Top positive review
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If Gods walked the Earth...
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,