The Cooper – Moc Toe, Reimagined

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The Cooper, Style No: 2954 & 2964
The Cooper, Style No: 2954 & 2964


The so called “Moc Toe” is arguably Red Wing’s most famous trait, found on boots dating back to the earliest days of the company. At first favored by sportsmen in the field, our famous Moc Toe 875 and 877 boots were later adopted as the footwear of choice by the  ironworkers and farmhands who were building and feeding America in the middle of the 20th century. Now, a new boot joins this legendary legacy—the Cooper.

Style No. 2964
Style No. 2964


Named for the woodworkers who build barrels and casks, the Cooper takes the classic silhouette of the Red Wing Moc Toe and adds a Vibram 430 Mini-Lug outsole. The Mini-Lug offers a greater measure of traction when you need it—in the mud and snow of the coming season—while keeping a low profile for more refined forays. And the rest of the Cooper is up for it too, with sturdy leathers from our S.B. Foot tannery that shrug off dirt, abrasion and moisture for a lifetime of service. Goodyear welt construction ensures durability and can be resoled as often as you wear them out, which won’t be easy to do, but it’s nice to know.

Style No. 2954
Style No. 2954


The Cooper is available in Amber Porter and Black Harness leather, civilized enough for the office, rugged enough for weekends at the cabin. It’s the iconic Red Wing Moc Toe boot, reimagined.



Faces of Red Wing | David Mahaffey

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David Mahaffey is part of a dying breed. In a time of specialist, he is a generalist, a true renaissance man. David grew up woodworking and playing sports in rural West Texas, spent time in the Navy, studied and taught at Harvard and traveled around the world shooting photos for Polaroid before settling in Napa, CA at the age of 30 to “drive a tractor”. He taught himself how to grow grapes and make wine and 38 years later he produces some of the most delicious and unique Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah in the Country.

David’s victorian home in downtown Napa is surrounded by fruiting trees and with a backyard garden producing various types of greens, tomatoes, beans, peas and root vegetables. In the corner is a redwood hot tub that he built which is, of course, heated by solar panels seated on the roof of his woodshop. In the woodshop you’ll find antique tools belonging to his father and grandfather, a lathe that could turn a tree trunk and the starting of custom guitar. Across an apple tree from the wood shop is a traditional Japanese style cabin free of metal hardware. He built it with pegs so that he could, conceivably, deconstruct it at some point if it need to be moved. The floor is made of meticulously placed wine corks on end.

A life of learning and nonstop inspiration seems to be David’s goal and it shows in his work. He farms a rocky, windy hillside vineyard constantly battling various wild animals eager for that sweet nectar of the Organic grape vines of the Olivia Brion Vineyard. 2016 will be David’s 36th vintage as he began in 1980 and his experience shows in the quality of the wine that very uniquely represents the characteristics of this special site.


You seem to be quite the Renaissance man. What are your top 5 favorite ways to spend your time?

I am passionate about my winemaking. It is my career and my livelihood. I spent a good chunk of the weekend bent over the lathe with a chunk of exotic rosewood from costa rica. I can’t wait to spend more time exploring the American West hiking and being out of doors. I love being outside and taking photos, camping and whitewater boating.

What is the name of your winery and what makes your wines unique?

The name of the winery is Olivia Brion and the uniqueness factor for my wines has to do with the place we grow them. We have the distinction of having the only winery with its own designated appellation which is called Wild Horse Valley. We are the only winery in that appellation. It is special because of soil type and altitude. I am also still a student of the craft of winemaking. I think there is always more to learn to building and assembling the wine, which is how i think of it.


What is the most challenging part of growing grapes and making wine that most people don’t realize?

Honestly, sales and marketing but that’s not so sexy… Beyond that it would be the challenge of keeping everything clean and embracing nature’s microflora to work with the wine and not against. Also, it’s especially challenging working with a vineyard that is out on the edge in a unique vineyard site that is rocky and windy. Not to mention extended drought.

Why Organic?

For the same reasons I farm organically in my tomato garden in my backyard. I am looking for the maximum amount of flavor and I find that organic farming and gardening gives me the most flavorful material to work with.


How do you collectively draw from your varied interests and apply a unique perspective to each?

Alfred Einstein said that he wasn’t particularly special but that he was extraordinarily curious. And to the degree that I’m interested in lots of things has to do with the foundation of curiosity. Im curious about the way the world works. Im curious about the way people interact. So my curiosity is what drives my passion and interest in the wide range of areas I work in.

