The Shoe Snob Blog

November 9, 2010

Written by , Posted in News

Red Wing Phenomenon

Every year the world sees new trends form within the shoe industry and whether or not these trends are something has been done before or are a completely new idea, it makes you wonder, ‘who the heck decided this was going to be the next season’s big thing?’ Now obviously Red Wing is nothing new in terms of who they are and what they are known for but what is new is this sudden surge of companies being influenced by their look and knocking off their styles and also the fact that you are now seeing them being sold everywhere, especially in stores that have not once carried them since the store was created!! So my question is, why?? The only answer I can seem to come up with is that this surge of Red Wing styled shoes is part of a trickling effect that was created within the last year or so to reinvent ‘The All-American Male.’ If you think about it, the last several seasons have shown flannel plaid shirts come back, saddle shoes, boat shoes and companies known for making them, like Sebago, a heavy load of classic colored buck shoes and many other pieces of clothing that represent the ideal ‘All-American’ man.

While I think that the idea is cool, I have a love/hate relationship with it too. I think that it is great to represent the ‘All-American’ male as a fashionable concept but some of these products that they choose project this image, i.e. Red Wings and hardcore flannel shirts with 5 colors, to me are just not that attractive. While I love the designs of some of these boots, I guess what kills it for me is the thickness of the sole. I really am just a hater when it comes to super thick soles. To me, it’s just not good-looking. Maybe it’s because I have a slender frame and that they would just look silly on me but whatever the case, I feel like those two things (Red Wings and flannel shirts) should stick to construction workers and not people attempting to be ‘fashionable.’ Again, like with Sebago, Florsheim and all of these other brands Red Wing teamed up with other designers, such as Ronnie Fieg, to spice up their ‘look.’ And while these collaborations did help to make them look better and the fact that Red Wing is a tremendous American company whose names goes back to 1908 and is synonymous with well-built shoes, I just don’t see them ever being fashionable or stylish as long as they have those super thick, clod-hopping soles. That’s just me….

But I can’t lie, I do appreciate the idea because a new idea is better than no idea and it never hurts to try!!