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Showing 1-10 of 592 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 748 reviews
on January 16, 2016
I am a recovering Iron Ranger addict.

With any real addiction, they say the first step towards recovery is admitting you have a problem; and so there is mine. My admission, I mean. With that very public and gross claim out of the way ... now maybe I can focus on getting better, maybe I can slowly work towards being able to afford weekly sushi again ... maybe making my car note on time or even the simplest of things like buying toilet paper, all of which have suffered since I became sick with this Iron Ranger s***...

But really, the $$$ involved not withstanding?

These are the best boots *ever* ... these are true God boots, alpha boots, higher order boots, boots of the first cause, boots that shall forever be named ... boots that naturally spew from the moons which elliptically revolve around the planet Jupiter (lo!) ... boots IN SPACE, man!. I'm running out of metaphor and analogy but to put it more simply, in words that anyone with a television or car would most likely understand? The "Most Interesting Man in the World?" .. the dude from the Dos Equis Beer ads? He wears these boots. Religously.

But moving on...

I do not work in my Iron Ranger boots; I do not mine coal or drill for oil or weld under water or dig ditches while wearing my Iron Ranger boots…or anything else the Red Wing Heritage site might pontificate on as the basis for the design of this boot. To the contrary, and although not working in them ... I nonetheless *WORK* them. They are an insanely attractive pair of foot protectors and I get compliments/questions about them all the time.

I obsess on how I might best condition/treat any given style/pair to achieve the maximum amount of power, the most Boot Sorcery(tm) out of them ... I spend many OCD hours on forums such as Dappered Threads and Styleforum.net ... conversing with other poor Iron Ranger addicts. And the fact that the Iron Rangers are about as well built as one can ask, that they can be re soled and also conditioned/treated to obtain a gazillion different looks? This just makes them even more addictive...

I've bought three pair of Iron Rangers in the past three months: the first pair, the pair that lit the fuse on all this expensive madness in the first place, was the tried and true Amber Harness ... second pair was the very necessary Black Harness .. and my latest, third pair ... is the super rad, totally unique, Red Wing for Brooks Brothers "Cactus" Brown Iron Rangers ... which just so happen to come fitted with the Vibram lug sole that typically comes stock with the Red Wing Roughneck boots (which any Iron Ranger owner can have re soled on to their regular Iron Rangers if they like; just dial up Red Wing and ask about the process ... it'll cost you about a $100 bucks and will take a month or more).

As far as sizing is concerned? There is much you should consider and if at all possible, try and visit a Red Wing dealer in your town to try on various styles and sizes. But here is my experience:

I had read that going a half size down would be best and so this is what I did. I normally wear a 9.5D US in *everything* ... Asics running shoes, all sorts of work boots, etc ... and so I first ordered a pair of size 9D Iron Rangers. These 9D's fit really comfortably ... no heal lift, nice and snug through the mid foot ... but just too long and bulbous in the "toe-box/forefoot" area ... really, the entire 9D boot fit perfect but there was nearly a full inch of open space between the tip of my big toe and the front of the shoe interior ... I found this created a sort of distorted and peculiar bit of creasing in the forefoot due to all the vacant space in the very front of the shoe and otherwise presented just a sort of unnatural forefoot outline. So, despite the 9D's feeling otherwise perfect on my foot, I returned them and ordered a full size down (8.5D) ... the 8.5D fit almost *exactly* like the 9D, perhaps ever so slightly more narrow and snug around the mid-foot region but the toe-box/forefoot area was *way* more appropriate, with only a ¼" or so of vacant space between my big toe and the front of the shoe interior (see pics). When walking, the crease that naturally forms where one's forefoot naturally bends, has ended up being way less pronounced and way more "natural" looking than the big bulbous toed look of the slightly longish 9D's... ... and so the 8.5D's ... again, a full size down from my normal footwear size, is now my official Iron Ranger size. Among all three pair that I own, I have found little to no inconsistency in this fitting...

And despite the fact that the full size down 8.5D's were a tad snug, they nonetheless have stretched/loosened up quite dramatically with a few weeks use ... and now all of my 8.5D Iron Rangers fit like fine Italian gloves ... no excessive or unnatural wrinkling effects, no overtly bulbous looking toe boxes, not a hint of discomfort ... really, it's a joy to slip them on each day and to be honest? I could run a half marathon in these things and still have energy for an interview post race ... my only problem (and this truly vexes me) is trying to decide which of the three pair I will wear on any given day and what other clothing I will then chose to wear them with. (Truly a horrible affliction, this...) ...

