Red Wing Boots – Are they Worth the Cost?

Red Wing Boots

 

Red Wing Boots

Being from Chicago and an avid Blackhawks fan, I cringe every time I hear the word Red Wings.  In fact I never even like saying the name.  This reminds me of a joke.  What do you call 23 Millionaires around a tv watching the Stanley Cup?  The Detroit Red Wings.  I am sure we will get some emails about that.  However when it comes to work boots, Red Wings are different.  Red Wing Boots are no joke, which is opposite of the hockey team.

 

Manufacturer – Red Wing Shoes

Model – 435

 

Red Wing Boot ReviewsRed Wing boots are something I have been wanting to buy myself for the last ten years.  If you are familiar with them, then you know they are not a drop in the bucket.    The other day my family bought me a pair and all I can say is this gift made my month.

I have been working with my brother gutting out an old house.  My current boots suck.  My feet end up hurting, the front is tearing and they really suck when stepping on a nail, no protection.  Okay enough acting like a Detroit Red Wing fan and I’ll stop whining.

So you may be asking yourself, why would I pay $200 for a work boot?  Okay let’s consider this.  The average person takes between 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. There are times that the pressure on your feet is more than your body weight.  The average foot expands about 5% in volume as the day goes on.  I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.  Your feet take so much abuse each and everyday.  You are walking on concrete and uneven surfaces, which all play a huge part on your foot condition.  When you take a step, the energy is not only transferred to your feet, but it is also transferred to your knees, hips and spine. This is why it is so important to have a great pair of work boots.  So why Red Wings?

First, Red Wing has been around since 1905, so they do have some experience.  Second, they have been trusted by professionals.  If they were junk boots, people would not be repeat buyers and Red Wings would be out of business.

So what do I like about the 435 boots?  The two main things are the weight and the comfort.  The boots are light and only weigh 3.6 lbs for both boots.  The comfort is incredible.  I have been walking on concrete and uneven surface since I got these boots and my feet and knees are not killing me at the end of the day.  It is hard to see in the pictures, but the toe area is wider so I have more room.  Another item I like about these boots is that the rubber is higher up on the back of the boot to offer more protection or impact protection.  The last item is the stitching.   Double and triple stitched in various areas.

The boots are waterproof and oil/ slip resistant.  You can check out Red Wings to see more about the 435 and the technology behind this boot.

The only downside to the 435 is they are made in China.  I wish these were made in the US.

So are these boots worth the price tag?  Considering they are made in China we were pretty confident these have a huge profit margin and if Red Wing wanted, they could really lower the price and still make a pretty penny on these boots.  However if people saw these boots selling for $75, they would probably think something is wrong with these boots as Red Wings are know to be pricey.  All I can say is I have been wearing mine around for a couple weeks on concrete and uneven surfaces and my feet, legs, knees or hips are not killing me when I get home.  The boots are very comfortable.  If you only get a year out of these boots, which we know you will get more, then you are only paying less than a dollar per day for these boots.  That’s not a bad price to take care of your feet, knees and hips.  We feel why the up front price is heavy, the cost is well worth it.

Okay. one last joke.  What do the Detroit Red Wings and the Post Office have in common?  They both wear uniforms and don’t deliver.  Okay that was over the line and just plain wrong.  The postal service is needed and very good.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

  • LEATHER:Hazelnut Tramper Leather
  • CONSTRUCTION:Direct Attach
  • INSOLE:Texon® LAST:800
  • OUTSOLE:TPU-PU Galaxy – Brown
  • COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:Made in China
  • CARE PRODUCTS:Leather Protector,Naturseal®
  • SHANK:Non-metallic
  • NON-MARKING:Yes
  • DEFINED HEEL:Yes
  • Electrical Hazard
  • Waterproof

Warranty

30 Day Unconditional Comfort

12 Month against Defects

 

 

20 COMMENTS

  1. One thing to note with your 435 is that it has the “King Toe” feature which is a cut for certain boots that have a larger toe box for wider feet.

    I purchased a pair of RW boots from a factory store last year and found that after several uses, I was having foot pain at the end of the day. Redwing offers a 30 comfort guarantee so I exchanged it for a different set. The salesperson was great at aiding me with another choice. He politely explained that if this second set didn’t work out that they would refund my money and that I should look at a different brand instead- Redwings aren’t for everyone. Fortunately the second set works out and is part of my rotation.

