Very little compares to a classic, well-made pair of leather boots: the way each shoe molds to your foot, the scuffs and color variations that add to the leather’s character over time, and most importantly, the satisfaction of knowing your boots will be with you for many seasons to come.

Frye boots are naturally a go-to company for quality kicks (they’ve been making boots since 1863!), which makes dropping a couple bills on a pair seem like a worthy investment. Yet circa 2008, my good friend Elena discovered Xelement: a boot company that caters to motorcyclists (so legit) AND makes harness boots that give Frye’s version a run for their money. Looks like it’s time for a faceoff…

  1. Xelement women’s classic harness distressed brown motorcycle boots, $75
  2. Frye harness 12R tan boot, $228
  3. Frye belted harness chestnut boot, $238
  4. Xelement women’s dark brown crushed super harness boots, $75

When it comes to the harness line of Fryes, it is most certainly worthwhile to consider a pair of Xelement boots instead. Although their website is a bit daunting (it is marketed towards bikers, after all), the $150+ price difference can’t be beat!

As for the quality of their products: I’ve owned the super harness boots for four years now (which I endearingly refer to as my sh*tkickers), and they truly have stood the test of time. I love them muchos. Plus, I’ve been asked dozens of times if they were Frye boots…score!