Best Red Wing Boots Reviewed & Rated

Red Wing is one of the most respected names when it comes to work boots. You can find Red Wing boots in many styles that are both comfortable and stylish. Red Wing offers a wide variety of boots for work and fashion, with something available for nearly everyone.

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By NicoleH:

Our most recent update for the best Red Wing boots has narrowed down the previous list to give only those boots rated highly, and with comfort and classic appeal from the Red Wing brand the spotlight. With varying ankle heights, leather color, and design styles and functions, you'll be sure to find the Red Wing best for you!

The Red Wing Shoe Company began in 1905 in the small town of Red Wing, Minnesota. It was founded by a shoe salesman named Charles Beckman with the intention of making the world’s best work boot. They were the primary company to manufacture boots for soldiers during WWI and continued to do so during WWII. Over 100 years later, the name Red Wing is synonymous with style, functionality, and quality, as represented in their boots now made for hard-working men and women.

Featured Recommendations

Red Wing Iron Ranger
  • Red Wing Iron Ranger
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Vibram 430 outsole
  • Price: See Here
Red Wing Classic
  • Red Wing Classic
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Waterproof Leather
  • Price: See Here
Red Wing Irish Setter Ely
  • Red Wing Irish Setter Ely
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Removable Polyurethane footbed
  • Price: See Here

Over recent years, they’ve included other footwear style that includes athletic work shoes, or footwear with specific attributes needed on the job, such as metatarsal guards and slip resistant soles. They produce not just work boots, but hiking boots, oxfords, and chukka styled boots as well. If you’ve come across the names of Vasque, or Irish Setter Boots, Red Wing assists to help manufacture these brands at their facility as well!

 

10 Best Red Wing Boots

 

1. Red Wing Iron Ranger

The Iron Ranger series of boots is one of the most popular styles that Red Wing offers. It is named for the iron mine workers in the iron mines of northern Minnesota. Its classic look and clean lines take you back to the early days of American mining. Today, this boot would look equally appropriate in the mine or in the boardroom.
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Durability
With triple stitching and Vibram 430 outsole, this boot is made for serious work. Just like miners from days past, today’s worker needs a boot that can last. The Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger 6” Vibram Boot is made to last.

Comfort
This boot (and all Red Wing Boots) comes with a 30 day unconditional comfort fit guarantee. If you aren’t happy with how your boot feels for any reason, return it within 30 days for a full refund.

Cost and Value
The Iron Ranger boot from Red Wing is the top of the line boot from a well known manufacturer. It is the most expensive boot in this review, but the premium construction and quality found are well worth the investment. This boot is made to last, and one pair will last you for many years.
Pros
  • Made in the USA
  • Clean, classic look
  • Vibram 430 outsole for maximum durability
  • Four beautiful colors to choose from
  • 30 Day Comfort Guarantee and Lifetime Warranty
Cons
  • Expensive

2. Red Wing Classic

The first thing you notice about this boot is the beautiful variety of colors it’s available in. From solid black, to a burnt orange (Oro-Legacy it’s called), The Heritage Classic Moc is a beautiful take on a timeless design.
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Solid Construction
This boot is made from waterproof leather on top, and a Traction Tread outsole to provide outstanding grip and durability. Combine that with triple stitching and you have a boot that can outlast the longest workday.

Color Variety
The Heritage Classic Moc 6” Boot is available in nine different colors, including black, dark brown, burnt orange, and copper. Each color gives the boot a unique appearance and functionality. From a casual dress boot, to a no nonsense work boot.

Cost and Value
This boot is on the higher end in terms of quality and also price. You are looking at a similar price for a pair of Red Wing Heritage Classic Mocs, when compared to others in the brand. However, the extremely durable nature of this work boot lends itself to a long life, and you will not need to replace this boot for many years. It’s worth the extra cost to get a quality, durable pair of work boots.
Pros
  • Wide variety of colors available
  • Durable construction for long life
  • Added features for extra comfort
  • Waterproof leather
Cons
  • Tight fit at first
  • Takes a while to break in

3. Red Wing Heritage Moc 8

The Red Wing Heritage Moc 8” Boot is what many think of when thinking of a work boot. Tall, sturdy, classic. The design has been basically the same since 1950. For traditionalists, or anyone who needs a solid, reliable work boot, you can’t go wrong with the Heritage Moc 8”.
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Ankle Support
If you work on your feet, you know the importance of ankle support. These boots provide excellent ankle support through the 8” shaft. The boot laces up tight and can really save your ankle on uneven or unpredictable terrain.

