Every year the world sees new trends form within the shoe industry and whether or not these trends are something has been done before or are a completely new idea, it makes you wonder, ‘who the heck decided this was going to be the next season’s big thing?’ Now obviously Red Wing is nothing new in terms of who they are and what they are known for but what is new is this sudden surge of companies being influenced by their look and knocking off their styles and also the fact that you are now seeing them being sold everywhere, especially in stores that have not once carried them since the store was created!! So my question is, why?? The only answer I can seem to come up with is that this surge of Red Wing styled shoes is part of a trickling effect that was created within the last year or so to reinvent ‘The All-American Male.’ If you think about it, the last several seasons have shown flannel plaid shirts come back, saddle shoes, boat shoes and companies known for making them, like Sebago, a heavy load of classic colored buck shoes and many other pieces of clothing that represent the ideal ‘All-American’ man.

While I think that the idea is cool, I have a love/hate relationship with it too. I think that it is great to represent the ‘All-American’ male as a fashionable concept but some of these products that they choose project this image, i.e. Red Wings and hardcore flannel shirts with 5 colors, to me are just not that attractive. While I love the designs of some of these boots, I guess what kills it for me is the thickness of the sole. I really am just a hater when it comes to super thick soles. To me, it’s just not good-looking. Maybe it’s because I have a slender frame and that they would just look silly on me but whatever the case, I feel like those two things (Red Wings and flannel shirts) should stick to construction workers and not people attempting to be ‘fashionable.’ Again, like with Sebago, Florsheim and all of these other brands Red Wing teamed up with other designers, such as Ronnie Fieg, to spice up their ‘look.’ And while these collaborations did help to make them look better and the fact that Red Wing is a tremendous American company whose names goes back to 1908 and is synonymous with well-built shoes, I just don’t see them ever being fashionable or stylish as long as they have those super thick, clod-hopping soles. That’s just me….

But I can’t lie, I do appreciate the idea because a new idea is better than no idea and it never hurts to try!!

12 thoughts on “Red Wing Phenomenon”

  1. Hey Justin,

    sorry not caching up lately…i have been wondering too, where all this love for Red Wing boots came from…didnt solve the riddle neither. Gotta admit though that they do look great when worn with jeans and tweed, in a more casual way…

  2. I feel the same way regarding the sole. That’s what kills so many of these work boots for me. Some of the upper designs look great with jeans, but a clunky looking eggshell soles may have a great function for work, but, in turn, is detrimental to their fashionability.

  3. Spoozy – no worries man. Glad to see you back. They can look good worn casually, but only on some people, mainly blue collar workers. With my slim fit jeans, i would look weird with them on.

    Anonymous – very true, if only they slimmed down that sole, it would be a great shoe!

  4. I can agree/empathize. I briefly(very briefly) had a thing for thick soled boots/oxfords. Then I realized that they were a null point, especially when the rest of the shoe wore out before the sole did.

  5. Anonymous – Agreed, kind of goes against the point of your shoes being able to last years and years by re-soling them while the uppers stay strong. Can’t replace the uppers though if they wear out and the soles are as good as bricks. Too bad too!

  6. I have two pair of RedWings. I wear them to hunt, fish, and work on my farm. They are also great in American midwestern winters to prevent frostbite. They are not intended for he theater.

  7. I’m feelin those boots in the7th picture from the top. The picture is on the right side of 2 columns and is the bottom right picture, there are 3 of the same boots in different color models, I love the middle one. can you tell me the exact name and color of this one? I did some searching and i found some similar but the ones i found don’t have leather laces. please let me know what they are! and possibly where i can get them. thanks man.


  8. Justin – I think that it is called the deck boot, but in all honesty I have no idea, nor do I have any clue where you could find the model. Sorry, but there are just too many places that sell them to be able to search it out…Maybe David Z?

    -Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

  9. Anon – To be honest, I wouldn’t know….I would assume that you could on the ones that come in calf leather, but they do obviously use different leathers than you would find on a dress shoe. This question would be better answered by Paulus Bolten (google him).


  10. I’m a union Ironworker we wear the 8″ flat sole moc toe because they’re made in America and well they’re damn good boots. But they’re work boots not yuppie boots

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