I keep seeing ads for this (new?) Red Wing EcoLite work boot. This is the hiker-style work boot, and there’s also a shoe version.
The Red Wing EcoLite work boot has an aluminum safety toe and also meets ASTM safety standards for electrical hazards.
The boot is partially made from recycled materials, hence the ECO part of its name.
The ads I have seen say:
Comfortable, lightweight, and made from sustainable materials.
The right work shoe for the job. The right work shoe for the planet.
Red Wing says that the boot is “ideal for light-duty work in warehousing, delivery, manufacturing, and service.”
It looks extremely comfortable to me, with a sneaker-like cushioned midsole.
Additional features include a Vibram oil-resistant sole and BOA Fit lacing system.
You can find it at Red Wing stores.
So – what do you think?
I only do composite toe anymore, not sure if thats a nonstarter in some industries though. It doesn’t have the thermal issues that you get from steel or aluminum. Never used that kind of lacing system. I hate tying my shoes, so maybe something like that would be good for me!
Ive had one pair of shoes with the boa system and loved it (hiking shoes maybe, 15 years ago ) Wish they were more common. You should research and see if you can find something you like and give it a shot. theyre used in some workboots and outdoor boots
I understand the “thermal” issues some mat feel they have. But, in reality, the steel cup is stronger than the composit cup. The Thinsulate works wonders in these boots, and I’ve been wearing Red Wing Boots since I was a kid in Missouri winters, to being a telephone man in N.J. winters all the way to Arizona heat and back north to the Dakotas and west to Washington and now in the Gulf coast swamps. No issues with cold feet or hot feet, and I always buy the insulated boot option. I also wear the appropriate socks for each location. Cotton for South and cotton/wool cooler areas and full wool for really cold.
I’ve long since wondered why you don’t see BOA systems used in workboots or anywhere outside snowboard boots. Aluminum is a nope from me. Composite please.
I have also been seeing alot of ads for this boot, and while I was intrigued at first, I have no interest in a steel/composite toe unless its required by the job I’m on. This seems to be the only way its available.
Ok I’ll say it- that is one ugly boot/shoe.
I love the look ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Ain’t no way I’m paying $200+ for them though. [but I’m also not their target audience]
third line down
‘The book is partially made from recycled materials, hence the ECO part of its name.”
i think you meant Boot
I’m sorry I didn’t like them, they don’t look like a work boot I prefer a regular leather work boot.
These are lighter for people that aren’t in a place that requires heavy foot protection.
Redwing makes a fantastic leather boot. I splurged on a 6″ pair after Christmas and they are so much more comfortable than my old Wolverines. Having said that, part of the justification is the durability and how long they should last.
I did not get the BOA due to my wife’s aesthetic assessment that they looked weird, but I liked the concept.
With these, I’m very skeptical that they’ll have the long-term durability Redwing is known for.
With *these hiking style shoes Stuart posted about.
They are guaranteed for life. I have here on my 8″ work boots and I love them. They mad either so easy to break them in.
Red Wing products do not have a life time guarantee. They offer excellent product support and guarantees, but not life time.
They don’t have a lifetime guarantee. They have a 30 day fit guarantee and craftsmanship guarantee. They do offer free cleaning and conditioning for life and some of their boots are repairable, where you can send them back to the factory, but that will cost you. The ones with sewn on soles can be sent in for repairs but those with glued welts can not.
Redwing normally makes a good boot. Have used them in the past. Been using Merrel slip-ons for the past several years as they fit me well, are really comfortable and reasonably priced. I have a concern with these being made of recycled materials. I suspect that they will wear faster than a good leather. For over $200, they need to last a long time. Also, an aluminum toe seems weird these days. I wonder if there is some compelling reason for using it rather than composite which seems to be pretty much standard these days on light weight work boots. Personally, I don’t have a preference of material provided it is light weight and doesn’t set off airport metal detectors.
I’m on my feet all day. At this point, comfort comes before looks, maybe even durability though not safety. My Red Wings are back ups because my feet started hurting. My Thorogood steel toe was fantastic, and lasted well through the job where I needed them. Now I go with hikers. Oboz, Keen and work just paid for my Lowa. I would try these Red Wing on if I saw them in person. Don’t like the looks and never tried this lacing system, but I would check them out. I’m seeing more and more negative reviews for Red Wing. Don’t know why. Mine are almost four years old and for two years I worked at a woodshop with sawmills. They held up.
Michael Shawn Tibbit
I have some questions about the hikers you mentioned that you have been wearing if you don’t mind. Also I used red wings for years offshore. Had to stop because of leg surgery. Just don’t see these lasting long enough to justify $200+.