Classic Look
The Red Wing Heritage Moc 8” Boot has been around since 1950, modeled in the style of 1930’s work boots. The timeless boot has changed little in almost 70 years. Available in two classic colors, Oro Legacy and Copper Rough and Tough.

Cost and Value
The Red Wing Heritage Moc 8” Boot is around the average price for a boot in this review. More expensive than other boot brands, but the quality and reliability of Red Wing come with it. With secure ankle protection and comfort, you’ll wear these for the day’s duration without fatigue.
Pros
  • Classic design
  • Superior ankle support
  • Versatile work boot
Cons
  • Can be too tall for some people

4. Red Wing Cooper Moc

4. Red Wing Cooper Moc
Red Wings’ Cooper Moc is designed with Goodyear welt construction and triple stitched details for a durable and rugged wear. The Cooper Features a sturdy and long-lasting Vibram® 430 Mini-lug outsole for superior grip, along with an Amber Portage Leather upper and steel shank for an incredibly versatile boot. A traditional lacing system along with dull gilt hooks and eyelets ensure your boots will stay put all day long while keeping you looking your best and ready for whatever job may come your way.
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Vibram® 430 Mini-lug Outsole
Vibram® outsoles are among the most highly-rated soles available and with good reason. Vibram® outsoles are tough, flexible, supportive, and comfortable all at the same time. The Coopers' Vibram® sole is designed with mini-lugs to provide the wearer with cutting-edge grip and security to prevent accidental slips or falls.

Goodyear Welt Construction
A Goodyear welt is a strip of leather, rubber, or plastic that runs along the outside of a shoes' outsole. It gives an added level of security and support, ensuring that your boots fit nice and snug. Goodyear welt construction also extend the lifetime of quality crafted shoes through using the best method possible to combine sections of the boot together.

Cost & Value
You can't put a price on quality boots and Red Wings' Cooper Moc offers a quality wear. While these boots cost more than some others on the list they are definitely worth the splurge. Packed with comfort and superior craftsmanship, the Cooper will out-last any competitor and keep you looking sharp while you wear them.
Pros
  • Goodyear Welt Construction
  • Vibram® 430 Mini-lug outsole
  • Leather Upper
  • Traditional Lacing System
  • Dull Gilt Hooks & Eyelets
Cons
  • Higher Priced

5. Red Wing Beckman

5. Red Wing Beckman
Named after the Red Wing founder Charles Beckman, the Heritage Beckman Round 6” Boot is made of polished leather, giving it a different look than most boots in this review. The combination of polished leather and dark outsole give this boot an unmistakably unique look.
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Made in the USA
It’s important to note that these boots are 100% made in the USA. From a leather shop located in Red Wing Minnesota, to the two factories just two blocks from one another, Red Wings boots are made and manufactured in the United States.

Dark/Light/Dark
The Roccia sole on this model of boot gives the Beckman a striking dark/light/dark contrast between leather, midsole, and outsole. Always still a beautiful look, it gives the footwear a rich supple feel, and unique look and appeal.

Cost and Value
These Heritage Beckman Round 6” Boots are on the higher end of pricing in this review, but still well worth the consideration. The higher cost is offset by the high quality, and the fact that one pair of Beckmans will last you for years.
Pros
  • Made in the USA
  • Beautiful polished leather gives it a professional appearance
  • Cushioned insole
Cons
  • Usually run ½ size small

6. Red Wing Irish Setter Ely

6. Red Wing Irish Setter Ely
The Red Wing Irish Setter Ely Work Boot has an outdoorsman feel to it. It looks as though it would be perfectly comfortable traversing a creek bed, or climbing a mountain side. However, it has several features that make it a formidable work boot for the job site as well.
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Electrical Hazard Compliant
The Ely Work Boot is rated to ASTM F2892-11 standards, which provides ratings for safety related to electrical hazard or static dissipating. This means additional protection if you step on electrical hazards, or find yourself exposed to this kind of condition on a work site. (Do Not Try This At Home).

Affordable
The Red Wing Irish Setter Ely Work Boot normally retails for less than others found here in our top ten list, and significantly less than other boots in the Heritage line from Red Wing. The Ely, however, maintains Red Wings high standard of quality and durability. Great for those on a budget who love the brand.

