Red Wing is an indispensable part of American history. It has been a footwear supplier in the two World Wars.
The brand was created by Charles H. Beckman in 1905. It quickly became famous for its sturdy leather work boots, athletic boots, and work boots for specific jobs.
While its headquarters are in Red Wing, Minnesota, where are Red Wing shoes made?
Let’s explore the long story of Red Wing to find out where these boots originated. This article also reveals some essential information on how these Red Wing boots are made.
Where Are Red Wing Shoes Made?
More than half of Red Wing shoes (54.5%) are made in Asian countries, including China, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and more. Less than half of them (45.5%) are of American origin. You can check out the origin of every Red Wing shoe on its official website.
Despite where Red Wing shoes are made, their leather is sourced from S.B. Foot Tannery in Red Wing, Minnesota. This tannery was established by the brand in 1870.
Only 45.4% of Red Wing shoes worldwide have American origin, as checked on its official website. This percentage is categorized into 3 groups as follows.
- 25.8% of Red Wing shoes are entirely made in the U.S. with American materials.
- 18.7% of Red Wing shoes are made in the U.S. with imported materials from other countries.
- 1% Red Wing shoes are finalized in the U.S., the components of which are imported from other destinations worldwide.
In other words, only 25.8% of Red Wing shoes, including the Heritage line, are made in the U.S. This number goes against the brand’s advertisement that 60% of its shoes are crafted in the U.S.
American-original Red Wing shoes are handmade in the company’s manufacturing plants in Red Wing (Minnesota), Danville (Kentucky), and Potosi, Missouri.
There might be some reasons why Red Wing has to outsource part of its shoes overseas, including high labor and production costs, restrictions in the shoemaking process, difficulties with essential materials, and more.
If you want to find “made in America” Red Wing shoes, check out the following names:
- SuperSole 6-Inch Boot.
- LoggerMax 9-Inch Logger Boot.
- TruWelt Chukka.
- SuperSole 2.0 6-Inch Boot.
- Traction Tred 9-Inch Pull-On Boot.
Beyond the U.S. borders, Red Wing shoes are also made in some Asian countries, namely China, Cambodia, Korea, Vietnam, and more. These manufacturing plants focus on making Red Wing work boots.
These plants, especially those in Cambodia and Vietnam, also take part in the production of other brands under Red Wing, including Irish Setter Boots, Vasque, Carharttare (discontinued in 2011), and Worx.
Some popular Asian-made Red Wing shoes with their country of origin.
- Made in Cambodia: King Toe Oxford, King Toe 6-Inch Boot.
- Made in China: FlexForce 6-Inch Boot.
- Made in Vietnam: Traction Tred 6-Inch Boot.
Check more: Where Are Birkenstock Shoes Made?
Who Owns Red Wing Footwear
Red Wing Footwear has been under the management of Allison Getting from July 2022 till now.
Allison is the fourth generation of the Sweasy family to lead Red Wing Footwear. Thus, Allison spent part of her childhood in this company and deeply understood its mission, core values, and how to maintain top-notch quality compared to its rivals.
Before Red Wing, she spent a short period of time leaving the company to create her own footwear brand.
Allison is also the first female president of Red Wing Footwear.
How Red Wing Shoes Are Made?
Red Wing is the pride of the American people, not only for its contributions to the two historical events of this country but also for its top-notch quality standards on every shoe.
Every Red Wing shoe is handcrafted with care by skilled workers using premium materials and special techniques.
Handcrafted with care
Red Wing shoes resonate with the American craftsmanship of shoemaking. According to the brand, it takes more than 230 steps to make every pair of Red Wing boots by hand.
Some main steps in this process are tanning, cutting, fitting, lasting, bottoming, and finishing. But the most noticeable part of this process is that every step is handled with care by skilled shoemakers.
Made of the finest materials
Red Wing shoes are made of first-class materials from reputable suppliers.
For example, it imports leather from S.B.Foot Tanning Company in Red Wing (Minnesota). In this tannery, the leather is cut and prepared before being shipped to the factory.
Based on two main constructions
All Red Wing shoes are built based on two critical constructions: Goodyear welting and Stitch-down. These two constructions enhance the shoe’s durability while reducing the fixing and replacement costs.
- Goodyear welting, which first appeared in 1869, is the stitching of the leather with the upper and the insole of a shoe.
- Stitch-down, dated back to the 17th century, mentions that the shoe’s upper is flanged outwards and then connected with the midsole by stitching.
Well-complied with industry standards
Red Wing shoes are also compliant with industry standards. In other words, the shoes are safe to use at work with clear certification.
For instance, the shoes meet the ASTM F 2413-11 for safety at work and static-dissipation I/75 C/75 for compression and impact.
Many Red Wing shoes come with safety toes made from steel, non-metallic, and aluminum with puncture-resistant options to protect the wearer’s toes from unwanted accidents at work.
In addition, Red Wing has also rolled out some shoe styles with static dissipation to provide extra protection for the wearer from electrical accidents.
In sum, Red Wing shoes are manufactured partly in America (54.5%) and Asian countries (45.5%) like Vietnam, China, Cambodia, and Korea. No matter where the shoes are made, they follow the brand’s strict production process and deliver the same quality.
Another interesting fact about this brand is that it provides no veg-tanned leather boots due to this leather’s expensive pricing and challenges in shoemaking compared to chrome-tanned.
If you are an environmentally-conscious consumer, you should know this information before ordering a pair of Red Wing.