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I have a bit of a love affair with DUO, a boot company located in the UK. It started several years ago with my first pair of boots from them – the “Bern”, a pair of classic boots that are similar to the famous Frye “Harness” boot. I had always wanted a pair of Fryes, but my wide calves (and wide shins) made it impossible. With a bit of Internet searching, I came across DUO and took a chance (you can read about my first experience with them here). So glad I did!
A couple years later I decided to use an annual bonus to buy another pair of DUO boots. Unfortunately, they didn’t fit properly due to improper measurement on my part and my mistake of not utilizing their fabulous customer service for advice. I went to exchange the boots and it ended up costing me $40 in shipping. The replacement boots came to my office while I was on maternity leave; by time I was able to try on the boots my body had changed drastically and the boots didn’t fit. I chose to sell the boots on eBay rather than deal with another costly return across the pond.
I must admit that experience in 2008/2009 left a bad taste in my mouth. It wasn’t the fault of DUO, but it just seemed too expensive to purchase boots from an overseas company. However this past winter I desperately wanted a pair of black riding boots. Learning from my last DUO order, I decided to email them and ask their opinion. I not only measured my calf, but also my shin and my ankle and even took pictures of my legs. I informed DUO of what I desired, how the “Bern” boots fit, and the issues I had with other boots. They suggested the Catalonia (read about my experience here and here).
Since then, I have been a happy camper with my DUO “Catalonia” boots. Quality leather, classic style, great fit. I did get them altered at my cobbler to taper at the top, but that was due to my leg height, not the boot itself. However after a month or so of wear the left zipper broke. I was devastated – I just dropped a couple hundred on these boots and then additional fees for alterations. Would they repair the boots since I had them altered? I emailed DUO and they asked me to mail the boots to assess the situation.
I no longer had the boot box, so I just stuck them in a square box. I was going to send Priority Mail, but the woman at the post office said it would be cheaper if I used a regular box (I just covered the box with craft paper). The cost was a bit over $25, the weight low enough that I only needed to fill out the short customs form.
DUO contacted me once they received the boots. They apologized for the zipper breaking and asked that since I had them altered, did I want a new pair or have the current pair fixed? They had already sent the boots to their repair person, but were waiting for my reply. Oh, and they asked how much I had to pay for shipping. I told them the exact amount, didn’t have to show a receipt or do anything and in a couple of days that amount was back on my credit card. Less than two weeks later, my boots arrived looking like new, in a brand new boot box.
So for those who are hesitating on buying from DUO because they are in the UK or you fear the shipping fees for repairs or exchanges, not to worry. If the exchange or return is due to DUO, they will cover the cost. As always, DUO is quick with the emails and will work with you to find the best boot for your wide calves (or narrow calves!). If you take advantage of their customer service you will be less likely to need a return or exchange. And if by chance there is an issue… I can attest to the fact that DUO will do everything they can to remedy the situation!