Red Wing boot history followed by a proud announcement you ladies will want to hear

Red Wing Women in Factory

When we think of iconic brands Red Wing definitely tops the list. That’s not boasting, either. We suspect the fine men and women of Red Wing feel the same way. They know the work they produce is iconic. How could it not be? We’re not saying they’re braggarts by any means. We’re just saying they make quality footwear. They should be proud of where they work and the boots they fashion. They’ve been doing it for over a hundred years after all. If that’s not tried and true, we don’t know what is.

Yep, Red Wing’s story is old. The company itself dates back to 1905. Charles H. Beckman, a local shoe merchant, created the Red Wing Shoe Company along with 14 other investors. A few years later they opened up their first plant. It was in an old brick building in a small southern Minnesota town called, you guessed it, Red Wing.

The first boots were handmade with little machinery used. The cutting room floor was riddled with thick bits of leather all hand cut. (We can’t even begin to imagine the hand cramps those first shoe craftspeople endured.) To this day you can bet that each pair of Red Wing boots is handcrafted and no two are alike.

Fitting room with Mrs Jack Harris, Louise Falke, Anna Blaud, Mary Ogren, 1908

Many different styles of boots have permeated the company’s history, too. Throughout the years many boots were created for a specific occupation. It all started with Oil King Boots in the 1920s (they were made for oil field workers). Then – in no specific order – came the Iron Rangers (for iron miners), the Harvesters (for wood harvesters), the Engineers (for railroad engineers) and the Blacksmiths (for blacksmiths, duh). All these boots had distinct designs for the conditions a worker would encounter in different occupations. Quite ingenious we say. Today these same boots are worn for the fashion they intrinsically exude as much as they’re worn for their practicality. It’s their Heritage collection.

In addition to all the sweat that’s built this brand over the years. There have been a lot of the same bloodlines, too. Some families have passed down the boot-making trade to their offspring and their offspring’s offspring resulting in as many as four generations that have worked for Red Wing Shoe Company. Just watch this brief tour of their factory to get a glimpse of the tradition that’s present in every boot, then come right on back.

You can tell that a lot of care goes into making each pair, can’t you? Buying Red Wings is truly an investment. A single pair of these handcrafted-in-the-USA boots will last you for years, even if you wear them every day. Give ‘em a good brush and throw some pine pitch and mink oil on them every now and then and you’re golden. Or your boots are golden rather. After you start seeing some wear and tear, simply send them on in to Red Wing for some careful restoration. You could wear the same pair for a lifetime if you really wanted. And as the years pass the boots only gain more character – all this coming from first-hand experience, of course.

Woman on rope swing at Red Wing company picnic, Adams Pasture, Trenton WI, 1919

All you ladies will be happy to know that these same quality boots that men have primarily had the privilege of wearing for years are now available for you, too. That’s right. Red Wing Heritage has specifically brought female footwear to the foreground. You no longer have to buy smaller sized men’s Red Wings; you now have a collection all your own. (The boots are even designed to be lighter and more flexible so it takes less time to break them in – all the while being more comfortable.)

It only makes sense, too. Women have had as much to do with Red Wing as men have since the very beginning. They’ve been on the production lines. They’ve toiled. They’ve sweat and bled. They’re filled with the very same grit that men are. There has been no behind-the-scenes for the fine women at Red Wing. They deserve to have Heritage boots crafted perfectly and precisely for them just as men have.

Red Wing Shoe Company Ladies boots

To be sure these styles – for the most part – are the same styles present in the men’s line but some of them are actually reminiscent of the boots that Red Wing made for women almost a century ago. (See the above pictures for reference.) So you’ll definitely see a more feminine stylistic approach crafted into these boots.

And now for the news…

Without further ado we’re thrilled to announce that we proudly carry the new Red Wing Heritage lines for women both in-store and online. Take a gander at our collection, nay, your collection. Then feel free to come on in whenever you please (store hours of course) and try a pair on. We bet you’ll fall in love immediately. You’ll soon understand why your boyfriend, husband, brother, father, uncle, and every other man in your life has fallen in love time and again with their Red Wings.

The Stockist Women Red Wings - Big American Story 55 edit

The Stockist Women Red Wings - Big American Story 38 edit

The Stockist Women Red Wings - Big American Story 32 edit

The Stockist Women Red Wings - Big American Story 7 edit

The Stockist Women Red Wings - Big American Story edit