"Outbound" Dan Human has been drinking out of streams, ponds, and puddles for several years on various backpacking and paddling trips.
So the boots you bought a few months ago are leaking, the tread wore out, and the mid-sole flexes unnaturally; hopefully, your boots have a replacement warranty. Unfortunately, defects arise even in good-quality hiking, hunting, and work boots. Arm yourself with the manufacturer's warranty policy and a few tips, and maybe you can get a free pair of replacement boots.
This article provides important tips on making the most out of your manufacturer's warranty and provides you with contact information for most of the top brands in outdoor footwear.
Understanding Footwear Return Policy
- Start first by being realistic. If you beat the hell out of your boots for the last five years and never took care of them — don't bother.
- Clean your boots! If you bring in a pair of muddy boots to a store and throw them on the counter, what kind of service do you expect? The same goes for sending them back to the manufacturer.
- Most manufacturer warranties cover defects in materials and craftsmanship; know the difference between abuse and a defect.
- Research the manufacturer and retailer return policies before making contact.
What Voids a Warranty?
So what can you do to void a boot manufacturer's warranty?
- Failure to clean and maintain the boots according to instructions.
- Modifying or altering the boot.
- Using the boot for an activity other than it was intended.
- Improper fit.
What Does "Limited Warranty" Mean?
- Most, if not all, manufacturers describe their warranty as "limited," but what does this mean? By wading through the legal-speak of many disclosures, it boils down to one concept: the warranty doesn't cover wear and tear. If you simply wear your boots out, they probably won't be covered, but sometimes it doesn't hurt to try.
- You'll find out that the term "under normal usage" is a fairly subjective concept and one that may work in your favor.
Take Them Back to Where You Purchased Them
Your best bet, when dealing with defective merchandise of any kind, is to return it to the retailer where you purchased it. Many stores take care of defective product issues in an effort to provide great customer service. In addition, most retailers have agreements with manufacturers to settle warranty issues at the store. Depending on the retailer and the brand in question, some may send your boots out for evaluation, others may simply swap out the boots on the spot.
Tips For a Successful Store Exchange:
- Be nice, and explain the situation to some sort of manager. Your attitude affects how much assistance you'll receive.
- Once more, MAKE SURE THE BOOTS ARE CLEAN!
- Know the manufacturer's warranty policy.
- Bring a receipt showing when you purchased your footwear.
- Bring the box too (if you have it)! Customers that have the shoe box, get a better reception at customer service.
Even if your boots are past the coverage period, In order to make the sale and keep a customer, a store may offer you a discount on a new pair of boots.
Contact the Manufacturer
If the store doesn't pan out (and you feel you still have a claim), contact the manufacturer directly. When dealing with the manufacturer, explain your loyalty to the brand and how you feel the boot failed.
If they don't respond in one week, consider posting a non-nasty message to their FaceBook wall. Their social networking coordinator will contact you. Most boot makers want to work with you as the customer, just be polite. As with all customer service successes, make sure you thank them and provide positive feedback when it is due.
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Major Boot Manufacturers Customer Service Contacts
The following list of major hiking, hunting, and work boot manufacturers provides contact information and how to use their warranty. As a reminder, bootmakers may change the policies at any time.
Whenever sending boots back to the manufacturer, make sure they are clean, also include a copy of the receipt when you purchased them. Of course, make sure you provide complete contact information and include any return authorization numbers. Also, be safe and insure and track any packages you send out.
- Asolo: 1-year warranty. They recommend bringing a defective product to the dealer where you purchased them.
- Columbia:1-year limited warranty. Contact the retailer or send back to Columbia with your contact information, description of the problem, and receipt.
Attn: Warranty Department
7000 North Leadbetter Rd.
Portland, Oregon 97203
- Danner: 1-year limited warranty. Contact Danner for a return authorization number before sending boots. Receive an RA through firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the customer service number at 1-877-432-6637.
- Hi-Tec: 90 Day limited warranty. Bring back boots to a dealer for service; if purchased directly from Hi-tech contact them at 1-800-521-169
- Irish Setter: 6-month limited warranty plus additional pro-rated warranty beyond six months. Return defective boots to your Irish Setter retailer.
