Red Wing boot life expectancy?

Discussion in 'Clothing' started by snatiep, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. snatiep

    snatiep Tracker

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    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.redwingshoes.com/productdetails.aspx?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? I'm not going to abuse them, I have a pair of boots I wear at work. I just want a nice pair of insulated boots I can wear here in Minnesota during the winter.

    Also.....how do you like your Red Wings?

    Many thanks for the information and comments!
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  2. IHatchetJack

    IHatchetJack Supporter Supporter

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    My dad use to work very hard in his. They'd last him about a year and a half, but it was serious hard work. Up and down the bulldozer all day, kicking whatever needed kicking, kneeling dozens of times a day, constant changing terrain...He loved them but switched to a cheaper brand as the price went up.
     
  3. RoundBear

    RoundBear Banned Member Banned

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    Redwings are Fine boots. I used to work in underground coal mining. They would last about 2 years. It took about 3 months to wear holes in the toes and expose the steel toe...That is what crawling around will do. Under "normal" conditions you should get at least 3 years, possibly more. Danner is also a fine boot as well. If you act today, they are having a 50% off sale and they have free shipping. Use promo code :goodfriend. I ordered a pair of mountain lite II's this morning for $125 off the normal price...Merry Christmas to me..lol
     
  4. smokewalker

    smokewalker Guide

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    Red wing makes and excellent boot. I hhave ben wearing the same pair at least 3 days a week since 1991 they have been retreaded twice by redwing. When they come back they fit like new as they completly rebuild the boots. They also offer a synthetic toe cap to protect the leather on the toe. I highly recomend that option, it pays for its self.
     
  5. BoBo

    BoBo Tracker

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    excellent boots, however it takes a good month to break them in. I am on my feet for 8 hrs a day on a concrete floor. For the first couple of weeks i was second guessing my decision. They brooke in and i will never buy anything else. My lasted me about a year or so, the leather is still good just need to resole them.
     
  6. Arizona-Hermit

    Arizona-Hermit Scout

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    I have had my Redwings for well over 30 years and have had them resoled many times. They are by far the most comfortable boot I have ever owned (cost over $300 in the late 70's) and I am very rough on them since I live/hike in the desert.
     
  7. Pinebaron

    Pinebaron Guide

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    They are excellent boots. when I worked industrial maintenance I got 6-7 years out of a pair.
     
  8. redmech

    redmech Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Many people focus on price, think of value. If a cheap pair last six months and a pair that costs twice as much last three times longer well the cheap pair cost you more and has less value. Oh, by the way I make a living in leather steel toe boots. I've worn them all. No other boot company offers sizes that fit everyone unlike the other companies that make boots that fit the "average guy". They require the least amount of breakin. I won't wear anything else.
    I love em'
     
  9. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    I used to wear Red Wing Loggers. The ones I had 20 years ago were tough, and lasted several years of hard use. Every pair I got since them seemed to last a little less time. The last two pair I had lasted less than a year before they literally came apart and were not repairable. The last pair the guy at the boot shop sent them back and got me a full refund. I bought a pair of Hawthorns. The boot shop guy said he considered dropping the Red Wings because of so many problems with them recently.

    I wish I could say they have been as good as the ones I had 15-20 years ago, but I'm just letting you know what my experience has been.

    Best of luck with whatever you decide on.

    PS, I buy my boots fitted to heavy wool socks, and spenco insoles.
     
  10. Joshuajk

    Joshuajk Guest

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    i own a pair of these: http://www.redwingshoes.com/productdetails.aspx?prodid=1812
    I have owned them for almost 4 years now and they still look pretty much the way they did when i bought them except for some scruff marks on the toe.

    My father has owned a pair of them(diff. model from mine) as well. I know the pair he has now he's had for about 6-7 years or so and he works construction for his small business.
     
  11. cz-bohunk

    cz-bohunk Guide

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    I can't say about the boots but I've had a pair of Red Wing steel toe'd shoes 3 yrs this comeing spring.
    I was tired of buying new (cheap) work shoes every 6 mo so I spent the extra money and have never looked back.
     
