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150 of 158 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These Boots Were Made for Wearin'
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...
Published on November 8, 2010 by TODD PIGNATARO

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133 of 153 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great looking, well made casual boot, but don't expect serious performance
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...
Published on April 2, 2011 by Andrew


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150 of 158 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These Boots Were Made for Wearin', November 8, 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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133 of 153 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great looking, well made casual boot, but don't expect serious performance, April 2, 2011
By 
Andrew (Oklahoma City, OK USA) - See all my reviews
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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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old school classic look, with old school comfort...., June 28, 2010
By 
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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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Manly boots for manly men., January 6, 2014
By 
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great boots - worth trying, October 26, 2010
By 
Don Overton (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 years in and more comfortable than ever, October 10, 2013
By 
Ryan B (Maryland Heights, mo United States) - See all my reviews
From my review here: [...]

Back in 2011, I purchased some Red Wings Heritage 8114 "Iron Ranger" boots. Never before have I spent so much on a pair of shoes. I was freaked out about laying that amount of cash out for some shoes; but I put the order in with my local Red Wings shoe store.

Let me tell you, these are not just some shoes. When I saw the boots for the first time, I could tell there was something special about them. The craftsmanship put into them. The leather was thick and rigid, the soles are stitched to the leather uppers and heels nailed right into the sole.

I had considered putting some textured soles on them, my store said they could add them for about $75. But they recommended I try them as they come. Somehow the cork sole avoids being slippery in the winter or wet. They work just as well as most of my sneakers on the snow and wet. And they perform about like anything I've ever worn on Ice... except for ice-skates or golf cleats. After wearing them through a few winters, I feel any traction modification is unnecessary.

The leather uppers have broken in well. After about 2 weeks of wearing them the leather moves with my ankle perfectly and give some support when needed. I don't recall getting any blisters, but they do have a break in period and it's worth it once they do. My boots are the most comfortable shoe I own and they don't have any fancy inserts (as my other shoes don). A leather insole is to thank for this. It conforms to your foot in a natural way.

Laces are one thing I normally replace on all of my boots. A good 550 paracord is my usual choice.** However, I've not had to replace these laces, Not sure what they are made from, but it's holding up very well.
These boots have been hiking with me around Missouri, on impromptu trip through the woods. Working in the mountains of Montana. Uncountable hours of standing and walking around all day for my work. I'd estimate (i.e. wild-ass guess) that these boots have way more mileage on them than my hiking boots that I've had for about 5 years. One thing I look at when buying shoes is the number of times worn vs. dollars. At this point, these boots are well under the 50cent per wear mark.
We're at almost 2 years later. The boots are still with me and I'm looking forward to being buried in them; hopefully in no less than 4 or 5 decades, ha. I'm heading back to Montana in the next couple weeks and I plan to have them properly shined at an airport. I haven't taken the time to do that lately.

**If you do use 550 paracord for your laces. You will need a special knot. I like to use the double slipknot. [...]
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid craftsmanship, solid looks, solid boots., July 2, 2011
By 
S. Tomlin (California, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great old school boot!, April 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I looked long and hard through both Red Wings Line of Heritage boots and Wolverines 1000 mile boots. I honestly couldn't decide on either so I bought a pair of both! There was no way I wasn't going to buy Red Wings because I have owned several pairs of their work boots and a pair of the Pecos, and have loved them all. The Pecos gave me a good lesson on what a real break in is like. I thought for sure the boots were too small but the salesman reassured me after breaking in, the boots would fit like a glove, and they do! It took a bit of leather conditioner on the inside of the boot as well as the outside to relax the leather to mold comfortably around my foot.

The reason I just reviewed the Pecos is because it leads me to tell you that I was expecting a stiff boot, but I am confident that conditioner inside and outside the boot, I will relax the boot around my feet correctly.

I'm a small guy and wear a size seven. The smallest size is a seven, so I was unable to follow everybody else's advise, ordering a 1/2 to full size down. Also, one of my feet is a bit smaller than the other. I read some complaints how one boot fits different than the other. Chances are your feet are less perfect in size than the boot. When they arrived I put them on and could tell I was going to need to put inserts in to close any gaps between my feet and the top of the boot. I could also feel the areas that I would focus leather conditioner. The next day I put some inserts in from the drug store. It was a perfect solution to my personal size dilemma. I'll always see it as cheating, and I'll never know how they feel with out inserts, but it works good enough to get my feat against the leather which needs to happen to begin shaping the leather!

So I took notice to any area that I felt discomfort. I oiled the boots with leather conditioner inside and out adding a little extra to those areas. I apply it with my fingers so I can rub it in good and reach inside the boot. I used a saddle product, mink oil works also. If you oil the inside of the boot like I do, you'll need to wear socks that you don't mind getting discolored a bit during the break in process. In the following days and weeks I will re apply conditioner again if need be. As of today, I can already feel the leather relaxing.

Some of you are wondering what I thought of the Wolverine 1000 mile Addisons by now?
On a scale of 1 to 10 I give the Red Wings a 9 because I knew what to expect and appreciate the break in process.
I'd have to say the 1000 mile Addisons are going to get a 10. The fit was a bit better out of the box. The leather felt softer I can see requiring little to no break in, and the size seven was slightly more accurate, although after time I may need to add inserts depending on how much they loosen up.

This comparison is specific to the 2 models, and I can't say this would be the case for all the rest. I'm still a Red Wing guy and will never stop purchasing real work boots form Red Wing.
I wouldn't recommend either boot for real work. Maybe for project managers or superintendents, But neither would go to war day in and day out through all the seasons and hold up the way Red Wing 2412's do.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love the Red Wing Iron Rangers!, July 16, 2013
After basically a year of debating, I finally pulled the trigger on these pair of Red Wings. All I can say is that I'm glad I finally went through with it and do not regret my decision one bit. For me, I actually had to go down a full size, so I agree with the other reviews 100%. For everyone talking about the break in time, they are leather boots?! You would be hard pressed to buy any new footwear and not have some break in time. The inside of the boot is rough grain, so I can see where there might be some bit of additional friction, but I'm confident that will fade in time. The leather itself, is probably the nicest leather I have ever had the pleasure to wrap my feet in. Basic upkeep a few times a month will keep these babies lasting way longer than you'd ever expect. And the chance to have them re-soled is obviously a bonus. I paid full price at a Red Wing store and would gladly do it again for a product such as this.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Wing Boot Review, January 8, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought these boots because I am tired of second rate foreign quality. These boots are basic all leather boots that look good and I know will last a long time. It has taken me about a month to break them in, but I know the longer I have them the better they will be. I had to use some moleskin to protect my feet for a few days because this leather is very stiff at first. But once they are broken in they are great.They breath great and are surprisingly warm with a heavy pair of socks. The soles are smooth and can be slick in the snow or mud. I use them as a casual boot to wear around town in the cooler and colder months. It is not a hiking shoe by any means, nor would I use it as a work shoe because of it's price. I would also recommend buying the Red Wing Boot oil which should be applied monthly to keep your new friends healthy and water resistant. The only drawback I have is they do not come in E width. Only D and EE. And E would be perfect for me. They are a great boot and great American product! Highly recommended.
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