- Keen: 1-year warranty plus a 2-year warranty on Keen. Dry waterproofing. Take them back to the retailer or submit a Keen warranty claim form here.
- LaCrosse: Warranty stretches between 90 days and 1 year depending on style. Send to:
LaCrosse Returns Department
17634 NE Airport Way
Portland, OR 97230
- La Sportiva:1-year limited warranty. Return boots to their retailer if you have difficulties e-mail them at email@example.com.
- Lowa: 1-year limited warranty. Call Lowa at 1-888-335-5692 for a return authorization.
- Merrell / Wolverine: 1 year limited warranty. You must email them for a return authorization number; send your information to Merrell at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Montrail: If you think you have a warranty issue, e-mail Montrail's warranty department at email@example.com
- Patagonia: Fill out the following return form and send it and your footwear back to Patagonia.
- Red Wing: 30-day comfort guarantee, 1 year limited warranty. Return defective boots directly to a Red Wing store.
- Salomon: 2-year limited warranty on footwear. Return all footwear to an authorized Salomon retail outlet or retailer.
- Scarpa: 1-year limited warranty. Bring defective boots to a Scarpa dealer or contact through firstname.lastname@example.org
- Teva: 1-year limited warranty. Send your defective boots to:
Teva® Returns Department
3175 Mission Oaks Blvd.
Dock Door #1-6
Camarillo, CA 93012
- The North Face: 1-year limited warranty. Send boots back to The North Face:
The North Face® Warranty Department
14450 Doolittle Drive
San Leandro, CA 94577
- Timberland: Limited warranty. Contact your local retailer or email them at email@example.com
- Vasque: 1-year limited warranty. Contact Vasque at firstname.lastname@example.org
If Your Boots Are Gore-Tex, They Are Guaranteed to Keep You Dry
- If you have gore-tex boots, you have another option for warranty service and that is to go directly through W.L. Gore. All Gore-tex footwear is guaranteed waterproof for the life of the boot (this does not mean guaranteed for life). The Gore warranty doesn't cover damage to the tread or any other part of the boot-only the Gore-tex membrane.
- If you aren't satisfied with your Gore-tex product, contact W.L. Gore at 1-800-GORE TEX.
- Yes, the Gore "Guaranteed To Keep You Dry" promise is a great reason to choose Gore's waterproof, breathable membrane in your boots.
How Does a Company Replace Your Boots?
So, you negotiated a successful warranty claim, how do you get your new boots? The manner in which you are compensated differs based on the company, but there are a few options:
- Repair: The boots are repaired to correct the defect - pretty rare, but it does happen.
- Swap Out: The company grabs a pair of new boots off the shelf and does an even exchange.
- Coupon Code: The manufacturer or retailer provides you with a special promotional code to use on their e-commerce shopping site. Generally, the amount is for the retail on the defective boot. If you care to upgrade, just pay the difference.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: I have a pair of Wolverine Boots that I bought July 2016 and they look brand new. The boots haven’t been abused but the sole is falling apart, like deteriorating and crumbling. Can I exchange them?
Answer: Wolverine generally only grants a one year defect policy. However, I would take them back to the store of purchase or a Wolverine retailer and show them the problem. I have a feeling that they will at least give you some sort of store credit toward a new pair.
Question: What is the contact information for Carolina boots?
Answer: It looks like Carolina Footwear has a one year defect return policy. I would contact them at the following phone number or email address: (844) 488-9836 email@example.com.
Question: I'm considering buying snake boots by Redhead for my 17 year old grandson, mostly because they say they are 100% waterproof and are nice looking. He would be wearing them at college in raining weather, but not daily. Then I read the reviews on the Cabelas website for the Lubbock model, and now I am not sure. Can you give me any insight into Redhead boots and their guarantees?
