Red Wing Iron Ranger 6-Inch Boot Review

9/10 (Expert Score)
Product is rated as #3 in category Red Wing Boots
9.5Expert Score
A Near-Perfect Combination of Comfort, Style, and Durability

The Iron Ranger line continues to set the standard set by Red Wing more than 100 years ago

Cost and Quality
  • Premium materials
  • Superb construction
  • Classic design
  • Numerous styles to choose from
  • Long-term durability
  • Laces can be short for some people
  • Not ideal for walking on ice
  • Only water resistant

Red Wing Men's Iron Ranger 6" Boot

The Iron Ranger is one of Red Wing’s most popular styles for a good reason. It celebrates the history of workers through the continued excellence of the design.

 In this article, we will try to present red wing iron ranger review to help you choose the right pair of work boots. But before starting, we are showing you a video review that may help you, especially who prefer watching.

Key Features

Key Features

The Iron Ranger has a six-inch shaft for optimal arch support. Also, the heel measures an inch while the platform is half an inch. Red Wing uses natural leather for these boots. Thus, it can develop scuffs fast. Still, the company assures that the scuffs are removed with just a soft dry cloth. For the sole, Red Wing chose a synthetic material.

This is lighter and provides better cushioning than leather soles. Likewise, the Iron Ranger boots have a bump toe to give more space in the front section. All Iron Ranger boots feature speed hooks, a triple stitching pattern, and Goodyear welt construction.

The boots need the speed hooks so the wearer can undo the laces at the ankle section with ease. Also, the triple stitching pattern improves overall strength. The Iron Ranger chose the Goodyear welt construction for durability and comfort.


Style 10/10

The Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger 6-inch Boots come in six styles. The most significant differences are the appearance, leather material, and the outsole material.

1) Iron Ranger 8119

This variant uses premium Oxblood Mesa leather and bronze hardware. The oil-tanned leather comes from the S.B. Foot Tanning Company. The leather is primarily made to suit Red Wing boot styles.

It is resistant to stains, water, and sweat. Plus, the oil-tanned leather has a natural appearance due to the low number of finishing materials. For the outsole, the Iron Ranger 8119 has the Vibram 430 Mini-lug to give comfort and a sleek appearance.

2) Iron Ranger 8083

The 8083 boots feature Hawthorne Muleskinner leather, chrome hardware, and Vibram 430 Mini-lug outsoles. Instead of oil-tanned leather, this model uses roughout leather. This sturdy leather is created through a reverse-suede method.

3) Iron Ranger 8085

This variant uses copper rough and tough leather. Also, it has chrome hardware and the Vibram 430 Mini-lug outsoles. Like the Iron Ranger 8119, this features oil-tanned leather instead of roughout leather.

4) Iron Ranger 8086

These boots have premium charcoal rough and tough leather. As expected, it uses the Vibram 430 Mini-lug outsoles. Also, the metal eyelets come in dark gunmetal. As expected, this one uses oil-tanned leather from the S.B. Foot Tanning Company.

5) Iron Ranger 8111

The 8111 uses Amber Harness leather and chrome hardware. Its laces measure 48 inches and come in two colours: black or brown taslan. Also, this model is known for its Nitrile Cork outsoles. This offers great resistance to wear and tear. Nitrile Cork ensures better traction on any surface than the average leather outsole.

Nitrile Cork is durable and resistant to both oil and water. Similarly, it has an advantage over rubber outsoles: Nitrile Cork is not prone to drying out and cracking after years of use. Despite its sturdiness, the outsole permits decent flexibility.

But, the weakness of this outsole is that it lacks a tread pattern or any lugs. It can do well in snow, but it is not designed for walking on ice.

6) Iron Ranger 8114

The last Iron Ranger variant is the 8114 that uses Black Harness leather. Similar to the previous model, the 8114 also features Nitrile Cork outsoles.

As such, potential buyers have a lot of choices. No matter what they pick, the Iron Ranger boots will always feature premium leather. Furthermore, one can never go wrong with a minimalist look. The stitching and eyelet do enough to accent the beauty of the boot design.


Comfort 9/10

Leather insole relieve pain

The Iron Ranger boots feature insoles to keep the feet comfortable while walking or standing. In fact, the leather insole is known to relieve pain in the foot and leg area. It aims to prevent pain in the arch section, the metatarsal region, and in the heel area.

