as a worry-free option to your everyday rotation.