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Red Wing vs. Chippewa Engineer Boots

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by gtrplyr, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. gtrplyr

    gtrplyr One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    149
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I am in the market for a pair of Engineer Boots and need some help. I know that many will say that Red Wings and Chippewas are on the cheaper side, but I am not in the market to have a set of boots custom built after a long and frustrating experience with Wesco. Since I don't feel comfortable ordering a pair of boots from Japan without trying them on first, it looks like my USA options are limited. Of the two, which would you recommend. I'm looking at their heritage lines. Also, I need soft toe, and would prefer black with brown sole edges.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. casechopper

    casechopper My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,413
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    Red Wing's engineer boots use thicker and better quality leather in my experience. The insole on the Red Wings that I have is leather while the insole on the Chipp's is a poron material. The poron insole is very comfortable but I'm not so sure on durability. The Chipp's I received had some stitching issues, the Red Wings did not. If paying full price I'd go for the Red Wings. The Chippewa's that I have I bought for $70 new shipped so at that price they were a good deal.

    The Red Wing 2990's sound like what you might be looking for. The welt edge is brown but the sole is black so I'm not sure if that fits with what you're looking for. The Red Wing 2268's have a nicer looking heel IMO but are harder to find as I don't think they're made for the American market at this time.
     
    davyjones007 and Alex Neves like this.
  3. gtrplyr

    gtrplyr One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    149
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Case,

    Thanks for the reply. I was debating between the Red Wing 2990 and Chippewa 1901m48. I really like the Red Wing 2966 (soft toe version of the 2968), but they were not released in the USA and are only available in Amsterdam and Berlin (neither ship to USA). Have you seen the newer "Original" Chippewas 1901m48, or the older regular ones when you said the Chips were thinner than the 2990?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  4. casechopper

    casechopper My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,413
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    I haven't handled that particular model of Chippewas so they might be better quality than the ones I have. The pair of Chippewas that I have are from the Original Chippewa line though.
     
  5. gtrplyr

    gtrplyr One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    149
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Therefore the leather should be the same, or at least similar. I'll check out the RW 2990 then. Really wish I could get the 2966 in the US. I don't understand why RW sells some of their nicest boots in Europe only...?
     
  6. Blackadder

    Blackadder One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,892
    Location:
    China
    Four types of leather offered by Chippewa. They are not that similar. Their latest one is Horween CXL.
    http://www.chippewaboots.com/footwear/footwear/original/engineer/4578BLK

    As for RW, majority of the RW's sales in US are modern molded workboots which the overseas market has zero interest. Only the old models/Heritage line sells overseas. I doubt those made for Japan models generate much sales or profits in terms of RW's scale (a sizeable part if it is Wesco or White's but not RW) but to maintain their international brand name, they have to keep making those old models for the overseas market.
     
    Alex Neves likes this.
  7. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,116
    Location:
    SoCal
    It's such a shame that no one at Chippewa has gone down to storage and pulled out their original boot pattern. These would be perfection for me:
    image.jpg
    image.jpg
     
    casechopper and tropicalbob like this.
  8. Blackadder

    Blackadder One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,892
    Location:
    China
    They just might. There is already the new 1937 model and look at the banner at their website.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,116
    Location:
    SoCal
    That's been there for awhile.
    It seems like such a simple idea, right?
    Back to the Original with high quality materials. Mr Freedom, Role Club, wolverine, RRL, Whites, Wesco, and lots of Japanese brands can do it....

    Right now, both the 1937 & 1940 look like modern boots made with modern materials. They need some shape to the heel, slightly longer straps, little bit of a flatter toe (even slightly squared). As they currently stand- no thanks :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  10. Blackadder

    Blackadder One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,892
    Location:
    China
    Leave it to the Japanese to place an order for a lot of their 1940s to be made just like the pair on their banner. That's how Wesco started reproducing the flight master, triple stitches, the old wesco mark and the 1339 soft toe. Look at Thorogood. Thorogood only makes the higher-end models per order from a dealer.
     
  11. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,116
    Location:
    SoCal
    I might just go with Attractions and be done :)
     
    Alex Neves likes this.
  12. Blackadder

    Blackadder One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,892
    Location:
    China
    Or the Trophy Clothing Arrow which are the same as the Attractions but made with softer but thicker tea-core steer leather. The local dealer says they are close to Horween CXL steer.
     