I’ve got a safety toe policy at work because some days we really do get into some possible foot hazards. But as I get older the boots make my toes hurt. I’ve tried just about every boot on the market and after a week it’s all bad. Currently, I wear nice comfortable shoes to work and keep my safety toes under my desk. If I’ve gotta go do something, then I put the safety toes on. If these wear like my running shoes and protect like my work boots, I’m in.
Also, the BOA system is awesome, I use them on both the motorcycle boots and my winter boots. I recommend it to all the office ladies. Pretty shoes for work, snow boots with BOA for the evil winter walk from the car.
Because of the way my foot is shaped, steel toes (safety toes these days cause of the varying materials used) tend to hurt my feet after a short time. It took me 17 years to finally find some that didn’t hurt my toes after a while. What I finally figured out was to buy the extra wide (4E) size. In some brands I also go up 1/2 size in length. This has basically solved the issue. Some fit better than others so it is really a matter of keep trying until you find something that fits well. Then buy extras because they will change or discontinue them.
That looks more like a sneaker or a modern athletic shoe more than a work boot. It seems like it would work fine for its intended purpose though, they do say up front it’s a light-duty work boot.
I used to use many of the traditional boot brands. I’ve owned Doc Martens, Danner, Red Wing, etc. They weren’t bad. The last boots I bought were from Nick’s, one of a handful of companies whose specialty is hand-made boots for wildland firefighters and utility workers. They were recommended to me after someone heard me complain about how welding/cutting slag was damaging the stitching on my Red Wings. Epiphany. I will never go back to off-the-shelf work boots again. The durability is amazing but the comfort is what’s unmatched. I feel that I can work harder and longer with less fatigue at the end of the day. It’s nice that factory production has made shoes inexpensive and convenient to buy, but I don’t believe that a single size number can properly describe the shape of a human foot. Can you describe a person’s body type with only their height or only their waist size? The old-school method of taking measurements of the wearer’s feet and making a last might be time-consuming and costly but it’s worth it. And I say this purely from a practicality standpoint, I couldn’t care less about fashion or showing off fancy brand names.
Nick’s, White’s, or Frank’s for heavy duty work boots. You will not be sorry. They are all highly customizable to suit your specific requirements.
In addition to other things you mentioned normal peoples feet arent the same size. Custom made boots or shoes can accomodate this.
$225 for that thing?? Even at their inflated prices Redwing sells much better boots like their Loggermax series at the same or lower prices.
Only other popular company I know still using aluminum is Timberland. If you want light go carbon but it’s thermally conductive. Second is composite which isn’t. If price is a concern there are decent steel toe boots out there that are comfortable.
I understand the arguments for Whites, Nicks, etc., but you can’t return them and unless you live in the right area no way to try before you buy. 99% of foot pain from shoes is related to either the insoles or poor fit with width and foot pad shape such as arch support is critical. That’s why you need to try before you buy.
In a way you can “try before you buy” with Nick’s. When I ordered my first pair I was sent a form with measurements to be filled out and detailed instructions for another person to take those measurements. I sent those measurements to Nick’s. Nick himself called me to discuss the measurements, which arch style I wanted, and so on. They then sent me a pair of trial boots with instructions to wear them for a while and to comment on any hot spots, arch support, any other issues. They also requested photographs of me wearing the trial boots so they could look at the fit. I returned the trial boots using a pre-paid label they provided me. Then a few weeks later I received the actual pair I had ordered with a guarantee that if anything wasn’t perfect they’d take care of it on their dime. I didn’t need to do that, they were absolutely perfect, but I’m sure they would have done whatever it took to get the fit perfect regardless of how much work it took.
I would assume Frank’s works the same way since Frank was a longtime employee of Nick’s and runs his business in Nick’s original building. I have not dealt with White’s so I don’t know if they offer the same level of service, but I would assume they do. Frank’s is willing to do some pretty serious custom work too. I have a co-worker who wanted a set of those boots but with the wrap-around leather piece over the ankle like the old US Army “Double Buckle” boots. Nick’s would not do that level of custom work but Frank’s was happy to.
Red Wing boots are named after the town and it’s two words, just an FYI
Anyone have tried Brunt work boots, they are fairly new.
Redwing makes a great boot and great
work shoes. Their work shoes would last me about a year and a half merchandising coca cola on concrete floors while all the other brands only lasted me about 6 months. I merchandise for coke for 7 years and you couldn’t get me to put another shoe on my foot.https://www.redwingshoes.com/work/mens/safety-toe/CoolTech-Athletics–06343.html
Been wearing these boots since August and I’ll just say I like them. Not a big fan of wearing safety toe boots but I needed them for work and these were great. They’re comfortable when I’m wearing them for 8 to 10 hours days. Not the biggest fan of the look but they were more comfy than the King series or whatever red wings other boot series is called. Also love the boa system. Just pop it and slip off the boots or click it and tighten it in like two turns.
