Want Red Wing Iron Ranger boots but for less
November 16, 2014 9:47 PM   Subscribe

I really love these boots, but they're a bit more than I can or want to afford to spend on them right now. Anyone have suggestions for similar style boots that aren't quite so hard on the wallet? Some loss in quality/longevity is ok, as I won't be actually working in an iron mine with them.
posted by Inkoate to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I keep wanting to buy similar boots as well. These have been on my short list for a while. Carolina Work Boot. And these Eastland High Fidelity.
posted by mgr at 10:32 PM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

IR owner here. Those Eastland High Fidelity boots look spot on compared to mine. I'd definitely give those a shot.
posted by Deflagro at 10:49 PM on November 16, 2014

chippewa 20065. or 20067. These boots are legitimate work boots. I am rough on my shoes and my 20065s have held up great. They have the retro work boot look but are not as fancy as the Iron Rangers. They should last (plenty of time to save up for the boots that are 3x the price)
posted by Ommcc at 11:06 PM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Red Wing's quality, in my opinion (I own several pairs of RWs both very old and pretty new, along with lots of other work boots), is not so great these days. They're also not made in the US, which might be important to some spending that kind of cash on boots.

I second the suggestion of Chippewa; much higher quality, more affordable, and (mostly) US-made. I think they also look better than IR boots, and are actually suitable for working. Thorogood also make some great and very durable US-built boots, but none are really too close to the IR style (low-profile, slim, etc.). Might be worth a look though!
posted by still bill at 2:35 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

For many years my father drove 50 miles to Red Wing, Minnesota from Wisconsin to visit the outlet and get his work boots a bit cheaper.

The Heritage boots are still made at the factory in Red Wing. If you were planning a vacation, you could visit as many of the Heritage boots are sold in the outlet store. If you know your size, do you have a friend that could visit?
Or you could call the Outlet, find out what they stock, and see if they are willing to ship. (651) 388-6233
posted by littlewater at 6:46 AM on November 17, 2014

Doc Martens are a decent facimile of work boots, but I bet you already thought of that.

I have some Swedish Sneaky Steve boots that are often on sale in the US on Gilt and other flash sale sites. And I like them.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:51 AM on November 17, 2014

Yeah, I came in to mention that Red wing isn't as great as it was 20-30 years ago. In fact if you were planning to do actual work with t hem I'd mention that they are some of the boots that I always tell potential owners to never leave the house without duct tape in their bag, they blow out that frequently.

However with that said - ebay for used versions?
posted by arnicae at 7:08 AM on November 17, 2014

It's possible to get Red Wings for cheaper, either through sales (rarely these days), or through seconds (Red Wings Seconds at Sierra Trading Post; you have to wait until they get in a shipment, and then they go FAST. They also have Wolverine 1000 mile seconds.). The Iron Rangers are part of the heritage line, which is still made in the USA, and I have no complaints about mine.

People have also once in a while reported finding them at Nordstrom Racks, though your mileage may vary on that one.
posted by Comrade_robot at 9:53 AM on November 17, 2014

2nding Chippewas. I have a pair that I've worn heavily for several years, and they look great. Just hit them with mink oil or beeswax from time to time and they'll hold up super well. I think you can get them for around $130 on Amazon.
posted by Aizkolari at 12:13 PM on November 17, 2014

Chippewa, Thorogood, Wolverine, and Danner are all good alternatives; each brand fits a little differently so it would be worthwhile to visit a good boot store and try them on (or use Zappos).
posted by a halcyon day at 5:09 PM on November 17, 2014

Those Chippewa 6" ones are pretty close to the mark. Thanks all!
posted by Inkoate at 6:43 PM on November 17, 2014

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