    Alex Neves likes this.
  13. SoCalSoftailSlim

    SoCalSoftailSlim One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've tried RW and Chip engineers a lot over the last several months.

    The new Red Wings are a good, low heeled, engineer without a steel toe. However, they have a smooth sole that makes them a no go on a motorcycle for me. I think a good used pair of 2268s off Ebay would serve you a lot better. They are steel toed, but don't seem very heavy in terms of weight at all to me. Just sturdy. And have much better soles. They just look better, too, IMHO.

    The Chips are good boots, but you may run into stitching that is slightly off. Chip seems to struggle with this for some reason. They also have a more narrow profile than the RWs, even if you get a wide version. I found that made sizing difficult for me, but YMMV.

    What I ended up with, after much hem and hawing for a good pair of engineers, was a used pair of RW 2268s that I had Brian at Role Club do his magic on. But I could have kept them factory stock and they would have been just fine.

    I think used 2268s really are the best, no muss, no fuss engineers out there. You can get them new too, but have to order from Europe or Asia for them. Don't know why RW doesn't make them available in U.S, anymore. Shame.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
    Alex Neves likes this.
  14. SoCalSoftailSlim

    SoCalSoftailSlim One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I tried the Original Chip 1901m48 at home and the RW 2990s in the store. The RW 2990s seemed a thicker leather to me.

    The Chippewa 27899 I also tried at home. They were thicker leather than the Chip 1901m48 as well.

    The Chip 1901m48 leather is very nice though. It's a glossier Horween. It's not unsturdy. Just not as thick as those I compared it to.
     
    davyjones007 likes this.
  15. gtrplyr

    gtrplyr One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    149
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Thanks to everyone who has answered. I was able to try on a pair of RW 2990 the other day at my local RW shop. The leather was ok, but I didn't like the smooth sole (especially for motorcycle riding), therefore they are ruled out as I can't justify the cost of having them resoled.

    I haven't been able to find any used RW 2968 or 2966 on eBay, so that only leaves the Chippewas which I can't find in "d" width. Might try the "e" as most are saying that they run narrower than the RW's, but I tend to have narrow feet so concerned that they may be too wide...

    I am a size US 11 in the RW 2990, does anyone know how the 1901m48 fit in comparison? Should I order the same size?

    Thanks!
     
  16. SoCalSoftailSlim

    SoCalSoftailSlim One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I generally found the Chip sizes to be a bit smaller than the RW. So if you wear a 11 in RW engineers, you may want to try 11.5 in Chips. That was my experience anyway.

    Will you be able to try them on in person? If not, I'd order 11 and 11.5 in Chips and return the one that doesn't fit right.
     
  17. regius

    regius One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,218
    Location:
    New York
    Just ordered a pair of RW 2966, 0.5 size larger than usual (2268 or 2968), let's see!
     
  18. regius

    regius One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,218
    Location:
    New York
    Anyone can paste a link (literally, as I have exhausted my search) here to a place where I can find HIGH QUALITY Chippewa engineer boots, I'd really appreciate it. The currently avaialbe Original or Heritage or whatever you call it, just don't cut the mustard, leather is too soft and collapses on itself. Thank you!
     
  19. regius

    regius One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,218
    Location:
    New York
    The top picture, where did you find that??
     
  20. Vintagestyle

    Vintagestyle Familiar Face

    Messages:
    65
    I had the opposite experience .
    I wear 10 D to 10,5 D with Chippewa 27863 11" engineer boots (different pairs of the same specified size on the tag inside the boot ,can size more or less big) whereas i tried some 2972 Red Wing engineer boots that sized definetly smaller !
    10D was too small for my left foot ( which is longer than my right foot , about 2 to 3 mm ) which was touching the tip while 10,5 D seemed ok although I would have liked to try 11D to see how it would fit .
    What i don't understand is that i measured about 28,3 cm for my right foot and about 28,5 cm for my left foot , what would correspond to 11 to 11,5 US size when checking on some size conversion chart like the one on Bigblackboots.com ( or even 12 if i wanted to have some room for my left toe based on that ) whereas i don't wear such big sizes !
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018

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