Frye Boots Sizing Guide: Do Frye Boots Run Big or Small?

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by  Jon Wadsworth | Last Updated: 

It’s definitely easier buying your new boots online instead of jumping in the car and driving to the mall.

But how do you know the boots you’re ordering will be the right fit? Without being able to walk into a store to try a boot on, your only real option is a Frye boot sizing guide, but knowing a size eight is a size eight just isn’t enough.

So today, I’m going to take a deep look into whether Frye boots run true to size and whether buying a size bigger or smaller is a good idea or not depending on the type of footwear, all so you don’t have to return those amazing new boots when they show up.

Frye Boots Sizing Guide

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When it comes to splashing out on a new pair of boots, it pays to get the right fit to avoid discomfort and disappointment. 

Buying online is quick and hassle free, especially with the right information to hand, knowing what size boot is right for you is half the battle, now you just need to pick the perfect pair for your needs.

Frye has an excellent range of quality footwear, they rarely discontinue a model, offer numerous sizes and colors of each model, and have a great history. So having to return yours for a different size just because you didn’t know about sizing accuracy sucks; you want your newboots on now.  

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To try and avoid that hassle, I’ve gone over the different models, read customer reviews, and looked for every scrap of information available to try and give an overview of how to best size your boots before you hand over your hard-earned money. 

Frye footwear ranges in sizes from 7 up to 14 for men and 4 to 11.5 for women (including half-sizes for both sexes). There’s no point going over each model’s size range because there are hundreds of styles, and due to availability issues and sheer quantity, you’re better off checking on the individual boot itself. 

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Men’s Lace-Up Boots

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Frye has a wide range of lace-up boots available, with styles such as Bowery, Logan, and Paul featuring prominently. Depending on your boot, the sizes range from size seven to size 13. Although, you should always check for availability as many selections are frequently out of stock in popular sizes. 

Many of the boots, including the Paul Lace-Up and the Tyler Lace-Up, have a leather sole with a rubber lug insert. This increases grip but could mean a narrower fit, so it’s something to consider when choosing a size. Customer reviews for the lace-up boots on offer alternate, with many advising that the boots run true to size, but others say they have issues with a narrow fit.

Frye Paul Lace Up
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While some retailers don’t offer boots in half-sizes, Frye does, and their lace-up selection should be able to cover all but the largest of feet. 

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Frye advises going up a half-size if you have wide feet, and with many boots running a half-size larger anyway, their advice should be taken onboard. If your boot fits at your normal size, great, if not, you know straight away to move up a half-size. 

Chelsea Boots

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Frye’s selection of Chelsea boots is quite extensive, with sizes ranging from 7 to size 14 (although not on all models, so again, do a little digging) to choose from. The Chelsea boot shaft height varies, with the most popular models, the Tyler Chelsea, having a 6” shaft height, and the Greyson Chelsea has a 5 ½” shaft. Shaft heights vary from 4 ½” to 7”.

Frye Greyson Chelsea
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Half-sizes are again on offer for the Frye Chelsea boots, which is handy for those of us who just wish to be awkward, and with several models coming with leather soles with rubber studs added, the width can be an issue. 

Annoyingly, not everyone has the same size foot, so while I would always advise checking the reviews out for a boot, one customer unhappy about a Chelsea boot being too narrow doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll face the same issue. 

Western Boots

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Frye has a modern selection of western boots, with the majority being smarter dress boots than rugged cowboy boots. With sizes ranging from 7 to size 13, the models cover most requirements. When it comes to the shaft height for Frye western boots, choices vary. The Duke Roper has a 9 ¾“ shaft,  while the Austin Inside Zip has a shaft of 7 ¾” at the lower end. 

Frye Austin Inside Zip
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The largest boot in the range, the Harness 12R, has a 12” shaft and has a classic cavalry look to the boot. All selections in the western boot range come in half-sizes, though some models, like the Austin Inside Zip, have leather soles, meaning they may be on the narrow side.

