I’m a big fan of boots. In fact I wear boots more often than I wear shoes. Finding a good boot has always been problematic for me. I tend to get blisters very easily, so I need a well-fitting boot where my feet don’t move around too much. I also want boots that allow my feet to breathe and keep them dry from water.
For years I’ve driven by a little Red Wing Shoes outlet without stopping. A few weeks ago I decided to stop by and see what they are all about. I’m glad that I did.
First of all, Red Wing Shoes is a company that was founded by Charles H. Beckman in 1905 in the little town of Red Wing, Minnesota. Traditionally, Red Wing Shoes has been occupied with making work boots. During the World Wars, Red Wing Shoes produced thousands of boots for our fighting men. Today, Red Wing Shoes has expanded into the athletic and sportman’s market, manufacturing shoes and boots under the Carhartt, Irish Setter Boots, Vasque, and Worx brands.
Red Wing Shoes is different from a lot of companies in that it relies on selling its Red Wing brand boots directly from their retail stores rather than online. This is because they believe that every foot is different, and a retailer will be able to accurately measure your foot and get the right fit for the individual customer. They weren’t kidding about that.
The first thing the customer service representative did when I entered the store, besides greeting me, was to walk me through the wide variety and selection of boots available to me. He asked me what kind of boot I was looking for and what I would be doing in my boots. I told him that I wanted a boot that was leather, was waterproof, and insulated due to the coming winter months. I also wanted a steel toe to protect my feet from my clumsy self. My boots would also have to be at least 8 inches tall. Above all, I wanted comfortable boots. After measuring my feet we came to the conclusion that the Red Wing Shoes 2211 8-inch boots would be the ideal choice for me. Due to the insulation and the fact that I would be wearing these boots with thicker socks, the representative advised that I should get half a size bigger than I normally wear. He was absolutely right, and this is why I highly recommend buying boots in person rather than over the internet. I suppose the Red Wing Shoes concept is a good one.
Let me just say that it is rare to find a boot that fits like a glove the first time, without a prolonged break-in period. The 2211s felt like magic the first time I slipped them on. Even now, weeks later, I have not had a blister or any discomfort at all wearing them. They are definitely my favorite boots now.
Some other things that I like about Red Wing Shoes is that their boots are Made in America. I’m no nationalist, but I do try to support the American worker when I can. Red Wing Shoes can also be repaired and resoled, all you have to do is bring your boots back to the retailer. They will also oil them and give you a new pair of shoe laces if you bring them in. That’s pretty good customer service.
So far I’m very happy with my Red Wing 2211s. Red Wing Shoes four basic principles are: Quality, Craftsmanship, Durability and Comfort. I can attest to the quality, craftmanship, and comfort of my boots. Time will test the durability. If you are looking for a good pair of boots, I suggest you stop at your nearest Red Wing Shoes retailer.
Here’s the scoop on my Red Wing 2211s.
• Full grain waterproof leather
• ASTM rated for toe protection and electrical hazard
• 600 gram Thinsulate™ insulation
• Red Wing Waterproofing
• Removable Redbed™ footbed
• Abrasion resistant Horizon™ DL SuperSole®