;-)

Also, a little tip for those choosing to go a full size down and if you find things a bit uncomfortable at first: hang in there ... really, the leather stretches dramatically over time. Further, if you find the tops of your toes/forefoot being sort of "bitten" by the leather as it creases when you walk, just disregard this because it will go away with time and as the leather softens. I had this exact problem with my Black Harness Iron Rangers when they were brand spanking new ... when I would bend my forefoot while walking, the leather would crease and push down on the tops of my toes ... it was damn uncomfortable ... but with a generous treatment of Red Wing Mink Oil Paste and a few days walking around town ... the discomfort has disappeared completely.

So God Boots(tm) for sure … I look forward to putting them on every day.

Yours in clinical OCD,

Joel.
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3232 comments| 192 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 31, 2014
I bought these boots as a gift to myself for Christmas. I wanted a boot that I could wear anywhere, anytime, in any situation. Some would say the wolverine 1000 mile can be dressier, and they may, but they are no where near as tough as these.

They have a leather sole, and mold to your foot, do not expect these to be comfortable immediately. People often complain about the break in period, and how stiff the leather is, but its supposed to be! These are tough boots, the leather is very soft, but will need some time to break in. You should wear thicker socks with these, I wear a thin liner and a thick wool sock. I never once had issues with comfort. The boots molded to my feet within weeks. Ive put a couple hundred miles on these hiking upstate NY, walking NYC, Boston, and most of the North East spots. I wore these through a north east winter, spring, and am now starting on summer. They still feel great.

Sizing: I'm an 11 in nike, 10.5 in nearly all else. I have wide feet and size up to make shoes fit. I wear a 9 EE in these, and they are a little snug, but after a few months the leather has stretched to fit my wide feet. A rule of thumb would be to wear half a size down.

Be careful of the toe box, the leather is quite soft and can scratch easy. These look better with age, but if you brush them often they will stay looking new.

I would NOT oil these too much, as it will over soften the leather, and make them very very dark. Oil every couple months, brush off mud and dirt, and use cedar shoe inserts. These will last a lifetime.

**UPDATE** 07DEC15

After nearly two years of wear, travel around the world, and over 1000 miles of walking/hiking, probably closer to 2000, these boots are still phenomenal. The sole has completely molded to my foot, I can wear with thin socks and not tear my feet up. I still recommend wearing thick socks. These boots have been across Europe, Asia, and the USA. Seen rain, snow, and all other forms of weather. I've worn out Jeans, and shirts, and these bad boys have lasted.

I recommend regular cleaning, not oiling too much, they get ridiculously dark. Had I known how dark they would get I would have bought the other style of brown. These are NOT waterproof, but with oiling they get water resistant. I HIGHLY recommend using wood boot tree especially after getting wet. Check the new photos for how they wear
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on July 25, 2016
I was reluctant to invest in these boots for a few reasons. (1) I had tried red wing's moc toe 3 times before to no avail whatsoever- I had tried 3 sizes and still had far too much heel slippage. (2) Others' reviews told tales of treacherous break-in periods, and I wasn't quite sure if I was up for that. (3) They're pretty darn pricey.

COLOR
(Copper rough & tough on foot and on left in pictures)
I went ahead and purchased 2 colors (harness and rough & tough) because I couldn't tell which I liked better on my computer screen. Both arrived 2 days later. I tried both on and knew immediately which ones I'd be keeping. While the Harness have a more clean cut and polished look, the hide used for the uppers is WAY stiffer out of the box. I have no idea why that is, because redwing clearly states that all of their heritage boots are made of the same hide material and just tanned differently in-house. After wearing them for a full day, I have to say that I do not agree with others' reviews saying that break in has to be painful- at least not in the copper rough and tough color. I could see how the harness color could be a bit harder to break in. But, honestly, these were a joy to wear right out of the box for me, personally. I also think that the copper rough and tough color will have a better looking petina with time. Please note that I did apply Chelsea Leather Food to my boots just before snapping these photos, so the coloration is a bit darker than they were when I first got them.

SIZING
I went with a 9.5 knowing that that was the closest I'd gotten to a good fit in the RW moc. The fit was spot on. I typically wear a 10-11 depending on the brand. <10 in Cole Haan> <11 in Nike> <10.5 in adidas> <11 in Asics> <11 in Brooks>. So, this was about a full size down from my average shoe size. The heel cup does a phenominal job of keeping my heels from slipping and I have a comfortable amount of wiggle room in the toe box.

