Posted on March 6th, 2013 by Red Wing Shoes
Red Wing Heritage has a long-standing history of unique and storied products. Since the early days of our craft, Red Wing has built boots to meet the needs of workers and sportsmen while staying true to traditional and proven methods of shoemaking.
One of Red Wing’s most successful boots was style 668, a hunt-specific boot that pioneered a line of Red Wing hunt footwear. A popular and stand-out feature of the 668 was its natural rubber crepe sole that deafened noise while walking and gave these boots the tagline, “Walks just as quietly and as comfortably as you can walk in Indian moccasins.”
The combination of the unique rubber crepe sole of our popular hunt boots, paired with our classic handsewn leather upper pattern, creates our newest Genuine Handsewn styles. These new additions are comfortable, durable and classic. To craft these styles, premium leathers are sewn together using century-old methods passed down from hand to hand. The noiseless and cushioned soles complete the process to create styles that are uniquely Red Wing.
Posted on January 3rd, 2013 by Red Wing Shoes
Recently, while combing through the Red Wing company archives we came across the endearing story of a hard working postman from the San Pedro, California area, named Alfred Guth.
In 1963, the sixty-five-year-old Guth heard about a fifty mile hiking competition taking place between students from nearby El Camino and Harbor colleges, and decided to participate. Read More →
Posted on December 21st, 2012 by Red Wing Shoes
It’s not everyday that you come across someone who would rather be at work than on vacation, but Andy Rhein insists that his work is far less stressful than vacation. Originally from Germany, Andy has spent his life working at leather tanneries and is one of a very small group of people in the world with the official title of Master Tanner.
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Posted on December 12th, 2012 by Red Wing Shoes
Roberto Rossi customized a Harley Davidson and named it, “Stellalpina” or Alpine Star, a sportster modified for mountain joyrides. The pair of boots worn during the freedom-ride did not go unnoticed by us. The green Mocs – style no. 8180 – are a rarity and a personal favorite among the Red Wing team. Alessandro Viganò, the mountaineer in this video, was lucky enough to get his hands on a pair of these unique moc toes.
“Ride free,” is the advice he gave us. Thank you Alessandro!
Posted on November 12th, 2012 by Red Wing Shoes
In the 1960s, Red Wing Shoes stepped away from traditional boot promotions and began engaging customers through inventive campaigns that relied on their participation. These campaigns not only raised brand awareness but also increased interaction between Red Wing Shoe stores and customers.
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Posted on October 23rd, 2012 by Red Wing Shoes
We recently came across a unique and unexpected story thanks to one of our employees in Red Wing, Minnesota. Pictured here is a pair of “tiny” 877s, estimated to be a child size 12. Thoroughly enthralled with these tiny Red Wings, we spoke with Nancy, the aunt of the employee who brought this unique find to our attention, in order to learn the history behind these rare boots. Read More →
Posted on September 19th, 2012 by Red Wing Shoes
The Puritan Machine has been part of traditional shoemaking since 1893 and is one that we continue to use today. The Puritan Stitch is created with a multi-needle row machine that allows us to create the signature Red Wing Shoes triple stitch on the uppers of our boots. Read More →
Posted on August 16th, 2012 by Red Wing Shoes
The 1920s were full of prosperity, urbanization, and financial growth for America and much of the world. As the country thrived, the Red Wing Shoe Company launched a new sales technique: sending salesmen out on their own across the country. These salesmen, known endearingly as “Shoe Dogs”, traveled throughout the United States selling boots directly to independent retailers.
Shoe Dogs eagerly grabbed a case of boots and hit the road. Like most sales jobs, there was no guarantee at success and the men had to be resilient and rely on instinct. Through their efforts, sales and production figures more than doubled from 1920 to 1929. Read More →
Posted on August 9th, 2012 by Red Wing Shoes
The booming economy of the 1950s increased sales at Red Wing Shoe Company to a point where the original shoe factory was no longer able to keep up with changing technology and growing demand. In 1953, a one-story addition was added to the plant, allowing new machines to be brought in and the shoemaking process to be improved.
With the new addition, the cutting and fitting rooms were enlarged and the layout of the factory became more functional. Prior to the remodel, the line shaft system was used, which required all machines to be operating at the same time. Whenever a machine broke down, all other machines on that line also had to stop and wait for the machine to be repaired. When the line shaft system was eliminated, workers were able to take the time to fix a broken machine safely, without affecting the other workers. Read More →
Posted on August 2nd, 2012 by Red Wing Shoes
One mark of great shoe craftsmanship is the Goodyear welt, a method of finishing shoes patented in 1896 by Christian Dancel for the Goodyear Shoe Machinery Company. Dancel trained as a mechanical engineer in Germany, and shortly after moving to New York City in the early 1860s had patented a sewing machine strong enough for shoe leather. Charles Goodyear Jr. (who is regularly and often mistakenly credited with inventing the Goodyear Welt) purchased the rights to Dancel’s machine and subsequently hired him as superintendent of his company’s factory. While at the Goodyear Shoe Machinery Company, Dancel also invented a machine for stitching the outsoles of shoes and later added guides for stitching welts to the same machine. Ultimately, he kept improving upon and combining the shoe stitching machines he had invented, and this is what came to be known as the Goodyear welting system. Even today, well over 100 years later, it’s still the sturdiest and most reliable way to finish a shoe or boot.
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