Red Wing boots are probably the most popular heritage boot in the North American market, and the name Red Wing is synonymous with a stylish, functional work boot. Red Wing was first founded in 1905 in Red Wing Minnesota, so they have had plenty of time to make a name for themselves in the American footwear market. Red Wing boots have a special place in American history as they were the leading footwear company supplying soldiers during World War I and World War II.
Most Red Wing boots are made from top quality leather and hand-made exclusively in the US with plants in Minnesota, Kentucky, and Missouri. Their products are meant to be worn for heavy-duty activities, and some are equipped with unique features such as steel or aluminum toe caps and meet impact resistance standards. They produce and cater to niche markets as well, such as work boots for the mining industry and hiking boots.
Red Wing’s Waterproof boots
So, the question, "Are Red Wing boots waterproof?' When it comes to Red Wing’s Heritage line, the majority of the products are made from oil tanned leather and leather is well-known for its waterproofing capabilities.
Red Wing produces other work boots that are renowned for their waterproof design. For example, the Men’s Injex 17-inch Pull-on boot is made with an innovative polyurethane injection process which results in a highly durable, solid yet flexible boot. Its waterproofing features outcompete its rival PVC and rubber boots and can withstand harsh environments that are exposed to corrosive fluids.
Red Wing’s waterproof technology in detail
Red Wing’s waterproof technology consists of a 3-layer membrane that aims to keep your feet dry but also allow them to breathe. It consists of an inner lining that is in contact with your feet and keeps them dry. The second layer is comprised of a foam material that acts as a cushion, and the outer layer is the waterproof layer that can withstand wet conditions like rain and snow. This 3-layer membrane is covered by the leather material. You can also find insulated and uninsulated versions.
Improving Waterproofing capability of Red Wings
Although you can trust the premium quality water-resistant leather that Red Wings are made with, the leather can lose its water resistance over time due to wear and tear. If you didn’t purchase Red Wing boots that are specifically waterproof or if you own Red Wings with worn out leather, there are ways you could improve its water-resistance.
1. Use Mink oil
Mink oil is made from fat that is derived from mink pelts that end up in the fur industry. What makes it unique, is that it consists almost entirely of unsaturated fats. Unlike vegetable oil, it is more shelf stable and doesn’t go rancid once you apply it to your shoes.
But mink oil for conditioning leather is often mixed with lanolin (wax secreted from wool coated animals like sheep) and silicone for better texture. Mink oil will do an excellent job of making your Red Wings waterproof as well as oil resistant. It will also condition the leather and keep it looking new so that you can get a few extra years out of your Red Wings.
2. Red Wing’s Boot Oil
Red Wing’s Boot Oil also contains mink oil but has no silicon. Instead, it contains pine pitch secreted from the bark of pine trees which makes your shoes tougher and more water resistant. Pine pitch creates a protective barrier for the leather and helps the mink oil stay in the shoe for longer, giving it an edge over pure mink oil.
The problem with these methods, however, is that it can darken the leather. Overall, Red Wings are a top-quality brand of work boots. They are on the pricier side so make sure you do your research and select Red Wings that are specifically designed for your purpose. I hope this article, ’Are Red Wing Boots waterproof?’’ helped you narrow down your choices and simplified your research!
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