I’d wear it. I’d prefer a composite toe but these types of athletic boots are my favorite style. They’re much more comfortable but IDK if it would hold up in tougher environments. There’s a reason these normally don’t come in steel toe.
Koko The Talking Ape
Just to add something that nobody has mentioned yet, but wedge soles like these (i.e., without a distinct heel) can have less traction or stability in certain situations, like walking down a steep hill, or standing on a ladder. Also, I’m just used to having a heel. 🙂
I want to see this cut in half on Rose Anvil youtube channel. He does some awesome boot reviews and cuts them in half to actually see what they are made of. Interestingly lots of big brands are making some incredible junk. I work in the trades and went with his recommendation for best under 200 dollar leather work boot, Jim Green razor back. 8 months in I’m loving them. Bought two more pairs of different models same brand.
I’ve been wear red wing work shoes for a long time now and I was getting their work oxfords – it’s one of the boot styles but without the ankle support – stops at the heal. I get these because I go from office to hangar floor. or production floor back in the day.
anyway point is – I refuse to wear a shoe that I can just walk right through the hangar in – and that means for me. rated safety toe. Then because of what’s around the plane or even parts of the plane I like an ESD rated shoe. My current ones are composite toe and shank – which is good as I go though security with these shoes too.
That’s what might keep me away from those shoes is the BOA system and the AL toe. Otherwise I see nothing wrong with it. In fact I almost bought a set of work boots for home the other day with the BOA system.
Other thought I don’t like the BOA knob being on the side – seems like I would catch that on something. I like the boots where that is on the tounge.
Otherwise I like normal laces and Red Wing gives you new ones when you need them. Also used to be the best warranty in the busniess. However if you look new red wing shoes are made in china. and when pressed – they are made of USA materials in China. Yes I scratched my head too. Supposedly red wing can’t glue their shoes here anymore due to epa issues with the glue they use or need to use. so it’s cheaper and easier for them to ship the stuff over to their china factory that makes the “workx” line and have them glue the shoes and send them over.
My theory is that other than EPA it also costs too much to have a 18 dollar and hour worker in MN or WI (I forget where they main factory is) put together shoes by hand. I don’t know but it feels fishy. However – still appears to be a well made shoe but I’m shopping around for my next set.
My local boot dealer (Arizona) has stopped carrying Red Wing boots because they won’t stand behind the warranty for their customers. Apparently Red Wings are not what they use to be!
I’ve never had any issue with Red Wing not honoring their product. They have a 30 day fit guarantee and they clean and condition them regularly and change the laces wjen they wear. I’ve had one pair of Lineman boots since 2000 and another heavy construction type since 2011, and both are going strong. You can also send your boots in to the factory to be reconditioned, resoled etc. I’ve just added another pair, these are lighter weight, for interior work.
I’m not sure what the guy meant by them not honoring any warranty. But I always vuy mine from a Red Wing Factory Store.
I have a new job coming up at the first of the year. First time i’ll need a safety toe. I tried wolverine’s safety toe and it fit terribly. I’ll be going into red wing to probably try these on and see what else they have that might work for me.
Search for a Red Wing Store and see how they treat you. I’m not talking about a work boot retailer that also sells a few Red Wing Boots, I’m talking about their factory stores. They have a brand new machine that measures your feet and how you stand and the pressures you place and where. They’ll ask several questions about where you work, what conditions you’ll be in etc. They also have a newer line that offers quality boots at a little lower price point.
The other great thing about these stores is 30 day fit guarantee and lifetime cleaning and conditioning, plus free laces for life. Many of their boots can be sent to the factory for reconditioning/soles/heels etc.
I’ve had many boots, and own 3 different pair of Red Wing Boots now, all for different types of work. My oldest pair is from 2000 and it’s still going strong. Just take care of them and they’ll take care of you. Don’t abuse them and abuse them. They’ll last a long time.
I’m a welder, I’d imagine one drop of slag and I’d be going back to my leather thorogoods.
Well, considering these are Not meant for that sort of work, you would be burning you Own Foot because of your negligence. Proper PPE is essential. But I think you know that since you rubbed the thoroughly over priced, underperformed, old technology boots all over your post.
I finally noticed the “Eco” name and honestly that rubs me the wrong way.
