Last Updated: January 29, 2018

Red Wing VS. Danner: Who Takes The Crown?

Have you already heard about these two bad boys? Both Red Wing and Danner are American companies that have existed for many, many decades.

They manufacture high-quality shoes for both men and women, in many different styles. Both of them are, however, best known for their work boots, so those will be our primary focus in this review. These are high quality durable boots, so you could also use them for various outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, hunting etc.

We’ll take a look at shoes for both men and women from these two companies, and place them side-by-side. And, by the end of this review, you will have enough information to decide which ones are the best for you.

Scroll down for a detailed comparison between Red Wing’s and Danner’s best sellers!



The Companies Behind Danner & Red Wing

If you haven’t heard about these companies before, don’t worry; I’ll introduce you.

Danner is u US based company that built a name for itself by manufacturing and selling logging boots. They were founded in 1932 and since then they have been creating boots for the working (wo)man.

The company flourished during World War II, as they began manufacturing footwear for workers in the shipyards. Naturally, their range has expanded over the years. Danner now sells many different types of shoes and boots, but their primary focus is still the protection of workers.

Danner actually manufactures boots for the USA law enforcement. Surprised? Personally, I think that is an excellent testament to their quality and reliability.

Red Wing is an old, American company. They’ve been around since 1905 and they have no intention of going anywhere. Their Heritage collection is a testament to this, as it is the only collection that’s existed from the start.

They manufacture various different types of shoes and under several brand names. Red Wing is also the parent company of Irish Setter shoes, as well as Vasque shoes.

In our review today, we’ll take a look at shoes from the Red Wing Work Boots collection, as well as from the Irish Setter branch. We’ll skip the Heritage collection in this review, as I felt like that it would be like comparing apples and oranges, since Danner doesn’t really do classic, fashionable boots. But, it is definitely is worth checking out if that kind of boot interests you.


Their Men’s Shoes Compared

Let's take a look at the most important features of these shoes. I'll break them down into categories for you, and order them from worst to best.

First we will look at what the shoes are made of and what kind of technologies they feature. Then we'll talk about the performance you can expect from the boots, in terms of traction and support.

Next, I will give you advice on sizing so you can get the perfect fit.

And finally, we'll see how durable they are, and how you can get the most of them, by caring for them properly. So, let's begin. 

RED WING SUPERSOLE

RED WING KING TOE

DANNER LIGHT II

DANNER CRAFTER

Red Wing 606 Men's 6-inch Boot (7 2e Us)

Men's 6' Work Boot (RW 2240) Electrical Hazard, None Metallic/Composite Toe, Waterproof (11EE)

Danner Men's 33000 Light II 6' Gore-Tex Hiking Boot, Brown - 7 EE

Danner Men's Crafter 6 Inch Non-Metallic Toe Work Boot, Brown, 9.5 D US

  Waterproof

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

 Shank

Fiberglass

Non-Metallic

Fiberglass

Nylon

Insole

PORON

Texon

Danner Airthotic

Plush Dual-Density

 Outsole

Aztec SuperSole

TPU-PU

Vibram Kletterlift

Danner Crafter

Last Type

695

800

650

DCP

Country of Origin

USA

China

USA

Imported


Materials & Technologies

The upper part of the Danner Light II Boot is made of full-grain leather and Cordura Denier nylon. The nylon is what makes the boot so resistant to scuffs and tears, whereas the leather makes it so strong and durable.

It is also equipped with GORE-TEX liners that make it breathable and waterproof. So, even though no water can get inside the boot, it is still able to release sweat and moisture that are on the inside.

The next boot we’re going to look at is the Danner Crafter 6" Brown Non-Metallic Toe. Its upper part is made of nubuck oiled leather, which is extremely durable. On top of that, the boot also features Danner Dry technology that makes it 100% waterproof.

In addition, the Crafter is also equipped with electrical hazard protection. This means that the soles and heels do not conduct electricity and are electrical shock resistant. So if you work with electricity, you’ll be happy to know that Danner has made an effort to keep you safe.

