Red Wing Iron Ranger 8111 Boots

Iron Ranger 8111 After conditioning with Red Wing leather conditioner and getting a quick brush with a horsehair brush
(2020-04-13 10:55:54 NIKON D850 with a "70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8" lens. [f/16.0, 1/8s] ISO 64)
Iron Ranger 8111

All of my shoes have leather uppers and almost all of them have leather soles. Once I went to handmade Goodyear-welted quality shoes I never looked back and haven't purchased cheap footwear since. I had a set of office shoes made for me over 10 years ago (an Oxford, a Brogue and a mini-boot in Brogue from Halfs in Munich) that I wear in rotation, although the leather soles wear out quickly they are easy to resole.
I have a pair of motorcycle boots that has a Vibram sole and some mid-range hiking/walking shoes but decided to give Red Wing a try to see what all the hype was all about. While in the USA at the beginning of 2020 I went to a Red Wing store in Annapolis and got fitted for a pair of Iron Ranger 8111 boots. The first week of breaking them in wasn't pleasant but I always managed to switch back to my old shoes before blisters set in so after 2 weeks the boots were broken in sufficiently so that I could walk around in the all day. Since I was on the road, I did wear them every day and even did my Atlantic crossing while wearing them, at least until the outside temperatures warmed up enough so that I could go barefoot.
I walk quite a bit and have a Fitbit which lets me see how many steps (and miles) I walk. I generally will walk 15000 or more steps per day, often walking more than 20,000 and never walking less than 10,000. Being a bit of a data-driven person, I tallied my step counts with the times that I wore the Iron Rangers and have just come up to a total of 1,000 miles on these shoes. About 50% of the time I was on asphalt or concrete, 25% was on gravel or dirt roads and the rest was on soft forest earth. I only used saddle soap on them once (to get the salt from the ocean passage out), I brush them off after every walk and wiped them down with a moist cloth when they got dustier or dirtier than the brush could deal with. Every 2 weeks they would get a coat of Red Wing Leather Cream and, perhaps most importantly, when my feet weren't in them a set of cedar shoe trees were.

Iron Ranger after hiking The last cleaning is 2 weeks back, this is from hiking through light brush
(2020-04-07 15:23:01 NIKON D850 with a "70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8" lens. [f/2.8, 1/80s] ISO 400)
Iron Ranger after hiking
Red Wing Iron Ranger The last cleaning is 2 weeks back, this is from hiking through light brush
(2020-04-07 17:25:51 NIKON D850 with a "70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8" lens. [f/2.8, 1/100s] ISO 1400)
Red Wing Iron Ranger
Red Wing Iron Ranger After conditioning with Red Wing leather cream
(2020-04-09 15:47:08 NIKON D850 with a "24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8" lens. [f/2.8, 1/125s] ISO 64)
Red Wing Iron Ranger
Cleaning materials All that these boots have gotten for 1000 miles of walking - Red Wing leather conditioner, a horsehair brush, toothbrush and part of an old T-Shirt
(2020-04-13 10:46:46 NIKON D850 with a "70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8" lens. [f/16.0, 1/30s] ISO 64)
Cleaning materials
Iron Ranger 8111 After conditioning with Red Wing leather conditioner and getting a quick brush with a horsehair brush
(2020-04-13 10:50:18 NIKON D850 with a "70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8" lens. [f/16.0, 1/5s] ISO 64)
Iron Ranger 8111
Iron Ranger 8111 After conditioning with Red Wing leather conditioner and getting a quick brush with a horsehair brush
(2020-04-13 10:52:40 NIKON D850 with a "70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8" lens. [f/16.0, 1/10s] ISO 64)
Iron Ranger 8111

Now in June 2020 I've reached about 1500 miles of walking in these boots and have added some more pictures. The shoes are now full broken in and quite comfortable. They are holding up very well with hardly any wear on the outsoles and the leather retains a very clean look. The only slight downside is that there is a hairline opening on the right heel and that shoe has begun to squeek when I walk. I am debating injecting some glue in that crack giving the heel a couple of whacks with a hammer to reseat the heel. If that doesn't help then I'll have a local cobbler do that for me. My new Nick's Ranger boots have arrived so I will be spending the next couple of weeks breaking those in and wearing them and once they've broken in I will most likely alternate between these two boots.

Iron Ranger After 1500 miles these Red Wing Iron Rangers have held up well. I did give them a dust-off and brushing before taking this picture
Iron Ranger
Red Wing Iron Rangers after 1500 miles After 1500 miles of walking on asphalt and forest paths the Iron Rangers are still going strong
Red Wing Iron Rangers after 1500 miles
359 views since 2020-04-13, page last modified on 2020-06-30.