July 28, 2009

Chippewas or Red Wings?


So here's the deal: Chippewa used to make these great basic work boots. They weren't winter-lined and they weren't water-proof. They just protected our feet and gave us great traction on bad surfaces. We loved these boots and went through about three pairs. Then we found out that Chippewa discontinued the boots in favor of other models with all sorts of bells and whistles. We can't stand bells and whistles in our work boots, but we had driven all the way to the store and figured a pair of Chippewas 'new and improved' water proof, lined boots couldn't be that bad. It's now about four months later and the things are falling apart. The grommets tear the laces, the lining boils our feet, making them sweat and then the waterproofing (aka the bag in the boot) seems to prohibit any breathability, so now the boots have a stench that could kill someone at fifty paces. All we want is a pair of basic boots. We now wear our old ones when we can, but that's less and less often because they're really on their last legs. We've asked a lot of them and we keep asking for more.

So what do you guys say? We're probably going to make the switch to Red Wings, but it's kind of a Ford/Chevy thing so we thought we'd solicit your advice first. What boots do you wear and do you like them? Like we said, we're looking for the basic boot. Nothing fancy.

We also spent a year chewing through a pair of $15 Wal-Mart boots every three months. Not worth it, so please don't tell us to do that.

Sound off in the comments section. We'll randomly pick one at the end of the week and send out some tool we have cluttering up the workbench.

Red Wings at Red Wings and Amazon.com

Chippewas at Chippewa and Amazon.com

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at July 28, 2009 4:57 AM
Recent Comments

Thinking about the red wing 2218. Will be doing a lot of limbing with axes and chain saw work in an area filled with copperheads. Thought this would be a goo choice.

Posted by: Gary Schultz at July 26, 2017 11:04 PM

Bought the BASIC Chippewa boots brand new a year ago. They last like hell and work damned hard. Boot MO. No. 20091. Make sure to buy the "wide" size. Waterproofed myself, never missed the insulation.

Posted by: cdldsl at September 9, 2014 8:36 PM

Bought the BASIC Chippewa boots brand new a year ago. They last like hell and work damned hard. Boot MO. No. 20091. Make sure to buy the "wide" size. Waterproofed myself, never missed the insulation.

Posted by: cdldsl at September 9, 2014 8:33 PM

I have owned 3 pair of Red wing Gore-tex loggers. They are great boots and very durable also very expensive. I am currently ordering my 4th pair of Chippewa Super loggers model 25410 also very durable but not quite as expensive. The Redwings are waterproof break in takes a while though. The Chippewas have 400gr thinsulate, removable comfort insole and padded collars. The Redwings do not have these features. Both brands are steel toe and shank. If you look at the construction they are made almost identical same soles same stitching same shape. The Chippewas are simply more comfortable and cheaper. I get 3-4 yrs out of each brand before the inner liner wears out. I've never had the leather or soles fail on either brand.

Posted by: Dan at February 11, 2014 6:00 PM

I would suggest using the Red Wing 2218 Steel Toe Logger Boots. They are U.S. made and solid. I also would get a pair of Tingley 1300 work rubbers or a pair of LaCrosse 2 Buckle overshoes for them. I work in a variety of conditions and use both types of overboots for protection and get at least 3 years out of the boots.

Posted by: Bill at February 19, 2013 7:31 PM

I just frame houses for a living and right now we are doing some remodels in the disney villas. Since we have to wear boots i purchased a pair of Brahma's from walmart first for $25 because i didnt have the money at the time for anything else and the sole came apart from the boot in 3 weeks. So i just went out and purchased a pair of 406 Redwings and they are so darn comfortable! I just hope they are durable enough to last me at least a couple years of doing framing. Any thoughts or suggestions from you die hard Redwing guys for a new Redwing owner?

Posted by: DerickB at November 18, 2012 5:44 PM

I would have to say carhartt lineman logger boots or Chippewa super logger boots are the best choice for anyone who wants pure comfort and long lasting durability. I am only 16 and my first pair of chippewas that I got where my dads..before I got them he had had them for 27 years. The carhartt loggers I have now(because the chippewas where on there last legs) come waterproof and are built for ANY weather

Posted by: Tylor Nickerson at March 2, 2012 4:07 PM

I have Wolverine Potomocs, steel toe, good toe room, painted by me with melted mink oil to be water-resistant, electrical hazard resistant, lined but not insulated so comfortable all year, not too expensive, no break-in. Get the add-in footpad though.

