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Red Wing boots?

#1 User is offline   snatiep 

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  Posted 04 December 2010 - 04:13 PM

Hello Everyone!

I've been wanting to buy a pair of Red Wing boots for a long time but they sure are not cheap!

I have been looking at the Red Wing 2211: http://www.redwingsh...spx?prodid=1145

My local store has them on sale for $179.99

While I was at the Red Wing store they offered to "fit" me for a pair so if I decided to buy them I would know the size. The size they determined felt pretty snug on my foot, but they told me they should be a little snug when brand new and they would quickly form to fit my foot after wearing them. Should they fit that snug when new? They told me my foot shouldn't be free to move around in a properly fitted work boot.

My question for all of you Red Wing boot owners......If I take good care of them by keeping them oiled, how long can I expect them to last? do you like your Red Wings?

Many thanks for the information and comments!

#2 User is offline   ao318 

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 08:03 PM

What type of things are you going to be doing that you need a steel toe boot? Hiking is not one of them on a regular basis. I work for a fire department and wear steel toe boots as our duty boot. I hate them. Generally, all steel toe boots have terrible insoles for hiking purposes and I have had to put in orthotics in all of my boots to maintain my arches.

If these are for work and you need the protection than maybe these might be good boots but I would never buy a steel toe boot for hiking, walking, and especially geocaching. This is just my opinion of this type of boot from being in EMS and the Fire Service since 1987 and have worn steel toe boots that entire time.

#3 User is offline   jsargent 

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 10:37 PM

I agree with the previous poster. That is probably not the best way to go for a hiking boot. Get a pair of boots designed for hiking.

I had a good pair of Raichle boots that lasted about 15 years. Good heavy duty leather uppers which are still good. I just need to get them resoled.

My latest pair of boots are a pair Vasque. If I remember they were about $79 at Bass Pro or Cabelas, I don't remember which. While I have only had them about a year, I love them. Very comfortable on the longest hikes. They are great on the rocks and in a couple of places have almost had too much traction.

The problem with picking boots is that every one's feet are a little different and what works for me may be horrible for you. Your boots can make for an enjoyable hike or a totally miserable experience. The best recommendation is to go look at boots where the staff is knowledgeable about the activity you plan to use them for, like REI or another outdoor store.

#4 User is offline   Isonzo Karst 

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 05:05 AM


Should they fit that snug when new?

Not for me. If the shoe isn't comfortable on my foot when I first put it on, I don't buy it. Particularly, it should NOT be tight across the instep.

Yes, a leather shoe will stretch some, and reshape to better form to your foot - but it needs to be a good fit right from the get-go, from good, it can go to perfect.

I abuse boots, (get them really wet, don't clean them, treat them occasionally) and they don't last long. for me.
No help from me on how long a properly cared for pair will last. At some point, I decided I valued my time more then the life of a boot (this is a function, of course, of being able to afford that attitude).

#5 User is offline   Highland Horde 

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 05:30 AM

I've been looking at the redwings for a while too. I agree that steel toe boots arent the best for hiking and ya the insoles that come in them suck but when I get a new pair of work boots I buy a new pair of insoles (I've had the redwings and I was happy with them). I try to replace my insoles every 6 - 9 months. I do have a pair of designated hiking boots but a lot of the time I just finished work and head out for a hike to get some caches. All the work boots that I have had have been great for hiking except in the snow. In the snow the steel toes get really cold. I went snowshoeing once with my work boots before I got my good hikers. that was a huge mistake.
I agree that the boots should be snug but from the start they need to be comfortable. When I get new boots I am wearing them for 10-12 hours the next day, I dont have time for them to "break in".

#6 User is offline   belair56 

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 07:40 AM

I use Red Wings for work(I walk a lot) I find the soles wear out. They usually fit good out of the box, but they don't last.

#7 User is offline   fheil 

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 03:12 PM

I agree with alot of the other posters that I hate steal toe shoes and they I wear out alot of socks in the toe area wearing them. If you have to wear them for work I usually get them a size larger to prevent my toes from rubbing the steal toe area. I would not use them for hiking. Redwings last a good while depending on the style, I have had good luck with some and some have worn out quickly. As some of the other posters have stated there are boots made for hiking , but work boots are not.

#8 User is offline   Cardinal Red 

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 04:37 PM

View Postbelair56, on Dec 5 2010, 10:40 AM, said:

I use Red Wings for work(I walk a lot) I find the soles wear out. They usually fit good out of the box, but they don't last.

I agree 100% Very comfortable. Don't last. It's always the soles.

#9 User is offline   briansnat 

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 08:50 AM

Never set your sights on a particular brand of boot because that boot may not be appropriate for YOUR feet.

As far as using work boots for hiking, I agree with the others here. If you want it for hiking, get a hiking boot.