First real job out of High School?

Out of highschool and out of the navy, I was traveling and photographing. I felt very lucky that in my 20s I got to photograph for Polaroid. I spent time visiting every state in the Union and around the world.

Who are your top 3 most inspiring photographers?

Ansel Adams because of the way he saw yosemite and the range of light. Taught showed so many people how to see a place and to see differently. He was a great practitioner and a great teacher.

Henri Cartier Bresson because of his ability to live in the moment and to capture the decisive moment and be prepared to catch something that was happening that was fleeting.

Christopher Burkett because of his astonishingly beautiful color photographs of real world.


When did you get hooked on woodworking?

I was lucky to grow up with wood tools around me. My dad had taught industrial arts and we had a nice shop at our house. So when I needed a spinning top instead of buying one at the hardware store, I started designing and making my own tops. I realized that turning a top on the lathe could be gratifying to have something unique, functional and different from everyone else’s. I also fell in love with furniture once I needed furniture for myself. Im now trying to build a really special guitar so that I can, as a later in life project, teach myself how to play the guitar.


I heard you say you rode motorcycles for much of your life. What was the most memorable trip?

A cross country trip in 1979 from California to Massachusetts by myself with only saddle bags and smelling the whole country. I was on a mid 70s BMW 750 cafe racer.

What is the most satisfying thing about being in the wine biz?

The most satisfying part of wine business is that it requires that I know something about a lot of areas. From tractor driving and maintenance to wild animal control as well as working with graphic design. Very few businesses that produce their own goods, do their own marketing and advertising, and sell it all the way to the end user. That multi-disciplinary approach is really satisfying and interesting to me because it demands that I know something about a lot of different areas.

One bit of advice for young creative people?

Most simply it would be to constantly be in a state of beginners mind, to teach yourself something all the time.


David’s Round Toe 8196 are the perfect “do everything” boot for the various tasks and interests that he pursues – from selling to restaurants, driving the tractor, to cleaning the wine bins.

Redefining “Lady-Like”: Introducing the Women’s Collection

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There was a time when only men wore trousers. But that changed in the early 20th century when ladies traded their dresses and skirts for long pants. That’s because pants are simply better for riding horses, climbing mountains, or flying airplanes, things women started doing with greater frequency. These were the same strong women who fought for voting rights and worked in factories during two World Wars. In the 1920s, Red Wing Shoe Company started selling women’s shoes and boots that were up to the rigors of these new feminine adventures—rugged and functional, redefining what was “lady-like”.

Barn Bluff, Red Wing, 1938. Photo courtesy of Red Wing Shoe Company, Inc., Red Wing, MN
Barn Bluff, 1938. Photo courtesy of Red Wing Shoe Co, Inc., Red Wing, MN


Now we’re doing it again. Introducing the Women’s Collection from Red Wing Heritage.

Gloria from the Legacy Collection
Style no: 3386, Gloria. From the Legacy Collection



The new Women’s Collection not only pays tribute to our 20th century history, but is also inspired by the independent women of today. The collection is made up of three distinct families. The Legacy boots are directly inspired by two boots we made in the early 20th century—tall, rugged and refined. The Modern collection reinterprets classic shapes—a chukka, a Chelsea, and a lace-up—with a stacked leather heel and feminine lines, which make them both practical and stylish. And finally, the Core boots take classics from our men’s line that women have long cherished, and cut them leaner and more comfortable for a woman’s foot while keeping the legendary Red Wing toughness.

Style no: 3365, Iron Ranger. From the Core Collection.
Style no: 3365, Iron Ranger. From the Core Collection.


All of the boots in the Women’s Collection retain the hallmarks that have made us who we are. We use top quality leathers from our own S.B. Foot tannery, the same as we have since the beginning. All the boots are stitched together for unsurpassed durability, using Goodyear welt construction that makes them stronger and resoleable for a lifetime of wear.

When we decided to create the Women’s Collection, we knew the perfect person to spearhead its development: Allison Gettings. Allison embodies all that is a Red Wing woman—literally. Her great-grandfather, grandfather, and father have all taken a turn at the helm of Red Wing Shoe Company since the 1920s. Allison remembers visiting our offices and factories as a child, no doubt smelling the leathers and hearing the machines that have long been used to skive, stitch and nail boots together. Two years ago we tasked Allison with the launch of the Women’s Collection, a job for which she was seemingly born and, after ten years working at Red Wing, a challenge she was ready to take on.

