The Combs Company Supports Feet, Customers

Aaron’s feet were irritated by the stitching on a pair of Rafters sandals that he purchased last year from Dick’s Sporting Goods. Aaron tried to break in the sandals over the course of a year, but they still felt “like needles” in his feet. Aaron sent an email to The Combs Company, maker of the sandals:

I am just writing you folks because I am rather disappointed with the Rafters Sandals I purchased from Dick’s Sporting Goods approximately one year ago. When I tried them on at the store, they seemed like very comfortable shoes for the summer months. However, my first extended period of wearing them, I have realized that the stitching for the leather panels (the ones located directly below where the feet rest) are very irritating, to the point where if you walk for even a short period, the stitching feels like needles in my feet.

I continued to wear them, hoping that the use would soften the stitching and make the sandals more comfortable. Unfortunately, that hasn’t worked, and they are just as uncomfortable as the day that I bought them. You no longer have this model on your website, but they are very similar to the Radical Tonca Thong, except that on the model I purchased, the stitching goes under the balls of my feet (which is the primary spot of irritation).

Please let me know if there is anything I can do, as I will have to buy another pair of sandals if I cannot get these to feel comfortable.

Attached is a picture of the sandals that were pains in my feet.

Aaron sent his email on a Saturday evening. Monday afternoon, he received a reply:

Thanks for your email and sorry to hear your Rafters aren’t working out. Please let me know your size and shipping address and I will get a new pair sent out right away. We will send a pair of the Raftech Cargo, our top-of-the-line sandal that does not have stitching in the footbed. I hope this is acceptable.

Best regards,


Sales & Marketing
The Combs Company
Bogs & Rafters Footwear


I sincerely appreciate the time you’ve taken to address my problems. I will make sure I let everyone know of the great service you’ve provided, going above and beyond normal customer service. You and your organization should be proud of the service and products you provide!

Thanks again,



When we say 100% satisfaction guaranteed for life, we mean it. Please let me know if there is anything we can do for you.




Edit Your Comment

  1. Sudonum says:

    I hope the judge in the $54 million dry cleaning pants suit doesn’t see this thing about “Satisfaction Guaranteed”.

  2. hollerhither says:

    Nice to see!

    Now if only something could be done about the horror show of a retailer that is Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of my absolute least favorite retailers. Maybe it’s just the (newish) location in my area, but the customer service is awful. The last time I shopped there — the last time I’ll ever shop there — the employees were too engrossed in their card game *at the checkout counter* to acknowledge my existence. Or to put stock in the proper location. Or to staff the bike section. Maybe I should have tested out one of the flare guns…

  3. enm4r says:

    With the amount that I wear sandals, I tend to put them through a lot of wear. I wouldn’t guarantee a purchase, but I know what company just shot to the top of my list when I start looking for a new pair, which I’ve been meaning to do.

    Hopefully this is not taken advantage of, by idiots with nothing better to do.

  4. keenclce says:

    This is why I wear Rainbow Sandals. Lucky for me, the original factory is located close to where I live. The factory is in San Clemente.

  5. tylerkaraszewski says:

    I’m really getting sick of The Consumerist lately. Sure, this post will probably be considered a flame and deleted, but I don’t know where else to vent about this.

    With the consumerist being a cusumer advocacy site, you’d think they could at least make their on website consumer-friendly.

    Yet, here I am, reading this article about sandals, and the manufacturer’s excellent customer service, and I want to visit their website. You’d think that the link to “The Combs Company” would take you there, no?

    Well, it doesn’t, it takes you to a Consumerist page that lists all their articles mentioning “The Combs Company”, which of course only shows the article I just read.

    Every link I click lately on the Consumerist does this. I can never find the source of an article, or links to the products or companies mentioned, all I get a bunch of useless self-referential links back to the same article on the Consumerist.

    Did someone here actually think this is was a useful feature? Is it some kind of search engine optimization technique?

    I expect better from you guys.

  6. Slytherin says:

    @tylerkaraszewski: Wow..somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed. That, or you are seriously in need of an exorcism.

