Deciding between two major brands that make high-quality outdoor boots doesn’t have to be challenging.
Both Red Wing and Timberland are renowned for creating high-quality boots for outdoor use. Both companies use various materials and technologies to produce durable and comfortable footwear you can use for work or casual wear.
It might be easy to choose one brand because it’s more popular, but in this article, we will try to understand which brand is better and why based on the types of boots each brand makes.
1. Red Wing
Red Wing Shoes is a famous maker of footwear and accessories based in the U.S. but with outreach in over 100 countries worldwide.
The Red Wing company has been making work footwear for a long time, but it has branched into fashion-oriented shoes for everyday wear with casual outfits, Oxford shoes, accessories, and hiking shoes.
Read also: Red Wing vs Thorogood Boots: A Comparison
History of the Brand
A pair of Red Wing leather Moc Toe boots
Founded in 1905 in Red Wing, Minnesota, the Red Wing brand has become one of the most celebrated makers of work footwear around. It is known for crafting high-quality, comfortable shoes.
Charles H. Beckman is the founder of Red Wing Shoes. He named the company after where it was founded and is still headquartered today.
Beckman wanted to make durable and comfortable footwear for workers in industries like farming, mining, hunting, and logging.
Red Wing has grown tremendously over the years. It’s gone from making just a few footwear products to hundreds of footwear styles in production today, which is in sharp contrast to the early days of styles like Gloria (1926) and the 877 Moc Toe (1952).
Other Red Wing Shoe Company brands include Worx, Vasque, Irish Setter Boots, and Carhartt, though the company discontinued the production of the Carhartt footwear brand in 2011.
Red Wing launched the Vasque brand to target new customers in the climbing, hiking, and backpacking industries.
The brand has remained true to its founder’s vision of producing a comfortable, durable, and high-quality work boot. It now has more than 2,000 employees and is celebrated for its high-quality safety wear and work boots.
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Materials and Manufacturing
Red Wing Shoe Company has stuck to its traditional methods of producing quality and comfortable boots using premium materials.
According to the company, their Heritage footwear passes through more than 230 steps to ensure top-notch quality for every pair. (source)
Red Wing uses various types of leather to make its boots, including nubuck, vegetable-tanned, chrome-tanned, and oil-tanned.
The Red Wing brand ensures its leather is of high quality to produce durable boots. To this end, the company bought the Minnesota-based S. B. Foot Tanning Company, where the leather is tanned.
Red Wing uses the same old Puritan sewing machines to ensure it remains true to its legacy of quality and durability and foot-shaped molds called lasts in making shoes of different sizes once the leather is cut and sewn together.
Besides leather, Red Wing uses rigid non-metal materials and metal items like aluminum and steel to enhance the resistance of boots to punctures and to maximize safety.
Red Wing’s notable processes and technologies include:
- Urethane Sole Technology (SuperSole);
- Stitchdown construction;
- Footbed of algae biomass for sustainability (2019);
- Protective steel toe;
- Goodyear welt construction;
- Oil-resistant sole;
- Comfort Force Footbed;
- Sweat-proof insole.
All these technologies, processes, and traditional methods result in the production of 5,000 pairs of boots every day at the Red Wing production plant in Red Wing, Minnesota.
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Our Favorite Red Wing Boots
If you are looking for durable boots, you can check out these two popular designs from Red Wing.
Red Wing Heritage Men’s Iron Ranger 6-Inch Vibram Boot
A pair of Red Wing Iron Ranger boots
The Red Wing Men’s Iron Ranger is made in the U.S. with 100% leather and features triple stitching, Vibram mini-lug outsole, nickel eyelets, steel shank, and a bump toe that offers more up-front room. The boots are resoleable.
Red Wing Women’s 6-Inch Classic Moc
Image Source: RedWingShoes.com
The Women’s 6-Inch Classic Moc features a polyurethane Traction Tred outsole, Moc-toe construction, cork midsole, and full-grain leather upper. The boots are also resoleable.
Red Wing Boots FAQs
Below are answers to two questions people usually ask about Red Wing boots.
Are Red Wing Boots Worth the Money?
