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Shifting gears with Red Wing

We’ve been shifting gears with Red Wing for nearly three decades

At Greasy Kulture, we’ve been wearing Red Wing boots for 25 years. Which gives us an up-close and personal perspective on the footwear named after the town where they were first made: Red Wing, Minnesota.

The reason its footwear is still in production, 111 years after Charles Beckman first founded the Red Wing Shoe Company, is the same reason we – and motorcycle riders the world over – still love ‘em: they are built to last.

Red Wing boots were originally designed for blue collar workers. They were handmade from hand-picked, premium leather, triple stitched on Puritan sewing machines. And they still are.

We like brands whose lineage is pure and clear: where a company’s origins are still visible in its present-day product. We ride Harley-Davidsons and Triumphs; we wear Schott leather; we wear Red Wing boots.

line-of-boys-boots The Billy Boot (1932) featured a side snap pocket for a pocket knife, making it one of the company’s top-selling styles.

Engineer boots, of course, are the style most associated with bikers since the 1940s and ‘50s. It is a style that transcends fashion: the high calf, side buckle and welted sole. They were originally developed for railroad workers in the 1930s, but the same protection for the lower leg that attracted railway engineers soon attracted the attention of bikers. The 1954 movie ‘The Wild One’ featured two gangs of bikers all clad in engineer boots (or ‘pull-on loggers’ as they were described in a contemporary Red Wing catalogue).

marlon-brando-red-wing The 1954 movie ‘The Wild One’

Lots of companies made them at the time and there is still discussion amongst vintage boot aficionados about which brand the film’s stars – Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin – wore. But Red Wings certainly feature in the movie – and they are our favourite brand still making the style – the classic Red Wing 2268 – today.

We stock the 2268 in the GK store, as well as the equally iconic Moc Toe and Iron Ranger styles. If you’re going to spend money on a pair of boots to ride in, you can’t go wrong with Red Wing. We’ve been shifting gears with them for nearly three decades… and we only sell what we love.

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  • Wearing RedWings since the early 80s wedge souls up on the iron! My first leather jacket was bought at Harley Davidson Hempstead N.Y. late 70s and it was made for them by Schott! Loved that jacket like no other!