Explore the streets of Kodiak Island, Alaska, and you will no doubt see the trademark colors of Xtratuf boots all over town. Journey down to the boat harbors and fish processing plants and I’d be willing to bet that almost every fisherman or cannery worker you encounter will be walking the docks and decks in those same boots. In fact, head to church on Sunday morning and you’ll see many a devout soul sporting their Xtratufs in the pews. What’s more, Kodiak even celebrated the Alaskan footwear of choice by making it the theme of one of their annual Crab Festivals!
There is a reason that Xtratuf boots are often referred to as “Alaskan sneakers,” and are so popular among the locals and those who live in coastal regions and the more remote areas of the state where wet, muddy trails take the place of concrete and asphalt sidewalks and streets. Xtratufs are the original 100% waterproof, non-slip tread boot that many Alaskans, especially fisherman, have come to depend on and would feel naked without! Watch an episode of the Deadliest Catch and you’ll see why the most dangerous job in the world demands a boot that can keep up with the toughest work in the toughest places.
Xtratuf boots have been around since the 1950s and were made in the USA up until 2011. The American made Xtratufs are legendary! I’ve run into many Alaskans that have boots that date back several decades that are still going strong despite all the years of hard use and abuse. In 2011, when the boots began being made in China, there was a noticeable, rather dramatic decrease in quality for the first several years of overseas production. This is something that many, including myself, experienced quite profoundly. I blew through several pairs of boots in a matter of just a few months. While the company replaced the boots, it was very disappointing, to say the least. The liners came apart from inside the boot, the rubber ripped away from the toe, etc. It was obvious that Xtratufs were not so tough anymore. I wrote the company and expressed my displeasure and concern that such a once great product had turned to…well…crap!
My letter was responded to very quickly by the good folks at Xtratuf and they ensured me that the company was making every effort to address this serious lack of quality that so many customers noticed. As a token of their concern, they sent me a brand-new pair of their Elite boots for free. I’ve had those boots for many years now and have put many punishing miles on them and they are still performing great, with no issues whatsoever. They are awesome! In late 2013, the company officially engaged in a public relations campaign to reassure consumers that product quality production issues have been addressed, and in more recent years, the quality has indeed come back. Xtratufs are once again proudly embraced as the footwear of Alaska. But, no matter where you live or what you do, if you need a tough, weatherproof boot for work or play, you can’t go wrong with a pair of Xtratufs! Click on the boot photos below to find out more or to order a pair today.
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