    A couple of things I learned from chatting with him:

    Not all of the RW boots can be resoled.

    There are different COO(Country of Origin)- Made in China, Made in USA with global materials and Made in USA with USA materials. You have to look at the tag on the tongue of the shoe.

    RW may not be the best choice if you do not wear them regularly. He said the rubber sole material degrades if you don’t wear them often. Maybe it dries out from storage? I don’t know, but I found it surprising that he would mention this.

    The store offers free re oiling of the boot and replacement laces.

  2. Working on the railroad places me in horrible walking conditions 100% of the time (usually on rocks as big as your fist). Over the years I’ve learned a thing or 2 about quality work boots. 1. They are expensive 2. They’re worth every damn penny! When buying Red Wings always get the USA models. The last pair I got through the railroad were like concrete. I’ve been wearing Timberland Pro the last 3 years and I’ve been very happy with them, but they’re no Red Wings. Well, the American ones anyway.

  3. I have very wide feet. There are very few companies who cater to persons like me. When buying safety boots (or even steel toe shoes) I have few options. True, Red Wing provides enough room for people with my size foot, but the quality of construction is poor at best. My brother and I have purchased several pair of Red Wing boots and they have fallen apart in a few weeks. That’s just not even enough time to BREAK THEM IN!

    So, what kind of boots do I wear? The ones that come off the truck that comes to my place of business: Hi-Test (and those are USA made). Final note: avoid Red Wing at all costs until their quality is comparable to their competition….

  4. I was fitted at a Red Wing store & purchased a pair last year They KILLED my feet. The worst boot I ever owned and have since moved up to COFRA and also use a pair of BLUNDSTONES when the need arises. What a difference.

    I saw a gent at a work site recently and he had the same model as I used to wear. He said “they look great but they KILL my feet”. Well did we ever have a great laugh.

    But to each thier own as we all have different boot requirements to make for a pain-free day at work.

  5. Red Wings are great I’ve been a repeat buyer for year’s you do have to break them in. I recently I purchased Irish Setter work boots (that are made buy red wing) and they were comfortable from day one. I’ve tried cheaper brands but red Wings have been the best in my opinion.

  6. I have worn RW work boots probably for 40 years. Unfortunately, the pair I am wearing now will be my last. Something has happened at RW and the shoes are no longer near the quality they once were. At about 18 months the soles started disintegrating in several places and are now full of holes all the way thru the sole. The dealer was no help at all – offered to sell me another pair! Yeah, no thanks.

  7. My RW boot choice has been the 914.(I’ve had 4 pair!) I think I will need to find another boot! The soles get holes in them for no apparent reason and the dealer won’t stand behind them. The holes start out as dark spots that you can see deep in the material. They soon develope a soft hole that goes to the bootie. I haven’ had them leak even in this condition, but the comfort soon drops off. They say “Made in USA”, but the quality in the 914 isn’t there anymore!

  8. After several glowing recommendations, I bought a pair of Red Wings. They are so comfortable, I forgot I was wearing steel toed work boots. Unfortunately, by month seven the seams were coming apart completely. The leather wasn’t even worn where the seams were coming apart. The thread was just giving up. The soles are still in great shape. My friend bought the exact model I did a couple days after me and his soles have come off. They offered to glue them back on. Apparently after six months they will not replace them. Won’t be purchasing Red Wings again.

  9. I just bought RW 435s for the comfort…They are killing my feet—like no other boot I have worn. Dealer sold me special ortho inserts—no help! Where’s the comfort?

  10. I am wearing red waiting for about 40 years & they have always been comfortable up to now. The last pair of Red Wings I bought have hurt my feet terribly. They have caused me to have plantar fasciatis. They must have changed the way they construct the boots as I’ve never had this problem before.
    I am now looking for another brand of boots that I can wear comfortably.

  11. Red Wing boots and shoes are awful from a quality and comfort perspective! Have worked in the manufacturing industry for 13 years and almost forced by company policy to get Red Wing shoes because of purchase agreements and have NEVER found a comfortable red Wing Shoe. Nor have I had a pair withstand the year between my ability to obtain shoes on the company dime. All fail at the seams or have the soles unglue to the point that the shoe is like a flip flop. Three years ago went out a got a pair of Carolina shoes. These are SO comfortable that I often foget they are on my feet and wear them home instead of changing back to street shoes before going home. And after THREE YEARS I am still wearing the same shoes!!!! Just change out the jell inserts every few months.