BUILD
These things are tough. I have NEVER seen a shoe so well constructed in my life. Everything about it says "I'm built to last." The leather is the nicest leather I've ever seen used on a workboot. It's strong, sturdy, and just pliable enough to mold to your foot perfectly with time.

Whether you're looking for a high quality pair of boots to wear on the job or a tribute to traditional American craftsmanship to wear with jeans on the weekend, look no further. Trust me, I did my research (probably too much) before deciding to go with these. If you can find a store near you to try them on before ordering, I strongly recommend you do that. If you're not able to, then just go into this knowing that you might have to exchange them a few times before you find the right size. And remember not to get discouraged if you can't get these particular boots to work for you size-wise. Try out some of Red Wing's other boots- I've obviously found all of them to have a unique fit.

Hope this helped! All the best.
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on September 27, 2016
Initially I went a half size down and returned them because not only were they too big they had a defect as well. Decided to go one FULL size down and they are the most perfect fitting boot or shoe I've ever owned! Could not be happier they are my favorite shoe I've ever worn. They fit perfect right out of the box with no break in period. I've had them almost six months now and love them more every day. If you plan on wearing these in ice and snow be careful because there is ZERO tread on the soles. I wouldn't consider these work boots either, more of a rugged, casual, out on the town boot that can take a beating. Leather is strong, but the exterior is soft and does scratch easily (remedied with boot oil). I get a lot of compliments on these boots. Remember like I said before go 1 full size down from what you would wear in a Nike trainer etc. Third pair of red wings heritage I've purchased and that rule seems to ring true. Hope this review helped now buy a pair and you will be one happy customer! Worth every penny! Pick up some Obenauf's boot oil while you're at it and keep them looking handsome and fresh...
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on December 10, 2016
****UPDATED REVIEW****

Returned the too-big/too-red model 8119 Oxblood Mesa in size 13 and just received my new pair of model 8111 size 12 in Amber Harness and couldn't be happier. Great fit out of the box, wonderful, rich brown color. Not the Vibram sole I originally wanted, but I can get that done later when (if) this sole wears out. Upgrade from 4 to 5 stars.

****OLD REVIEW****

I spent weeks obsessing about these boots, then finally pulled the trigger. When I unboxed them, My first impressions were:

TOO BIG.
TOO RED.

My feet measure Left 13.5 and Right 13. I ordered size 13. Once I got a load of these in person, I immediately suspected before even putting them on that I had ordered too large. Sure enough, my feet did not fill these wearing medium-weight boot socks. I guess folks aren't kidding about sizing down...

As for the colorway - Oxblood Mesa, it is a nice hue, but more on the RED end of the spectrum than I had anticipated. They still look great on my feet paired with dark jeans, just not really what I was going for.

I am returning, and will eventually get a size 12 in a different colorway. My issue is the Vibram sole - this is a must-have. The Oxblood Mesa with Vibram sole is selling for $255-$269, while other colorways with the Vibram sole are $320. Gonna wait for a price break.
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on January 31, 2017
I just got a pair that had staples poking up through the insole. Not "holes" or "leather grain" as stated in the description, but metal staples, barely poking through but ready to tear up my socks and eventually my feet. I'm wondering if Red Wing screwed up a batch of IRs and gave them to Amazon. I am exchanging them through Amazon, will update after I get the replacement pair

Update: I got the replacement pair in the mail today. They again have metal staples poking up through the soles a little bit. So disappointed!

Update: I have seen some pairs of Heritage boots even at the RW retail store that have the little "nubs" from the staples in the insoles, so I guess that is just standard for Red Wing Heritage boots. Seems pretty dumb to me that for a pair of boots that retails at $320 they can't make them without pointy bumps in the insoles. But everyone says you can't feel them when you wear the boots, so...take em or leave em.

Props to Amazon for making the return process easy.
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on April 12, 2017
I just received these and although there appear to be some very minor defects, it's tough to say if they are from the factory or results of the free returns offered by Amazon. The leather was creased at the seam of the toe cap on one boot and there was an indent and a stain near the toe of the boot as well. Personally, this is not a problem for me as these boots are made to be used and will only get better with wear. However, it is possible to get factory seconds at a better price with similar issues at times but I guess you never really know what you will get with seconds. Aside from that, the overall build quality is great. These boots are clearly designed to be used heavily and last a long time if cared for correctly.

