Friday, June 9, 2017

Red Wing Shoe Store and Museum


Red Wing Shoe's World's Largest Boot sign

When visiting Red Wing, Minnesota, a trip to the Red Wing Shoe Store and Museum is a must. Some Red Wing shoes are still made in Red Wing, so a trip to the museum affords a real slice of Red Wing history and heritage.


Exhibit on the evolution of Red Wing boots
Exhibit on the evolution of Red Wing boots.
In the early 1900's, founder and shoe salesman Charles Beckman noticed a need for sturdy yet comfortable boots. Unable to find ones to fit his needs, he opted to craft his own. In 1905, Beckman and partners began constructing quality leather boots. The museum does a spectacular job of breaking down the history of Red Wing boots and how the company developed boots for particular occupations and needs. In the past, I have always thought of work boots as a monolith. The museum shows how Red Wing developed various styles to fit what workers encountered on their specific jobs.

Exhibit on how Red Wing boots are crafted
Exhibit on how Red Wing boots are crafted.
Although there isn't a factory experience, the museum does have a detailed display on how the boots are constructed. There are also plenty of artifacts and even a section that shows movies the Red Wing Boots have been in.

The World's Largest Boot in Red Wing, Minnesota

The Red Wing Shoe Store and Museum is home to the World's Largest Boot which was made in Red Wing. A fitting stop for any trip to Red Wing! The boot is an incredible size 638 1/2 and stands over 16 feet tall. The boot was crafted to celebrate the company's centennial in 2005.

Learning about leather used for boots in Red Wing, Minnesota.
Learning about leather used for boots.

There are hands-on portions of the museum including an understanding of the leather used for boots and a dress up area.

Original Red Wing Boot sewing machine.
Original Red Wing Boot sewing machine.
Artifacts are also laced throughout the store like this original Red Wing sewing machine.

Red Wing Flagship Store
Red Wing Flagship Store
The store has two levels -- one for normal retail and the basement for outlet items. Not all Red Wing boots are still made in USA, so ask and a salesperson will show you how to determine which ones are. All of Red Wing's socks are made in the USA. As avid hikers, we were pleased to learn about some of their hiking socks that have a lifetime warranty. Ask about this as well. The store is Red Wing's Flagship store so lots to see!

The Red Wing Shoe Store and Museum is a fun and free piece of Red Wing history not to be missed!


StumbleUpon

No comments:

Post a Comment