Red Wing Boots - talk me out of a pair of Iron Rangers

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by ukepicker, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,738
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    I'm looking for your real-world, first-hand experiences. With these boots or Red Wings or any other similar style/quality boot that may not be on my radar.

    Here the Iron Rangers:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,738
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    Also: I'm not a hipster, and don't wear skinny jeans. I'm a middle-aged dad with an office job. Worn the same kind of Levi's for thirty years.

    For years I've been wearing moc-toe Keen hiking boot. They are, uncontestedly, the best all-around shoe I've ever experienced.
    I've had two pairs. And they are completely wornout. And the style is no longer made. I'd give hundreds of dollars for another pair, but they just don't exist.

    Last year, I bought the next best thing from Keen that was currently available. And hate them.
    I also bought a pair of loafery Borne boots. They are comfortable, but feel "weak" and are slippery.

    I want something rock solid. Something that can be resoled and repaired. And in ten years, when the uppers give out, I can go buy another pair.

    Oh yeah, and just because I'm in Texas doesn't mean I want cowboy boots. I prefer laces.
     
  3. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,445
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Good looking pair of boots! No direct experience beyond that.
     
  4. Cheecharron

    Cheecharron TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    31
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hillsborough, NC
    I had a pair. They fit a half size large, and the leather was quite rigid. They required a good deal of break-in. I prefer the Thorogood Dodgeville in chromexcel leather, which is thicker, softer, and has a bit more character IMO.
     
    ukepicker likes this.
  5. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,738
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    This is my new anthem for the new life I'm building:
     
  6. thesamhill

    thesamhill Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    752
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Location:
    Harrisburg, PA area
    I've had three pairs of Red Wings- not that style, more like the "classic moc" style- and I loved them all. I wore them into the ground. Ultimately I got rid of them because they were too beat-up looking and smelly but possibly my favorite shoes.

    The style looks a lot like the combat boots my folks wore back in the 70s. I liked them too, for the 10 minutes I could wear them when my feet went from size 9 to 12 one summer.
     
    ukepicker likes this.
  7. spurgie79

    spurgie79 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,174
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    IA/MO line
    They look like an old set of Corcoran jump boots that I had. Super comfy.
     
    ukepicker likes this.
  8. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,738
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    Those look great! Thanks!

    I especially like the "wheat predator" color.


    How would you compare the quality? I'm not turned away by unreasonably long break in. Especially if it buys me 5 years of reliable comfort.
     
  9. Cheecharron

    Cheecharron TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    31
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    Location:
    Hillsborough, NC
    Thorogoods have a bit more variability in stitching quality, but the materials are just as good, if not better in the case of the leather in the Thorogoods, again IMO. They’re Goodyear-welted and made in the USA, too. I have three pairs of Thorogoods and sold my Redwings.

    EDIT: By variability in stitching, I mean that the Thorogoods have a couple stray threads.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
    Kevin Wolfe and ukepicker like this.
  10. tery

    tery Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,056
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Red Wing Classic Moc = happy feet .

    [​IMG]
     
  11. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,273
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Minot
    12+ yrs w my RW gentleman cowboy type of boots.



    Buy em!!
     
    ukepicker likes this.
  12. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    221
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2020
    Location:
    Florida
    I've had a pair for about 4 years. Wore them with jeans to the office almost everyday. Seriously thick leather that will last forever but take a long time to break in. Not much cushioning in the footbed or sole. I added an insert for awhile, but it made the shoe fit too tight. There is a version sold through Brooks Brothers (I think) that has a vibram sole.

    I don't wear them now that I'm working from home, but they are well worth the money. I was buying $100 shoes and wearing the soles out in about a year. These have lasted 4 years and the soles still have life in them; the heal might need replacing in a couple of years...

