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Red Wing Iron Ranger Boots - what's the dilly yo?

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by Garage/Surf Rock, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. Caligari

    Caligari Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    439
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    My Daltons are 11D and all my RW are 10.
     
  2. tourist

    tourist Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Hello everyone. So here's my adventure with the IRs. I had tried on a few in the summer, thought they were too narrow and long, went by the sizing I got on the Red Wing machine (even got measured by a knowledgeable rep) but it never fit right, and every single pair fit differently. I have a friend who lives in MN near Red Wing and convinced her to go by the warehouse sale, hoping she'd find a pair 1/2 size down in wide, which naturally they didn't have. So I ended up with a pair of 10Ds in Amber Harness (seconds) for $130, shipping included, that I couldn't return. Not a bad deal, I thought initially, and hoped they'd miraculously fit. Since then, I've tried to wear them a few times, hoping the leather would stretch to accommodate my not too wide forefoot, but the toes weren't having it and the leather and cap toe stitching wouldn't budge. Instead, I ended up with a pair that is loose and also narrow in all the wrong places. The most surprising thing, however, is how this 10D wouldn't even fit the ball of my foot, and even ended up causing some blisters under my big toe metatarsal by the arch. (P.S., I've never worn anything in wide before). I've tried a 10.5, and that is just the right width, but way too long.

    So now I'm convinced that 9.5EE would work best for me, but that is not so easy to get on sale and impossible to try on in any store since it's never stocked. But I'm also stuck with a pair of 10Ds in perfect shape that I can't wear. And I have a pair of Katahdin's on the way in 9.5EE, hoping they fit. All in all, the IRs look amazing in person, are built like a tank, and I look forward to when (or if) I can get a pair that fits. It's very possible the last just isn't suited for my feet.

    Also, if anyone is interested in my pair of 10Ds that are looking for a good home, PM me for details and pics. I haven't been able to convince myself to part with them, even though they've caused quite a bit of pain. The only thing that made them seconds is a piece of the ankle leather on the left boot that is loose grain, but which I actually liked and thought gave it some unique character. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  3. linafelt

    linafelt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,584
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    This is my experience too. I love the way IRs look, but find them oddly long and narrow. Even EEs just seemed like D width. You should check out White's Boots.

     
  4. tourist

    tourist Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    

    Linafelt, thanks for the recommendation. I'll consider White's when I have the funds since I love the idea of basically getting custom made boots to fit my feet and my feet only.

    Also, have you had better success with Chippewas? I've tried a few sizes before and I'm still unsure what fits better, but I like that they have wides more readily available. Don't mean to derail the IR thread with a discussion on another brand.
     
  5. linafelt

    linafelt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,584
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Yeah, White's are not cheap. My first pair of "gateway boots" to the upper end of the price scale were Iron Rangers, which as I say I couldn't end up getting to fit me. But once I had decided to pay $300 for a pair of boots (never having paid over a hundred previously) I realized it seemed a short step to $475 or so for the White's Bounty Hunters I ended up going with (Semi-dress are even less). I basically constructed a White's boot to more or less match the black IRs that I liked so much.

    And yes, I wore a pair of Chippewa engineer boots regularly for 10 years! They were great boots. I know that they are made with the same quality of materials as these other brands, and don't look quite as cool, but what can I say, they wore like iron and fit me well. I measure 9.5 to 10 on a brannock scale, and size 10 in my older Chippewas engineers fit me well with room for an insole. They were from before LL Bean started selling their Katahdin version, but I think those are basically the same boot. I tried on other Chippewa "service" boots, which seemed both lighter and more narrow.

    I know this is slightly off topic, but not unrelated, but am going to post here my decade old Chippewas, next to my White's imitation IR boots, and a brand new pair of Aldens:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. tourist

    tourist Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    That's a great looking collection. I've been looking at Aldens since the Trubalance last seems like it would fit my feet well, though I'd have to try it on. At that price point, however, might as well get some custom-made boots. Also, my cobbler is planning on starting his own custom-made boots business sometime next year, so I may try that.
     
  7. linafelt

    linafelt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,584
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    If you end up getting more interested in Aldens, you should sign up for The Shoemart's email list for 2nds and discounts. They send out a list several times a year, and Indy boots with slight or no flaws tend to go for 300-something; that's how I got mine...
     
  8. Captain Insano

    Captain Insano Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    206
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    Dec 17, 2015
    Those whites look nice linafelt.

    I am breaking in some black brogue rangers and probably will be buying some copper rough and tough IRs next.
     
  9. EPrest90

    EPrest90 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    139
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Have an pics of the brogue rangers?

    I've been on the fence with them. I really like the look, but I'm really unsure of the leather they use. I've heard varying things about the chaparral leather that makes me leery
     
  10. Captain Insano

    Captain Insano Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    206
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    The leather, like any IR from what I've gathered from reading tons of posts on them, is very stiff and there definitely is a rough break in period. My break in so far was to wear them around the house for the first couple days for about 3-4 hours. First day that started to cause a blister on my heal and on one of my toes. I took off before blister could actually form. Next I treated them with RW natural leather conditioner and RW leather protectant. After those first two around the house wears and condition/LP treatment, I wore them to work almost every day last week (4 of 5 days). A little bit uncomfortable a couple times at work throughout the day (office work, probably about 1.5 - 2 miles of walking from car to desk in complex, walking to several meetings, then walking back to car at end of day, approximately 8 hr work day each day). After that I wore them out on my land (4 acres so lots of walking and moving wood to a central pile) the past few days to clean up branches and chop wood after a recent wind storm. Got muddy chopping the wood, stacking and cleaning up branches to the burn pile. But cleaned up GREAT after the mud.