Red Wing boots are worth the money as the company maintains the same standards of quality that its footwear has had since its inception. You can expect a worthwhile investment as the boots last a long time no matter how much you use them.
Where Are Red Wing Boots Made?
Red Wing Shoes company makes the majority of its boots in the U.S. at its production plants at Potosi in Missouri and Red Wing in Minnesota. The company sources its leather and materials locally, but it does import some other materials.
The company also makes some boots in Asian countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, and China.
Timberland grew from humble beginnings in the early 1950s to a world-famous footwear maker known for the iconic Yellow Boot that is synonymous with the brand.
Timberland’s success can be attributed to endless efforts by the company to ensure it produces high-quality and stylish shoes that leave an indelible mark on the market. The brand also became very popular in the 1990s because of how the hip-hop culture embraced its footwear.
Today, Timberland boots are widely known as “Timbs”, a nickname that has gone further to cement the brand’s dominance.
History of the Brand
A pair of Timberland Yellow boots
Founded by Nathan Swartz in 1952, Timberland started as a footwear maker for outdoor use. Swartz was a Russian shoemaker who came to the U.S. and bought 50% of Abington Shoe Company in 1952.
Sometime later, Swartz bought the company wholly and relocated the headquarters to Newmarket, New Hampshire, New England.
Over the years, Timberland had been a family-owned business until the company was sold to VF Corporation, which still owns it to date.
Besides footwear, Timberland also manufactures apparel and accessories, such as clothes, leather accessories, watches, and glasses.
Materials and Manufacturing
The high quality and style of Timberland boots stem from the company’s use of quality materials, processes, and technologies.
Timberland makes its shoes with various materials and fabrics, like natural rubber, leather, suede, nubuck leather, cotton, wool, Polartec fleece, Cordura fiber, and Thread Ground to Good fabric.
Timberland also promotes sustainability by using recycled materials such as recycled leather, recycled plastics, recycled cotton, renewable eucalyptus, organic cotton, and foam made from natural rubber and sugarcane.
Timberland uses various processes and technologies in making its boots, including:
- Seam-sealed construction;
- REBOTL Fabric (made of recycled plastic);
- Anti-Fatigue Technology (removable footbed);
- Rubber lug outsoles for optimum traction;
- PrimaLoft Eco Insulation (down-free);
- TimberDry (waterproof linings);
- GreenStride Comfort Soles;
- TimberGrip Technology;
- Thermo-Fibre Insulation, ThermoLite Insulation, and Thermore Thermal Booster Insulation.
Learn more: 7 Types of Timberland Boots that You Should Know
Our Favorite Timberland Boots
Here are two Timberland boots we think you might want to check out.
Timberland Men’s 6-Inch Premium Waterproof Boots
The Timberland Men’s 6-inch Premium Boot is made with 100% leather and features Anti-Fatigue technology, PrimaLoft Eco insulation, a rubber outsole, padded collar around the ankle, and waterproofing.
Timberland Women’s Heritage 6-Inch Waterproof Boots
Image Source: Timberland.com
The Timberland Women’s Heritage 6-Inch Waterproof Boots feature PrimaLoft insulation, seam-sealed waterproofing, leather upper, 50% ReBOTL recycled plastic linings, and Anti-Fatigue technology. They are the ideal women’s boots if you want a great colorful look.
Timberland Boots FAQs
Here are two common questions people ask about Timberland boots.
Are Timberland Boots Worth the Money?
Timberland boots are worth your money in our opinion. Each Timberland boot is made with quality and style in mind to ensure users get the very best footwear for the outdoors and casual wear.
Where Are Timberland Boots Made?
Timberland manufactures its products in various countries including the U.S., the Dominican Republic, India, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and China.
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3. Which Brand is Better?
A pair of Timberland work boots
When choosing between Timberland and Red Wing Shoes, your decision will depend on what you want in your outdoor boots.
If you want a highly durable, quality, and comfortable outdoor boot for rigorous activities like work, hiking, and outdoor adventures, go with Red Wing. The company also has various stylish boots you can wear casually.
In our opinion, Timberland is the better bet for a stylish outdoor boot you can wear casually to the office or over the weekend. However, you can also find high-quality and durable work boots from Timberland.