December 4, 2012

Red Wing 4216 Work Boot with Boa Closure System - Review


UPDATE: We realized that we failed to mention the most impressive thing about the Boa and that is the fact that the 'laces' never loosen. We really like our boots to fit snug around our ankles and these deliver the good all day long.


As soon as we put on our first pair of Red Wing 606s, we were hooked. To us, they're the ideal work boot; durable, comfortable, and completely devoid of 'features.' We like the old fashioned feel of them. It's little that a few pieces of leather and a really nice sole. Perfect for our simple sensibilities.

But Red Wings also can swing the other way towards the hi-tech and they've just introduced a pair of boots, the 4216s, that utilize the Boa Closure System in lieu of laces. It's a funky set-up and it looks pretty strange. If you're a snowboarder, you're already familiar with it because it's been used in that industry for years. But now it's taken it's first foray into the world of construction. Red Wing sent us a pair to check out and because of our undying devotion to the 606s, we were pretty excited about it.

We've had the boots here for a while and we've come to our conclusions....


So we love the Boa and overall the boots are really nice. The 4216s are a little more tricked out than we tend to like, but they're solid no matter how you look at them. They have a non-metallic toe cap and quite a bit of added padding. Red Wing suggests them for oil/gas workers, or those who deal with heavy machinery all day, but they'd really be good for any construction. The quality of these boots is up to snuff, even though the country of origin is China (and in the past we've had some bad experiences with boots from there). In the boot world, we're light duty folks, but we'd wager that heavy duty folks would find what they were looking for here.


The Boa is sort of bizarre and takes some getting used it. It's a dial at the head of the book and if you twist it, the thin laces (which are actually stainless steel wires) tighten. To loosen the laces, just pop the closure forward and the tension is released. It's a quick system, but not as quick as we imagined when we first read about it. You still have to sit there and twist the closure four or five times. It's certainly easier to do with frozen fingers and once you get used to it, you can do it without even thinking about it.


So the bottom line is that we really liked the Boa, and the boots are pretty slick too. We're hoping that the Boa spreads to more of their boots.

The Red Wings cost about $180 which is well within the price range of a quality work boot.

At Dodd's Shoe

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at December 4, 2012 8:02 AM
Recent Comments

Used in high end snowmobile boots too. Great closure system. I think I'd steer clear of any concrete work with them though. If any mud slipped inside the rubber over boots I'd be worried about the boa system.

Posted by: jeff_williams at December 10, 2012 11:20 AM


Posted by: Mark at December 6, 2012 11:52 PM

Yes on the beige/brown. I think the ones on the site are the same. Seems like RedWings has some funky muted color thing going on over at their site.

Posted by: Tool Snob at December 5, 2012 1:15 PM

Your boots look beige/brown. Is that correct? The boots on the weblinks look grey. Me no like.

Posted by: Mark at December 5, 2012 1:00 PM
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