This is a Chippewa Boots Guide where we discuss what you need to expect when buying Chippewa Boots. Quickly, here’s what you need to know about some of their most popular styles:
- Chippewa Logger – Chippewa is famous for their logger boots. They build their premium tier of loggers with 100% leather and additional mid-sole support. Many people consider Chippewa Loggers to be one of the best logger boots available. Handcrafted in the USA.
- The Chippewa Original Moc-Toe – This is a great factory boot. It has a wedge sole, which makes it best for smooth surfaces like concrete. The wedge sole might not have the traction of a rugged Vibram sole, but it adds comfort to the boot. If you are on concrete all day, this can help.
- Chippewa General Utility Boot – This Chippewa boot can work as a nice casual boot that you also use in a backyard workshop etc. It is made in the USA using 100% leather. Vibram sole for maximum traction.
- Chippewa Steel-Toe Ellicott Boot – Steel-toe insulated work boot made in the USA. 100% leather with a rugged Vibram outsole. Waterproof. The build of these Chippewa boots is much like the premium logger boots, only without the raised heel.
Chippewa’s beginnings date back to 1901, and to a small factory in the lumber town of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Since then, they have grown to become one of the most trusted names in premium work boots (source). Chippewa boots present-day are part of Justin Brands, a premium brand of western and heavy-duty, functional footwear.
As we discussed above, Chippewa is probably most famous for their logger boots. In this article let’s take a closer look at what separates Chippewa from other mediocre boot brands, and makes them popular.
What are Chippewa Boots Good For?
Although Chippewa makes a wide range of boots that can cover many different needs, they are particularly famous for their rugged footwear. When many people think of Chippewa, they think of logger boots. And because of that, Chippewa has become a go-to brand for loggers, lineman, ranchers, and other trades looking for a raised-heel boot.
Overall, Chippewa classifies their boots into four different groups: Original, Outdoor, Field, and Road. As you can see, there is an emphasis on rugged outdoor boots, and riding boots. Later in the article we will discuss specifically what boots are most popular.
Where are Chippewa Boots Made?
While it seems that present-day has forced most all boot companies to manufacture overseas, Chippewa has done the best it can to keep some of its production here in the USA.
Are All Chippewa Boots Made in USA?
No, not all Chippewa boots are made in the USA. As we discussed earlier, Chippewa classifies their boots into four different groups: Original, Outdoor, Field, and Road. Each four of these types of boots do have made in the USA options.
In my opinion, the made in the USA options at Chippewa outnumber the amount of USA-made options some of their competitors have. The Chippewa Super Logger boots (possibly their most popular boot) is made in the USA.
Are Chippewa Boots Waterproof?
You can expect many, but not all, Chippewa boots to be waterproof. This is something that will obviously depend on what type of boot you are looking for.
For example, many of their road riding boots are not waterproof. Also, most of their general utility workshop boots are not waterproof. But, of course, the large majority of their outdoor and field boots are waterproof.
Some of their most rugged outdoor boots combine a Dri-Lex lining (a quick-drying moisture management system) with a Chip-a-Tex waterproof membrane (which locks water out but lets air to pass through) with a Waterproof seam-sealed construction which together provide significant water protection.
Are Chippewa Boots Good?
In general, Chippewa boots are considered to be a very reliable, premium brand of work boots. Whether or not they are good for you will likely be dependent on what type of job you are working (again, Chippewa specializes in rugged outdoor and field boots, as well as riding boots).
But Chippewa is a brand that still to this day emphasizes a hand-made process as much as fiscally possibly. As we discussed earlier, they still make a wide range of boots here in the USA at their Carthage, MO factory.
Chippewa boots should be considered at the premium level of work boots, up there with Danner, Thorogood, and others. The only types of work boots that are probably better, are small USA boot companies that make custom hand-made boots (for example, White’s boots).
Chippewa is a premium boot brand that has been making reliable boots for over a century. They’re right for you if the mediocre boot brands out there just don’t get it done for your feet.
How Do Chippewa Boots Fit?
In general, Chippewa advises people to expect their boots to run about a half-size bigger than normal sneakers. This would be a good principle to follow when ordering Chippewa boots. If you want to read more in-depth about how Chippewa boots fit, visit our article about Chippewa Boot Sizing.
Best Chippewa Boots
These are some of best Chippewa work boots. As we have discussed, Chippewa specializes in heavy-duty rugged outdoor boots, but they also have several types of indoor, general utility boots to choose from (affiliate links below take you to Amazon.com):
Best Chippewa Logger Boots
As we have discussed, Chippewa is probably most famous for their logger boots. Obviously, logger boots are built for the logging industry, but they are also very popular for lineman, ranchers, and riders.
