Hrm, that is a tough one. The problem is that even though it is a warranty defect, Vans does not have the ability to repair the boots. They are all manufactured overseas. I have had the same problem with DC. The thing is, I sent the boots back through the store I bought them through. So when DC did not have any replacements, they refunded the store, which gave me a store credit. Sounds like this is not an option for you. Bummer. Maybe talk to them and see if they would credit an e tailer or local shop for you?