Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Brown’s Artica Boots

*Check out my update on these boots*

Buying a product that turns out to suck always, well, sucks. But what’s worse is buying something, loving it and then discovering that it’s a lemon.

This recently happened to me with a pair of just-bought “light” winter boots (I like to have a big, heavy pair for walking the dog/lots of snow and a lighter, shorter pair for say, shopping in).

I bought these boots on Saturday from B2 (Browns Shoes’ “younger” store). Made out of brown, guaranteed-to-be-waterproof leather with low, sturdy heels, they are exactly the practical, go-with-multiple-outfits boots I was looking. They are lined with fake fur so not only are they dry, they’re also super-comfortable and cozy (seriously, they feel like you’re wearing slippers).

All of the above combined with the facts that they were on sale (on for $119.98, down from an original price of $158.00) and available in my size should have been a sign that these boots were too good to be true.

Like I said earlier, they are super-comfortable and warm and so I was quite happy to have them for yesterday, Toronto’s first real snow day. So I wore them to and from work, exposing them to the outside world for maybe a total of an hour.

Somehow, in that very brief period of time, a patch of leather on the left boot managed to become discoloured. I first I thought maybe I’d scrapped it against something but no, the “damaged” leather feels fine, it just looks weird. And considering it’s just in that one spot, I don’t feel that the leather’s discoloured because I walked through a puddle of whatever would discolour leather.

I know this discoloration wasn’t on them when I bought them because I looked them over carefully in the store and then on Sunday, I took a picture of them for this blog. They were fine then but now they are not and I’m not really sure what to do about it.

The boots are made by Artica, Browns’ n-house brand and, according to the internet are model number 6331608.. I’m thinking I might send Browns an email, asking what’s up with the leather that these boots are made out of it.

Maybe it’s a known defect and I’ll get a new pair of boots. Or, more likely, I’ll get ignored. Either way, I’ll let you know.


  1. Oh no, I'm sorry to hear about your experience! This is disturbing because I just bought a pair of Artica boots today. I bought 100% synthetic ones because I'm sick and tired of worrying about how leather and suede will stand up to the salty slush of Toronto.

    However, when I was trying on 2 different pairs in the store, one style had an informative label describing all of the "technical" liner fabrics inside the boot that are supposed to make them extra warm. The OTHER style, which I liked better and ended up buying, had NO label attached. I repeatedly asked the sales staff (2 different folks) whether they could guarantee that the second style had the same warm properties. They just replied, "Artica boots are usually all the same..." Basically, the sales staff had no clue and there is zero information about Artica boots on the internet. Annoying.

    I'm tempted to just take a chance, because they were a great price (just over $100 after tax.) But, I'll sure be bummed if I discover they're not warm.

    Browns, get it together!

  2. Bah, that's so irritating when store clerks don't know their stuff. I get that they might not know everything off the top of their heads but they should have at least tried to look that info up for you.

    Hopefully though your boots work out for you!

  3. Lindsey, did you get a refund, or exchange?

    I'm interested in purchasing the Artica brand from Browns (Markville Mall). I've purchased Sorels for walking the dog etc. They're big & warm, but not quite stylish for hopping in the car & seeing people kind of winter boots.


  4. No, I never tried to get a refund or exchange because I had worn them outside, even if it was brief. They were warm, cozy boots and I do wonder if maybe I just somehow exposed the boot to some weird chemical or the one boot was made with a bad bit of leather.

  5. Lindsay Its too bad that happened to your boots. Quite disappointing... but oh well, at least they're just outside boots and not fancy shoes for special events. I'm guessing the salt and chemicals from street probably discolored your boots :-)

  6. From a Browns employee, I have never heard of anything wrong with Artica boots. They truly are great boots; completely waterproof with good leather. As each shoe is made from different parts of natural leather, it is possible the spot is natural; I have sold dress shoes with discolouration because the leather is natural (our skin does the same). At any rate, if you see anything wrong with a purchase from a Browns, especially right after you bought it or wore it for the first time, bring it back!

  7. Hello,

    I purchased a pair of Artica boots at the end of November and they turned out to have a defect as well. Although I put protector as soon as I received them, the leather started rubbing off the boot the day after. I am completely disappointed as they were described as being ''leather'' boots, this is the reason why I purchased them. I will definitely contact Browns because I cannot find a web site for Artica, in order to be able to make a complaint.

    Thanks for the post :)