Red Wing Iron Ranger Review Red Wing Iron Ranger 8111 was touted as the best entry-level leather boots, and it was one of my first purchases which led me to the world of boots. The footbed knows my feet’s contours better than they do. The kind of boot that those boots can look at and say “that is an extremely handsome boot and yes I feel threatened by it, but here I … In the first couple weeks, before the footbed began to mold, I experienced significant discomfort. A story on that: I met Bryan at the Red Wing Heritage store in Manhattan (which is featured on Stitchdown’s master list of all the Best Men’s Shoe Stores in New York City)—and I also met his boots. That’s a lot of time! I’ve heard from plenty of other people who have had similar experiences as me, and others who have said “You know what, it wasn’t that bad!” So it your break-in mileage definitely may vary. So I’d counsel you shouldn’t worry about it too much, unless you’re planning on keeping your Iron Rangers pristine, which I’d term a unique and interesting plan. At night I dreamed, and there they were. By month two, we were both pretty sure we could be close friends if we just worked at it a little bit more. But in short: there’s a chance that the break-in will not prove the most fun, but all good things are worth a little work. That said, all Iron Rangers now come with the tread-happy Vibram mini-lug outsole—which I what I have, and love, on my Iron Ranger 8083 boots in Hawthorne Muleskinner roughout. It’s a different boot—and the Aldens cost almost twice as much. Up around the eyelets, whose backs are good and raw, my ankles were jabbed at. Which was fine—I wanted to swap mine out for leather laces anyway. Despite that softening, four years in it’s still as bulletproof as I could ever hope for. At month one, they weren’t exactly like having pillows strapped to my feet, but we were starting to get to know each other a bit. I pretty much always wear them with medium-thick socks, usually Darn Tough socks (which have a no-questions-asked lifetime warranty, and which I can’t recommend highly enough). Today, the boots are still entirely American-made, beginning with a local tannery in Red Wing, Minnesota, the leather is taken next the to Red Wing workshop where it is cut, fitted, and soled. The kind of boot that other boots want to grow up to be, even though that’s basically impossible. I stared longingly at pictures of them beaten to hell and rich with patina. The backstay that extends all the way up the rear of the boot. also the 875, 8130, and the 10875 moc toes all in size 14D. It’s easy to overdo it, so go slow—you can always add more), and then let that sit for maybe a half-hour before giving it a go with a horsehair brush that I’ve classily labeled “MINK OIL!! The short version of that: these things take some real time to reach what any reasonable person would consider “comfortable.” But they’ll get there, and you’ll be fine as long as you realize that every ounce of work you put in over the first few months is just a necessary and meaningful step towards making this boot your own. It becomes significantly more supple as it becomes worn in, though, and also conforms to your foot and ankle in a meaningful way. For me, so far, that award goes to my Alden Indy 403C boots (, [Side note: This review is, once again, for the, I didn’t notice any imperfections on my Iron Rangers’ leather out of the box. For me, so far, that award goes to my Alden Indy 403C boots (three-year review here) and my Alden Roy plain-toe boots (review to come soon). Since it’s what’s available now, I’m basing this rating on the Vibram mini-lug, which I consider a significantly more capable outsole. The Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger 6-inch Boots cost between $249.99 up to $357.77. Yes, there Chippewa sells, And Get 10% off Grant Stone, Parkhurst & Sagara, Alden Indy 403C Review: A Three-Year Look at a Near-Perfect Boot, Onderhoud Handmade: Possibly the Best Value in Hand-Welted Boots, Thorogood Moc-Toe Boot In Tobacco Leather: Five-Year Review, Tricker’s x Division Road Bourton: Five Months Deep Into Some Wonderful Kudu, Red Wing Iron Ranger: A Four-Year Review of a Timeless Boot, Tricker’s Stow: A Two-Year Review of a Very Excellent Country Boot, A Deep Look at Heinrich Dinkelacker’s Signature Buda Brogue, Paraboot Avignon: A Wildly Comfortable, Personality-Filled Split-Toe, Red Wing Beckman Flatbox: The Japanese-Market Rugged Beauty, Iron Ranger 8111 in amber harness leather, who has a Red Wing boot named after him, naturally, Red Wing Iron Ranger 8111 boot in amber harness leather, Iron Ranger 8083 boots in Hawthorne Muleskinner roughout, Tricker’s x Division Road Bourton: Five Months Into Some Wonderful Kudu, Onderhoud Handmade: Possibly the Best Current Value in Handwelted Boots, I personally bought a second pair (those 8083s, Stories like this take a serious amount of work and time. The quad-stitched, pleasingly bulbous toe cap. Yes, there Chippewa sells similar-ish boots (without the cap toe) for slightly less. IT’S HEALTHY. They run a bit large, so it’s recommended to order half to a full size smaller than your regular shoe. But if you happen to get a pair with some, chances are they’ll be overshadowed by the, The leather is definitely stiff at first, which contributes to the notoriously tough break-in period. Possible that it wouldn’t be as sweet without it. This is a fairly steep price, but the brand easily justifies it with the quality. Do not compromise on the quality of boots as they can be your best champion for a long time. That leather footbed isn’t a joy to break in, but that’s over quickly enough, and the tradeoff there is knowing that it’s not about to fail anytime soon. It’s a prototype, an archetype. After three steps, I can’t feel it at all. The 270-degree Goodyear welt seems fairly infallible, and also makes them easy to resole when the time comes—and given how well the rest of this boot is constructed, if you wear them for the years and years that you should, a resole will most definitely come.


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