  12. wolfy

    wolfy Guest

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    I have worn Redwings for years and they have lasted well, but I have heard the same reports that Malamute stated above that they are not as good as they used to be. It's time for me to pull the trigger on another pair, too. I'll probably just go for the Redwings again though, as I'm only going to be farming for a few more years. I just don't think it would pay for me to spring for a pair of White's or Hawthorne's at this stage of the game, but I am sorely tempted. I think they're the best investment for the money that there is. They last forever and are infinitely rebuildable.
     
  13. Iacornfed

    Iacornfed Tracker

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    I wear them all the time at work. I work for a chemical company and mine take quite a beating. I get a new pair every year because they are purchased for me, not because they are worn out. I use them for years at home.
     
  14. Easy_rider75

    Easy_rider75 Bushwhacker

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    I had a pair of hand me down Reds a friend gave me he beat the hell out of them and I just plain wore them out the rest of the way. I am hard on my stuff to so I do know I get the money for them at one point I won't hesitate to buy a pair sure not cheap but I want quality. I would rather buy one good pair of boots and have them last several years instead of several boots a year.
     
  15. EdD270

    EdD270 Guide Bushclass I

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    Red Wings are excellent boots, but take about a month to break in. Keep them oiled with the Red Wing boot oil to preserve the leather.
    I have a pair I bought in 1985, still wear them. Had them resoled a few times, but otherwise, they're good to go.
     
  16. dog.breath

    dog.breath Scout

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    In my early 20s I got a pair of Redwing work boots that became my only pair of shoes for almost 4 years. I wore them traveling in India and hiking the hills in Scotland. Wore them to work in warehouses and coffee shops (ie. jobs that had me on my feet all day). I was never uncomfortable and I had them re-soled once. I've since been through a pair of Redwing cowboy boots and a couple pairs of Danner hiking boots. I think my next pair of boots will be Redwings again.
     
  17. snatiep

    snatiep Tracker

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    Wow! I thank you all very much for sharing your opinions and wonderful stories!!

    All of you have definitely convinced me the Red Wings are the way to go. I too don't mind spending just a little bit more knowing I'm getting a quality item, but more importantly......an item that is made in the USA! (Only about an hour from me in fact!)

    Just as soon as I finish this cup of coffee I'm headed to the shoe store!

    Thank you all very much!
     
  18. Ripmyfly

    Ripmyfly Guide

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    My employer just switched our required safety boots to Redwing. I got a pair of RW Peso Slip-on's. So far they are killing my feet.... I hope they change.
     
  19. ohski

    ohski Guide

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    I wear Carolina boots at work but about half of the guys wear Red Wings... my company pays for new boots when needed. With that being said at a metallurgical coke plant like I work at I have not seen a pair of boots last over a year. I'm not talking about the office folk here but the other maintenance guys I work with. The worst part of this is the fact that it takes a month or better to break them in.

    When it comes to buying boots for non-work... I don't want a pair of work boots! I buy a pair of hiking boots that take just a few walks in the woods to break in.

    Ski
     
  20. TxPO

    TxPO Tinder Gatherer

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    They are good quality boots. I have had three pairs and will be buying a fourth when needed. I get about 2 to 3 years from a pair. I was not sure about the size when fitted for my first pair, but it was correct and the fit sold me on my future pairs. I bought my last pair at the Red Wing outlet and noticed Carhardt boots also being sold. The clerk told me Red Wing makes the Carhardt boots, so this may be an option.
     
  21. lonelake

    lonelake Scout

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    +1 for the Redwing products. Built to last, and the company stands behind their product. Quality vs. price.

    LL
     
  22. Chris

    Chris Guide

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    I have 3 pair -- the oldest is about 11 years old -- they've been resoled once. I used to use them at work in the phone company (not extremely hard on boots). I really like all the Redwings I have and have had, but I just can't use any of them in the winter anymore since moving to Norway; something about the black rubber soles on the models I have; they just freeze up and give me no traction as I slide down the driveway...
     