Cost and Value
Compared to the Red Wing Heritage line of work boots, the Irish Setter Ely is relatively cheap. It comes at nearly half the price tag of other models from the brand, making it an affordable option to the Heritage. The Irish Setter Ely Work Boot comes with the security of knowing that carries the Red Wing name and their history of quality.
Pros
  • Value
  • Comfortable fit
  • Red Wing durability
Cons
  • Less than ideal arch support
  • Soft toe

7. Red Wing Work Chukka

7. Red Wing Work Chukka
The Red Wing Heritage Work Chukka is very similar to the Weekender Chukka. Part work boot, part casual shoe. With a shorter shaft than the Moc or the Irish Setter, this “boot” is designed less for ankle support, and more for comfort. It still has the same quality finish and craftsmanship that you’ve come to expect from Red Wing.
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Stylish Design
The Heritage Work Chukka is a stylish shoe that would be equally suited for dress pants or Carhart’s. With its low profile and short 4” shaft, you’ll be the best dressed at the work site in your Chukkas. Great for work attire or even a night out on the town.

Versatility
The Chukka is a sleek looking casual shoe, that moonlights as a work boot. It is sturdy enough to provide support on the job site, but comfortable enough to be worn casually away from work.

Cost and Value
The Heritage Work Chukka costs similar to many of the boots in this review. Perfect for wearing out and about in town, or to the office, they are ideal for anyone to try out. Purchasing a pair of Red Wings is an investment in your feet, and your feet will thank you.
Pros
  • Made in the USA
  • Stylish design
  • Versatile, for work or casual wear
  • Excellent fit and comfort
Cons
  • Limited ankle support

8. Red Wing Irish Setter 6

8. Red Wing Irish Setter 6
The Red Wing Irish Setter 6” Work Boot is made from durable full grain leather and triple stitched for outstanding quality. This lace up boot with padded tongue provides the comfort needed to endure long work days.
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Stylish Look
The Irish Setter 6” Work Boot combines a dark brown leather upper with a cream colored rubber sole that produces a pleasing visual contrast. It provides a modern twist to a proven work boot design. Easy on the eyes, but tough on durability and functionality.

Extremely Comfortable
The removable polyurethane footbed, combined with a padded tongue and EVA midsole provide a comfortable fit from the first step of the day to the last. Designed to make your experience uniquely comfortable, and adjustable should you need to use custom orthotics.

Cost and Value
These boots will cost you less than the average pair of Red Wings, but can vary slightly depending on the size. This is a reasonable price considering the outstanding quality of the boot. This price is lower than most of the other Red Wing boots reviewed here, landing the Irish Setter 6” Work Boot at the top of this review in terms of quality and value.
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Rugged dependability
  • Comfortable fit
  • Great combination of quality and value
Cons
  • Snug fit at first

9. Red Wing Roughneck

9. Red Wing Roughneck
The Red Wing Heritage Roughneck Lace up Boot looks like your typical Red Wing boot, but with mud tires and four wheel drive. It has deep, aggressive tread on both the sole and the heel. Along with the aggressive tread, it has all the features of the Heritage line of boots. Vibram outsole for durability, triple stitching, and round toe style make it unmistakably Red Wing.
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Aggressive Look
If you’re looking for a boot to stand out in a crowd, you’ve found it. Heads will turn when you walk onto the job site in this work boot. The Roughneck Lace up Boot is like a Red Wing Heritage boot amped up for aggressive styling and performance! Great for worksites, or just to compliment an outfit, it has an eye-catching appeal to it.

Serious Comfort
The Heritage Roughneck Lace up Boot wraps your feet in comfort, with features like additional padding in the tongue and EVA midsole for cushioned support. All day wear without fear of irritation or blisters, and reduction in foot fatigue is accomplished in this solid constructed pair of boots.

Cost and Value
The Roughneck Boot will cost slightly less than average than other Red Wing boots, which is a reasonable compared to others listed here. As with all Red Wings, it comes with a 30 day unconditional comfort fit guarantee. A quality pair of Red Wing boots will last you for years.
Pros
  • Deep, aggressive tread
  • Superior comfort
  • Five traditional colors available
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • Tread could be too aggressive for some

10. Red Wing Blacksmith

10. Red Wing Blacksmith
The Red Wing Heritage Blacksmith Vibram Boot is perhaps the most durable boot in this review. Designed with blacksmiths as inspiration, the Vibram sole will outlast any of your other boots. It has the familiar features such as round toe styling and triple stitching, which have become hallmarks of Red Wing boots.
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Rugged Style
This boot looks like it should be worn by a blacksmith. It looks rugged and dependable. Even the brass eyelets and worn laces look like they came straight out of the 1800s, but as a compliment to capture the essence of old school style and rugged times.

