Red Wing Shoes

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Red Wing 875, one of the most well-known Red Wing Heritage boots.
The Iron Ranger, another classic Red Wing boot.

Red Wing is an iconic American boot brand founded in 1905 by Charles H. Beckman. Red Wing Heritage, which is their line of non-work shoes and boots, can be found easily in most North American locales, and are renowned for being durable heritage-style boots. They are considerably more expensive to buy in Europe. Each style of Red Wing Heritage boot has a number for identification. Red Wing also offers a line of handsewn shoes made in Maine by Rancourt & Co..

The thick white sole common to many Red Wing models is commonly mistaken for a Vibram Christy sole, but is not, in fact, made by Vibram.


Handsewn boat shoe with a crepe sole.


Red Wing's sizing is notoriously odd. Their moc toe boots tend to run a half to full size large, mostly in length. For most people it should be possible to try on a pair of Red Wing boots at a local stockist.


Red Wing's prices are mostly very standardized across stockists. While Red Wing do go on sale occasionally, this editor has not seen many really "great" sales on the more popular styles. Whenever there is a Red Wing sale on Gilt, you can expect it to include the marginal styles, like oxfords, colorful suede chukkas, and the Red Wing Handsewn line. That said, sales aren't nonexistent, for example, Karmaloop offered them in the 140-180 range for a short period of time.

When they aren't on sale, though, Red Wing shoes are still a very good value for your money. Typically priced between $200 and $240 in the US for the regular boots, and closer to $300 for the Iron Ranger and Beckman lines, Red Wing shoes represent very good quality of construction and materials relative to their price.

Subjective: Style and Quality

Red Wing boots being worn by actor Ryan Gosling.


Red Wing is experiencing a peak of popularity from the current made in America trend. In most North American cities they are easier to spot than most obscure brands, though not quite as ubiquitous as Clark's. In Europe, different tastes and higher prices have kept the popularity of Red Wing shoes much lower.

Clown Shoes?

There is ongoing debate about the silhouette of Red Wing Heritage boots, due to their larger-than-average toe box. Generally speaking, the risk of looking ridiculous increases the skinnier your pants or larger your feet.


Red Wing is frequently described as dadcore on /fa/, though this opinion is not held by all posters. Styles like the Beckman and Iron Ranger are potentially more vulnerable to this accusation, depending on the critic.

Durability & Comfort

Red Wing shoes are typically stiff and not entirely comfortable out-of-the-box but become much nicer after a long break-in period. Many owners of Red Wing boots praise the comfort and durability after years of wear. The brand has a reputation for shoes that, so to speak, get better with age.

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