Frye Harness 12R
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If it’s a rugged pair of western boots you’re after, Frye may not be the ideal place to look, their selection is mostly aimed at smart, casual wear than it is for hardy work boots. The Harness 12R and the Harness 8R are probably the best option for a working boot, with the 8R unsurprisingly coming with an 8” shaft, and the 12R with a 12” shaft. 

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Sneakers

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With several very attractive sneakers on offer, Frye has a selection of low lace, high top, and slip-on styles, all of which seem to run true to width. Frye customers seem to return time and time again to their sneakers, in no small part due to the excellent fit the sneakers seem to provide.

Mid Lace models such as the Walker Mid Lace come with a 4 ¾” shaft,  and both the mid lace models and the low lace models such as the Walker Low have comfortable rubber soles. The sneakers vary in size from 7 to size 13 and run true to width and size. 

Frye Walker Low
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It’s worth noting that Frye sizes their boots, loafers, and sneakers the same, so if you have previous experience with Frye, you can order the same size boots as the sneakers you have. 

Loafers & Oxfords

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Covering loafers, oxfords, and venetians moccasins, models come in sizes ranging from 7 to size 13 and have a tendency for running true to size. The majority of the models available have rubber soles, although a few, such as the Paul Bal Oxford, have dual leather and rubber, which can produce a narrower look, yet still run true to size. 

Frye Paul Bal Oxford
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The slip-on Venetians, such as the Lewis Venetian, are incredibly comfortable, with a rubber outsole and a ¾” heel. Like all Frye footwear, half-sizes are available for all models, and reviews are positive, although should you feel the fit is a little tight, Frye has a 30-day returns policy. Just make sure you return in perfect condition.

Frye Lewis Venetian
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How Should Frye Boots Feel?

As long as your feet feel snug inside the boot, with a bit of give at the heel, you should find Frye boots extremely comfortable. Due to their leather construction you will find they mold to your feet after a while anyway. In the meantime, you could wear boot socks to maximize comfort. 

A well-fitting Frye boot is a comfortable, well-built, and good-looking addition to any wardrobe, and you just need to ensure your fit is perfect. Try your new boots on at home, in an afternoon when your feet are invariably their most accurate size, and you won’t go far wrong. 

How to Break in Frye Boots

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First thing, don’t wear your new boots outside! If you’ve got the wrong size, you won’t be able to return them if you’ve worn them outside. Put them on while chilling out at home for a few hours, watch some TV, do some laundry, break your new boots in gently. You’ll help your boots begin to expand to the shape of your feet, without doing any cosmetic damage to your boots.

Frye does have a solid returns policy, but it’s very clear that the return needs to be in perfect order, with tags still attached. Wearing your boots in your home will give you the chance to flex them a little to break them in, and still keep them clean and returnable if there’s an issue.. 

As well as having a perfect excuse for lounging in front of the TV for four hours, there’s another benefit of doing nothing in your boots for a few hours. If your feet feel like they’ve been bitten by a shark, you’ll know there may be a sizing problem. If you feel like everything’s more comfortable, you’re on your way to breaking your new boots in, so celebrate in front of the TV for an hour. 

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Once you’re happy with the fit, it’s time to hit the pavement in your new boots, bedding them in slowly to avoid foot complaints is key. Don’t wear them to work for 8 hours on their first trip, you may end up shuffling home like a crab, ease the boots in with a quick walk or two before you commit to being trapped outside in what suddenly feels like razorblade-lined concrete beasts.

If you have up to an inch of space in the toe, that’s fine. Likewise, a little give at the heel won’t be an issue, and the boots will eventually mold to your feet properly. As always, we’ve got your back when it comes to boot care, so check out our YouTube guide on quickly breaking in your new boots here.

Your options also include trying a different lacing combination. If you find your new boots fit fine, but the top of your foot is aching after wearing your new boots, it could be the laces. They may be too tight or loose, and you may just need to move things around a little to find the most comfortable fit. Our boot lacing guide could help out with that.

How to Take Care of Frye Boots

Frye boots aren’t the cheapest boots around, so it makes sense to want to take care of them. Leather boots age really well if you maintain them properly. I always use a shoe brush on my leather boots after wearing them, especially if they’ve got muddy while out and about. 

