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Frye Woman boots

Updated on August 14, 2010

The Frye Company is legendary. Founded in the second half of the 19th century by John Frye, it is the oldest and continuously operating shoe company in the United States.

The history of the Frye Company, since its inception, is connected with the military history of the Unitedt States. Its boots were wore by solders and officials in the American Civil War, in the Spanish-American war, and during the world conflicts. Besides, many new England families who emigrated from the East to the West wore Frye boots.

Frye harness boot in light grey
Frye harness boot in light grey
A Frye campus boot
A Frye campus boot

Harness, Campus and Western

Three models are especially worth mentioning for their historical significance.

The Harness' boots. They can be between 10 and 18 inches tall. Their distinguishing mark is a system of four leather stripes located in the ankle area of the boots and secured on the side by two metal rings. They come both in black and other brown colors. They were originally wore by solders in the American civil war.

Campus boots. They are very simple looking and can be very feminine. They are probably derived in the 19th century from the Wellington boots, named after the first Duke of Wellington. Today the Wellington boots are mostly made of rubber, but originally they were made of soft leather.

The Western or cowboy boots. They were and still are the boots typically worn by cowboys. They have a high or mid heel, a pointy toe and no lacing. Probably they derived from the Hessian boots, used by European cavalry. The cowboy boots became widespread among cowboys around the 19th century, when industrialization and the rising of prices of meat brought more wealth to cowboys.

A Frey cowboy boot
A Frey cowboy boot
Melissa Button Frye boots, in black.
Melissa Button Frye boots, in black.

Melissa Button riding boots

Speaking of more contemporary models, the Melissa Button riding boots combines elegance and functionality in a unique way. They are a combination of Harness and Campus boots, but without the four stripes of the Harness boots and without the looseness of the campus boots. And they do have some flavour of the Western boots, as well, since they maintain a somehow pointy tow, but not too much. At any rate, historical influences do not matter too much if the model is classy, functional and elegant!

One question should be left for pondering, though: What is the relationship between the Melissa Button boots and the artist Melissa Button?

A painting by Melissa Button. Anything to do with the boots?
A painting by Melissa Button. Anything to do with the boots?

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