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178 of 190 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2010
Once a loyal customer to another popular bootmaker, my wife approached me last year about giving Red Wing a trial run. She'd found some handsome looking boots shortly before Christmas. They were not insulated (unlike any other boot I'd ever owned) and expensive -- about three times what we usually paid for boots. I was initially apprehensive. Snow and brutally cold winters are a trademark for almost 1/2 the year here, so uninsulated boots seemed impractical. These boots, however, she pointed out had one prime quality luring us into our local Red Wing store: they were handmade in Minnesota, USA. Subjective Red, White and Blue pride aside, these boots exemplify the supreme superiority of American craftsmanship vis-a-vis foreign footwear. They're now a year old. Wore them all last winter, through the spring, even some days in the summer and now back to day-in and day-out wear. They are worth every nickel. After a coat of mink oil polish this weekend in preparation for the upcoming snows, the boots look brand new but feel even better. That's because the leather is supple. Think of that baseball glove from your youth, worn in from years of love. These boots are already there. The waterproof leather keeps the water out and your feet are never too warm or too cold. Rule Number One: Always Listen To Your Wife. Rule Number Two: See Rule Number One, and while you're at it, get your feet into the right pair of boots. Yes, Virginia, there is a vast ocean of difference between the American hand-crafted, sewn leather Iron Ranger at $250-$300 that I'll wear for years to come and the run-of-the mill $100 overseas, machine-glued together hiker I'd once found serviceable, albeit for a year or two. That difference in quality, craftsmanship, wearability, comfort and American pride is worth the extra 150 bucks or so...and then some.
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164 of 192 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2011
Purchased these boots in Amber Harness brown in a Red Wing store in Oklahoma City. I want to love these boots. Unfortunately, I don't.

First of all: GO DOWN AT LEAST 1/2 SIZE FROM YOUR "NORMAL SIZE"!!! A lot of other reviewers have said this, and they are exactly right. These boots run BIG.

THE GOOD:
These are awesome looking boots. They look with amazing with jeans, and go with any other casual outfit you can come up with. They are substantial boots - not too big, not too small. They don't have the ridiculously chunky "frankenstein" look of some work/hiking/motorcycle boots. The leather is very high quality with a uniform color and oil finish. Construction is VERY high quality. Triple-stitched seams and welted outsole of this quality are rare in a boot at this price point. Best of all, they are made in USA. Nice.

THE BAD:
NOTE**I was measured by a Red Wing salesman, and I spent about an hour trying on multiple sizes and widths. I am absolutely sure that any of the issues reported below are NOT due to an improper fit!**

My main issue has to do with the (lack of) contour on the back of the boot, the heel counter, and the lack of arch support.

If you look at a true side view of the Iron Ranger, notice that the seam from the heel to the top of the boot is basically straight. That is, there is very little curve up and over the top of the heel. Compare pics of the Iron Ranger side by side with the Red Wing Beckman (or Red Wing Gentleman Traveler) or White's semi-dress and you will see what I mean. The Beckman/Gentleman traveler has much more of a contour over the heel and along the back of the ankle/achilles. Now look at your foot - it naturally curves inward from the top of your heel, over the achilles tendon, then curves back outward as you move up your ankle/leg. This lack of curve over the heel results in excessive vertical heel slip in the Iron Ranger. I do realize that a small amount of vertical heel slip is normal (desireable, actually) when boots are brand new. However, this vertical heel slip should all but disappear as the soles start to loosen up. On my Iron Rangers, the vertical heel slip continued to increase the more I wore the boots. I was almost "walking out" of the boots after a week of daily wear. After two weeks, I was actually able to pull them off while they were still laced (it was really hard, but I did it).

A heel counter is the stiff leather part of a boot or shoe directly behind your heel. This is the part of a well-made boot that keeps your heel from moving laterally (side-to-side) inside the boot. The Iron Rangers felt great in the store. Minimal lateral heel slip. After two weeks of wear, my heels are moving freely from side to side inside the boot. Not good. The heel counter leather in the Iron Ranger is just not stiff enough for a "real" work boot. Let me stress that this is the way the boots are designed, definitely not a construction error or a bad piece of leather.