I usually wear a size 11 in most footwear but had to size down to a 10 for these. I would recommend trying some on at a Red Wing store if possible or purchasing from a seller offering free returns just to be safe.
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on February 1, 2017
Excellent quality shoes but I found those to be about 1 size too large. Fit inside isn't as important as where the shoes flex when you wear them. Unfortunately it takes some breaking in or experience to know if they'll fit properly after you wear them.

Reddit has a good guide for fit, see the excerpt below for relevant fit advice:

If the shoe is too long you will see creasing along the side of the vamp (piece of leather that comprises the front of the shoe), near the welt (the material immediately above the sole, along the edge), behind the widest part of the foot. This occurs as your foot slides forward into the toebox, compressing the shoe together. In addition, you may see the vamp begin to twist due to the same reason.

A shoe that is too short for the wearer may show similar wear patterns. Again, during normal stride, the shoe will compress awkwardly in an attempt to accommodate the sole’s flex point with the flex point of your foot. This will lead to long term discomfort, as the shoe will feel like it is trying to squeeze you out.

Another way to tell if the flex point is aligned well is to check the widest point of the shoe. The widest point of the the shoe should approximately line up with the widest part of your foot (the ball). In addition, the heel should be moderately snug. Some heel slip is acceptable, but it should not be noticeable during your normal stride.

In addition, excess toe room is not a huge concern. Under no circumstances should you size down to reduce toe room. The most important fit concerns are the flex point and heel. If the additional toe room bothers you, it may be beneficial to look for a last that offers less toe space. At minimum, there should be half an inch of toe room. Many find an inch of toe room to be preferable.
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on November 15, 2013
=== The good ===

This is an incredibly high quality product. The stitching is very solid. The leather is supple but thick enough to retain shape and offer support. The styling is truly timeless and also very versatile - can be worn casually or semi-formally, and everything in between. I've only had the boots for a week but know people who've had it for years. Everyone who has it vouches for it to be a "buy it for life" product as long as you oil the leather once a year to make sure it doesn't dry and crack over time. I'll certainly be doing that as well.

=== Things to watch out for ===

1) Sizing:

These boots are *big*. I'm a size 9.5 to 10, and I ordered a 9 regular for the best fit. Certainly consider going at least half a size down from your sneaker size. Depending on the shape of your feet, you might even want to go a full size down, but order the wide version instead of the regular. The boots are certainly a bit narrow. That wasn't a problem for me, but people with wide feet should keep in mind that there isn't much give on the leather. They'll want to order a wide.

2) Insoles:

There aren't any. These boots come barebones. Some people find them comfortable as is, but I would personally recommend buying a *thin* insole. The thick ones will take too much space inside and not enough will be left for your feet. A good way to get a feel for this is to wear them with the insoles of your sneakers (which are generally made out of thin foam). Order new ones once you figure out what kind of insole will fit the best. If you do buy new insoles for this, do NOT cut them down to the boot's listed size. Remember, #9 on this is sized more like a #10. I cut my insoles to #10 and they fit perfectly into my boots despite being one size over.

3) Laces:

The ones that came with my boots were too short for me. They're 120cm heavy duty brown laces with yellow trim. I have somewhat thicker than average ankles and I couldn't hook these through the third row. Had to go out and buy 150cm Kiwi brown leather laces. Coincidentally though, the Kiwi brown laces match these boots (Copper color) almost as if they're made for it.

Also, Red Wings offers free lace replacements on their website, so keep it in mind if the official laces work well for you but you want extras or replacements in the future.

4) Comfort:

Do not be alarmed if these boots destroy your feet on your first day of wearing them. They certainly did mine, and the fact that I didn't have insoles on the first day didn't help either. The leather comes in very rigid because it's never been worn before. It'll dig into your feet around the ankles. This is normal, and happens with a lot of other handcrafted leather shoes as well. I would recommend wearing nice, thick, wintery socks and just gritting through the first few days. I promise you that the leather will get softer, mold to your feet and walking pattern, and ultimately become incredibly comfortable to wear in 3-4 days of full use. Just gotta be patient and trust that the leather will break in beautifully.

=== The "bad" ===

The bottom is just flat cork, so don't expect it to have much grip on ice. These are meant to be fashion/style boots, bringing a timeless vintage look that has very versatile uses. They're not work or utility boots. Don't buy them for that purpose.