Allison Gettings, Director of Heritage Product Creation.
Allison Gettings, Director of Heritage Product Creation.


“We wanted to start with a tight collection that has really strong ties to our Red Wing DNA,” Allison says, “but we wanted to have a large enough collection with enough gravity that would appeal to customers who know Red Wing, but also those who are maybe new to the brand.”

Allison points to the Gloria boot as an entry point to the women’s line, a tall lace-up that pays homage to the first boot Red Wing made for women in 1926. “It’s important to us that we make these boots to not only look like ones we made in the past, but are actually made in the same way, with the craftsmanship and materials that we used when we first made these shoes.”

Of course, getting nine new styles created was a tall order and not one Allison did herself. For help, she turned to talented designer, Gaal Levine, to start penning the new boots. Gaal drew from her experience in footwear design but also found inspiration in Red Wing’s company archives.

Gaal Levine, Women's Footwear Designer.
Gaal Levine, Women’s Footwear Designer.


“When I first came here, I spent some time doing a deep dive in the archives, looking through old catalogs to see what made sense to bring back.” Gaal counts herself as lucky to work for a footwear company that has its own company archivist. And its own tannery. During the design and prototyping phase, Gaal and Allison were able to talk to the master tanner at S.B. Foot about what was possible—new colors and leathers that suited the unique requirements of building boots for women.

Style no: 3396, Lillian. From The Modern Collection.
Style no: 3396, Lillian. From the Modern Collection.


Women have long favored Red Wing boots and often would wear our men’s boots in smaller sizes. But the new collection is designed just for them, with lighter weight and softer leathers, more cushioned fiber insoles, and built around all new lasts that are tailored for women’s feet. So while the Engineer, Iron Ranger and Moc Toe of the new Core collection may look like their masculine counterparts, they’re entirely feminine, from the ground up.

While the Women’s Collection is new to Red Wing Heritage, making women’s shoes is not new to Red Wing. 90 years after we made our first boots for strong, independent women, we’re making them again, just as tough and beautiful as ever. Just like the women we make them for.


Red Wing at the Minnesota State Fair

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Minnesota Traditions

There are a few things you can count on in August in Minnesota: a hint of autumn in the longer nights, great sweet corn, and the State Fair. On the sprawling grounds in St. Paul, the Fair is a spectacle of all things Minnesota, from prize heifers to farm machinery, live music to butter carving. And for many years, Red Wing Shoe Company had a booth at the Fair, showing off the year’s latest styles and selling old favorites. Farmers, miners and workmen from all corners of the state could browse and buy boots from our booth, where a tower of shoe boxes was stacked to suit all sizes. And no doubt, many of those boots returned to the Fair year after year on the feet of those who bought them for use in the fields, job sites, and mines from Hibbing to Rushford and in every county in between.

 Red Wing had a booth at the Fair from the early 1920s up until 1964, but in 2005, we returned, bringing along our World’s Largest Boot, the size 638-1/2 style 877 that is normally on display at our Main Street retail store in downtown Red Wing. And even though we don’t sell boots at the fair anymore, Red Wing will no doubt be well represented there this year when it starts on August 25th, on the feet of many who attend. And they will fit right in, whether dodging cow pies in the Cattle Barn, climbing on tractors on Machinery Hill, or standing in line for a last ear of that summer sweet corn. Because nothing is more Minnesota than the State Fair, or Red Wing boots.


Pecos – A Classic Pull On Boot

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Red Wing Heritage Pecos Boots

Red Wing Shoe Company is perhaps best known for the work boots made for the farmers, miners, and sportsmen of the Upper Midwest but early on, we introduced another boot for a different group of workers in the American West. We had an office in Dallas, Texas as early as 1923 to serve the unique market of ranchers, cowboys and oil drilling roughnecks in the region.

At the time, most of these workers wore pull-on riding boots, often with decorative stitching, and Red Wing responded with one of its own in the 1930s. By the 1950s, with typical Minnesota understatement, we did away with the decorative flourish and introduced a pull-on boot of our own devising.