Red Wing chose leather for the insole as it gives ample cushioning. Also, it provides a satisfying feel if you choose to wear thin socks. The insole absorbs some of the impacts and distributes pressure. Lastly, the leather insole effectively reduces the chance of developing blisters.

Steel shank  supports the arch area

Aside from the six-inch shaft, a steel shank helps to support the arch area. The steel material safeguards the feet from punctures. Also, it lessens the impact workers feel as they go up and down ladders.

Even with the material used, a steel shank is still a thin piece of metal. It is flexible but stiff enough to stop any falling objects from directly hitting your feet. The only issues with the shank of the Iron Ranger are that it is susceptible to cold weather and triggers metal detectors.

Leather is high quality

Like with any leather, it will take some time before the fit becomes comfortable. The first few times can feel awkward due to a stiff feeling, but the leather will eventually fit well. The leather is high quality. In particular, the upper section is supple yet sturdy.

Cost And Quality

Cost And Quality: 8/10

The Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger 6-inch Boots cost between $249.99 up to $357.77. This is a fairly steep price, but the brand easily justifies it with the quality. Iron Ranger boots use premium materials such as oil-tanned leather and Nitrite Cork outsoles.

People have long described Red Wing boots as an investment, and they are right. Iron Ranger boots will last you years with enough care and look good as they age. Some wearers argue that the laces are not thick and long enough, but that is a minor issue.


Durability: 10/10

These boots excel in durability. From the steel shank to the high-quality leather, Red Wing ensures long-term reliability. From the triple stitching pattern to the Goodyear welt construction, Red Wing chooses the best construction techniques. With such a smart design, the materials come together in a nice fit.


Traction: 8/10

These boots provide enough traction on most surfaces. But, the Iron Ranger is not the ideal choice for walking on ice. This is the same regardless of the model you choose. Neither the Vibram 430 Mini-lug nor the Nitrite Cork can offer sufficient traction on ice. The Iron Ranger boots can be used on snow, but not for hours on end.


Insider Tips


Pick a smaller size.

Instead of choosing your usual dress shoe size, you must buy a pair of Iron Ranger boots that are half a size smaller. If you commonly use a size 9 shoe, go for an 8.5.

As much as possible, you should try wearing an actual pair of these boots at a physical store first. If you pick the wrong size, the extra space can lead to creases in the front section.


Contact Red Wing for free lace replacements.

If the laces are too short for you, Red Wing will gladly replace them. Just go to the official website and ask for a new pair of laces.


Avoid oiling them regularly.

Applying oil constantly will negatively affect the shape-retaining characteristic of leather. Also, the appearance becomes undesirably dark.

Oiling does improve water resistance, but it should only be done one every few months. Just use a brush to remove any mud or dirt to keep it clean.


Wear thick socks while still breaking them in

After several tries, the sole will mold to one’s feet. Until then, it is best to wear thick socks to avoid friction and blisters.


Origin of the Iron Ranger Boots

The inspiration for the Iron Ranger work boots came from Mesabi Iron Range

The inspiration for the Iron Ranger work boots are the miners of Minnesota. The Iron Range is situated near Lake Superior and is home to a significant portion of the ore deposits. Within the large Iron Range of Minnesota lies the Mesabi Iron Range. Here, miners have been digging as early as the 19th century.

Due to the tough conditions, the iron miners needed a good pair of work boots. This is where the Red Wing Shoe Company came into play. With their expertise, the company designed sturdy yet comfy boots. Also, these boots had oil-resistant outer soles, speed-lacing hooks, and a cork midsole.

But, what made these remarkable for the miners at the Mesabi Iron Range was the double-layered toe. This protected them from work-related injuries.

Fast forward today, and the Iron Ranger work boots maintain the features that miners valued the most. While upholding its origins, the modern boots are built for the demands of modern society.

Overall, the Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger 6-inch Boots offer excellent style without compromising comfort and durability. The brand has continued to improve the Iron Ranger line over the years with premium materials and better features. These boots are no doubt pricey, but they are a fine investment if you want a pair of vintage-looking Red Wing boots that will last you for a long time.

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