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Only Buy It Once: Red Wing Boots

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Am I writing about the Red Wing Shoe Company because I was just gifted a pair (from my dear mother) for my birthday? Yes, I am. Am I writing about the Red Wing Shoe Company because it's fall, and people wear boots in the fall, and people search for boots online in the fall? Yes, shamelessly, I am. 

But I'm also writing about Red Wings because they are the sturdiest, handsomest, most comfortable boots for under $300. (This is fact.) And because they're something of true quality that you can trust will only get better with time.

Red Wing boots: buy 'em once, own 'em for life.

Red Wing was founded 109 years ago by Charles Beckman in Red Wing, Minnesota. If you're guessing that that's where the name comes from, well, you'd be wrong. 

Nah just kidding; it is. 

Today, Red Wing boots are as stylish as any on the market. But in the early 1900s they were primarily designed for oil-field workers and had large buckles on the sides, creating the sturdiest work-boot available.

In 1952, the Irish Setter 877 shoe was introduced, defining much of the next half-century's design and overall look. Nearly every boot you see here on this page is a descendent of the Irish Setter. 

Some first-hand review from a first-time buyer: the boots take about a week to break in. I've worn them pretty much every day and walk to work 1.5 miles each way. I get up and get a lot of snacks throughout the day, so let's say five miles total. You heard it here: after 35 miles of walking, Red Wing boots are properly broken in and good to go. Science. 

They feel amazing and sturdy and...warm, but not hot, you know what I mean? Also, besides the gym, where couldn't I wear these in New York? They are dressy; they are casual. They are perfect for the rain. They shine and look beautiful in the sunlight. From board rooms to backyards to boats, Red Wing's never out of place. 

I'll say this: I feel guilty that they were $270. (I love you, mom.) But these $270 boots will last for the rest of my life. Red Wing's lifetime guarantee assures that it will replace and fix (within reason; don't set 'em on fire on purpose) the shoes for as long as you own them. 

Red Wings. Spend now, never again.


Ryan Hatch is the deputy editor for Supercompressor. You'd be offended at how much Mariah Carey he's listened to today. Tweet at him on Twitter, a new app he created, to talk about her song "Fantasy."