This boot appears to be made nearly 100% out of synthetic materials. Those are likely some flavor of synthetic fiber, rubber, and foam construction. Some of it is recycled, which is great, but I can’t imagine it’s a very high % otherwise they’d be bragging about how high the number is. So we’ve got a boot that’s more or less entirely made from petroleum (except for the aluminum safety toe), and they’re implying this is ecologically friendly? It seems to me that a traditional leather boot is not only made with a higher % of recycled materials given the leather is a byproduct of the meat industry, but is also mostly biodegradable as well. If you chuck a pair of leather boots in a landfill the only thing left after a couple centuries will be the rubber sole and perhaps the thread from the stitching. These will endure.
Yes, they are made from petroleum products, the upper is neoprene, like a wetsuit, but thicker. The fact that they have recycled material means that there is less oil being used initially. But more importantly, as you glossed over, that means Less Trash in the landfills, next to the leather boots.
I “glossed over it” because it’s *misleading*. The name is the only thing that’s eco- friendly about these boots.
“less oil being used initially”…compared to what? A fully synthetic boot? Well sure, but that’s not a very high standard to aspire to. Compared to a leather boot these use a lot more petroleum, and create more enduring waste in that landfill. Making a synthetic boot with some % of it having been recycled is better than making a 100% virgin synthetic boot….but that’s overlooking the elephant in the room, which is why use synthetics *at all* if minimal environmental impact is the goal? I’m not knocking the boots for what they are, I’m sure they will work well for many people, but I think calling them “eco” is more marketing wank than it is reality.
I think its a good looking boot. Problem i have is there isn’t any reviews on YT. Id like to see them put to the test. Nothing holds up better than leather so its remains to be seen the longevity of these synthetic materials. Send them to rose anvil. Let him wear them for a while and cut up a fresh pair.
I just tried a pair on at the Red Wing store. The upper is a neoprene bootie, and it was really tight, making it hard to get on.
But as far as quality goes, these are still a Red Wing boot, and they make quality products. Will they last as long as a leather boot? Depends on one thing, amd one thing only. How does the Owner treat them and tale care of them? Does he think he’ll be able to wear these as a framer or heavy equipment operator, or does he wear them in the environment they are extended for, like interior warehouses or delivery drivers or long haul drivers? Like any other tool, they’ll last as long as you use it properly, maintain/care for it, clean it and store it in an appropriate manner.
I have Red Wings that I’ve had since 2000, and a pair I bought in 2011, and they are still serviceable. I do need to send in my Lineman boots for a new sole, but that’s it. If you keep the dirt off of them when you’re not wearing them, put mink oil on them every month at a minimum (or more often depending on your environment) and keep the inside dry and change the padded insert every 6 months to a year depending, then they’ll last. Oh, amd don’t use them as a broom, shovel or other tool hey aren’t meant to be used as.
I have a few videos on my boots and how they have lasted.
I just bought a nice pair of Red Wing Boots. I think these are my 6th pair through my lifetime, since I was a kid. I am particularly picky when it comes to how a shoe or boot fits and feels on my feet. This most recent time I spent about 2 hours in the Red Wing store, mostly because it was busy and only the manager was working there on Sunday.
Anyway, I tried on several different styles of boots, and this was one of them. The upper was SOOOOO TIGHT, it was like putting on a wet suit. Well, it is a neoprene upper material, but it didn’t stretch. I did eventually get my foot in it, and it was definitely a light boot. But it didn’t fit and it also looked funny, like the shape was off a bit. I did like the BOA system though.
I ended up getting a traditional style, lighter weight boot with an 8 inch upper. I needed another addition to my current line up of Lineman and Heavy Construction boots. One that was lightweight and a less aggressive tread pattern so I could walk inside houses and businesses without worrying about tracking in dirt and debris. They have the BOA system, and that takes a bit to get used to. Not the system or cable, but the device that is inside the upper part of the tongue. I is a hard plastic plate, and when the cable is tight, it tends to press into my lower shin area.
I really like the Red Wing store experience. They measure your feet with their new machine, not just a ruler. They also ask what type of work you’ll be doing in those boots, so they can help you find the best option/s for your situation. They also have lifetime cleaning and conditioning at the stores, along with lace replacement. Many of their boots can be sent to the factory for reconditioning as well. Definitely a class act conpany, and I have owned several other brands as well. To me, nothing else compares to the overall experience.
I just wish they’d bring more manufacturing of their boots back to the States.
Do the Red Wing factory outlets you mentioned make the boots to measure? Or do they use the measurements to select a size off the shelf?
I’ve often thought that modern computerized measurement could bridge the gap between old-fashioned bespoke service and the modern trend of making everything one-size-fits-all. I’d think that a system where a customer gets their feet (or whatever) scanned at a store, the data gets transmitted to the factory for computerized custom production, and then the product gets sent to you, could offer the advantages of custom fitment without the crazy high cost normally associated that kind of work.