Posted by: Rick at January 13, 2011 12:38 AM

I've worn those old ones and liked them enough to upgrade to super-loggers. You might not like those either for the warmth issue, but they've lasted me through five years of near-exclusive use and only just now need to be re-soled. Also the interior is pretty ripped up and I'm not sure if I can have anything done about that or not.

I'm not sure how the old ones aren't water-proof though. They're pretty much encased in thick leather and I don't recall any water seeping in when treading through puddles.

If the only problem with your old ones is the soles, bring them to a cobbler. Yes, they still exist. I still have mine and have considered having them fixed up.

I'm thinking of upgrading to Vibergs or Daytons though. They cost a ton but are said to last decades with proper care.

Boots that need to replaced in a year are like Black & Decker as far as I'm concerned. You get less than what you paid for even if it was only half.

Posted by: Erik Reppen at November 28, 2010 6:52 PM

For me, Magnum boots are my favorite. Their boots are light weight and comfortable, they wear like a sneaker. They wont last forever but they are affordable and enjoyable.

Posted by: Chris at November 28, 2009 11:19 PM

I just bought a pair of redwings 4420 it's like they were designed for my feet most comfortable boot out of the box I've ever tried on. Redwings usually last me a year being I don't oil or do any maintenance what so ever. The only draw back is made in CHINA. They do make US manufactured boots however, Just like chippewa does. For the last three years I bought Rocky boots very comfortable right out of the box for $150 also last a year then start to leak and soles start to crack.

Wesco boots are the best boots ever in my opinion but very expensive and I would buy again but the wife won't go for it. So Redwings or Rocky's make the cut for the money spent.

Posted by: deerslayer at August 23, 2009 6:11 PM

hermans survivor have still a good basic boot Ive used for some time, when it came to replacing them though what I bought may have been counterfit!! The label looked strangely superior to the boot somehow. Kicker is that the new boot wore well, maybe herman began making the boots in bangly desh er elsewhere keeping standards.

Posted by: phil at August 1, 2009 11:31 AM

what did Chippewwa have to say about this? Improved ones are crap but it would be interesting to hear thier spin on this. You would probably get a better or at least a more interesting response than just another consumer.

Posted by: dlneu at July 31, 2009 3:04 PM

I'm wearing Wolverines that I got from Southern States. The first pair lasted over three years through daily construction work--mostly barns and decks, but some interior work too, just to give 'em a little break. Although their replacement was "improved" a little just like your Chippewas, it wasn't enough to put me off, but like you, solid, no frills, basic models are still the best. I also bought a pair of their pull-on, "Wellington" style for around home use, and I love them, but don't think they would give me enough support for long days.

Posted by: Joe Cline at July 29, 2009 8:10 PM

I have purchased several pair of Georgia Boots in the past 6 or 7 years. Steel toes,well made and comfortable. I wore them to work at a sawmill for 5 years on concrete and in mud and was well satisfied. I treat them with neet's foot oil before I wear them.The last pair is still in good shape, so if the mill ever opens back up I'll give you an update.

Posted by: Ed Brown at July 29, 2009 1:14 AM

I have a pair of Timberland Pro safety boots. They have titanium toes covers and are water proof. I have found them to be really comfortable and so far they have held up.

Posted by: Greg Smith at July 28, 2009 7:57 PM

Another vote for Red Wings, It really depends what you want them for. I have a couple of pairs. My day to days are the 406 , They are not the most durable, I'll guess they last a year, 18 month on the job. They are water proof with a padded collar, It is my experience that the p[added collars are a weak spot. These boots are light and stand up to walking around in the morning dew. It is nice not to have wet feet all day. The sole is not very aggressive, which can be a good thing if you are going in and out of someplace you do not want to track in loads of mud. Some of my works take me out to the woods, here I find that the 2218 loggers suit me well. No Frills unlined with a steel toe. Very aggressive sole, with a lot of ankle support. They are moderately water resistant when they are kept well oiled. These boots are heavy, and I feel they are overkill for day to day jobsite use. My last pair lasted three years, two years of which I was wearing them every day.
White's boots should also be considered. They also are worthy

Posted by: PutnamEco at July 28, 2009 3:38 PM

I have Red Wings standard steel-toe logger boot (#4420). They were ridiculously comfortable right out of the box. I have hunted, hiked and worked in them in all weather and they are awesome.

Posted by: Adrian at July 28, 2009 9:11 AM
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