  12. I had worn Red wing boots before, and had a positive feeling about the quality. I bought a pair of the 2406’s from a large boot supplier in Panama City, Fl. The owner tried every insert to make the boot feel right. After several iterations, the boot finally felt…. fair. I initially wrote off the discomfort due to needing to break the boot in. The longer I wore the boot (4 months), the worse it got. There was no ankle support, heel cusioning or arch support. It got to where my ankles were rolling in due to the pain in the arches. There were times that I hobbled like I was handicapped. I now have bone spurs on my right heel. I have since tossed these boots, bought Wolverines. I will never buy a pair of Red Wings again!

  13. Have worn a pair of 996s for the past 7 years. Just had them resoled for the second time. They are very comfortable and I have no complaints at all.

  14. Have had two pair of these boots myself but my problem is the soles wore away eventually, got the composite toe for outdoor winter work. This being said, total Stanley cups- Red Wings-11, Blackhawks- 5 so suck it and keep your stupid jokes to your personal blog instead of on a professional company page.

  15. I just picked up a new pair of made in USA Red Wing 10875s (the work series) yesterday. These originally were the 875s before 2013 when they changed the model. This was to separate us men who really use our boots from the hipster college educated wanna-be crowd who never worked a hard days labor in their lives wanting to look rough and tough. I was longing for a pair for many years based on their long history and track record. They’ve made this boot since 1952. I’m a licensed HVAC technician by trade with a decade and a half experience in the business. Name any brand of boots and I probably have owned, or currently own at least one pair. I tend to favor Wolverine Durashocks mostly. I’ve never had a bad pair. My favorite pair of work boots that lasted the longest were a pair of Wolverine Durashock Fusion Max 8″ steel toes. I beat those boots to hell and they still lasted 6-8 years. I owned two pairs over the years. They were comfortable from day one as well. I also own and love Ariat cowboy boots with the Duratread sole. I own a pair of Tombstones (square toe), Heritage Round Toe (traditional pointed) and a pair of Big Loops (square toe). I love all those Western boots and they are very comfortable as well. Even have a pair of Danner USMC RAT GTX (rugged all terrain) combat boots. The current standard issue for deploying United States Marines in Afghanistan. They are USGI contract boots and have always have the Official USMC Eagle Globe & Anchor insignia in the heel caps. I love my Bates 8″ Desert Warrior 2250s and 8″ Tactical 2261s as well. I ignored all the folks on the internet advice about sizing down a half to a full size on Red Wing boots. You have got to be crazy!! Any one who has ever served in the Military or worked hard, physical labor knows if they are tight at 5 am, they are going to be TIGHTER at 5 pm. Your feet swell during the day of you are humping in a ruck march or burning the clock working for your pay. After the first day of use I have to say these are the tightest and most uncomfortable US 11D work boots I have ever owned to date. They also had a large flaw in the leather when I picked them up at my local Red Wing store after the woman special ordered them for me. It looks as though someone slipped with a knife when they were harvesting the hide at the skinners. It’s a very faint cut that runs about four inches across from heel to toe on the right boot’s outside. Call me crazy, but this is unacceptable on a boot that sells for $250. It either was, or should have been a second. $80 Wal-Mart boots don’t have a defect like this, why does this have one? Anyways, the woman probably figured I would be miffed when I saw it and dropped the price 10% without me having to ask. No big deal, but that is besides the point. Upon getting them home I soaked them with Red Wing mink oil and used a heat gun set on low to sweat it in, so this nearly hid the cut/flaw unless you knew where it formally was and were looking for it. That took care of any ideas of saving these for dress or mall crawlers only. You might as well use them hard like they are made for now. I did wear these tonight at the local mall while shopping to put some miles on them in hopes to break them in faster. They still feel about the same. I even picked up a pair of Red Wing “REDBED” inserts to put on them to try to increase comfort a little bit. It didn’t help much either. I’m starting to wonder if I made a mistake going with high dollar Red Wing boots if they don’t get better and FAST! I don’t feel like waiting around two or three months to be able to wear them and not have them kill your feet. Boots that cost 1/2 to 1/3rd of that price are ready to go practically right out of the box. This might be my first and last pair of Red Wings. Especially since I saw someone online selling my trusty old Wolverine Fusion Max 8″ steel toes online for $109 and free shipping……”scratches head”.

    Signed:

    One POd Tin Banger!

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