Vibram Outsole
Vibram is known for its durability and paired with the Red Wing Blacksmith boot is a match made in heaven. The Vibram outsole lasts much longer than softer soles on other boots in this review. With the longer lasting material comes a slightly higher price tag, but in the end you will find it worth the extra cash.

Cost and Value
More expensive than others from the brand this boot is priced at the top end of our review, when compared to others on the list. As with all Red Wing boots, it’s high quality and durability ensures your boots will last for many years, and Red Wings lifetime warranty protects against defects.
Pros
  • Classic American work boot style
  • Made in the USA
  • Vibram outsole for maximum durability
Cons
  • Most expensive boot in this review

Red Wing boots has a long history of making quality, durable work boots that last. And their customer service keeps customers coming back. Red Wing provides it’s boot owners with free resoling and free replacement laces for life. They also provide you with an unconditional 30 day comfort fit guarantee. These little amenities are what keep customers coming back to Red Wing boots for generations.

The Heritage collection from Red Wing are classic work boots, with high ankle support, beautiful flowing lines, and Red Wings classic round toe design. There is a Heritage for everyone, from the Chukka for a casual look, to the Blacksmith and Iron Ranger which are classic work boots. For a more affordable boot that still carries the Red Wing reputation, the Irish Setter line offers quality boots at an affordable price. No matter what you’re looking for in a work boot, the Red Wing Shoe Company has a boot for you.

 

Criteria Used To Evaluate The Best Red Wing Boots

Functionality

Red Wing work boots come in many styles, each with unique functionality designed for wear dependent on the level of protection required. Some key functionality features to look for in Red Wing boots are:

  • Toes: Red Wings are available with one of three types of toe protectors, safety, steel, or non-metallic. Steel toes are perhaps the most widely used toe cap due to their optimal protection and lower cost than the other options available.
    • Steel toe caps reduce the risk of injury from machinery, debris, or falling objects and are ideal for construction workers and for individuals working with hazardous equipment.
    • Non-metallic toe caps are much more lightweight than their steel competitors but do cost a bit more. This type of toe protection tends to be equal to a steel toe and is suited for individuals working in the same industries as those who wear steel toes.
    • Safety toe caps are more costly than their counterparts but their alloy material construction works on an equal level as steel. Alloy metals are usually between 30-50% lighter than the other two options but are equally strong.
  • Hazard Protection: Protection from hazards is a crucial function to consider when assessing which pair of Red Wings is right for you. The outsole is an imperative part of a shoes’ construction that can protect you from various forms of hazards, both at the workplace and on your own time. There are several types of outsoles to consider including:
    • Puncture Resistant
    • Metatarsal Guard
    • Electrical Hazard
    • Static-Dissipative
  • Weather Protection: Being adequately protected from the elements is an extremely important function and should be a major consideration when selecting your pair of Red Wing boots. Red Wing Waterproofing Technology is a three-layer system that includes a waterproof membrane attached to the backside of the finished outer material.
    The first layer consists of a  lining material which rests against the foot to help move moisture away, the second, or middle layer is made of foam and it gives body to the membrane and cushion to the foot. The third and final layer is the membrane material that acts as a barrier to prevent moisture from getting into the shoe.


Features

Red Wing boots offer safety which exceeds industry standards thanks to the careful design and construction of their products. These boots include incredible features that make for the most comfortable wearability available, some benefits of Red Wing boots include;

  • Triple-Stitched Toe & Heel: Triple-stitching at the heel and toes ensures each boot is reinforced against wear and tear.
  • GRIPTEK Rubber Outsole: GRIPTEK rubber offers unparalleled slip resistance and grip, partially due to the innovative lug design pattern of the outsole.
  • Red Wing Leather: This leather is premium, handcrafted leather that stands up to weather and temperature related hazards like no other.
  • Force Shield: A soft, thin material that provides impact and shock absorption while being flexible and comfortable.
  • BOA Lacing System: BOA lacing systems make for easy on and off wearability thanks to their easy to tighten dial that releases with just one click.
  • Cage Guard: A flexible gel protection for the Metatarsal area of the foot that’s comfortable and meets all ASTM standards.
  • Injex: Injected polyurethane is lightweight and provides superior cushioning while being flexible and long-lasting.
  • ExoFlex: ExoFlex technologies allow for expansion to accommodate the rear of your foot. This allows for easy on and off wearability and once your foot is in it contracts back for a snug fit.
  • Gore-Tex Waterproof Membrane: This moves perspiration away from the foot while keeping water out for a comfortable and well-protected wear.

