What Are Factory Second Boots?
Some boot companies will occasionally offer sales on "factory seconds boots"...are they worth buying? Depending on who's making them, they are.
What ARE factory seconds, anyway? And are factory second boots worth getting?
What Are Factory Seconds?
"Factory seconds" are a product that has cosmetic defects that would otherwise keep the manufacturer from selling them as a typical example of whatever the product is, but isn't totally defective.
In other words, something doesn't look right. The finish of whatever the object might be isn't necessarily what it's supposed to be, or it may have some sort of marks or surface damage.
They can look a little rough, depending on what kind of product it is.
However, factory seconds don't get sold if there's anything seriously wrong with them. The defects or damage or whatever the issue might be has to be cosmetic only; if anything is really wrong, a manufacturer won't sell it because that's either flat-out negligent or just plain dirty.
There are a lot of factory seconds of various products that get sold either periodically or constantly by manufacturers of various items, typically some sort of durable good.
It's a lot like what happens with appliances. Manufacturers deliver appliances to the various retail stores that sell washers and dryers, refrigerators and so on, but some take a bit of light damage. There's a scratch or a dent, but otherwise there's nothing wrong and they work.
The retail store can't sell them as new or perhaps doesn't want to, so they sell them (at cost or slightly more) to a different retailer who sells them as having that cosmetic damage.
In other words, "ding and dent" stores, which you'll find in most cities. It's a great way to get a new washer and dryer that have some cosmetic damage but are otherwise brand-new.
The difference between factory seconds and ding and dent stores is the former tend to be offered by the manufacturer themselves, but the idea is more or less the same.
So, what's the deal with factory second boots?
Factory Second Boots
Factory second boots, of course, are a pair of boots made by a boot company that has some cosmetic damage but otherwise doesn't have anything actually wrong with them.
They may have been returned by a customer because the sizing wasn't quite right, or had to change something about the order, but otherwise is a totally new pair of work boots.
There may be a stitch here or there that didn't fully seat correctly, or possibly a piece of leather got discolored or scratched during assembly.
In other words, there's something that isn't quite right about the boots, but nothing at all critical. You would be at no loss, whatsoever, if you had to wear a factory second pair compared to the typical pair of good boots of the same model from the same manufacturer.
And depending on who makes them, of course, you could be getting a heck of pair of boots or leather shoes at a bargain price or at least a steep discount.
You'll find them offered by a lot of big name brands in leather footwear, ranging from work boots to dress shoes.
Do Factory Second Boots Need Repair?
If you wanted to look into factory second boots, they're a great way to save some cash on a good pair...but would any repairs be necessary?
It's possible that you'd run across a used pair that was in need of a resole and perhaps some reconditioning, but that would be the worst-case scenario.
If that was the case, you would have the additional expenditure for a resole but reconditioning is easily done for most leather footwear. Some saddle soap and some grease and you're good to go...and you'll have to do that for your boots periodically anyway!
If you were purchasing a pair of handmade, high-quality boots or shoes you would most likely still come out ahead compared to buying new (in terms of cost) but otherwise wouldn't lose anything in terms of comfort or lifespan.
Most often, however, factory seconds are completely new boots. There's just a minor flaw somewhere that won't impact how comfortable or how durable they are.