Some of the best shoes in the world are not always made where you may expect them to be made, with Red Wing boots being part of this group. Many people wonder about the claims made by the company, questioning how it can make so many shoes using the traditional methods.
The only Red Wing boots made in the United States of America are the Heritage line of shoes that uses only traditional hand-crafted techniques. The Worx, Vasque, and Irish Setter boots are made in Asian countries where production is much faster.
Several people assume that all the shoes made by Red Wing are made in the United States, which is why it is essential to understand where it all comes from. Knowing which shoes are made and what they are meant to help with will ensure that you get the perfect fit every time.
While the company makes many different types of shoes, their line can generally be divided into two lines. These are the shoes that you will know and love, with a bit of a price difference between the two, identifying which will help your buying experience.
Many people who fall in love with the Red Wing boots fail to learn early on identifying the shoes and why it is essential to learn this. While there is value in all the shoes made by the company, specific shoes will be a lot more valuable, as they are the ones made in the USA.
The Heritage line currently only has two construction types, the Goodyear Welting and the Stitchdown, both handmade. To identify these, you must look on the inside of the shoe, lifting the flap, where you will see the year of production and the shoe's name.
All Red Wing boots have these markings on them and quickly identify them as authentic Red Wing boots. If you cannot find this tag or find one, but it does not say 'made in the USA', you should be aware that it is from the other lines of shoes offered by the company.
A lot harder to identify, the work safety boots made by Red Wing may prominently display made in the USA but are not made in the country. Instead, they are almost all made exclusively in Asian countries where production costs are lower and faster.
To identify these, you can usually do a web search for the shoe's name, and the Red Wing website will list a country of origin. However, it is easier to learn that there are only two styles of boots made by Red Wing made in the USA; all others are from other countries.
The primary country that Red Wing uses to produce its safety boots is China, with Korea, Vietnam, and Cambodia helping to fill the gaps when needed. Because labor and material costs are lower in all of these countries, it is much more cost-effective to have everything assembled there.
Because of this, you will find that the standard safety boots are a bit less expensive than the Heritage line of pure leather shoes that they have. Fortunately, even though the boots are not made in the USA, they are still made from leather to ensure that they can last.
Because of this, regular safety boots from Red Wing, despite lasting as long as the Heritage line, are not as coveted. However, the Heritage line of shoes is seen as collectible by several shoe collectors and those who want something they'll use every day.
Red Wing has manufacturing plants located in Minnesota, Potos, Missouri, and Kentucky, each creating only the Heritage line of shoes. These manufacturing plants can either build the shoes entirely or focus only on the shoes' final assembly.
It can be hard to know where exactly a specific pair of Heritage shoes have been made as there are so many made each day. However, most of the shoes manufactured by the company have their number, which does allow for internal tracing of the shoes if needed.
In these locations, you will usually find everything needed to manufacture the soles, the leather, and the linings of the Heritage line of shoes. With a great deal, many of the people working in these plants are specialized tradesmen that can't be found anywhere else in the world.
It is estimated that there are over two million shoes made each year at the Red Wing plants across the US. However, it is not entirely clear how many shoes are made through the company's foreign manufacturing plants, owing to many of them making shoes under different names than Red Wing.
The company has been manufacturing shoes in the United States for over four generations, starting in the 1910s and passing down the knowledge to each new generation. As a result, each boot has been focused on being part of the work boots that people worldwide will use daily.
Despite its handmade quality, it has been increasing production each year, hoping to reach wider audiences by making its shoes more affordable. As a result, many foreign countries now rely on the same quality of shoes available in the US but with different Irish Setter boots.
Red Wings are made in Asia because the company grew large enough to buy other boots manufacturers with some operations outside the US. Further, as production needed to be increased, US-based manufacturing plants could no longer keep up with the demand from workers for high-quality boots.
With the safety manufacturing of the boots increasing and the company's renown, increased manufacturing needed to be increased. As they introduced more safety shoes and types into what they had available, making each shoe by hand using traditional methods was no longer fast enough.
Many of the processes that the manufacturing plants across the world use still enforce some of the high-quality standards that the company has. With any Red Wing branded boot being repairable and having extended warranties, people enjoy their shoes for a lot longer.
Because Red Wing boots from the Heritage line are not specifically for safety, they cost more than the lineup of safety boots. The average price difference is between $20 to $60 as the safety boots are not meant to be stylish, overly comfortable, or last for years and years.
Further, as the safety boots are manufactured in more significant amounts, their costs are a lot lower than the handmade shoes from the Heritage line. Fortunately, the safety boots are still comfortable but are not meant to be used in the same manner as the Heritage line.
The Heritage line is no longer safety boots or shoes; instead, they are meant to be used when you need something a bit more stylish. As such, the heritage line uses a lot of softer materials that are made to last longer when cared for properly, with softer linings on the inside.
Red Wing has been making boots in the United States since the early 1910s and produced these boots through four different generations of owners. However, with the company growing globally, it has moved its safety boot production to international plants.
Wherever your boot may have come from, it will have a warranty and can be sent in for repairs when needed!
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