While this could be written for just about any boot maker, having owned a pair of Red Wing Iron Ranger 8110s for a couple of years now, perhaps my bias has played a part. I’ve been wearing them religiously, virtually every day to work with a 30 minute stroll either way.
I’ll admit, I haven’t cleaned or polished them in that entire time partly due to laziness, part intrigue as to how they would weather naturally. I kind of like the idea of them being a bit beaten up and showing a bit of character but at the same time I don’t want to see them ruined.
Classic boots like these are incredibly versatile. You can wear them with jeans, rolled up or down, or chinos. They fit naturally into winter climates but also suit summer climates as well by wearing the boots loose with light coloured chinos and a classic white tee.
The difference between something like a pair of Red Wings and your average boot is the construction quality. Having witnessed the other end of the spectrum I can say that the investment in a more expensive pair of well crafted boots is worth it. The natural materials, the attention to detail, the level of after sales service and ability to maintain the shoes for years to come through re-soles ensures you are extending the life of your purchase. Over time, it will reach parity with those cheaper versions you end up throwing away.
The attraction to Red Wing comes about through their history of boot making, styles offered, and considered diversification of their product line. Stray too far from your customer value proposition and you risk dilution of brand value, but Red Wing seem to have the right balance. Having been making boots for over 100 years, Red Wing know a thing or two.
While bespoke shoe makers ask $1000 or more, off the shelf Red Wings seem almost a bargain at around the $400 mark.
As boots are usually quite stiff when new it’s recommended to try on in a store if you have a retailer near you to get the right fit, and support the little guys by buying in store. Some cities like Tokyo have dedicated Red Wing stores and in typical Japanese style it’s one of the best stores you can visit, permeating brand authenticity throughout.
Whether it’s Red Wing or another shoe brand with a storied history, buying well crafted boots are a worthy investment for any wardrobe. In a world where sneakers and track suit pants pass for ‘style’, a pair of boots will stand apart.
This article was not paid for or endorsed by Red Wing.