    Here are some pics after I cleaned them up after doing the wood chopping, stacking, and branch cleanup to the wood pile...
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So far I LOVE LOVE these boots. They appear to be durable as hell after wearing them working on wood twice, and they also are super versatile to wear at work in my casual / business casual work environment or for a night out on the town. And these are more dressy than IRs, to the point you definitely COULD use these with a suit provided your suit matches up well with the shoe color (black in my case obviously, Brogue Rangers also come in a light tan and brown). Also, the biggest negative review I've seen on IRs / Brogue Rangers is the sole is slippery in wet and snowy conditions. So far in wet and snow and mud in the yard, these have not had horrible traction. Definitely not as bad as I thought they would be. I'm not saying they are traction like a work boot with a 1 inch rubber traction sole, but for how smooth these nitrile cork soles look they weren't nearly as bad as I was expecting.

    The leather (glass smooth, good shine, stiffer on outside than the other IRs I've seen and tried on at the RW store), I don't like the feel of it as much as the copper rough and tough IRs I'm getting ready to buy, BUT the look of the leather, it's a great shine up leather if that's what you are looking for in your boot and in my opinion makes it look like a dress shoe leather. It shines up nice, and the leather so far with how I've used mine looks like it will be very durable - way more durable than any dress shoes I own.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  11. Caligari

    Caligari Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    439
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    The only RW find to have stiff leather are the Beckmans.
     
  12. Captain Insano

    Captain Insano Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    206
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    Dec 17, 2015
    Sorry, I meant stiff or somewhat stiff until broken in, but overall I do think the outside of the leather is stiffer than the other IRs that I've seen and felt at the RW store (copper rough and tough, charcoal rough and tough, amber harness).
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  13. silvermist99

    silvermist99 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2014
    anyone know what the difference is between amber full grain and amber harness?

    on the offical red wing site, I don't see any "amber full grain"

    http://www.shoeme.ca/products/red-wing-8111-iron-ranger

    http://www.shoeme.ca/products/red-wing-heritage-men-6-inch-iron-ranger-8111-amber-full-grain-leather

    the amber full grain looks like a more polished version of amber harness?

    I tried the original RW moc on in store, they felt 'snug' in terms of width but not painfully tight, how 'tight' should they feel width wise?

    I ordered them in 9.5D, hope they fit! I'm ok with allen edmond 10D but my feet seems to be a little wide.
     
  14. bl@ster

    bl@ster Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    

    The websites are most likely referring to the same leather. You're correct that RW moc toes are more narrow. You may want to try the moc's in the wider size.
     
  15. linafelt

    linafelt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Oct 2, 2012
    I don't know, the IRs are among the most narrow boots I have ever tried on... I have not recently tried on RW moc toes I have to admit, but I had a pair 15 years ago that was much wider than the IRs I have tried. Though perhaps they have changed.
     
  16. bl@ster

    bl@ster Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    

    The moc-toes are very narrow.
     
  17. silvermist99

    silvermist99 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2014
    [​IMG]

    Just got them. How does the crease point look? In terms of size I'm not sure.

    They feel pretty comfortable. The width feels "supported" but not to the point where it's cramping me / tight. I also have toe wiggle room. Most of my other shoes are 10D. I got these in 9.5D. Any other suggestion on how they should fit/look? I really want to use them but want to make sure they are the correct size first.

    Thanks!

    These are 8115 by the way.
     
  18. Captain Insano

    Captain Insano Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Dec 17, 2015
    Nice... any more pics? I have the 8115s waiting at the red wing store for me to try on. Also in size 9.5D and I will post my fitment thoughts. I probably won't get in to try them on until tomorrow though. :-(
     
  19. silvermist99

    silvermist99 New Member

    Messages:
    4
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    Aug 19, 2014
    
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Captain Insano

    Captain Insano Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Dec 17, 2015
    I picked up my 8115s today in size 9.5D. I really like the fitment and the color. This leather is definitely softer upon first usage, softer than the 8126 Brogue Rangers I have when I first started breaking those in. Really like the fitment and look of the 8115s. Love both the 8115s and 8126s actually. The 8115 CR&T IR is a lot more of a work boot look and I would never try to dress it up to wear with a suit. The 8126 Black BR on the other hand as I mentioned earlier, you could use that boot for literally anything up to and including wearing it with a suit. Both are awesome boots in different ways and I'm glad I purchased both!! Very pleased so far.

    One item of note, the laces are often complained about for IRs and Brogue Rangers. When I was in the Red Wing store to pick up my CR&T IRs, I asked about laces because the original laces are very short. Almost so short you can barely tie them when the boot is completely laced up to the top. The store had some new laces that look basically identical to original from a color and thickness perspective, but are not nearly as stiff (the laces that come with it will literally stick out straight sideways and not fall down due to gravity they are so stiff). Also, the laces they had on stock were about 1-2 inches longer than the laces that came with both sets of boots. They gave me a set of laces for both boots, I put the new laces in my Brogue Rangers and I know it sounds crazy, but the boot actually felt more comfortable with the new laces. I think it's because they are not so stiff and would give a little bit more than the original laces, allow just a tiny bit more room in the boot than the original laces. The Brogue Rangers were already getting pretty comfortable after several wears, but felt even more comfortable with those new laces. If you haven't replaced the original laces, I would at least look into it if you have a local Red Wing store. Both sets of new laces were free.

    Pics of the 8115 Copper Rough and Tough Iron Rangers on and I bent each knee a little bit so you can see where mine crease since you were asking about where they normally crease. I'm not the authoritative source on that, just posting the pics since you were wondering where some other folks have their crease. You can kinda see the crease marks (very faintly) on the Brogue Rangers too if you look closely in those pics...

    8115 Copper Rough & Tough Iron Rangers:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    8126 Black Brogue Rangers:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016

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