These boots have almost no arch support. When I tried them on in the store, there was an acceptable amount of arch support. Not as much as I would have liked, but enough that I bought the boots. These boots have a cork footbed with a leather insole. Any arch support that was there out of the box has basically been "squashed flat" as the soles compress/break in. Maybe this is good if you have flat feet. I don't know - I have "normal" arches. If you plan on standing for long periods of time, do not buy Iron Rangers. Buy something with good arch support. Your feet and your back will thank you. Some reviewers have suggested after-market insoles. Only problem is, if you buy properly fitting boots, there is not really enough room for additional insoles in these boots.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS:
Some reviewers have said that these boots require a serious break in. In my opinion, they do not. If you have never worn high-end all leather shoes or boots before, I can understand why you might think these boots need to be broken in. If you HAVE worn high-end work boots, hiking boots, or cowboy boots, the Iron Rangers will feel like tennis shoes after about an hour. Everyone's feet are different and some people may like this. To me, this is a negative. Boots should not be painful when new (if they are, it means they don't fit properly). However, boots should not give/stretch/soften up as quickly (or as much) as my Iron Rangers did (especially in the heel). They are only going to get softer over time, and I was hoping for a boot with significantly more support.

Red Wing has a 30 day unconditional comfort guarantee, even if the boots have been worn. I took my boots back to the Red Wing store, and the salesman agreed to exchange the Iron Rangers for a pair of Beckman/Gentleman Travelers. He didn't have them in stock, so he special ordered the boots in several sizes and widths. That kind of warranty is unheard of these days.

BOTTOM LINE:
Iron Rangers are NOT work boots. They are actually a VERY well-made casual boot that is made to look like a true work boot. These boots look great (that's why I bought them). If you want a casual boot for going out, or just wearing around for a few hours at a time, the Iron Rangers will work great for you. If you plan to use these for ANY amount of work, or if you plan to stand in these boots for long periods of time, look for a different boot.

Red Wing's unconditional 30 day comfort warranty is incredible. Even though I don't like the design of the Iron Rangers, Red Wing definitely earned a repeat customer, and I absolutely recommend their high-quality boots to anyone.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2010
Bought mine at the Red Wing Store in Red Wing, MN. Retail minus $30.00. Very handsom, classic and good looking boot. The craftsmanship and leather is all top quality.

First week I struggled with the typical expected boot break in discomfort. After 30 days I was ready to give up on ever acheiving comfort. After about two months and two times with mink oil(they have never been water wet) I finally broke the leather.

The leather is as soft as can be and a pleasure to touch with the hand. I will be wearing these as my "good" boots for meeting and job site review days and Friday night casual jean boots. My reasoning is that the leather is SO soft and beautiful that it would be a shame to really tear them up just yet.

It's a fine boot, probably more suited for casual use, not construction. I will stick with my absolutely fantastic Red Wind 2414's for really gettin' down in the trenches!

They run large. I bought 1/2 size smaller with the intention of adding RW insoles. If I did it again I would go a full size under because the insole as not really required.
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58 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2014
Men who last wore boots like this plowed and built America. This is a heritage boot of superior craftsmanship that easily justifies the price. If you are looking for a boot to match your over-sized wrist watch, greasy hair, and wears like a trainer please pass on. If you are looking for a boot to match your knit cap and look cute with your Subaru--pass on. These boots don't appreciate irony. If, however, you are the sort of person who shaves with a straight razor, eats steak for breakfast, and can turn a slab of oak into a fine coffee table with your collection of antique hand tools then look no further. Fine leather that ages and molds to your foot is exactly what men should look for in a boot. Soft feet are signs of a soft man. If breaking in a pair of boots that will be faithful and age gracefully is too much then please, stick with your Keens and your fair trade coffee. These boots are so handsomely constructed you could wear them in your workshop forging iron and later while relaxing in a club sipping a glass of Scotch. These boots are the real deal; the apex where style meets ruggedness. Unlike other expensive, designer logo department store boots made by children or machines for only a few dollars, these are hand stitched in The United States of America. Owning these boots may be the only American thing on your person. If a man takes care of these boots like he does his tools, they will last long enough to deserve resoling and put back into service. Be a man, buy American, buy these boots.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2010
These boots are great. They run large, I bought a size down from what I wear in regular dress shoes. They have no real foot insert for support but this is deceiving. Once you lace them up, they feel surprisingly comfortable and they just wrap around your foot providing the support. Great looking boot, too. The first time I wore them, I received complements on how nice they look.

Update: These boots have a smooth sole so I can not wear them in the winter, i.e. icey conditions. I'm using a pair of Red Wing Gentleman Traveler boot for the winter.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2011
After reading some of the glowing reviews here on Amazon, I stopped in to my local Red Wing shop and tried on a pair of Iron Rangers. I fell in love with the look, and with a slight grimace at the price tag, pulled the trigger. I say "slight grimace" because my instincts are telling me these boots are a worthy investment.

I could immediately tell that there would be a long but worthwhile break-in period. The leather is very firm out of the box. I was assured by the guy at the shop that although it appeared to have no insole, there was actually a built in insole that given time and patience would form to my foot and become very comfortable. He recommended leaving them without an after market insole and let the magic happen with good old fashioned patience.