The raised heel makes them useful for lineman and loggers who must climb trees and utility poles. Farmers and ranchers appreciate the tall heel which elevates the foot out of the muck and mud of farmland, and also keeps their feet from slipping through stirrups when riding. Motorcyclists also like logger boots for riding purposes. ***To read more, visit our article Why Do Logger Boots Have a Tall Heel?
The Chippewa Logger boots are offered in three different price tiers so that you can find one that works best for you. The most expensive Chippewa Logger is handcrafted here in the USA. Here’s what you need to know about the 3 tiers of Chippewa loggers:
- Most Affordable – Chippewa’s most affordable tier of loggers uses heavy-duty leather, but they use a non-leather material up around the collar of the boot and in the gusset of the boot, which reduces cost, and allows them to offer this boot at a lower price point. Chippewa strives to offer the best option of logger at every price point. You’d be hard pressed to find a better logger boot at this cost.
- Standard – This middle tier moves to a 100% leather for the entire boot. It also has a rugged Vibram outsole, which is a more premium outsole than the more affordable tier. It also has an additional Robus leather midsole that the lower tier does not (lowest tier has 2 rubber midsoles). So this tier provides more cushioning under the foot.
- Premium – This is Chippewa’s premium, fully-loaded logger tier. They refer to these loggers as “super loggers”. 100% premium leather construction, additional midsole support that the other tiers don’t have. Rugged Vibram outsole. Premum Dri-Lex lining which helps the boot breathe. Goodyear Leather Storm Welt build. And maybe the most important part about this tier, it is handcrafted right here in the USA.
Here is a look at a pair of their logger boots, and how they have held up over time. As you can see, despite extreme use, these boots are still holding well at the seams:
Best Chippewa Factory Boots
Although, as we have discussed, Chippewa is best known for rugged, outdoor boots, they do have a nice boot that can work well for you if you work on a factory floor, or other type of smooth surface.
The Chippewa Original Moc-Toe work boot is a great factory boot. This boot is built with a wedge outsole to help prioritize comfort. Wedge soles are made for smooth surfaces like concrete or tile, etc., and won’t hold up well to rugged terrain.
As we mentioned earlier, although aggressive lugs are needed for harsh terrains, not all jobs need a boot like that. If you are working on a factory floor all day, or in a work shop (etc), you’re looking more for a comfortable boot that provides dependable support. This boot delivers that.
The wedge outsoles are very popular because of their comfort, just don’t expect the tread pattern on a wedge outsole to last as long as an ultra-rugged tread pattern. The Vibram Wedge outsole on these boots has a nice taper (heel is about an inch, and tapers to the toe).
These Chippewa boots combine that classic moccasin style with American-made dependability. They use full-grain leather, have the contrast stitching that pops, and have the functionality to be both a casual boot and a work boot.
Best Casual Chippewa Boots
Not everyone needs a heavy-duty boot. Some of you may be looking more for a general utility boot that you can wear both in your workshop and out on the town.
The Chippewa Service Boots are a somewhat fashion-focused boot that looks good both on and off the clock, but provides your foot with a full-grain leather that can stand up to what you might throw at it from your backyard workshop.
Again, not everyone is looking for that rugged, heavy-duty work boot. You might be looking for more of a stylish, versatile boot that you wear indoors when you go to the office, and then in your workshop on the weekends. This boot has a low-profile V-Bar outsole that does provide good grip, but it doesn’t have the large, aggressive lugs needed for outdoor, harsh terrain.
If you are working mostly indoors, or just using these boots as a casual work boot, you don’t need that aggressive lug pattern anyway. These boots are made with full-grain leather, and have a classic cork midsole. They are made in the USA with imported parts.
These boots don’t have an inner lining. They are not insulated boots. They do not have a steel-toe. These are just stylish boots that work as general utility boots to wear in your backyard shop and to wear with a pair of jeans when you run errands.
Do Chippewa Boots Have a Steel Shank?
A shank is a supportive piece between the outsole and insole of a boot. The most durable type of shank is a steel shank. If helps the boot stand up to rugged environments, and offers some protection to the bottom of the foot.
If you are working in rugged, uneven terrain, you might be wondering if Chippewa boots have a steel shank. Yes, because Chippewa specializes in rugged outdoor boots, many of their styles do use a steel shank for support. To find out more specifics about what styles of Chippewa boots use steel shanks, visit our article Do Chippewa Boots Have a Steel Shank?
Can Chippewa Boots be Resoled
In general, yes, most types of Chippewa boots are re-craftable. If you are concerned about a specific boot, then it might be best to reach out to Chippewa customer service before making your purchase. To read more, visit our article that discusses what types of work boots can be resoled.