Charles Beckman, a successful local shoe Merchant founded the RED WING SHOE COMPANY in 1905, in a small town called Red Wing, Minnesota.
The Original boots were shin-high and a combination of leather, laces and buckles. The company went on to develop boots for oil field workers in 1920 and introduced their first women’s boots in 1926, the Gloria, a silhouette which you can still buy today.
In 1952, Red Wing introduced the Irish Red Setter Sport boot – 877, which is Red Wings’ most iconic colour-way and silhouette. Known more familiarly today as the classic Moc Toe.
Classic Prairie Boot Moc Toe 877
The boots were originally designed for hunting (hence the name), however they soon were commandeered by millions of American workers due to their all-day comfort and durability. The very same American workers wore these boots to build modern America throughout the 20th and early 21st century. The crescent shaped toe stitching was inspired by the construction of moccasins, originally worn by the North America Algonquin Indians. To this day, the original shoe lasts and construction practices are still used in the Red Wing Factory, USA.
Ironworkers erecting a steel framework in Minnesota wearing Red Wing
In 1966, pop culture illustrator Norman Rockwell, who was known for capturing 1960’s mainstream American lifestyle, was hired to create Red Wing’s Advertising (pictured above, top).
To explore the anatomy of a Red Wing boot, and find out more about how they are made, click here