Taking your laces out when cleaning your boots is a chore but well worth the effort as you can often miss just how much dirt can be hiding there. Conditioning the leather of your boots is a vital part of maintaining them, it’s often overlooked entirely or done too infrequently at best. If you’re unsure what to use on your boots, we’ve tested 10 great conditioners over on YouTube. 

What you do after cleaning your boots is as important as how you clean them; putting leather boots next to a radiator to dry after cleaning them is a big no-no. Leather boots need to be stored in a dry and cool place and left to dry naturally. Using a heater can lead to dry and cracked boots that quickly lose their appeal.

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Frye Boots Size Chart

fryeBoots Sizing Chart
Frye boots sizing chart as measured in inches

Reference the chart above if you’re not sure what shoe size is most common in your closet. I’ll say this: it’s easier to get the right fit for your Frye’s when you compare the sizes of shoes and boots you already own, but if you don’t have any idea, this chart can help you get a better approximation.

Also, if you’re shopping from the EU or UK, you can use these conversions to US sizing to help pinpoint the right size for your foot.

Frye Boots Sizing for Women

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Frye has a superb selection of boots for women, ranging from Booties and Ankle boots to sneakers, flats, and mid/tall boots. The sizes available range from a size 4 right up to a size 12, although many of the models available only cater from 5.5 up to 11. You can refer to the Frye sizing chart here, but some models are actually available in a size 12 as well.

Frye Carson Piping Bootie
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With thousands of models to choose from, sizing each boot would be impossible, but overall, Frye boots for women run true to size, with some running a little large. If you have wider than average feet, I suggest going up a half-size. Always check the reviews before buying, as this can often give an indication of whether that particular model leans towards the narrower side of fit.

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Boots do have a tendency to run a half-size larger than a sneaker would, and Frye also advise going up a half-size if your boot is tight, so it looks like while they’ve tried to keep their sizing uniform across all models, they are aware that customers might need to go up a half-size too.

Numerous reviewers for women’s boots advised they felt a little snug to start with, and by wearing thin socks until the boots were worn in, the issue resolved itself quite quickly. Although in the interests of transparency, an equal number said the issue couldn’t be fixed without going up a half-size, the specified sizes were just too narrow to be able to expand without effort.

Conclusion

I recommend looking at Frye for your next pair of boots; their range looks great, just be aware that their sizing is uniform across all models so some boots may require going up a half-size to compensate for this. With a $7 fee if you use their pre-paid returns sticker and wait times of a few weeks, it pays to get your boot sizing right the first time. 

If you’re still unsure about sizing or for help with this or any other boot-related topics, our BootSpy YouTube channel covers everything you might need, from boot care to boot reviews.

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FAQs

Should Frye Boots be Tight?

Frye boots shouldn’t be tight on the sides of your feet, new boots will invariably need wearing in a little, but the boot should fit snugly rather than feel too tight. It’s okay to have a little room free at your toes, and the heel can have a bit of slip, as this will improve after wearing your boots for a while. On the sides, if you feel the boot is too tight, it may not be the correct size for your foot.

You’ll often find that many boots run on the large size anyway, so use your judgement, some people will find that their boot size is the same as their sneaker size. If that’s the case, winner winner chicken dinner, if not, Frye advises (and I agree completely) that you should probably buy a half-size larger to avoid any problems.

What Happened to Frye Stores?

After opening its first shop in Marlborough, Massachusetts, in 1863, Frye quickly became one of America’s largest and most successful footwear companies. In 2011 the company opened its first retail store in New York, and by 2015 had opened a further eight stores. 

A mere five years later, Frye decided to close their entire retail operation down, choosing to make their range available online only. Given the crippling effect on retail stores the Covid-19 pandemic had, Frye was able to restrict losses while still being able to maintain their services from their online store.

How Do You Know If Your Frye Boots Are Real?

Frye boots come in a plain white box with the company brand and logo on the side. The company logo, “Benchcrafted since 1863,” marks Frye as one of the oldest shoemakers in the world. Also on the box is a sticker that advises you of all the product details of your boot, including the style number, size, and color.