We always ask this question: why are Red Wing, Danner, Timberland and Keen boots so expensive?
Top brands like these are constantly making dependable shoes and boots. Many of their products are expensive, yet we recommend them. We don’t recommend them for a fluffy commission or something like that! Let’s make these four things crystal clear:
- We are bound to no brand or product (which makes us more than happy).
- And we simply hate to recommend a higher priced pair over a better yet cheaper one. It’s against ethics as we think that:
- ShoeAskers are sellers or on the seller’s side. We are amongst the consumers. That’s it.
- But we love dependable brands for a good reason. We’re consumers and we want our feet to be in good hands.
Back to the topic: Red Wing and Danner boots are usually more costly than Timberland and Keen. On the flip side, you can never say that Timberland and Keen are cheaper- when comparing to other brands.
Let’s break the reasons down:
Table of Contents
Goodwill and Expectations
When manufacturers like Danner make something, they must keep their goodwill in mind. They must keep up with the expectations which is way too hard. If Red Wing or Keen make something, they must earn the tag ‘best’. This ‘best’ thing is a constantly moving, costly tag.
Research & Development
Speaking of the ‘best’, these brands are the trendsetters. They are industry leaders, so, they do extensive research and rigorous development on every new product. Brands following them can simply adapt their design, concept, feature or even cutting edge technology like carbon nano tech. You know, it is a lot harder to meaningfully implement a new feature or concept than simply copying that. So, second level shoe and boot manufacturers can save that huge pile of bills. They eventually can keep the price pretty lower.
However, what we’ve learnt from these incidents is, copying is never as efficient as R&D. As a result, the best brands retain the best products.
They simply end up using the best material available globally. All of us are aware of the iPhone and MacBook myth: They always use the best hardware available. Each tiny little part costs more than standard or mediocre ‘popular’ products.
These brands simply must keep using the best and innovative parts and parcels.
For example, best brands usually use fresh top full grain leather which is always rare. To be exact, these leather outrun 97% leather.
Hiring the Best Professionals
We all know that cheaper brands would not employ the best footwear professionals. This is not cost-effective for them. For example, their higher officials like the CEOs are paid much. One of their higher official’s one month wage is enough to launch a new China based (100% shipping) boot company.
Employing American People
Every big, trusted brand must recruit a bunch of U.S. employees. They must maintain a noticeable number of offices in North America and some even have to do it in European countries. You know how cheap South East Asian or African labor is? A tiny little fraction.
Making Boots at Home
We cherish US made boots. Brands like Red Wing, Danner, Wolverine and Carolina do cobble many of their products in the US soil.
Cutting Edge Automated Machinery
It takes a fortune to install the best apparatus.
Moreover, they can not simply ignore the quality checkup. Where less renowned brands can deliver slightly defected pairs, the very best old brands must through the imperfect ones away. Where do you think the cost add? However, they have more efficient workers wasting less hardware.
Many of these brands offer satisfaction guarantee- which means there is no problem with the pair and you can still return them. Trusted companies always accept the tiniest fault and offer a full refund which is very rare for cheaper brands.
Big Brand Expenses and Pricing
On the flip side, there are some `big company’ expenses as well. Their infrastructure, extended number of employees and huge overall investments accumulate extra price on each pair. Whenever you operate something in the US soil, you end up paying a complex tax. The older and popular a brand gets, the more expensive their operation becomes. After all, we know that even a brand name earns some extra bucks. We must pay for a brand name, as that name stands for an overall assurance. Big brands also put some weight on your appearance which help people judge you- this thing has a significant price.
Return of Investments
Every company must maintain a decent return on their total investments. When bigger brands must invest on a number of seemingly `extra’ sectors, regardless of the expenses, they must maintain a high investment-profit ratio. They must maintain the rate which adds big time.
Are big brand boots and shoes worth the money?
Why do we advocate these brands? Yes, that’s the obvious, last question. They definitely are worth the money.
How are you gonna measure `worth’? We measure it by price versus wear time.
For example, if you use Danner, you will end up spending less money each month despite the `expensive’ vive. On the contrary, cheaply made cheaper boots are going to last less- you end up spending more money per month. Needless to say that after buying the best brand shoes, you will get more comfort, support and features from the very first day.
So, they are worth every penny. That’s the reason we advocate these brands over others.