Author Topic: Is a 'Best Before' date now needed on boots?  (Read 283 times)

2131tom

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Is a 'Best Before' date now needed on boots?
« on: 18:25:30, 15/11/17 »
In February 2016 I bought a pair of Meindl boots (Alicante Mid GTX) from a shop in West Sussex.  We were on holiday at the time and it was a bit of an impulse buy.  The receipt and purchase details are lost, I'm afraid.   They've had light and intermittent use - a couple of trips to The Lakes and maybe 100 miles of weekend walks around here in rural Essex and have been fine throughout.

A couple of weeks ago, on a third trip to The Lakes a friend told me he'd noticed that the toe rand on one boot was cracking up and on closer examination the other one was showing a small crack as well, though this rapidly got bigger during that walk.  To me, the random angles of the cracking suggested that the rand compound had de-natured (as opposed to stress-fracturing) so I sent them both back to Bramwell's.

Today they sent them back with a reply that floored me somewhat:

They said that the batch number suggests they were around 7 years old and 'unfortunately this means that they are out of warranty' so they're sorry but they cannot replace them for me as a result.

Fair enough, I suppose, and if I can work out where it was I should now go after the shop for selling me 5-year old gear, as "new" (mind you, given they haven't got a 'best before date' on the box, when is 'new' not new?). 

However, it does brook the question of how long the materials used in boots are supposed to last.  I'm not talking about fair wear-and-tear here:  The light wear on them is plain for all to see,  they've not been stored in a light, hot or damp environment and nothing else on the boots is cracking-up, coming away of falling apart, just the rands.  Given the light wear, it did worry me that Bramwell's didn't seem interested about how or why the failure might have occurred - just how old they were, and therefore out of warranty.

Has anyone got any light they can shed on the failure, or suggestions as to how I can usefully repair them myself?  I'm tempted to use something like Shoe Goo and see what happens but I thought I'd ask here first.           

nesty

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Re: Is a 'Best Before' date now needed on boots?
« Reply #1 on: 20:00:46, 15/11/17 »
I can't help with the repair idea.

However this is something I have often wondered about. I have heard similar stories with Meindl.

Though I can imagine a lot of gear especially if in a un popular size, can be sitting around for years?
Boots of leather and held together with glue sometimes can be sitting in cold warehouses for a while and these warehouses can easy get down to 32F. Surely doesn't do the products any good? 

A bit off topic. I purchased a paramo jacket brand new from Paramo online earlier in the year. First trip out, totally soaked. Paramo gave me free Nikwak tech wash etc to reproof, which solved the issue. I bet the jacket was in the warehouse for ages and the DWR just faded away.

So doesn't surprise me to hear you landed a pair of 7 year old boots! 

kinkyboots

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Re: Is a 'Best Before' date now needed on boots?
« Reply #2 on: 20:21:59, 15/11/17 »
You're not the first to complain about the apparent deterioration in the quality of Meindl boots and the poor customer service and apparent lack of interest shown by Bramwell. I think a lot of the problems seem to have started when Meindl moved some of their production out of Germany.

The light wear on them is plain for all to see,  they've not been stored in a light, hot or damp environment and nothing else on the boots is cracking-up, coming away of falling apart, just the rands.

That may be true whilst you've had them but definitely may not have been so whilst they were languishing in the supply chain for the 5 years before you bought them. If you've got a bank or credit card statement showing the payment to the shop you don't necessarily need the shop receipt. Your contract is with the shop not the manufacturer and the shop should be your first point of contact for your complaint. As they're over 12 months old they're obviously out of warranty but you've got nothing to lose by phoning the shop.

The rand or more correctly the rubber toe guard/bumper in this case probably can't be replaced without removing the sole unit which would make it not financially viable to have them repaired. Shoe Goo (available in black) or McNett Freesole are probably the best and cheapest options for a DIY repair with the area surrounding it carefully taped off to prevent any overspill. It probably won't look pretty when you've done it but the repair should last the life of the boot. From memory there are videos on YouTube showing how to do it.