Even without an after market insole I don't find them too uncomfortable right now, and they've got less than a day of wear on them. It'll only get better from here. They do run large length-wise. I was sized at a solid 9 1/2 D by the guy in the shop, and have purchased 9 1/2 D Red Wings before, but the 8 1/2 D fits me perfectly.

If you plan on ordering these wonderful old school boots online, I would front the extra few hundred and get one pair sized at 1/2 under your usual, and another pair at a full size under. Try them both on, keep the one you like better and return the other. Unless you plan on wearing some mighty thick socks and adding an after market insole, your usual size will be too big.

Not sure if this goes for online purchases, but when you buy them in a Red Wing shop you get a great warranty. All the stitching and eyelets are warrantied for the life of the boot. Laces are free for the life of the boot. In addition to all that, if the leather begins to dry out you can bring your boots in and have them oiled at no cost, while you wait. The sole is the only thing not warrantied for life. I was told that costs about $70 or so to replace when the time comes. The heel can be replaced separately from the rest of the sole, and if you're hard on heels that may be nice to know.

If you appreciate sturdy old school construction, classic looks, and supporting good old made in the USA patriotism, these boots are a good bet and well worth the price tag.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2014
Verified Purchase
I got these from a Red Wing store to replace a pair of faulty Beckman Boots. It's good that these come in wides now because they tend to fit narrow and long. The correct width for my foot has about 1.5" of boot in the toe box. My feet are wide in the heel, so the D width in these shoes was too tight. Compared to other brands that have a similar style cap-toe boot, these have a lot of room in the toe box. I had to get a 1/2 size down from my normal size.

What was really disappointing about these boots was exactly 5 days after the exchange the speed lace hardware was beginning to cut a hole in the tongue of the boot. I took them back to the Red Wing store to see what my options were and while I was at it I checked out the speed lace hardware on some work boots as well as the Heritage Boot line--they had the same sharp hardware.

This is the third pair of Red Wings that I have had to return due to some weird defect. Consider getting sized at a Red Wing store. The customer assistance at the Red Wing Store is phenomenal--something that can't be said about Red Wing Corporate.

If you're going to wear these boots a couple times out of the year, then they should last you for years. But if you're doing any fair amount of walking, or if you plan to do work in these, they will not hold up.

Also, there were globs of adhesive dotting the exterior and interior of my Iron Rangers. The quality of the leather is phenomenal, but the craftsmanship of the boots is questionable.

Keep an eye out for inconsistent welt stitching, asymmetrical toe boxes and varying sizes. It's also worthy to note that the darker tanned leathers that Red Wing uses will fit tighter than the light colors.

I hope this helps you find a good boot.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2015
I bought 8111. It is made in USA.
Its leather is good and the style is classic. My friends gave complements on this boot.
You can wear it in raining day but be careful on ice like other shoes.
Unfortunately, I have to return this pair of boots since my skin is severely allergic to its leather.
review image review image
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2015
Size Name: 10 D(M) USColor Name: Black HarnessVerified Purchase
The Red Wing Iron Rangers will last a lifetime. As soon as you get a pair you can tell they are made with thick, quality leather and heavy stitching that will not come loose. I tried Frye boots before and had major quality issues until finally deciding it's worth spending the extra money.

For me, these were not terribly hard to break in. I walked probably about 10 miles over the course of a couple weeks before they were broken in with only a small blister where my big toe meets the foot.

I normally wear a size 11 but these fit well in the size 10. I recommend a full-size down unless you plan to wear thick socks.

However, you should not be wearing thick socks because they are not winter boots. You will get absolutely no traction on even the stickiest of ice. There is absolutely 0 tread on these. Be warned. They are great if the ground is wet as the corked bottom seems to grip well as long as there's actual pavement underneath. If you want Red Wings that are better for winter, look at the Beckman's with the rubber sole.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2014
Size Name: 11 D(M) USColor Name: Amber HarnessVerified Purchase
This is the ultimate heritage boot in my opinion: sturdy, stylish, easy on and off, comfortable (after break in), goes great with everything and gets better with time. in terms of sizing: i can't be sure about it but i think many people are making the mistake of going down too much in size. my feet are about 11.25" long and 4.3" wide. at first i took the reviewers advice ang got a 10D. after 6 months or so i realized i made a mistake and went for the 10.5D, thought it was much better but after a year i came to the same conclusion and i got the 11D now which will be perfect for sure. what i'm trying to say is that, YES you can fit into whole size down and even more when these boots are new but when they start to strech and break in, then you start to fill the toe box touching your toes, especially after a few hours of wearing them. i wear my boots with a normal medium sport socks and my advice to you is to go half size down MAX and if you are between sizes, then to go down to the next size down like i did.
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