The Iron Ranger is an American icon that is beloved for its standout style and long-lasting construction. With its toe cap, speed hooks, and Vibram® outsole, there’s no mistaking this leather legend.
The Iron Ranger was originally built for iron miners in the 1930s. In the decades since, it has grown indispensable for owners from all walks of life thanks to its iconic style and longevity. The six-inch boot’s signature feature is a leather toe cap that is as distinctive as it is durable. Each pair develops a personalized fit and custom comfort over time thanks to leather insoles and a cork midsole that form to feet. The boots are built with a Goodyear welt and Puritan triple-stitch construction, and brass speed hooks provide precision lacing and a visual hit of hardware. The Iron Ranger is anchored with a Vibram® 430 Mini-lug outsole.
A new pair of Red Wing Heritage footwear should fit comfortably tight on the foot, with enough room to freely wiggle toes. As you wear the footwear, the full grain leather upper, insole, and cork midsole will mold to your feet, creating an increasingly personalized fit over time. We recommend trying on footwear in store to ensure proper fit.
If you're into heritage style work boots then you've heard of Red Wing Iron Rangers. I own about two dozen boots including two pairs of Wolverine 1000 Mile, one pair of Chippewa Moc Toes, one pair of Red Wing Moc Toes and two pairs of Red Wing Beckmans. I decided to add one of the most iconic boots to my collection and after more than two weeks of wear I'm glad I did.
The Amber Harness is the best selling model for this model and with good reason. It's a beautiful medium brown with the potential to patina into a dark brown. The full grain leather is matted unlike their featherstone leather. This is not really the type you polish to a shine unless that's really the look you want. I was originally considering the Copper Rough & Tough version but glad I went with this one instead. This leather is much more uniform in colour throughout with only a slight variance. You can still get patina to form but not as drastic as the Copper.
Sizing is always a challenge with Red Wing boots because of their different lasts and slight variation across different models and leather type. Some leathers are tougher than others to stretch and break-in. I wear the same size in all my Red Wings. The Moc Toes (23 last) fit narrower than the Iron Ranger (8 last). My Beckmans are 8 last as well but fit just a tad tighter than this pair. I'm fortunate that this pair of Iron Rangers fits me nicely out of the box. The typical advice you'll hear on sizing across the board is go half to a full size down. I went a full size down on all of my Red Wing boots. The leather will soften as they break-in and your leather insole/cork midsole will slowly form to your feet.
It's not uncommon to hear stories about the painful process of breaking them in over a course of weeks or even months. This last seems to agree with my feet so I don't have to go through the same painful break-in process as many others have had to. Don't panic if they don't feel like a pair of sneakers out of the box. The leather needs time to soften up.
The Vibram mini lugs do not provide any cushioning so if you have delicate feet, look elsewhere (ie. Red Wing moc toes). I'm used to walking all day in leather soles so I can handle these. It's something to consider.
Overall, I'm very happy with my purchase and now I'm even considering adding the Iron Ranger Charcoal Rough & Tough version.