  23. shorthair

    shorthair Scout

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    I've used Red Wing's for 40 years of railroading. I can't say enough nice things about them! The people at Red Wing are terrific! Buying quality boots that fit correctly is the whole package. Buying mail order boots SUX! Never fit you just seem to put up with them. Once you cross the line you will wonder why it took so long. One thing I may add is that they take some breaking in. Wearing them a little lose before you snug them up works well. Take the socks you plan to wear in them when buying them. Merino wool is my choice.
     
  24. snatiep

    snatiep Tracker

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    Well I just got back from the shoe store and what a surprise!!!

    It is a small family owned shoe store that has been there forever. I went in and told the owner I wanted the Red Wing 2211. Like the actual Red Wing store he fit my foot and also told me I needed a 9D. He went back to get a pair from the back room and told me he had a pair of factory seconds for $110. At the Red Wing store they are $210. I could see no defects.

    I tried them on and they felt a little snug but he promised me that after wearing them for a bit they would fit like a glove.

    After paying for the boots and as I was about to leave I asked the owner if they would be having another sale this coming spring? He said they would and he pulled me aside. He said if you promise to come back this spring and if you tell your friends about us........I have another identical pair of 2211's factory seconds in the back I'll sell ya for $60. I couldn't believe it! I bought those too and I have the receipt to prove it!

    He even threw in extra shoe laces into both boxes!

    I love Mom and Pop stores!
     
  25. ohski

    ohski Guide

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    When you need laces go back... they are normally free for life.

    Ski
     
  26. Blazin

    Blazin Guide

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    One of the finest made boots in my honest opinion is a Wellington style from Justin boot company. The work boots with the rubber sole like the old Sears brand boots have to be the most comfortable footwear I have ever own hands down. Something about that rubber sole how it flexes with your foot.
     
  27. Bax 40

    Bax 40 Supporter Supporter

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    You wont be dissapointed with how the redwings hold up, I have a pair of slipons that are 16 years old and the ones they replaced were older than that!!


    Larry
     
  28. Gripper2

    Gripper2 Tinder Gatherer

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    My employer allows us 1 pair of approved steel toed (or other material to protect the toes) boots per year, up to $85, from Red Wing. They bring in a truck, twice a month for or convenience. Prior to them, it was a mobile retailer that carried several makes of boots. The cheaper, $85 pair of boots have outlasted any other boot I have ever worn. What's more, I have always paid the difference to get the higher end models from the other manufacturers and they still didn't last as long as the Red Wings. I would go through at least 2 pair, sometimes be on my third pair of boots before the year was up, but the Red Wings would last me about 4 months before the steel toe would be exposed and in need of repair. Still though, at least they were repairable and I could get another 5 or 6 months out of them.
    Come last August, I was nursing them babies long trying to make it through the year as I kept wearing out the covering on the toe and it was looking good until something fairly heavy tipped over, landing squarely on the steel cap of my left boot, compressing the rubber sole beneath, which snapped 4 toes where the steel cap ends. The edge left clean breaks in the bones, but it also pinched off the capillaries that supplied the blood to the big toe. The swelling masked that damage until it was too late. Good news is, the boots made it through the year without needing replacement. Bad news is, I now wear a different size on my left foot and I can only count to 20 now without losing my place.
    I can assure you that had I not been wearing steel toed boots, I's be wearing a titanium left foot. Although I cannot say no other boot would have done the same job, I can say that those Red Wings did their job to the best of their ability and maybe beyond.
     
  29. Wildernessboy

    Wildernessboy Tracker

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    do yourself a favor and get a pair of danners
     
  30. mbiraman

    mbiraman Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    Redwings,,,quality boot. Have a pair in the closet i bought 30 yrs. ago.
     
  31. defense

    defense Tracker

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    I am on my third set, love them. But i work in a shop and they are my work boots, not sure that I would recommend mine for regular outdoor use in our MN fall/winter/spring.