    Edit: It looks like they moved to the vibram sole as the standard now.
     
    ukepicker likes this.
  13. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,894
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    My Iron Rangers are my favorite boots - comfy right out of the box (unlike their Moc Toes, which needed months of breaking in).
    Like you, I'm hoping that they will hold up for a long time, through a few resoles - so far they still look like new, after two fall/winter seasons.
    BTW, if you want to wear them in winter, invest in thick socks and isolating insoles, as they are completely unlined.
    Oh, and get those with the black rubber soles, those with the red-brown cork soles are kinda slippery...
     
    ukepicker likes this.
  14. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Holic

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    785
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Location:
    Brooklyn, Joey!
    I've owned a pair of Redwings and stood in boots deep slush chipping ice with a digger bar for 3 hours and didnt feel a thing. I ran heavy equipment wearing them, and they were the most supportive footwear I've ever owned, until the nerve damage running down into my left foot forced me to retire them.
    They are notoriously hard to fit which is why they are hard to find online; every model they make is totally different than the other so fit isn't the same across the board. I'd suggest really deciding which features you need- for me Thinsulate and total waterproofing are a must, steel toes not so much. Anti shock and anti slip are also handy. Each extra feature adds $$$
     
    That Cal Webway and ukepicker like this.
  15. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    11,924
    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    I created my own hiking boots thread not long ago, and it generated a lot of discussion. When it came down to it, I had to either order a pair or luck out and find something in my size. My foot is relatively short but quite wide.

    Speaking of that and Red Wing, a friend of mine used to be a manager for a local RW store. Decades ago, I went in to see him to get a pair of boots. He put my foot in whatever they call that contraption they use to measure length and width, stared at it for a moment, and then exclaimed, "My goodness! They're square!" :eek::mad::oops::lol:

    My budget didn't allow for a boot in that Red Wing price range. But in my experience, Red Wing makes a good product. My best friend worked in the refinery for decades, and for steel toe work boots, he always went with Red Wing.

    Back to the present. I did luck out in finding locally a pair of hiking boots that fit me. I went with Timberland brand. It looks like mine have similar features to the RWs you're looking at: leather uppers, brass speed hooks, etc. But mine were made in Vietnam, not the USA. I would have liked to be able to afford that option.

    upload_2020-9-28_10-56-58.png

    I've got a camping trip coming up next month, and I'm presently breaking in these new boots for the hikes we'll take while on that trip. I've worn them a couple of times throughout the day, not hiking in them, just letting the boots conform to my feet. Then last night I wore them instead of my New Balance shoes for our nightly 3-mile walk. They did just fine.
     
    ukepicker likes this.
  16. Tidepoolbay

    Tidepoolbay Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,851
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Franklin New Jersey
    Red Wings are a quality boot & a great investment.
     
  17. Fireball519

    Fireball519 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    460
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2014
    Location:
    Walland, Tn
    Growing up on a farm, I wore Red Wing boots my entire childhood. Dad got em down at the Co OP. I'm not a fan. They took forever to break in and they never really got comfortable. As I got older I discovered Chippewa. They make a very similar line of boot. That would be the ones I would go with. Or the Wolverine 1000 Mile.
     
    Wildcard_35 and 985plowboy like this.
  18. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Holic

    Age:
    37
    Posts:
    638
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2019
    Location:
    Illinois
    I can't advise on red wing, but Doc Martens are not what they used to be. Also, that's a great song.
     
    Esquire Jones and ukepicker like this.
  19. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    22,470
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    During Red Wings golden age they did not put stitching on the bottom of the soles of their good boots.
    They also did not put the raised tread only in the middle, but leave the tread off around the edges to make assembly cheaper.

    There were boots made with stitching exposed on the bottom of the sole, where walking quickly cut every stitch off, leaving only friction of the threads holding the sole on.
    Soles did indeed fall off too.
    But those were cheap boots worn by poor people.
    And fixed by the local cobbler regularly.

    For a great Murican classic boot look for the stitching to be from the upper to a midsole, not all the way through to the outsole.
    And look for a sole/ tread surface that goes all the way out to the edge.

    I have some old US made Chippewa boots and after they stopped making them in the US, eventually the hipster retro thing saw them open a US factory again. Not sure but what I've seen on the shelves are not the old time US quality.

    Danner has some great US boots along with imports.
    Merrell has some superb old time builds but from Italian factory production.

    That retro style in a top quality build?
    Not sure what has it but those do not!
     
    DrPepper likes this.
  20. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,489
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    back in 1967, a friend of mine tipped me to the Red Wing. That was my choice for a long time, but they've gotten a little pricy. But pricy is a formula you have to work out on your own time. If I wasn't such a cheap bahstardo, I'd be wearing these, highly recommended. We'd paint them with melted candle wax, instant waterproof for hiking in snow.
    Red wing moc_MUL_N1_0619.jpg
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.