  7. Allenxt says:

    The Consumerist has used this format for as long as I can remember, (and I’ve been lurking for quite some time). If you visit any other sites in the web ring you will also find they practice the same thing. Another web ring that does this is the engadget ring. I don’t so much mind the format, but when one is engaging in additional research on whatever the topic of the article it can be a bit bothersome… That goodness for google wikipedia and so on…

  8. MikeB says:

    @Sudonum: The judge would have sued them for pain and suffering.

  9. MattyMatt says:

    WTF? No link to the company site? Okay, fine, I’ll do it: []
    (Bogs is Combs’ DBA name.)

  10. cozygal36 says:

    @tylerkaraszewski: all the gawker media sites do this. i find this very annoying also. everything that is linked in the post is a tag. the only non-gawker media links would be at the bottom of the full post.

  11. SaraAB87 says:

    How about just trying to find a pair of sandals that is not annoying to you. I realize its harder than it looks because I have recently tried to buy sandals and have found many things wrong with many different pairs of sandals. If I took the time to write every single company about how I felt about their product it would have resulted in hundreds of letters and a lot of my time. The simple solution is to just buy shoes that are comfortable, wear them in the house a while, if you don’t like them, return them to the store and buy another pair, very simple.

  12. a says:

    Yeah, I’m always glad to hear a success story like this, but who would wear shoes for a year that felt like needles?

    Unless this specific pair of shoes is a defect in the rest of the line, I would chalk it up to a poor consumer choice and move on.

    And what if the replacement sandals feel like needles?

  13. azntg says:

    Hey, it seems like the Comb Company is committed to satisfaction, so I’m sure they’ll do something if the replacement sandals don’t work out either.

    Speaking of footwear feeling like needles on the feet, I have a story of my own actually. I was wearing a pair of Nikes (don’t know and don’t care much about whatever model it is). I was surprised that from time to time, I would feel slight pricking on my left feet. Also, I’ve went through about 3 new socks having holes in them immediately after I took off my shoes. When I finally went around to look inside my sneakers, guess what I found? A broken needle stuck inside the left sneaker! That answered everything.

  14. MadMolecule says:

    @tylerkaraszewski: I couldn’t agree more.

    Hey, Consumerist (and Gawker): I have never, ever clicked one of the self-referential links in a post. Not on some mean-spirited principle, but because I’ve never wanted to. This is not a useful feature to me.

    For comparison, go to and click on an article. Once you’re on the article’s page, select a word in the text and then double-click it. Surprise! It pops up a brand-new window with a NYT search for that word. This is just barely more irritating than the Gawker sites’ self-linking.

    I love the Consumerist, but I hate this linking stuff. If I want to see what you’ve posted on a topic, I can figure out the search function.

  15. stevemis says:

    Nice job, Combs! I’ll check out your sandals next time I’m at Dick’s!

  16. bnosach says:

    Honestly, I agree with TYLERKARASZEWSKI.
    I hate it when I click the link and it forwards me to somewhere else, but not to the source it would’ve been reasonable to link it with. Awww, Gawwker.

  17. Roundonbothends says:

    We are all being nice and proper and calling these flip-flops sandals. These are my actual choice of footwear, and I’m lucky enough to live where I can wear them year round.

    We’ve seen some kvetching here and there about folks who think flip-flops are lowly and inappropriate. They should mind their own business. Those are FEET, people. We all have a pair. I’m sorry that some are too ashamed of their own to show them.

    Good to know about Combs. I generally buy a pair every year, and I’m looking now. I get good service from Reefs, but their Raftech DOES look like a nice flop.

  18. Landru says:

    Flip-flops or thongs?

    And I so agree about the linking. It’s like “let’s make up our on process, contrary to popular customs.” It’s like American automakers trying be not like Japanese automakers and just being awful.

  19. Chicago7 says:

    I could never wear sandals because they cut into the top of my feet. I must have really thin skin there or something because any of the rubber or plastic or leather sandals just cut the heck out of my feet.

    This year, I discovered that UGG makes a sandal with the wool lining on the top part (not on the inner sole like they do with their boots and shoes, though). It’s unbelievably comfortable. Their soles are some kind of foam that is just perfect, too.

    My first thought was “These will be too warm” But you don’t even notice the wool and, no, sand doesn’t stick in the wool, either. I don’t know why not, but it doesn’t – I wear them at the beach!

