The 5 Stages of How Red Wing Boots Are Made

Why Red Wing Actually Can Claim Their Boots Are Better

I’m a big fan of Mad Men. One of my favourite scenes is from the very first episode, where Don comes up with the idea for Lucky Strike’s ‘it’s toasted’ campaign.

How Red Wing boots are made
How Red Wing boots are made

Built to Fit, Built to Last

Red Wing proudly makes boots that’re ‘built to fit, built to last.’ The company philosophy isn’t part of a marketing campaign; it’s how they’ve been making boots since 1905.

  • Stage 2: Sewing the leather pieces together (fitting)
  • Stage 3: Giving the boots their famous fit (lasting)
  • Stage 4: Attaching the outsoles
  • Stage 5: Adding the finishing touches

Stage 1: Cutting

In a previous in-depth blog post, I thoroughly investigated and discussed how Red Wing’s leather is made.

How Red Wing boots are made
How Red Wing boots are made

Stage 2: Fitting

Red Wing boots require over 230 hand operations in total. In the fitting room alone, there are often more than 30 individual steps. Stitching is mostly free-form handwork that takes a great deal of eye-hand coordination.

Stage 3: Lasting

A key feature of any Red Wing boot is a great fit. Remember the company philosophy. The lasting stage of making boots ensures they’ll fit your feet.

How Red Wing boots are made
How Red Wing boots are made

Stage 4: Bottoming

This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak; the bottoming stage is where the outsole of the boot is attached to the uppers. In addition to actual rubber, the outsoles can be made crepe or polyurethane.

How Red Wing boots are made
How Red Wing boots are made

Stage 5: Finishing

The final stage of making Red Wing boots is where the finishing touches are added before they’re ready to be shipped.

Connect for More Stories Like This

As I argued in the blog post about how leather is made, putting a boot together is a complicated process. It takes skills and quality materials to make quality boots.

Hi Thomas Stege. Thank you for being a subscriber!

Your subscription gives you access all the member resources as well as the entire the Denim 101 course!