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Made in Romania

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by Steve Vtec, Jul 17, 2016.

  1. So I've been having the proper shits for a while now, about Italian brands (A*, Dainese in particular) charging me Italian made prices for boots made in Romania. I did some research and found a few other Italian companies - gaerne, forma, sidi, and went about trying to find a boot I liked the look of before narrowing my search regarding fit and features. I am normally a function over form kind of bloke, but since owning and riding motorbikes my sensibilities seem to have flown out the window, but I flat out refuse to pay $400+ for a pair of boots that the sight of makes me cringe.

    Anyway, I tried on some A* boots just because they were in the store. The fit was okay but considering the quality (which I felt was inferior), I could not justify the price they asked, particularly when the manufacture stamp was not Italian, but Romanian. There was something about the smx boots I didn't like, the buckle at the top looked really cheap next to what was otherwise, in my opinion, quite a nice looking boot. The supertech r's were about the most comfortable race boot I've tried on, but there were threads hanging out everywhere, the Velcro looked cheap, I thought the suede type inner side of the boot that faces the bike looked tacky next to the blingy race looking outer side that everyone can see, and I felt like I was a walking/riding advertisement for alpine stars.

    Next was gaerne. Whats with that massive G! I wish they spent as much money on designing the boot as they did on plugging themselves on the shin of it. I swallowed my pride, let function take precedence over form, and tried it on anyway, and (thankfully haha) they were too narrow at the toe.

    The formas are now unfortunately made in Romania as well (even though their website still states they are proudly made in Italy...), and the sidi's are made in Romania now too. I'm pretty disgusted about this, it's not that I don't believe the workers in the Romanian factory won't make the boot to the same quality as the workers in the Italian factory. They might even make it better. I have no idea. But the reason I don't like paki leather is because it's stitched by paki children, in an appalling paki sweat shop, then stamped with an Australian brand (Ray's for example) and sold here at a premium. Well, Ray's is pretty budget but work out the cost of making that jacket and tell me it's not a premium price on the tag. So I'd prefer it if my boots came from a country with stricter regulations. Actually while I'm on this rant I should look up the regulations in Romania. I'll report back when I've done this...

    I just got a new pair of sidi vertigos, luckily from last year's stock - still made in Italy. Or at least, branding a made in Italy tag. A few things annoyed me about this boot purchase. I researched made in Italy boots. I was told on official websites of the companies that the boots are still made in Italy. I found "made in Romania" tags on MOST" brands of boots. It must be their thing now. There was a pair of new 2016 model forma boots I picked up, and the tag didn't say anything about Romania, but it was elegantly lettered with "made with pride in the European community". What the fcuk does that mean? "We've manufactured this somewhere heaps cheaper than its Italian brand would suggest, and instead of passing the savings, or at least SOME of the savings, on to you, were continuing to charge the Italian prices"?

    Wankers. The lot of em.

    Slow day at work today as you can tell. Anyway I just want people to check their boots, I always thought sidi was one of the last brands made in Italy, but not anymore, so apparently you don't always get what you pay for. I think I got lucky with old stock, but I guess we'll see how they last. I commute to work in them every day so they cop a flogging, interested to see the time I get from them.
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  2. Nice rant Steve, I know exactly what you mean... It's like KTM's... they're made in India, at least price them with some savings passed on.

    Back to boots. I was looking into boots not that long ago, wanted something that was going to be 200% waterproof, not something saying they were and then leaking through the stitching like the ones I have now and had heard very good reviews about the Forma AdventureTerra boots. They look bloody sweet, have an inner waterproof liner as well and being Forma, well Italian build and quality. But looking over them after reading you post, "High quality produced 100% in Europe", what does that mean? They're $$$. I guess if the quality is there and they have lasting power and are made within manufacturing standards in relation to anti-sweatshops then they're worth it. But who knows eh?
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  3. Yeah mate. If you want to charge me Italian prices, you better make them in the Italian bloody workshop. It just shits me. It's deceptive, and I don't like it. Call a spade a spade. "Daytona boots, made in Germany, are the best in the world". See, I know that they cost $800 but I also know they're made in Germany, and as far as most people who've worn them are concerned, they actually are the best. Supertech r boots, however, the flagship of a proudly Italian company, are $700, and they aren't even made in Italy anymore. Lying, deceptive shits.
  4. Mine are Garne GR-W - they do have the big white 'G' on the top - has Made in Italy printed on the inside.
    I tried on A*, Sidi and a couple of others - while A* did look much better - it wasn't comfortable for my foot. The GRW was very comfortable and I was walking around in the store with them while trying on jackets.
    I really liked the A* looks, but no point in being uncomfortable on the bike while riding, especially given that I'm not very experienced either..
  5. There's not many companies that still manufacture in Italy by the look of things. Seems all the owners of those companies will be getting new yachts though, because they've cut overheads but not $RRP...
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  6. how does the price compare pre-Romania? are they the same. maybe to produce the boots the manufacturers needed to reduce labour costs or go out of of business, it does not necessarily mean that profits have now skyrocketed (I am not referring to companies using children in their factories for which there is no excuse). labour is one of the biggest expenses in most business.

    I agree that paying more than I feel I need to is not great and leaves me feeling cheated but what is the alternative, especially when they all seem to be doing it? probably not many these days. if companies grow the tech skills in a country like Romania does that mean that quality should remain at a reasonable standard? customers will stop buying if quality drops.