This pull-on boot was given a new name, the Pecos, after a town in Texas and it evolved into one of our most popular styles. The renowned Red Wing durability worked as well on the ranches of the Southwest as they did the farms and fields of Minnesota. The appeal of the Pecos spread, thanks to its simple design, comfortable fit, and rugged good looks. Still made the same way with quality leathers in our factory in Red Wing, the Pecos is now seen on hardworking feet from coast to coast, both ends of the Mississippi, and everywhere in between. Call it a cowboy boot, with a Minnesota twist.

Style no: 8187
Style no: 8187


Style no: 8188
Style no: 8188


Who’s Afraid of a Little Water?

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Red Wing Heritage Tannery Process

If you’ve ever been caught in a rainstorm wearing a leather jacket, you know what happens when it dries. Chances are, it will wear a little tighter the next time you put it on. That’s because if leather dries too quickly, it can shrink and become brittle. At the S.B. Foot tannery, great care is taken to make sure that the hides are dried properly after their hours tumbling in tanning solution. The drying process is a slow and deliberate one, perhaps less glamorous than the tanning itself, but one crucial to the quality of the leathers that we use to make our boots.

Right out of the wooden drums in which they have bathed, the hides are sopping wet, stacked by hand by burly men in rubber boots and aprons to be transported to the drying room. The hides then are laid flat on the layers of a tall mechanical “sandwich”that pulls out the initial moisture without applying too much heat. From there, they are pulled through a set of large rollers that press out more moisture while stretching the leather to eliminate unwanted wrinkles as the hides dry. Finally, the hides, which still are damp to the touch, are transferred into a large heated room, where they are individually draped over hundreds of rods where they will be left to completely dry.

Red Wing Heritage Tannery Processing

Of course, the leather that leaves the tannery is destined to be made into rugged boots that will no doubt get wet countless times over their hard working lives. But that’s why, after tanning and drying, the final step in the process is to treat the leather with penetrating oils that protect them from moisture.

Faces of Red Wing | Solid Manufacturing

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Alex and Dan Cordell

Dan and Alex Cordell: Owners of  Solid Manufacturing 

I grew up in a woodshop,Dan Cordell shouts above the sound of a lathe spinning a length of white ash. A shaft of sunlight is made three-dimensional by the dust in the air and chips fly as he deftly transforms the wood into a baseball bat using only hand tools. My Dad taught me everything I know.

Cordell and his wife, Alex, are the co-founders, and sole employees, of Solid Manufacturing, a company that makes and sells wood furniture, leather goods and a variety of household items you never thought youd need until you see them. Everything, from the wooden pour-over coffee stand, to the leather key fob, to the baseball bat, is made by Dan and Alex in a small workshop near a railroad yard in Minneapolis using domestic hardwoods and American made leathers.

Alex studied furniture design at Minneapolis College of Art and Design; while Dan focuses on the woodworking, she does much of the product development as well as the finishing worksanding and hand-oilingwhile managing the administrative end of the business. Watching them work together, it becomes clear that they complement each other well and play to their strengths.


The Solid Manufacturing duo started making things in Dans fathers woodshop just south of the city, selling their wares at pop-up events around town and through an online Web store. We couldnt do what we do anywhere else but Minneapolis,Alex says while she rubs a block of wood with linseed oil. Its a city driven by people and community and when we launched, we were immediately embraced and it gave us the motivation and inspiration for us to keep going.

Solid Manufacturing is one of the latest in a long legacy of Minnesota companies that make things of quality using traditional materials and techniques, a legacy that includes the Red Wing Shoe Company. This is not something lost on Alex and Dan Cordell, who were wearing Red Wing Heritage boots when we stopped by for a visitAlex in a pair of 9111 round-toe boots and Dan in a pair of Iron Rangers. At the end of the day, my boots are always full of wood chips,he laughs.

So what makes Minnesota such a breeding ground for the so-called makerculture, where DIY becomes a society of inventors, designers and tinkerers? Is it the long winters that inspire creativity? Or perhaps the frontier history of self-sufficiency that has been passed down to its residents. For Dan Cordell, it came from spending time in his fathers woodshop and a desire to make leather bracelets for Christmas gifts. He bought some scraps of leather and thread and taught himself. I grew up in a place where you make things, or you try,he says.

Solid Manufacturing Co. has an eclectic portfolio of products tied together with a common thread of honest Minnesota handcraft. But if Alex and Dan have a signature product, it is a three-legged stool made from black walnut, oiled to a rich brown, with legs painted in a number of bright colors. Its simplicity and stripped down purity of purpose are its appeal, not unlike a classic baseball bat, or a pair of Red Wing Heritage boots. In a wordsolid.