Answer: Redhead is a BassPro store brand that is now also carried by Cabelas after the merger. As a store brand boot, they perform admirably for the price though there are some model by model issues. BassPro / Cabelas offers a one year warranty on footwear against defects. However, with the Redhead label, they generally evaluate them for replacement past the one year period. It is best if you can take them back into a physical store if you have a warranty issue.
Question: I bought a pair of Work Master boots two and a half months ago and the soles are falling off. Do you, the writer of this article, have a contact number for Work Master boots?
Answer: Sorry I do not have a contact number for them and was unable to find warranty information. Your best bet is to contact the retailer from whom you purchased the boots. They might help you out to keep a customer.
© 2012 Dan Human
sonny grisham on April 04, 2017:
purchased pair redhead work boots from redheads web site wore three times and soles are coming off both boots. boots are also waterproof have not abused just regular wear having hard time getting replaced .bass pro is their dealer but won't help since i didn't purchase from them any ideas where I should try next Thanks for your hub info very helpful
Dan Human (author) from Niagara Falls, NY on March 21, 2017:
Sandy, your best bet is to Contact Cabela's customer service line at (800) 237-4444 and explain to them the boot failure. You could also try taking them back to the retail location that you purchased them at. Good luck!
Sandy Elkins on March 20, 2017:
I posted a question about a pair of redhead boots that we purchased at cabelas , style5205977-4. My husband wore them less than 10 times and the soles off both boots totally pulled apart. We purchased them in sept 15, in October 13 of 2015 he had total knee replacement so hasn't worn them much at all. The last time he did they fell apart. We invested in what we thought to be a high grade product and they failed fast and in a bad way. What steps do I need to go thru to try and see if these are covered. I can provide pictures or even the boot itself as evidence of the damage. Can someone please help me. He loved the feel and style of the boot, but if we can't get this rectified, we'd never consider purchasing them again unless we can get this issue taken care of. Thanks so much, have a blessed day. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mel C on August 26, 2016:
Thanks for the post. FYI - I just used the email address email@example.com and it bounced.
Dan Human (author) from Niagara Falls, NY on January 16, 2015:
Work boots are always problematic, because they are meant to be beat up. That said, six months on a pair of boots is ridiculous. Though I never tried Georgia's work boots, I wore their combat boots in the Army. I was rather pleased with their performance, though that was years ago and manufacturing may have been different.
You may want to look at another brand/model when you purchase your next pair. Thanks for reading Oscarlites!
Oscar Jones from Monroeville, Alabama on January 16, 2015:
I have been wearing Georgia Giant workboots. 3 identical pairs later in 3 years with one being resoled and even that didn't last long. I was told 6 months on work boots is the best they can do. The aluminum steps on the big trucks I drive chew up the soles each time I put my 240 lbs on the test, by getting in and out of the trucks numerous times each day.
anyway, good hub!
Anita on October 18, 2014:
I have a pair of woulverine's and the soul has came off.Can my boot s be replaced?
Dennis Hoyman from Southwestern, Pennsylvania on September 20, 2014:
Thank you for the hub on warranties on boots. Didn't know that boots had warranties. But now that I know. It's a good thing. I will remember this when I buy my next pair of boots. Outbound Dan keep up the great writing and get back up to 100 in the hub score. Thanks Again Gardener Den.
Dan Human (author) from Niagara Falls, NY on March 20, 2012:
Though I am not one for abusing warranties, sometimes I'll take advantage when I'm not pleased with the product's performance. You may want to look at the company Rocky Mountain Resole, they resole Asolo boots amongst others. Thanks CC, for stopping by!
Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on March 20, 2012:
Who knew boots had warranties? I suppose I'm one of those twits that never read the fine print, haha. I AM one of those that would love to re-sole my Asolos. They're about five years old and I've worn them like crazy. But, they still look new except for the sole. :( In any case, great hub. Voted up.
Dan Human (author) from Niagara Falls, NY on March 20, 2012:
I'm glad my hub was useful to you, thanks for reading and commenting jafruminc.
jafruminc from Charlotte, North Carolina, USA on March 20, 2012:
This is very useful to all leather boots user like me. Thanks a lot. Great hub!