Red Wing Iron Ranger Review

This review is all about the Iron Ranger #8086, heritage boots by Red Wing. If you are on the fence about which Iron ranger you wanted to get, stick around and let us make things clear for you as we go along with our Red Wing Iron Ranger Review #8086.

If it’s going to be your first pair of heritage boots, this article will surely come in handy. We urge all our readers to give this pair of boots a shot. You’ll instantly fall in love with it or hurt your feet in the process. Just kidding.

Red Wing Iron Ranger Review

Red Wing Heritage Men's Iron Ranger 6

Vibram Mini-lug Sole

When it comes to heritage boots, you need to look at the sole first. Which sole is the best then?

That has to be the Vibram Mini-lug outsole aka Nitrile Cork. In my opinion, the Vibram Mini Lug is better suited for these types of boots.

The black sole or the regular Vibram lug will be overkill for you if you are new to wearing boots.

If you are not a “boot guy” stick with the Vibram Mini-lug outsole, get the feel of it first; give it time to adjust. Why?

If you are not wearing boots all the time, having that big, thick, and heavy which is almost a logger type sole will be too much for you.

The Vibram Mini-lug is like glue. No matter what surface you are walking across, the mini-lug is a wonderful sole.

It has a good traction and a 0% chance of slipping. Another cool feature of this sole is that it kind of grows with you. It breaks in over time.

This sole will take on a natural shape because you’re closer to the ground in this lug sole and will get a better feel for where you’re stepping.

In the process of breaking in these boots, the best part is when the sole works for you.

Can these Heritage Boots be re-soled?

Heck yeah! This Iron Ranger is completely re-saleable, re-craftable, re-buildable. You can rip these soles off and put a brand new one.


This is the second most important feature to look for when buying a pair of boots. The Red Wing Iron Ranger #8086 has a single piece of leather.

It’s not waterproof, it’s not warm. It’s not a winter boot, so don’t make this mistake.

Speaking of leather, which leather is the best?

It depends on what you like.

One thing you need to keep in mind when you buy a pair of heritage boots is that these boots will change color.

If you pick the Red Wing Heritage Men’s Iron Ranger 6″ Vibram Boot Copper Rough and Tough color, it starts with a beautiful light brown color. After two or three months into this boot, it’s going to be a completely different shade.

If you want to keep that nice light brown color, keep them on a shelf and when someone comes by they can see that beautiful color.

But if you wear them, they’ll change shade. The color doesn’t change because of cleaning or oiling the leather, it’s just how leather boots work.

Out of the box, there is no reason to put any oil on these boots. It already comes oiled. Before you start putting more oil on top of the leather, first you need to let a little oil escape from the leather.

You can go without oiling them for like eight weeks or so.

This copper leather will eventually get darker and turn into a dark brown color. But it’s going to be a beautiful dark brown color.

This is a handmade boot, as it grows with you it’ll be a unique shade that’s not going to look like any other pair of boots out there.


None. I was kind of disappointed when I was doing the Red Wing Iron Ranger review. There is nothing in these boots besides a thick piece of leather that’s going to insulate you.

If you are buying this Iron Ranger thinking it’s a winter boot and it’s going to be warm, you are making a big mistake.

Size & Fit

The best way to find the right size boots is to try them out before buying one. Put one size above or put on a half size below. Just try them, and you’ll find out.

These boots will be shaped to your foot. Remember that. These are leather boots, as you break them in, these will mold according to your foot size.

The more time and energy you put into wearing this boot, the more it’s going to take on the natural memory and shape of your foot.

Make sure the length of the tip and the back are correct. Your toes shouldn’t rub too much on the sides.

You want to feel the boot on your foot. You don’t want your toe to be constantly hitting the front. Keep some space in there, maybe a finger or two.

It all depends on how sensitive your feet are. Keep some space on the front. On the side, you actually want to feel the leather a bit. You don’t want to feel too constricted.

Keep in mind that this boot is going to stretch. As you start to move around, sweat, and wear the crap out of this boot, it’ll start to stretch.


For non-boot guys, they are not comfortable at all. If you are used to wearing sneakers, running shoes, gym shoes, and other shoes like that, you are not going to find them comfortable.

If you wear tennis shoes or basketball shoes, and you decide to wear boots all of a sudden, your whole life is going to be miserable if you start to wear them every single day.

How long to Break in Red Wing Boots?

If you want to start wearing boots like this, take it slow. Buy the Iron Ranger. Put it on for a day, take it off for two days. Repeat this process until you feel comfortable. Break it slowly.

With all those hard materials to contend with, you really need to push on this thing. You are going to have to walk around. You need to compress all those materials into the shape of your foot.


red wing boot laces

Not much to talk about. These laces are replaceable. Most people would just replace them with leather laces.

Speaking of laces, why not check out our boot laces buyer’s guide and pick the right one that goes along with the Red Wing Iron Ranger Review #8086.

The silver eyelid with the contrasting stitch of the white in the triple stitch pattern looks beautiful. It matches the welt and the overall construction of the boot.

Read about Different ways to lace your shoes


When you compare them with a pair of logger boots or dual-density boots, these Iron Rangers are really not that heavy. Which also makes it the perfect choice for new boot people.


Expensive! What did you expect? With all these premium quality stuff you’ll be getting a lot of service time out of these ranger boots.

So, that’s the Red Wing Iron Ranger review. Let us know your experience with them in the comments below. Also, if you have any iron ranger break-in tips, please let us know.

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