Updated – Beckman Chukka and Oxford

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Beckman Oxford and Chukka Style no: 9047, 9048, 9046


In the early twentieth century, Red Wing, Minnesota had only a few dirt roads. In the winter, or after a good rain, those streets would get muddy, making a good pair of boots a necessity. But our founder, Charles Beckman, a respectable businessman, wanted a pair he could brush off and wear right into his shoe store on Main Street. So that’s what his Red Wing Shoe Company made—sturdy, versatile footwear that could take some abuse and still look good. And that’s the kind of shoes and boots we’ve been making ever since.


Main Street, Red Wing, MN. Photo courtesy of Red Wing Shoe Company, Inc., Red Wing, MN
Main Street, Circa 1900, Red Wing, MN. Photo courtesy of Red Wing Shoe Company, Inc., Red Wing, MN


The Beckman name has always been reserved for Red Wing’s most refined footwear, and we’ve added two new styles that add to that legacy. Built around our number 210 last, the latest Beckman chukka and oxford have a more refined shape. We’ve used premium Featherstone (Smooth Finished) leather for a rich, classic look and added stitching details that make them more durable while adding to their elegance. The new Beckmans are built using Goodyear welt construction for maximum durability and underneath, our lugged Roccia sole gives traction so the shoes can go from muddy streets right into the office. Charles Beckman would no doubt approve.

Red Wing Heritage Brown Beckman Oxford
Beckman Oxford Style no: 9046


Red Wing Heritage Black Oxford
Beckman Oxford Style no: 9047


Brown Red Wing Heritage Beckman Chukka
Beckman Chukka Style no: 9048

Special Delivery: New Postman Oxford Styles

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Red Wing Heritage Postman Oxford
Postman Oxford  Style no: 3103, 3107, 3108, 3104


In 1954, Red Wing introduced a humble shoe that would go on to cover more miles than any other we’ve made. Called simply the No. 101, it would come to be known as the Postman, thanks to the legions of mailmen who wore them on their rounds. We’ve never stopped making this popular shoe so it’s no surprise that the Postman is one of the company’s best sellers. The same nonslip sole and one-piece quarter that were added in 1960 still make the shoe as comfortable and durable today as it was pounding the pavement over 50 years ago.

Red Wing Heritage Postman Oxford 101
Postman Oxford Style no: 101


This year, Red Wing introduces two new colors to the Postman collection, our rugged Copper Rough and Tough (No. 3107) and a stylish Navy Abilene (No. 3108). These comfortable and versatile shoes feature our white Atlas Tred sole for excellent grip, Goodyear welt construction, and low maintenance, durable leathers from the S.B. Foot tannery. They’re built right next to the original Postman shoes at our factory in Red Wing, Minnesota. And of course if your uniform, or your taste, demands it, the original style No. 101 is still available in shiny Black Chaparral, ready to put on the miles.

Red Wing Heritage Postman Oxford 3107
Postman Oxford Style no: 3107


Red Wing Heritage Postman Oxford 3108
Postman Oxford Style no: 3108


Faces of Red Wing – Hai Truong

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Hai Truong of Ngon Vietnamese Bistro

Hai Truong: Chef and co-owner of Ngon Vietnamese Bistro 

Hai Truong is an autodidact, having taught himself how to swap out a clutch, sew a leather seat for his Moto Guzzi, cook a mean duck ph, or brew his own beer.

Truong is the son of immigrants and grew up in and around his familys Vietnamese eatery on St. Pauls University Avenue. Though he had a promising career in finance after college, the pull of the family business inspired a life change, and about ten years ago he reclaimed the restaurant where he grew up, put his DIY skills to work and created Ngon Bistro.

The cafe specializes in French-Vietnamese cuisine and offers craft cocktails from a space that Truong resurrected from its past. The menu is filled with familiar Vietnamese specialties like ph and bún but with influences from Vietnams French colonial era, and produce and proteins bought from local farms.

Local sourcing also extends to Truongs choice of footwear. I sort of discovered Red Wing boots around the same time I started looking into local ingredients and it led to an interest in American-made products.Truong wears an old pair of Engineer boots that hes had resoled a few times, and owns two pairs of vintage steel-toed Red Wings that he likes for motorcycling. I like that you can just keep resoling them instead of buying cheap disposable stuff,he says.

Boots of Choice: Engineer 2991