The idea was to write a piece about boots for this fall that are sturdy, comfortable, rugged and functional here and in the elements. I’ve been looking at guys in Red Wing Iron Rangers for the past few winters and have been tempted to get a pair. But each time I’ve tried them on they’re so hard and unforgiving in that first moment that I’ve taken them off and let the urge pass.
I still like the way they look and they way they make men look. It’s a tough guy, outlaw vibe that has its appeal. In the no.8111 Amber Harness leather or no.8085 Copper Rough and Tough colors they look really great with some rough skuffing and weathering. They develop a rich patina and look cool with jeans or wool trousers. In addition to those colors there are 2 other interesting pair, no.8086 Charcoal Rough and Tough and no.8119 Oxblood Mesa that have a subtle difference in appearance. Reviews say that it takes some months of wear to get the foot bed to conform and cradle your feet. Insoles were mentioned more than once and fit was also discussed. Narrow to average width feet could go 1/2 a size down. But wide widths were a bit trickier to fit. The best case would be to try them on in a store or if ordering from say Zappos, get 2 sizes and return the one that doesn’t fit. Zappos is excellent about returning merchandise and crediting payments.
They are not inexpensive but look to be a good investment. They’ll last a lifetime and Red Wing has a resoling service that will keep them going for the duration. If you’re considering them like me, best to get the breaking in process started. Keep in mind that using an insole for comfort will affect the appropriate size. One thing is sure, they’ll take you safely and securely through just about any conditions.