    Steve VtecSteve Vtec mate I gotta say that was one of the most polite and well considered 'rants' I've ever read. in fact it was so well-mannered I wouldn't even call it a rant, more a social and economic commentary on the motorcycle boot market.
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  7. Yeah fair enough. I'm pretty miffed about it. You can't tell me alpinestars doesn't have any money... Every boy racer with new bike has a pair of their boots and a jacket to go with it. I heard the CEO actually bought a third yacht, because he was sick of choosing which of the first two to take out on Sundays ;-)
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  8. The day I can spend $800 on boots is when I'll be looking at buying a Ninja H2 :)
    The German's do build very good shoes though - I remember getting a German made office shoes from a shop in Moonee Ponds who only sold german made - $250 was a steal for those shoes given that they lasted almost 5 years!
    Shoes were a bit 'conservative' in design though - no pointy front end like those fine Italian leathers...

    You've gotta remember - there's the Aussie tax as well - things cost a lot more here than importing this from half the world away...
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  9. Mate I'm not talking about Aussie tax etc, I totally get that, we just pay more here because of government regulations and policies regarding international trade, import/export laws and taxes, my point was more that the boots I am wearing now, sidi vertigo 2015, are made in Italy, and the sidi vertigo 2016's are made in Romania, and the price for the end user/consumer didn't change at all. I just think it's thievery
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  10. #10 chilliman64, Jul 17, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
    anyone done a check on Revzilla etc to compare pricing?

    edit: just checked my *cough Dainese cough* boots and they proudly state Made In Romania - I didn't pay anywhere near $800 though but they still weren't cheap

    edit #2: I must also add that I'm no brand expert, I pretty much do online searching, check for reviews on NR then go to MCAS with a plan to buy something mid-priced from a recognised brand, sometimes it works sometimes not
  11. Also specspec good on you for throwing some hard earned at a bit of protective gear, I really like people who learn sensibly
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  12. Nah but I was in a shop the other day and was told the new boot is exactly the same, and the price is exactly the same, just not made in Italy any more. So I don't know how "exactly the same" the Romania boot is compared to the italian one, but in the shop the other day the price was exactly the same
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  13. I know mark, it's such a ball ache when you think you've paid for something, and then you find out its something else. Hopefully the quality is still there. Time will tell
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  14. yep. I used to always buy cheap stuff and end up paying for it twice. I don't know if the dearer stuff truly is any better guess we will find out.

    I just want to add a few thoughts rolling around in my old brain, I'm not dismissing your position, these are just some points I want to add: if the market was happy to pay the price when these items were made in the manufacturers homeland in factories that they built their reputation on then had them move their manufacturing process offshore without any reduction in price or quality is that a bad thing - or if they said they would have to increase their price by 20% due to increased labour costs if they stayed in Italy would that be acceptable? if a new boot manufacturer commenced production in an Eastern Bloc country and they produced a comparable product at similar prices to the 'Italian company using foreign labour' would the market boycott them? no real answers to any of these as they are theoretical.

    someone who runs a business can invest their money in a savings account and generate income in the form of interest so to make it worthwhile to start a company there must be a decent return over and above bank interest on offer to justify the risk and expense. in terms of $/euros profit the number might seem astronomical to us but in % terms it might be as little as a net profit of 5%. a company like Dainese (as an example) is a huge company with customers all over the world so you would expect their owners/top mgmt team would have big houses and yachts galore otherwise there is no point in being in business.

    not trying to stir shit up but just want to offer some additional considerations to the discussion.

    I still agree that $800 is too much for boots and even at $400 or $500 I would expect excellent wear and protection.
  15. Why? There's nothing special about an Italian workshop. And I'm not just Italian bashing here to shit stir. I could understand someone wanting something made in a German workshop, or even home grown. I can understand not wanting something made in India or China, but there's nothing to indicate that Romanian quality culture is any worse than Italian.

    In fact if I were to take a guess, I'd guess it's slightly better.

    Italy is about design, not manufacturing quality.
  16. chilliman64chilliman64 Very interesting. And a very valid point. This brings me to another point though - I don't think it's simply exchange rates and labour cost that makes it cheaper to manufacture in the east. If you want the quality that they are saying they produce, you have to pay for it. But they're not paying for it... They're skimping out on manufacture costs through lower wages, but what else are they lowering? It's hard to believe the quality is the same when the people making it are on so much less money.
  17. ibastibast I mentioned that in the first post, I'm not sure what the differences are, but they made no advertisements (that I'm aware of) about moving manufacture to another country, and if the manufacture was better you can bet they'd have told us. "Were moving to a better plant in Romania, quality is on the up at no cost to our valued customers" etc
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  18. to some extent they've got us over a barrel - we are a minority with a portion of our community being social members so they can charge a bit more of a premium in their pricing knowing that they will get it.

    it would be a different story if cagers had to wear boots, gloves, jackets and helmets, then we'd see more competitive pricing and wider choice of options and manufacturers.
  19. I think you are kidding yourself if you expect an Italian owned company to admit they are moving to any country for better quality.

    They would have been doing it primarily to save cost, but most companies that do this are careful to ensure quality is the same or better.

    And, of course, it has to be mentioned on the packaging.

    I kind of get where you are coming from, but I can't see why you think you would have been getting quality out of Italy.
  20. Not sure about where Italian moto clothing was made prior, but most Italian fashion is made on the outskirts of Naples in sweet shops run usually by the Camorra where people get crap wages, conditions, etc... The quality of their work though is generally considered superior to other countries though. Just because it is made in Italy doesn't mean the people who made it are in a better situation.