Style

Red Wing boots come in many styles and heights ranging from athletic type shoes to 12-inch safety boots. While Red Wings work boots include one of three safety toe caps, they also manufacture soft-toed boots for individuals who do not require safety standard boots. In addition to the style of protective toe cap there are different variations of insoles to choose from, including;

  • Orthotic: Orthotic insoles are designed with friction reducing top coat fabrics and include anti-microbial technologies that control odor. They are complete with strong core foam inside of an EVA shell for long-wearing cushion and offer a stabilizing heel cradle that cushions and protects the heel.
  • Comfort Series: Comfort series’ insoles offer Memory Foam Comfortforce® technologies that mold to the shape of your foot providing pressure release. An anti-microbial fabric minimizes heat and friction while helping prevent odors.
  • Original Equipment: Original insoles are made from Red Wing Microfiber and Polyurethane which makes them durable. They provide molded arch protection and include a gel pad to naturally enhance heel strike.

 

Collection

Red Wing has multiple collections which offer a range of different shoes and boots, not just for work and safety. Women and men can both enjoy something from one of the several Red Wing collection highlighted below;

  • Heritage Collection:
    Crafted in America since 1905, the Heritage collection offers a little something for everyone. The Red Wing Shoe Company began manufacturing women’s shoes in the 1920’s and the Heritage Collection continues to deliver quality footwear for ladies nearly 100 years later, offering heeled boots, short boots, tall boots, and oxford styles.
    Don’t worry gentlemen, Red Wing hasn’t forgotten about you with their Heritage line. Men can find quality boots, available in a number of styles, like, 6-inch boots, chukkas, 8-inch plus boots, and oxfords.
  • Irish Setter Work & Hunting Collections:
    The Irish Setter is a purpose-built line catering to hunters and workers alike. Offering products specifically for work, big-game hunting, upland hunting, and for life on the trail. This line provides technologically advanced, tough-as-nails, and ultra-comfortable footwear so you work, or play with total peace of mind.
  • Vasque:
    Red Wings’ Vasque line has catered to the trail footwear needs of wearers since 1964 and offers superior shoes for trail-goers. Men, women, and children can all enjoy a pair of shoes from the Vasque line.

Quality

Red Wing boots are subjected to rigorous testing right from the initial concept phase to ensure each boot meets Red Wings standards for protection, comfort, and durability. Testing verifies each material and component of the boot will not only meet but exceed industry standards. Every pair of boots sold is crafted with spotless attention to detail and delivers top-of-the-line security and peace of mind while on the job.

Red Wing boots are designed after careful research and insight from real workers who aid in product development and quality testing. Developers then craft technology layer by layer creating the form and functionality of the boot.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: How Do I Care For My Leather Boots
A: Using a clean cloth, gently rub your leather boots with boot polish. This will help make your boots soft and keep them in good condition.

Q: What makes Red Wing Waterproofing different from regular waterproofing
A: Red Wing Waterproofing utilizes three layers of protective and water-repellent materials to ensure your feet stay dry and comfortable all day long. The first layer is a lining material used to keep moisture away from the foot and the second is a layer of foam which gives added body to the membrane and lining materials. The third layer is the membrane itself which acts as a strong barrier to prevent any water from entering the boot.

Q: Do Red Wing Boots meet safety standards?
A: All Red Wing boots meet or exceed the CSA and ASTM safety standards. Every boot is tested right from the concept stage all the way through to distribution in order to ensure that every product provides the best safety and comfort available today.

Q: Why are there different heights of boots?
A: The difference in height signifies the level of protection the boot will provide for your ankle and lower leg. For example, a five-inch boot will sit below your ankle and offer little in the way of protection for the ankle or calf. Six to eight inches will cover the ankle and protect it, whereas anything over nine inches will protect the calf as well.

Sources

  1. Red Wing Shoes, Red Wing Shoe Finder, Shoe Finder, Mar 13, 2018
  2. Red Wing Shoes, About Red Wing Shoes, Information, Mar 13, 2018
  3. Wikipedia, Red Wing Shoes,
  4. The Idle Man, The History Of Red Wing Shoes,
  5. Joao-Pierre Ruth, How Red Wing Shoes Finds Its Stride in Brand Marketing,
  6. Marc Kermisch, right A Century of Success: Red Wing Shoes Innovates for Continued Growth,


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