XTRATUF Boot Not So Tough Anymore; Alaskans Say

The XTRATUF boot is known for its durability and has earned a place at just about every Alaskan doorstep. Now the waterproof boot's manufacturing has been moved overseas to China and Alaskans say the quality is suffering.


by Whitney LB Miller

ANCHORAGE - The XTRATUF, known for its durability, has earned a place at just about every Alaskan doorstep.

"it's been around a long time," said Tony Arlt, sales manager at Alaska Safety Inc.  "It's pretty much a Bethel prom boot. There is no replacement for the XTRATUF."

However, as of this year, the Alaskan staple is no longer made in the USA and consumers are saying the quality is suffering.

"It's not lasting a year or 6 months like they used to so people are very unhappy with them," Arlt said.

Complaints from consumers caught the attention of Alaska's democratic Senator Mark Begich. He wrote a letter to Honeywell, the maker of the boot, criticizing their choice to outsource the manufacturing of the footwear to China.

"Our point is very simple: create the quality that Americans and especially Alaskans expect from a product called XTRATUF because we are not interested in not-so-tough," said Senator Begich, D-AK.

According to Arlt, since the company began outsourcing the boot to China the sales at Alaska Safety Inc. have been cut nearly in half. He says in 2011 his store sold 65 size (7) XTRATUFs and this year the store has only 36.

Begich claims nearly one-third of the 100,000 pairs made every year end up in the state of Alaska. He says the company is trying to cut costs, and in return the company is losing the quality of the product which has drawn consumers to the Alaskan staple for decades.

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Gary Moore said on Thursday, Oct 16 at 6:17 PM

Just bought a pair and they pulled apart the second time I put them on! They have had over 2 years to fix problems and they still are an issue.

Captain Ludvig said on Saturday, Nov 24 at 12:50 PM

So what is a good US made boot to replace the gyppos?

Tim Whitehead said on Saturday, Oct 13 at 1:34 PM

Now THERE'S a surprise!!! Check out anything else that's been "out-sourced" to China, Mexico, or any other country. Same story, different chapter!

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