To break in Red Wing Iron Ranger boots, initially, you need to wear them every day for 1-2 hours. This will decrease the stiffness of the leather. Also, massaging the flexible parts of the boot will help loosen up the inside of the boot.
How Do You Break in Red Wing Iron Ranger Boots?
Before breaking in the Red Wing boots, you have to find the right size and style of your boot. Otherwise, no matter how much you try breaking in the boot, it will all go in vain. By the way, do you know how to measure shoe size?
Find Your Red Wing Boot Size and Style
There are different styles of Red Wing boots. Although all of them can be worn for daily usage, if you have a specific need then you should go for a specific style of boot.
Primarily, this boot was created for iron miners in the 1930s. It is quite suitable as a work boot as the leather is really thick and durable. Iron Rangers are resistant to oil. And also they contain a bump toe which allows the toe to wiggle more comfortably inside the boot.
Moreover, Iron Ranger boots come with toe-caps which provide extra protection for the toe. For someone who gets spots on the toes from continuous kicking or rubbing, the toe cap will offer that additional shield.
At first, the Classic Moc boot was made for sportsmen but it quickly became really popular among factory workers. The forefoot and instep of the Classic Moc boots contain additional space. Therefore, someone with wide feet can comfortably fit into this boot. Also, because of the additional space, it is easier to fit athletic insoles.
Furthermore, this boot has a traction tread rubber outsole. So, it is a great choice for the people who are linked to regular running. This also offers a softer landing compared to Iron Ranger boots.
Blacksmith boot was created to protect the feet from scalding sparks for the metalworkers. This boot is quite similar to Wolverine 1000 mile boot and the Iron Ranger boot in terms of features and appearance.
Similar to the Iron Ranger, Blacksmith boots are oil-tanned and features bump toes. However, it is a little bit easier to break in into Blacksmith boots than Iron ranger boots. The leather is of high quality and possesses long durability.
Iron Ranger vs Blacksmith
|Toe-cap||Contains a toe cap that provides an extra layer of protection.||1.Does not contain any toe cap.|
|Backstay||2. The backstay is made of one big piece of leather.||2. Backstay is only a strip of leather, not covering the counter. Thus, protects the heel less than Iron Ranger.|
|Laces||3. Contains round nylon laces.||3. Contains flat waxed cotton laces that are stickier and have fewer chances to get undone.|
|Collar||4. Collar is downwardly curved with raw edges.||4. Collar is flat with rolled edges.|
Generally, all Red Wing boots contain plenty of room inside the toes. So, choosing the right size is different for Red Wing boots compared to normal shoes.
The general idea is to go half a size down than your standard sneakers size. For example, if you wear size 10 in sneakers, size 9.5 is more likely to fit in terms of Red Wing boots. And if you want to fit in EE then you have to go a full size down than your normal size.
Spaces Between Laces
An important thing to consider while determining the size of the boot is to notice the space between the laces. After tying, if the space seems really close then there is too much room inside. If it seems too far away then it is probably too tight for you. Ideally, the space should be approximately 1 inch.
How Do You Soften Red Wing Leather Boots?
Breaking in Red Wing leather boots is much harder than other shoes. Because the leather of these boots is really thick, firm, rough, and tough. It can take from 2-3 weeks to months for the boots to break in.
Wearing socks at the primary stage of breaking in the boots gives you fewer chances of getting blisters and pain. Additionally, the sweat due to the socks increases the moisture inside the boot which aids in breaking in easily.
For the first 2-3 weeks, you need to wear the boots regularly indoor or outdoor. Wearing them every day for 1-2 hours softens the leather.
Conducting some exercises wearing the boots helps decrease the period of break-in. Little 1-2 min exercises like heel raise, lunges reduce the stiffness of the boots.
Massage the Leather where it bends
You do not need to be gentle while massaging the boot, as it will not damage them. Squeeze the leather of the flexible portions like ankle and heel with your hands. Try bending the sole, this will loosen the inside of the boot and make it more comfortable.
Are Red Wing Iron Rangers Worth It?
To answer this question, yes, they are definitely worth it. Although they are really expensive but the quality of the Iron Ranger boots is undeniably one of the greatest.
The leather is full-grain, oil-tanned which gives a very thick but smooth and creamy texture to the boot. Also, because of this, the boot does not require much conditioning.
Although it is really hard to break in Iron Rangers, as soon as the cork midsole breaks in, it starts to mold to your feet. Basically, it gets compressed to your footprint which makes it very comfortable.
Iron Ranger boots contain a lot of chain stitching which is a really strong kind of stitch. This gives the boot long durability and fewer chances of wearing out the thread.
270 Degree Goodyear Welted
As the boot is 270-degree Goodyear welted, it is much sleeker and the heel does not stick out. Moreover, this makes the boot easier to re-sole.
Q: How long does Iron Rangers last?
Ans: If you take proper care of the boot and condition it 2-3 times a year then Iron Rangers are likely to last many decades.
Q: Are Red Wings waterproof?
Ans: Yes, they are. The heel is tightly attached to the outsole and the stitches throughout the boot are really strong which does not let water penetrate all the way inside.
Q: How to break in Red Wing boots fast?
Ans: You should not try to rush the process of breaking in Red Wing boots. Wearing them for many hours in the first couple of days can cause painful blisters and soreness.
Although breaking in Red Wing boots is lengthy and tiring, if you wear them every day it will ease up the process. But firstly, you need to determine your correct boot size. Otherwise, the boot will never be comfortable even if you follow all the steps of breaking in.