XTRATUF is a brand of neoprene boots manufactured by Honeywell International, Inc. They are common throughout Alaska and the Pacific Northwest in general, especially in coastal areas and among fishermen.

Two well-worn XtraTuf boots, one a full boot and the other an “Alaska sneaker"

BF Goodrich first commissioned Norcross Safety Products to manufacture the Xtratuf in a factory in Rock Island, Illinois in the 1950s. The boot was originally designed for commercial fisherman. The chevron outsole is slip-resistant on boat decks, and the neoprene lining keeps fish oils from penetrating through the rubber. Norcross bought the brand from Goodrich in 1985. In May 2008, Honeywell Safety Products acquired Norcross and the brand. The "Made in USA" on the boots was significant: Norcross was the last remaining rubber footwear manufacturer in North America.[1]

In 2011, XTRATUF introduced a line of casual footwear in both men's and women's sizes: the Sharkbyte, a leather slip-on; the Chumrunner, a leather sneaker;[2] and the Finatic, a classic-style leather boat shoe.

At the end of 2011, Honeywell—the corporate conglomerate who purchased the Xtratuf brand in 2008—closed its plant in Rock Island, Illinois where Xtratufs had been made since the 1970s, and moved production to an existing Honeywell facility in China.[3] Reportedly, 250 to 300 people lost their jobs, as David Pauley, mayor of Rock Island, told Alaska’s KCAW radio station in 2010.[4] As a result of the move, many have complained quality has fallen dramatically.[5] The company responded to initial concerns in quality by offering to replace defective pairs of boots, and by stating that quality issues in initial production runs have been addressed.[6] In response to public outcry, Alaska Senator Mark Begich even wrote a letter to Honeywell Safety Products asking they bring manufacture of its storied boot back to the US.[7] A Honeywell spokesman remarked at the time production moved to China to keep the company competitive in the global marketplace.[8] In late 2013, the company engaged in a public relations campaign to reassure consumers that product quality production issues have been addressed.[9] Production of all lines remains overseas, with no plans announced as of 2013 to return manufacturing to the United States. Honeywell invested in a training program to show the Chinese workforce how the boots were to be built.[10] As of March 2018, the return rate on the US boot had been 2 percent, the boot made in China had a return rate of less than half a percent.[10] Honeywell sold Xtratuf to Rocky Brands in 2021.[11]

Salmon Sisters PartnershipEdit

In 2016, XTRATUF began their partnership with the Salmon Sisters [12] who provide artwork to XTRATUF footwear styles, starting with the Legacy Boot. The Salmon Sisters [13] is a seafood and design company based in Alaska. Founded in 2012 by two Alaskan fishermen sisters, Emma Laukitis and Claire Neaton, Salmon Sisters products are designed in Alaska, inspired by nautical tradition, and made for a community of fishermen, adventurers, and ocean enthusiasts.

The Spring 2017 launch of the Salmon Sisters XTRATUF Boot Collection [14] featured an octopus design that was inspired by the giant Pacific octopus. Fish is an essential ingredient to any Salmon Sisters design.

The 2018 Salmon Sisters XTRATUF Boot Collection featured humpback whales and jellyfish swimming among herring. The linings in this collection were also available in the shorter deck boot model.[10]

The 2019 Salmon Sisters XTRATUF Boot Collection [15] includes eight new styles, including 15” Legacy and Ankle Deck Boots, as well as more casual deck shoes and slip-on shoes. The first new print is a Sea Greens design – it celebrates the aquatic plants that are consumed by subsistence users and have cultural importance in coastal Alaska. The second new print is a design covered in all five species of salmon that the Salmon Sisters catch in Alaska, as well as Steelhead and Rainbow trout.

ALASKATUFEdit

Following the devastating earthquake in Alaska on November 30, 2018,[16] XTRATUF partnered with Bean's Cafe,[17] a soup kitchen and shelter located in Anchorage, Alaska to make a limited edition t-shirt from which all proceeds went towards relief efforts by Bean's Cafe.[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Capital City Weekly". Juneau Empire.
  2. ^ "XTRATUF Chumrunners – First Impressions | FISHING FURY - A Fishing Blog with Attitude!". www.fishingfury.com.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Xtratuf production leaving Illinois plant; mayor says jobs to China". June 30, 2010.
  5. ^ "Alaskans say XTRATUF boots lost trademark durability after manufacturing move to China". Anchorage Daily News. July 24, 2012.
  6. ^ Bendinger, Dave. "XtraTuf Says Its Boots Are Better". www.kdlg.org.
  7. ^ http://juneauempire.com/state/2012-10-11/begich-drubs-quality-xtratuf-boots#.UmdmLhaaFnI
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ developer, Alaska Media, LLC , Steve Keller designer and application. "Xtratuf officials promise restored toughness to Alaska customers". www.thebristolbaytimes.com.
  10. ^ a b c "Iconic in Alaska, classic Xtratuf boot gets a redesign". Anchorage Daily News. March 30, 2018.
  11. ^ "Rocky Brands To Acquire Original Muck Boot Company and Xtratuf". sgbonline.com. SGB Media Online. 2021-01-25. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
  12. ^ "Giving Away The First Salmon Sisters Xtratufs". Salmon Sisters.
  13. ^ https://aksalmonsisters.com/pages/about-us
  14. ^ "XTRATUF Boots: The Salmon Sisters of Alaska". August 18, 2017.
  15. ^ "The 2019 Salmon Sisters Xtratuf Collection". Salmon Sisters.
  16. ^ "2018 Anchorage Earthquake". www.usgs.gov.
  17. ^ "Bean's Cafe – Bean's Cafe exists to fight hunger for all ages, one meal at a time, while providing a pathway to self-sufficiency with dignity and respect".
  18. ^ Downing, Suzanne (December 10, 2018). "XTRATUF goes extra mile for Bean's Cafe".

External linksEdit