Always bet on Black and Red to Win – The Blacksmith by Red Wing

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 07.52.28Red Wing are in a very fortunate position, they are one of those few companies that are sort after by the style savvy male consumer and equally are respected by the workmen who use them day in and day out as part of their workwear uniform. One great style of boot in this brand repertoire that is considered a true classic is the Blacksmith. It can truly be considered the classic American work shoe. In the early 1900s, when Red Wing Shoe Company first began to service rural America, this style of shoe became vastly popular across the country. Versatile and reliable, it was used in farm fields and blacksmith workshops during the day before being cleaned and shined up for a night out on the town. It was the all-purpose shoe for many years in many industries. In conjunction with the Blacksmith, Red Wing presents the video ‘Marching to a Different Drum’(see below). The video details the craftsmanship of Red Wing Shoe Company employees and the pride with which these boots are built. ‘Marching to a Different Drum’ follows the installation of a new wooden tanning drum at the company’s S.B. Foot leather tanning facility( I promise, It’s more interesting then it sounds). Tanning drums are huge round containers used to tan leather via chemical reactions that involve soaking leather hides in various tanning solutions within a slowly rotating drum. The tanning process takes several hours, or even days, inside a drum that weighs up to six tons without the hides. Dedicated to crafting only the finest leather, Red Wing Shoe Company uses drums made from African yellow teak wood that has been cut and then submerged in water for two years to achieve the correct density.“All good things are being made in wooden drums,” says Andy Rhein, Master Tanner. “Leather, beer, wine, whiskey. We are really trying to make leather the way it used to be made two hundred years ago.” Why use wooden drums? Rhein answers that by saying, “A wooden drum is able to retain the heat (of the tanning process) and it’s all-natural. (The resulting leather) makes good shoes…consistent shoes. Every pair is as consistent as a pair (made yesterday), last week or fifty years ago.”

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