  20. Chicago7 says:

    Oh, and I agree with TYLER. It is a pain in the butt to go to the SAME page when you follow a link. In defense of Consumerist, I think that’s a function of the blogger software, because I’ve seen it on a LOT of sites that aren’t Gawker –, for example.

  21. ArtDonovansDrunkenLovechild says:

    @Chicago7: Im pretty sure Gizmodo is a gawker site.. lol

  22. Fry says:

    @Chicago7: From the bottom of the left menu on every Gawker page:
    Gawker | Defamer | Wonkette | Idolator | Jalopnik | Fleshbot | Kotaku | Deadspin | Gridskipper | Consumerist | Gizmodo | Valleywag | Lifehacker | Jezebel

    Yep, Art child is right…

  23. Televiper says:

    I think this guy did exactly what consumers should be doing. He had a problem with his sandals and he wrote a letter to the company fully explaining what he thought was wrong with the sandals. He also explained a bit of the history and what he has already tried.

    The companies response was definitely above the bar. Especially the speed of the response.

    BTW, flip-flops, and thongs are sandals. If they aren’t, I don’t know what you’re calling a sandal.

  24. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    It seems a bit odd to me that he’d wait over a year. Shoes sometimes feel more comfortable in the store than out – or fit different – but it shouldn’t take a year. This guy seems relatively cool but I think we’re going to start seeing a lot more “I bought these jeans a year ago and now they don’t fit because I’ve sat on the couch for the last 12 months. You should replace them. Oh by the way, I write to blogs a lot about good and bad customer service.” Passive blackmail.

  25. Tricon says:

    Theres a greasemonkey script that i use that disables the self-gawker linkings. This was written by user Lenroc on gawker.


  26. dariaclone says:

    Thanks Tricon, that script is wonderful. Now, if only my work IT system would let us download greasemonkey scripts.

  27. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Combs gets an A+ for customer service.

    Gawker gets a D- for the linking thing (Yeah, as a matter of fact, that is very irritating. Either link to a useful external site or don’t line to anything. I don’t know how many times I’ve clicked on the link thinking I’m going to get more useful information, only to be returned to the same article I was just reading! Shame on me for forgetting that these links just go around in a big circle.)

  28. mopar_man says:


    Those incompetent children!

  29. Vicky says:

    @Tricon: Ahh, beautiful. Thanks for the script.

  30. eli_b says:

    I think everyone is missing the point. He had the sandals for a while, because of a thing called ‘seasons.’ He wasn’t wearing them in the winter, broke them out when it got hot, and the poor design caused him pain in his feet. You can see from the picture that the stitching is in an inappropriate spot. He wore them hoping it was just a ‘new shoe’ type thing. A year later or not, the item was defective, and the company did the right thing.

    On a side note, those story links are pointless. I hate them too. Not user-friendly design, feature or not. It’s causing pain in my feet like needles.

  31. EtherealStrife says:

    Stitching like needles? Form some calluses! Makes wearing boots and sandals much more comfortable.

    Kudos to Rafters for handling the matter so easily. Bass is another one that has great CS. You used to be able to bring in any worn out (unusable) pair of bass shoes and exchange them for a new pair, regardless of age (lifetime warranty).

    And yes it’d be nice if consumerist could offload the idiotic intext tag links. 90% of the time it’s a tag, but I have to hover over each for the 10% that are actual links.

  32. EtherealStrife says:

    @Tricon: Wow that works great, thanks!

  33. rrapynot says:

    Someone mentioned Rainbow and the fact that they are made in San Clemente, CA. The last pair I bought were actually made in China. I called them and they said they had moved their production there to keep up with demand. They still try to imply that they are made in the USA on their website though.

  34. CoffeeAddict says:

    Wow…it’s good to see a company that stands behind their product but always makes sure that their customers are happy with their product.

  35. Chicago7 says:

    Haha! Gizmodo is Gawker, too?

    How about, because they do the same crap. MOST of the gadget sites do this.

  36. mkechaz says:

    The link for the Rafter’s brand line of the Combs Company is


  37. drjayphd says:

    @MadMolecule: Ah, dramatic irony: your link got changed to a self-referential link.