Not sure I’ve posted anything about my boots before.
Well. This will be the post.
Back in 2011, I purchased some Red Wings Heritage 8114 “Iron Ranger” boots. Never before have I spent so much on a pair of shoes. I was freaked out about laying that amount of cash out for some shoes; but I put the order in with my local Red Wings shoe store.
Let me tell you, these are not just some shoes. When I saw the boots for the first time, I could tell there was something special about them. The craftsmanship put into them. The leather was thick and rigid, the soles are stitched to the leather uppers and heels nailed right into the sole.
I had considered putting some textured soles on them, my store said they could add them for about $75. But they recommended I try them as they come. Somehow the cork sole avoids being slippery in the winter or wet. They work just as well as most of my sneakers on the snow and wet. And they perform about like anything I’ve ever worn on Ice… except for ice-skates or golf cleats. After wearing them through a few winters, I feel any traction modification is unnecessary.
The leather uppers have broken in well. After about 2 weeks of wearing them the leather moves with my ankle perfectly and give some support when needed. I don’t recall getting any blisters, but they do have a break in period and it’s worth it once they do. My boots are the most comfortable shoe I own and they don’t have any fancy inserts (as my other shoes don). A leather insole is to thank for this. It conforms to your foot in a natural way.
Laces are one thing I normally replace on all of my boots. A good 550 paracord is my usual choice.** However, I’ve not had to replace these laces, Not sure what they are made from, but it’s holding up very well.
These boots have been hiking with me around Missouri, on impromptu trip through the woods. Working in the mountains of Montana. Uncountable hours of standing and walking around all day for my work. I’d estimate (i.e. wild-ass guess) that these boots have way more mileage on them than my hiking boots that I’ve had for about 5 years. One thing I look at when buying shoes is the number of times worn vs. dollars. At this point, these boots are well under the 50cent per wear mark.
We’re at almost 2 years later. The boots are still with me and I’m looking forward to being buried in them; hopefully in no less than 4 or 5 decades, ha. I’m heading back to Montana in the next couple weeks and I plan to have them properly shined at an airport. I haven’t taken the time to do that lately. I’ll pop a new picture up once they are all tidy.
**If you do use 550 paracord for your laces. You will need a special knot. I like to use the double slipknot. http://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/secureknot.htm