#10 User is offline   deercreekth 

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 08:53 AM

I wouldn't buy steel toe unless I had to. I used to get a pair of steel toe shoes every year for work. I found Red Wings to be the most comfortable and they lasted well. Now I have to wear static dissipative shoes when I'm on the production floor at work. I tried some brand that fell apart after a few months. I went back to Red Wing. I've had a pair for 2 and a half years that is still holding up pretty well, but I sometimes have to walk around for awhile before they'll pass an ESD test, so I just got a new pair. I've got an old pair of steel toe ones that I wear when I do yard work. I haven't worked at the job I had those for in over 4 years, so my guess is that they are 7 years old. They aren't pretty, but they work.

#11 User is offline   Jeepergeo 

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 07:11 AM

The old "they'll streatch out with wear" line suggests an inexperienced sales person. Tight boots might eventually streatch a bit, but not after wearing a bunch of holes into the skin of your feet. The key to good fitting boots is to try them on with the socks you will wear, and to make sure the boot is snug enough to keep you feet from sloshing around but not so tight you can't wiggle your toes.

Regarding Redwing, I bought a pair of the 825 workboots for work, and they are probably the most uncomfortable boots I have ever owned. :rolleyes:


The 825's cost about 2x the cost of similar looking, big name, foreign made workboots. I had toured the Redwing factory the year before, and was sort of on a buy USA kick, so I bought the things in my local Redwing store. No blisters or anything, but there is just not much in the way of padding or arch support, so my feet hurt before the end of the day. Traction is not the best either. The plus for this sole style is that it does not pick up gravel, so I give that aspect a thumbs up.

Overall, the 825's get a thumbs down from me.

BTW, I have owned severall pairs of 1155 pull on Redwings. Those wore really well and were pretty comfortable. http://www.redwingsh...spx?prodid=1094

For hiking/backpacking/hunting, I'm on my third pair of Vasque boots. I get maybe 5 years out of each pair. These boots are well padded, have good arch support, and great traction. They are waterproof as advertised. The model I wear has a combined leather/canvas upper, so the boots don't wear as long as an all leather upper, but the combined upper barely needs to be broken in, and that's a plus from my perspective. When my current pair wear out, I'll buy another. :)

This post has been edited by Jeepergeo: 12 December 2010 - 07:17 AM

#12 User is offline   GC310790 

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 09:26 PM

I would have to suggest a good pair of Hiking boots as well and not work boots. I start off wearing a pair of old Tims that i had from high school and while they got the job done it wasnt the best feeling on my feet. Then I got a pair of Merrel boots and they are some of the best boots for hiking. Very comfortable and last a while.

#13 User is offline   racer2814 

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 08:13 AM

According to hubby Timberland are more comfortable and last longer than Red Wings. He likes to wear his Timberland Steel Toes. Good for kicking frozen rocks loose.

#14 User is offline   15Tango 

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 10:32 PM

Vasque is a Red Wing brand, even though they aren't made in the Minnesota plant. I just wore out my second pair of Vasque Clarion GTX boots, and I normally get 5-6 years out of them, but I also have high arches and there's another bump on my feet aft of my pinky toes, so I'm hard on footwear (it has also made life interesting for me when rear-entry ski boots went out of vogue about 20 years ago, but that's a different topic). I also use them as my "daily drivers" (to coin a phrase from classic car owners) - wearing them when I know I'm going to do some light hiking during the day to find a few caches, or if I know I'm going to be in the field during my Land Surveying classes. And since my winter activities involve moving around which would make wearing heavier snow boots impractical, my Vasques with gators have been my winter footwear for quite a while, and I've also strapped snowshoes to them on a few occasions. Someone with "normal" feet who uses their hiking boots solely for hiking and keeps up with treating the leather should get at least twice the life out of them that I do.

The only major drawback I've had with them has been the soles wearing out too fast - since they are a molded sole that is proprietary to Vasque, a cobbler can't replace the whole sole but will instead grind down the old sole and glue on a new sole. You can also send them to Vasque to get a new molded sole put on, but by the time you pay for shipping, etc., you're better off just buying a new pair of boots or having a cobbler work on them for $60. The Clarions I've owned so far have had to be replaced when the leather upper starts to split where my foot bends when I walk (and where there's a bump on my foot behind my pinky toe). Also, REI no longer carries them in the store, and they are available online only - like any boot you plan to own for quite a while, I'd suggest getting them fitted at the store and walking around for a while unless you are getting a replacement for a style and brand of boot you already own.

My last pair of Clarions started splitting after winter started here in Minnesota, and I couldn't wait for another pair to arrive in the mail, so I had to buy a pair of Vasque Wasatch GTX boots. I've only had them for a couple of weeks, but so far I'm happy with them. They are a couple of ounces heavier than the Clarions. I've been able to go caching with them right out of the box and I haven't gotten any blisters. The leather is pre-treated, but I'm still going to subject them to Sno-Seal when I feel it's needed. They also came with a Vibram sole instead of the proprietary Vasque sole, as well as rubber toe pieces, which should prevent the splitting I've experienced in the the past. I'll repost here in 5-6 years to let you know if they've outlasted the Clarions I've owned in the past.

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