The Chronicle of an Icon: No. 2

Style no. 854, the first boot to be known as an Irish Setter was released in 1950 followed by the 877 in 1952. The logo was developed in 1953, taking inspiration from an employee’s Irish Setter dog, named Red Mike of Doxmoe. An Irish Setter’s fur coat is similarly colored to the leather used to build the 877. The famous leather color was produced using bark extract from giant California redwood trees.

Many of the early advertising materials featured the newly developed logo along with imagery of Irish Setter puppies.


The Chronicle of an Icon: No. 1

We recently introduced an update to two of the most iconic styles in the Red Wing Heritage collection, the 877 and 875. The quality and versatility of their design has earned them a unique story that has taken them from the workplaces and fields of America to global recognition. Eight illustrations help to depict the banner historical moments of these two iconic styles, conceived over 60 years ago.

The 877 was first presented in the Red Wing Shoe Company catalog in 1952, followed by his little brother, the 875 in 1953. They became an overnight sensation among hunters and workers alike. The predecessor of the 877 was style no. 854, which was first introduced in 1950. Designed for hunting, the boot featured the distinctive Oro-Russet Red leather. The color came from using bark extract from Californian redwood trees. The image below shows the 854 (bottom left) and the first presentation of the 877 (bottom right).

When the 877 was introduced, the most revolutionizing difference was the Cushion Crepe outsole. One flat surface would allow for more comfort and stability when walking on slippery wetlands. One year later, the 875 was presented as the shorter alternative. The shorter boot’s flexible leather allowed for easy bending and became widely adopted by construction workers.

The 877 and 875 were key in the success of Red Wing Shoe Company worldwide and have remained an integral part of the brand for over 60 years.





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New Handsewn Styles

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.

San Pedro Postman 1963

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 →

Master Tanner | Andy Rhein

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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Ride Free | Video

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!


1960s promotions

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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Loyal, Little Red Wings

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 →

The Puritan Stitch Machine

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 →