Anatomy of a Red Wing

Each Red Wing shoe is crafted with skill and precision, by people who care about quality.


1. Cutting

The shoemaking process, largely unchanged since Red Wing’s inception, begins with cutting the leather for the shoe. Highly trained leather cutters carefully lay out the cutting dies on every hide. Since no two sides of leather are the same, selecting the best parts for our shoes is an art that can be performed by only experienced craftsmen.


The cut leather pieces are sewn together to form the upper of the shoe, so careful hand-eye coordination is required by our skilled sewing machine operators. The same Puritan sewing machines that did the job when Red Wing was founded are still used today.

3. Lasting

During the forepart lasting process, the fitted upper is pulled over the shoe last giving the shoe its final shape and form. The leather welt is sewn together with the upper and the leather insole using the traditional Goodyear welt construction process patented in 1869.


The sole is stitched or glued to the midsole, completing the shoemaking process.


Most Red Wing work boots are made using the Goodyear welt construction. This traditional construction process was patented in 1869. This elaborate method of stitching a thin leather welt together with the upper and the leather insole yields the highest quality shoes that are both durable and comfortable. Welt construction also makes resoling of boots possible, guaranteeing continued, long-term use.

6. Shoe Finishing

All shoes are carefully inspected twice before being packed into shoeboxes. Depending on the leather, each shoe is cleaned, polished, brushed and finished by a team of expert shoe finishers.

Tour the factory

Get an up-close look at the Red Wing Factory and see just how we make our iconic line of boots.

Learn about repairs

See the Red Wing repair process and learn how to keep your boots in solid, sturdy shape.

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