Minnesota-based bootmaker Red Wing has been making hardwearing footwear since 1905. The range of styles it produces are distinctly American: Moc-toe work boots with non-marking outsoles for factory workers, hefty oxfords designed for the postal service, pull-on roper boots appropriate for the ranch. It also makes a range of engineer boots which are now primarily sold in the Japanese and European markets.
Originally, engineer boots were designed to protect the feet of men who fed coals into steam engines. The silhouette melded the tall pull-on style of riding boots with the supportive arch and sole of a work boot. A buckled ankle strap makes the style instantly recognizable. After WWII, engineer boots became a favorite of motorcycle riders across America and the style saw an increase in popularity in the ’50s and ’60s.
While engineer boots aren’t as prominent today as they once were, they’re no less rugged or functional. If you want to pick up a pair for yourself, head over to Nordstrom Rack, where a bunch of Red Wing engineer boots are half off right now. That means for as little as $160, you can add this well-worn style to your own wardrobe.