RED WING BOOTS Made in USA
I went to Red Wing Shoes on September 20, 2011 at 447 Blossom Hill Road, San Jose, CA. This was one of numerous outlets that dot the whole United States. In evaluating the store, I felt there was definitely good news and some bad news. The good news first: this chain has the highest percentage of American Made shoes that I have encountered. I would estimate about 30% of the shoes/boots were made in the USA. The boots are attractive and very durable. Many boots are made for work, with steel reinforced toes. All boots are over $100. Since I don’t normally shop for boots, I had to shop a competitor, Work World – a store that specializes in clothes and shoes for the work place. Work World is located at the Almaden Shopping Center in San Jose. This store had numerous boots of several different manufacturers including Wolverine, Keen, Carolina, Cat, Georgia, Magnum, and Timberland. As I examined the prices and the boots, I noted that they all were over $100. I would have to say that the prices and models of Red Wing and Work World were very similar. As I looked closer at Work World, there were no 100% American made boots. Even the Wolverine models, which does have known 100% American boots models, theirs were made in Communist China (I say Communist to clarify, so as not to confuse it with the People’s Republic of China – Taiwan) or in three different models, partially made in the Dominican Republic. All other models, all other brands, and all the clothing, were foreign – made. So, in comparison, Red Wings Stores offer a good value if your are looking for boots, or work boots (with an added plus that they are made in America)
As far as the bad news, I had already mentioned 30% made in America, meaning 70% is foreign made. Red Wing also makes shoes, but all are foreign made. They make a small amount of boots and shoes for women, also, all foreign made. I did like the boots, many attractive, but none breath-taking, probably because I was not in the market for boots, as just last month, I had purchased a pair of Wolverine 1000 mile boots made in Rockford, Michigan (bought at Unionmade in San Francisco). It was twice the price of the Red Wing Boots, and it was definitely a splurge, but I just love them. Like the Red Wings, they should last for many years if not a lifetime.
One last note, Red Wing stores sell leather belts made in USA, about $25 each. Red Wing Stores definitely worth a look if you are looking for boots.
“Fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic.” – George Bernard Shaw