Best Vintage Boot - Red Wing Beckman vs Iron Ranger

If you like vintage or American casual style, you are no stranger to Red Wing. The Red Wing brand are well known for their comfortable, elegant and durable shoes.

Today we will talk about two popular series from Red Wing - the Beckman and the Iron Ranger. They are very similar, yet they have some critical differences. We will go over the details to help you to purchase the right one to fit your style. Hopefully this guide could help you to choose the best Red Wing boot that fit your needs.

Iron Ranger

Red Wing History

Red Wing was founded in 1905 by Charles Beckman, a well-known local shoemaker in Minnesota, USA. It has been over 100 year of history.

Between 1919 and 1925, the Red Wing launched several long boots and small ankle boots with a knife. Many American laborers loved it. Since then, Red Wing has become a must-have brand in the United States.

From 1940 to 1949, Red Wing began producing shoes for the US military. The soldiers loved Red Wing’s high quality and durability boots.

Iron Ranger

Red Wing Iron Ranger

The Iron Ranger series is inspired by the working environment of iron ore miners. The cap toe was added to provide protection for miners. The color of the sole and the body of the shoe uses the same leather, which make the shoes look more uniform. The color of the boot is dark brown and it is very charming. The 8111 is also the most classic model in this series. Iron Ranger
The models in this series are obviously much more clear than the others. The numbers at the end represent different colors and materials. For example, 8111 is dark brown, 8113 uses roughout leather, 8114 is black, and 8115 is light brown. You can choose according to your own preferences. Iron Ranger

  • Cap toe design
  • Hand made in the USA
  • Triple stitched
  • High quality leather
  • Stylish classic design
  • Expensive
  • Takes time to break in
  • Outsole is slippery on wet surface

Red Wing Beckman

The Red Wing Beckman series is the best of the entire product line. This series is named after Red Wing’s founder Charles Beckman. Red Wing has its own suede factory, only 5-10% of the leather can be processed into featherstone. After the leather is processed, it will produce rich wax which will have excellent gloss and feel. The Beckman collection is made from the finest featherstone leather and leather lug soles. beckman The featherstone leathers have a smooth, polished surface that enhances the natural beauty of the leather. It is the representative of Red Wing’s highest quality and is the perfect match for fashion lovers who are looking for elegant and stylish boots. Beckman’s design is very clean and elegant, you can wear it on any occasions. It is perfect match with business casual clothes. If you are a boot lover, you will definitely love Beckman. beckman

  • Hand made in the USA
  • Great Quality
  • Fully Finished Leather
  • Triple Stitching
  • All conditions outsole
  • Leather insole With Cork
  • Cushioned insole
  • Not Easy to put on and off
  • Short laces
  • Takes long time to break in
  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Red Wing Iron Ranger vs Beckman

Iron Ranger

The Iron Ranger and the Beckman have quite a different visual feel due to a few key design elements: Here are the major differences:

  • The Iron Ranger uses cap toe, while the Beckman uses round toe.
  • The Iron Ranger’s outsole is Vibram® 430 Mini-lug, while the Beckman’s outsole is Roccia
  • The Iron Ranger uses Copper Rough & Tough Leather, while the Beckman uses Featherstone Leather

Iron Ranger

Series Iron Ranger Beckman 9016
Color Amber Cigar
Style 6” Double Layer Cap Toe Boot 6” Classic Round Toe Boot
Outsole Vibram® 430 Mini-lug Roccia
Leather Copper Rough & Tough Leather Featherstone Leather
Construction Goodyear Welt Goodyear Welt
Price $220 ~ $330 $235 ~ $370
Rating ★★★★☆ ★★★✮☆

Red Wing Boots Fitting

A new pair of Red Wing boots should fit comfortably tight on your foot, with enough room to freely wiggle your toes. Over time the full grain leather upper, leather footboard and cork midsole mold to your feet, creating an enduring and customized fit over time with each wear.

Many customers said Red Wing boots are half size down from the normal size. Red Wings are noted for being long and narrow. For example, If you normally wear 8D, 7.5 should fit very well. Like any other leather boots, it take some times to break in. This boots maybe a little uncomfortable in the beginning, it need a few days(or even a month) of continuous wear before it begin to mold to your feet. This is the nature of the high quality leather. If you want a boot to be tough enough to last a lifetime, they won’t be as soft and cushy as a sneaker right out of the box.

Red Wing Boots Leather Maintenance

Red Wing uses high quality leather. If properly maintained, it is not a problem to wearing the shoes for 20 years at all. For better maintenance, you must first know the leather surface of the shoes. Red Wing is mainly using three kinds of leathers, namely Oil-tanned leather, Smooth-finished leather and Roughout leather.

Cleaning is pretty easy for Oil-tanned leather and Smooth-finished leather. Simply use a brush to remove the dust and sand from the leather, then wipe it off with a towel. If you accidentally get stains on your boots, you should use some special cleaning products, such as Red Wing’s official leather cleaner. Wipe the surface of the stain with a towel or cotton pad.

For Roughout leather, cleaning is all about brushing. Carefully brush in one direction as much as possible to carefully remove dirt from the upper.

For stains, you can use a soft towel with the warm water, rub the stain area gently. The following picture is the special brush for the Roughout leather recommended by the official website.

After cleaning your boots need protection, I recommend this Protector Spray. It prevents water, salt and other elements from penetrating the surface where they can be wiped away instead of soaking into the leather’s pores and fibers. It contains no silicone and is recommended for Oil-Tanned, Smooth-Finished and Roughout leathers. If you take care of your Red Wing boots, you can really wear for 20 years!

Cleaner / Protector
Item Price
Red Wing Heritage Foam Leather Cleaner $13.99 Detail
Red Wing Heritage Oil-Tanned Leather Care $39.99 Detail
Red Wing Heritage Leather Protector $8.99 Detail
Red Wing Men's Nubuck And Suede Cleaner $15.99 Detail

Concluding Thoughts

The Beckman and the Iron Ranger are a bit pricey comparing to the other fashion boots, however, if you think about the lifespan of Red Wing boots, the investment is well worth it. (Think about when you can wear these boots for 20 years).

Weather you choose the Red Wing Beckmans or the Iron Rangers, they both are well constructed high quality boots. Both of them provide various of color to choose from. If you ask me, cap toe is not my style, I personally like the beckman, it is more stylish and elegant. However, if you like classic soldier/worker boots style, you may like the iron ranger. Regardless which one you choose, they are eye catching boots.

Lastly, if you want to see more Red Wing boots, please check out our article 6 Best Red Wing Boots.

If you like Ausis style boots or looking for cheaper alternative, Blundstone 550 is a great boot, please checkout our Blundstone boots review. If you love chelsea boots, please check out our article 10 Best Chelsea Boots

Reviewer: Guo Huang

Best Vintage Boot - Red Wing Beckman vs Iron Ranger

Review Date: