I’ve tried just about all work boots on the market. Every boot made, from the low-priced to the outrageously high-priced. When I moved to South Carolina in 2000, my department issued me a pair of Red Wing boots, style 4473, and I have to say, from day one, I have been nothing but pleased with them.
Buying boots is always a chore, especially finding a pair that fit well, meet your personal or professional requirements and that don’t put blisters the size of Wisconsin on your feet while breaking them in. When I went to the Red Wing Store here in Greenville, SC to get my issued boots, the gentleman that owns the store was MORE than knowledgeable about the product he sold (he’s been selling them for 20+ years, so he should be!). He had a machine in the store that measured each foot’s length, width and arch height so he could fit you perfectly. Everyone has one foot that is slighter larger than the other, but he said if someone had one that was more than a half size off, he’d get two different sized boots to insure a perfect fit! Now that is someone dedicated to foot comfort! : )
He brought out a pair of boots for me to try on, and I tried them with good socks (Thorlo Socks are the BEST!). He laced the zippers in the front of the boots and I wore them around the store for a long, long time. He let me wear them out in the parking lot on the asphalt and told me to take my time. They felt wonderful! No rubbing, slipping, or pinching! And I swear, I NEVER got blister one from wearing them…ever! They were broke in and as comfortable as an old pair of tennis shoes the day I bought them.
Now, these boots do have a steel toe and are OSHA approved (see specs below), so they are heavy. Mine are work boots, NOT hiking boots. To this day, I have the same pair and I love them! They’ve been resoled once, and are due for another resoling soon. They’re three years old and still polish up beautifully! I’ve worn these boots everyday for work (EMS) on asphalt, concrete, tile, and gravel; out in the woods in dirt, grass, sand and through ankle deep water, mud and muck, and my feet have always stayed dry. I hose them off then polish them, and they’re good as new. They have excellent ankle support and with the zipper in the front, you can tighten or loosen them to your preference for more or less support. I’ve also used them for work here at home doing everything from roofing (No slipping!) to painting (paint wipes off with no damage to the leather).
For heavy work boots, I STRONGLY recommend Red Wing Shoes and Boots. Yes, they’re pricey (the 4473’s are approximately $180/pair) but I’ve not needed a new pair of boots in THREE YEARS! I’d have spend $80 a pair on High Tech Magnums, two pairs a year at a total cost over three years to the tune of $480!!! Like my husband says, “Buy once, cry once!”
When the time comes and my beloved pair of Red Wings are too scuffed to polish nicely for work, I’ll get another pair exactly like them and still use this pair around the house to work in! This is my pair of boots, well worn and well loved!
Would WE Buy It?:
When this pair finally wears out, I'll be right at the store buying another pair! Our Emergency Medical Services Center believes in them.. I do too.
Style 4473 - 8-inch
Versatile lace-and-zipper combination closure
Steel-Flex® puncture-resistant stainless steel midsole meets OSHA standards
Shock-absorbing Poron® 4000 cushion insole with arch lift
The zipper kit is optional. (cost is approximately $16 depending on how many eyelets)
SIZES: B 9-14, D 4-14, E 8-12, EEE 8-12
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