Other than that, there's nothing bad about these. They're awesome. Now go buy one!
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on October 10, 2015
I'm not a boot expert. I did work at Timberland for 7 years and had to wear their boots for my shifts. I'm going to say that I "understand" how boots fit and how they should feel. But again, I'm not a boot expert.
I was in the market for a new set of boots, mostly for looks. I REALLY like the way these boots look!
I've read almost every review I could find and looked at countless pictures. I settled on the Copper Rough & Tough color. I am not disappointed.

Sizing/Fit
I've been wearing them for one week so far.
The numerous reviews I've read had me torn in the sizing of the boots. I'm too lazy to go out and try them on in a store, so I bit the bullet and bought a 7.5; I wear an 8 in running shoes (Adidas, Reebok, Saucony, Asics), 7.5 in Vans, 7 in Converse All Stars. It seemed that the reviews were split 50/50 between a half size down to a full size down. I chose a half size down. They fit just as Timberland classic 6" boots fit. I am not disappointed and I don't have to exchange the size. Size 7.5 fits just right for my size 8 foot!
There is room in the toe-box. I expect as they get better worn the space will lessen; not enough to where my toes will hit the front. The leather is a bit tough but definitely not the toughest/hardest leather I've experienced in boots. The tongue leather is the softest/thinnest portion. The left boot is "breaking" differently directly after the toe-cap; it pinches my toes when I squat on the balls of my feet. I expect that will completely disappear as they get better worn; I'm not concerned with the pinching.
There is NO arch support. Don't expect it. Going a half size down still leaves room for me to have an insole but I'm not going to. I'm interested in seeing how the footbed wears in and conforms to my foot. I got used to wearing flat shoes since I started Crossfit and read all sorts of information on how Vans, Converse, and any other flat shoe is actually better for your foot muscles, so I'm used to the flatness of these boots. I do not have flat feet. These boots feel fine to me and I would not describe them as uncomfortable. The are surprisingly comfortable for boots; not what I remember from my Timberland days (a decade ago and I haven't worn boots since).
The sole is lug-less; kind of smooth. It's advertised as oil-resistant, but not necessarily slip resistant. I stepped on a wet spot in the parking lot and I felt some slippage. I would not consider these work boots. I consider them more fashion forward. However, I was surprised at how much heritage there is with Red Wing; I had no idea.

I've already gotten a few compliments on them. They look great. I'm looking forward to seeing them after much wear. I'm very sure they'll look better with age.
I'm very, very pleased with these boots. They were very expensive (for me at least) but less expensive on Amazon than anyplace else ($60 less!). I expect to have them for a very long time.
They're great.

11-06-15 Update:
I've been wearing these boots about 3 days per week. They were stiff and my left was pinching where the toe cap creases. I was hoping for more give/molding to the footbed but it didn't go as planned. I ended up just taking an insole out of an existing pair of shoes and using that. The insole wasn't very thick but it added some cushion underneath the ball of my feet and some arch support. I didn't necessarily want the arch support but I did want some cushion to ease the hot spots under my foot (ball of feet and under my heel). The addition of the insert messed with the heel cup and my foot sat slightly higher in the boot. This caused some uncomfortable rubbing. I took the insole out and the boot had stretched nicely!

Note: I was using the generic insole with thicker socks and spraying the outside of the boot with rubbing alcohol. I did this for a week and the boots stretched very nicely.

They fit great now. The only concern is the footbed is hard and the ball of my feet feel it; not painful, just noticeable.
I took a vacation to New York (first time) and walked about 10+ miles a day. I wore these for one of those days and had no problems with the fitment or comfort. My feet hurt but that was due to the amount of walking and had nothing to do with the boots (they hurt equaling on the other days, wearing other footwear).
I just bought a pair of SuperFeet Green insoles (on Amazon of course). I put them in and they take up all the extra space in the boots. The boots fit snug with the SuperFeet in. Undoubtedly they will stretch more. The cushioning is nice and the arch support is nice. I'm not sure I like the insoles yet. The SuperFeet insoles raise my heel up more than the generic insole I was using before, however I don't feel the same heel-rub. It doesn't feel like it'll be an issue with these insoles. My heel feels nice and snug against the boot.

Note: I noticed that my foot sits much nicer in the boot if I make sure my foot is all the way in the heel and the boots are laced all the way up, or at a minimum, to the second highest speed lace.
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