Can’t choose between Chippewa and Red Wing? It can be a flustering decision to make. So for a bold verdict, we decided to take a close look at both models.
There’s a huge load of interest on Reddit, YouTube, and other social platforms comparing these robust American boot companies, and it’s not hard to see why. They both make great work boots, they’re both American, and they’re all under the $300 price range. Well, Red Wings don’t easily come by at this price, but you can always get one if you don’t mind factory seconds.
First, it’s good to say that the winner between these two footwear mega manufacturers depends on the buyer. Indeed, both Chippewa vs Red Wing have something to offer, and while they can immensely different, getting to choose the right one ultimately depends on your specific needs.
Chippewa Vs Red Wing: Which Brand Reigns?
About Chippewa Brand
Chippewa was founded in 1901 as a small factory in Wisconsin. Made for engineers and loggers, this footwear was meant to provide hard workers with a reliable daily companion that they could count on for various activities.
Today, Chippewa proceeds with its legacy of making excellent work boots. Their solid quality and standards have successfully pushed them to the top as one of the most prominent work boot brands. Moreover, their products are reasonably priced, making them a winner for buyers looking for the best budget boots.
One of the best work boot designs from Chippewa is the Rugged Handcrafted Lace-Up Boot. This model boasts premium-burnished leather and enhanced Vibram sole- a great combination that can make navigating dangerous work conditions easy and hazard-free.
Despite the worn look, the Rugged Handcrafted Lace-Up Boot doesn’t compromise durability. It is tough and very resistant to wear and tear. Besides, the high-quality leather uppers are made to last, giving you a work boot that you can use for many years after purchase. The stated Vibram outsole comes with tightly packed treads that ensure maximum traction on both wet and dry surfaces.
Another popular design from Chippewa is the 6-Inch Plain Toe Boot. This one features a sleeker, slimmer silhouette, making it a perfect picture of design and functionality. The boots come with the same high-quality leather uppers and slip-resistant Vibram sole. The overall design is reinforced through industry-standard Goodyear welt construction.
About Red Wing Brand
Since their first outlet in 1905, Red Wing has been manufacturing boots using some of the finest materials available. Red Wing worked to create their own source of quality materials. The company has become one of the biggest boot manufacturers in the world. They have a wide range of durable footwear choices and high quality.
The brand takes pride in its ability to offer different footwear choices without sacrificing value for money. This is particularly guaranteed by their use of nothing short of quality leather, put together with expert craftsmanship and maximum attention to detail.
One of the Red Wing’s top contenders is the Iron Ranger 6-Inch work boot. This model comes from the company’s signature natural leather and features a slightly more polished look. This is quite apparent when you compare it to the Rugged boot from Chippewa.
The model also comes with a slightly higher shaft that offers wearers greater leg protection and improved resistance to exaggerated ankle movements.
Speaking of durability, the Red Wing Iron Ranger does just as well as the Rugged Handmade Lace-up boot. Perhaps the only difference between the two is that Red Wing uses a synthetic sole. Even so, it offers an equal amount of traction on different surfaces.
Another popular model from Red Wing is the classic Moc 6-Inch boot. Made of leather and white traction tread outsole, this boot can give you much-needed support for everyday use.
The biggest market for both Chippewa and Red Wing is the men’s market. Considering that most blue-collar workers are men, both brands have been making wider offerings for their buyers in the quest to meet the demand for this type of footwear.
In the men’s specialty, both Chippewa and Red Wing have a number of different designs, from classic leather work boots to reinforced sturdy outdoor boots. They also have casual shoes for regular use.
Chippewa vs. Red Wing: First Glance comparison
Let’s start with the Red Wing because it appears to be somewhat more popular of the two. Red Wing Iron Ranger, in particular, is a truly iconic boot that’s incredibly popular among Brooklyn hipsters and linemen as well as celebrities like Bradley Cooper. Today, this boot is part of the Red Wing’s more fashion geared Heritage line.
Known for its toecap, which most users refer to as bulbous (though you can still find others calling them clown shoes), Red Wing boots are made with oil-tanned leather from the brand’s own tannery, SB Foot Tanning company.
The boots used to feature nitric cork soles, but as of summer 2018, they changed all their Iron Rangers to have a Vibram mini-lug sole. That means depending on when you made the purchase, different Iron Rangers may have different soles.
Coming down to Chippewa boots, their Service boot in particular, what you get here is a minimalist service boot aesthetics designed with a crazy horse leather alongside Vibram sole. Chippewa boots come with a more minimalist look than their Red Wing counterparts. They rock a nice, simple service aesthetic: plain toe, fairly slim, and 6-inches tall.
The material used here is crazy horse leather: a waxed full-grain leather that will talk about hereinafter. This material is available in more than one leather, including Tan Renegade. They generally have a 360-degree Goodyear welt construction and Vibram outsole, which comes with a different look to the newer Red Wing soles. However, they still look quite so comparable to the classic cork sole from the inside.
Red Wing boots generally come with an oil-tanned leather that’s easy to take care of and ages well. You might want to consider the Red Wing’s own boot oil to help maintain the moist.
Chippewa Service Boot, meanwhile, (with its crazy horse leather) isn’t among the dressiest boots on the market, but the overall built quality is of sumptuous informal leather. The leather is really popular and was named so because it has a history of being used on horse saddles.
The boots are not made from horses, though. They feature a full-grain leather that’s produced by applying a specific wax to the leather that has been partly smoothened out. The boot is not remotely formal, but it’s been designed to make informal outfits look pretty special.
As stated before, Red Wing boots used to feature Nitrile cork outsoles. Newer models, however, have Vibram outsoles, cork midsole, leather insole, and still shank for stability. The outsole is a combination of rubber and cork.
Classic Iron Rangers boots that have this type of outsole are typically associated with much better grip. You will hardly get stuff stuck in your sole. Plus, it is lightweight and more wear-resistant as opposed to leather. On the flip side, the boots are not super soft, and the grip isn’t good that you won’t slip on compacted snow.
Like the newer Iron Rangers, Chippewa Service boots come with a grippy Vibram outsole, cork midsole, leather insoles, and crummy shock absorbency. This type of rubber was made famous in Italy, and although it’s not as pretty as cork, the grip is definitely the best out of the three boots.
Also, the boots have the cork midsole, leather insole, and steel shank, just like the Iron Ranger. That means the arch support is okay, and the pair molds to the shape of your feet over time. One gripe, however, is that the shock absorbency with Chippewa boots isn’t as good as that of Red Wing Iron Rangers.
On the bright side, Chippewa does have a 360-degree Goodyear welt, which is one of the more water-resistant constructions than the 270-degree Goodyear welt employed on Red Wings.
Chippewa vs. Red Wing: The Bottom Line
Again, all things considered, it’s really hard to decide who’s the winner between these two brands. After all, they both offer sturdy designs that feature high-quality materials. Besides, they provide a variety of choices ideal for work and leisure. Not to overlook the fact that they’re all essentially good-looking.
Thus if We’d have to choose a better brand, we’d suggest that the choice depends on the buyer. Red Wing and Chippewa both provide great options, and their designs even resemble each other to some extent. If durability, support, and comfort are your concern or any other facet of footwear performance, rest assured that both companies excel in all aspects.
Also, if you’d like something a little more fashion-oriented, both Chippewa vs. Red Wing have something to offer. With looks of picks that focus on stylishness, you can be sure to get a choice that meets your fashion preferences.
Perhaps the only influential consideration is the cost. The Red Wing brand is slightly more expensive compared to Chippewa. This price factor might be something to factor in, especially for the budget crowd.