    Sent from my C811 4G using Tapatalk
     
  32. kyporter

    kyporter Supporter Supporter

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    I wear Red Wing Irish Setter boots for work. I've had this pair for over a year and they are still going strong. I stand on concrete most of the day with some walking on metal grates. The soles off of all my shoes break up after about 2 months. No issues with these boots at all.
     
  33. 2stoves

    2stoves Scout Bushclass I

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    I have had my Red Wings since 2004 and wear them at least 3 days per week. Only thing I have done is clean and use Sno Seal on them twice a year. I have resoled them once. Not bad for 10 year old boots. They still have lots of life in them.
     
  34. allofthemonkeys

    allofthemonkeys Scout

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    I havn't owned any, but my brother took a pair to Paraguay where he used them to walk everywhere for two years. They were ugly as sin when he got back but still holding up.
     
  35. okcmco

    okcmco Guide

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    I believe the ones that are under 200 bucks are considered the cheap ones! They are probably made in China. They have US made ones that are well over 200 bucks. But My made in China redwings lasted me 10 years of constant wear when I was on the road as a guitar player. I wore them non stop
     
  36. Warlee

    Warlee Tracker

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    Yup, a lot of the Danner boots are made in China now as well. Research the specific model before you buy if you're wanting Made in the USA.

    I have a pair of China made Danner boots and they have held up ok.
     
  37. thesilence

    thesilence Scout Bushclass I

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    I work construction and have had the same pair for the past 3 years with no problems. I know they were less than 200 but not sure if they are MIA or MIC
     
  38. Hogtown

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    The upper end Redwings are dang good boots. I have a pair of Irish Setters in my garage that I bought in 1985. They are on their 4th set of soles. It will be the last set for this pair. They are so raggedy that I can only use them for yard mowing etc.. now. They key for me is keeping the boots oiled so that the leather doesn't dry out. Once the leather cracks it is all over. I ended up switching to Russell Boots about 20 years ago and have bought nothing but Russell since. Yes, they are higher priced than the Redwings, but the extra $100 or so is worth it to me… Russells are some mighty comfortable boots.
     
  39. WildernessCanoeMan

    WildernessCanoeMan Scout

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    I have worn Red Wings since the late 1970’s, they last me several years in a work environment. I buy the made in USA ones only and they can be sent back to Red Wing and resoled. I started buying them for the support they gave me at the time. I was standing on a concrete floor all day and had a lot of knee and back pain. When I started wearing Red Wing’s the pain went away. I like mine a little lose though. I get mine in an extra wide due to a high instep. Hope this helps.
     
  40. DEPUTY47

    DEPUTY47 Supporter Supporter

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    had a pair for 8 yrs now
     
  41. PantherHeadz

    PantherHeadz Seeker

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    im an underground cable splicer in NYC, been wearing redwings exclusively for the past 6 years. A good pair being worn hard eery day should last about 2-3 years. They are quite comfortable too, planning on buying a pair of hiking boots soon.
     
  42. minirunner

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    I repair freight cars outdoors on the line, and I love them. I get a new pair every year from the company. But they will last you a longer time under normal conditions. Yes they are snug at first but after awhile they are the best fit I have ever had. We get other brands but I never liked them and went right back to the RedWings. I invest in the epoxy for the toe cap. It really saves the toe in my line of work. But otherwise they are great and I have been contemplating getting some non steel toes on my own dime for outdoors fun.
     
  43. Lerch

    Lerch Bushmaster Bushclass I

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    I have a pair of loggers I have been wearing for about 9 years. Finally starting to bust some seams. The shop told me to bring them in and just get them repaired. I will probably do that but I also think I am going to buy a new pair.
     
  44. borego

    borego Scout

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    Which ones do you recommend?
     
  45. Lerch

    Lerch Bushmaster Bushclass I

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    The different models have different purposes for different environments. Go to a RedWing store and they will fit you to the best boot for your need.
     

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