Red Wing Men's SuperSole 2.0 6-Inch Boot (Style 606) also features an upper part made of full-grain (Nutmeg Ebbtide) leather. It is also waterproof but it lacks insulation, so it might not be the best choice for colder weather.

 One great feature of this boot is the electrical hazard technology. Red Wing goes the extra mile by creating footwear that will protect the wearer from any accidental contact with electrically charged objects. In addition to that, they also feature a fiberglass shank that will shield your feet from any punctures.
Winner: Red Wing King Toe 6-Inch Boot (Style 2240)

What about the Red Wing King Toe 6-Inch Boot (Style 2240);  why does it stand out?

The upper part of this boot is also made of full-grain leather. In addition to that, the King Toe is also equipped with the Red Wing Waterproofing System, which ensures that it stays waterproof and breathable.

The boot gets its name from the Red Wing’s King Toe technology, which gives you 44% more toe room than their regular steel toe boots. This is where the boot really shines. And, because your safety is Red Wing’s primary concern, these also feature the electric hazard technology and a non-metallic shank.


Traction & Support

In terms of traction, the Crafter features an oil-and-slip resistant Danner Crafter outsole. You won’t have to watch where you step at work, and the 90º heel also enhances traction and support on steep terrain. In addition to that, the boot also has an Airthotic heel clip that maximizes support.

The King Toe has a non-marking TPU-PU outsole that gives you excellent traction. It is slip, oil/gas, chemical, abrasion and heat resistant (that's a lot, I know).

And in addition to that, the defined heel will give you arch and ankle support in your every step.

Winner: Tie Between Red Wing SuperSole and Danner Light II

The 606 boot features an Aztec Super Sole 2.0 outsole that provides excellent slip, oil/gas, chemical, abrasion and heat resistance. In plain English, this simply means that they have excellent traction, and will not fail you whatever you step on. This is only reinforced by the 90º defined heel.

The Danner Light II Boot features a Vibram Kletterlift outsole. The heel of the outsole provides excellent shock absorption, and the rubber compound will give you great traction and stability on both dry and wet surfaces. In addition to that, you should also have plenty of arch and ankle support in these.


Fit & Comfort

Danner Men's 33000 Light II 6' Gore-Tex Hiking Boot, Brown - 7 EE

Danner Light II 

The Light II features an Airthotic footbed that should provide you with plenty of comfort and support.

In terms of getting the perfect fit, you’ll want to order half a size smaller than what you usually wear, because these are a bit roomier than standard.

With the Red Wing 2240, I suggest you order your usual size. They should fit perfectly, and you’ll have plenty of room to wiggle your toes thanks to the King Toe Technology.

They are also equipped with a Texon insole, which you should consider switching out, as it is not the best insole on the market.

In terms of sizing, I suggest that you order the 606 in the size that you usually wear. They run true-to-size, and so should be a perfect fit.

They also come with a soft PORON insole, which will keep you comfortable with every step. 

Winner: Danner Crafter 6" Brown Non-Metallic Toe

The Crafter runs true-to-size with a somewhat broader toe box that allows for a more responsive and athletic fit. And to ensure your utmost comfort, Danner equipped the boot with a plush dual-density footbed. These look like the most comfortable option, which is why they outshine the others. 


Durability & Care

 All of these are high quality boots, made of high quality materials. They should last you a very long time (at least a couple years) and much more if you take proper care of them.

But, which ones will last you longer?

Danner offers recrafting services for certain boots from their range (the Light II is recraftable, but the Crafter isn’t), which will do wonders in terms of their durability. So obviously, the Light II will last longer than the Crafter.

The recrafting service includes replacing parts, restitching and leather care. They do charge a fee for this (and a $10 fee for cleaning your boots if you send them dirty), which sucks, but it’s good to have the option to let them clean them at least.

When it comes to Red Wing, the reports of the durability of their footwear are somewhat polarising.

The King Toe might not even make it through the first year without losing its waterproofness. The leather on these boots is also prone to scuffs and marks, which really is shame since they do appear to be very sturdy.

Winner: Red Wing Men's SuperSole 2.0 6-Inch Boot (Style 606)

On the other hand, The SuperSole 2.0 could last you for many many years, if you take proper care of it and send it in for recrafting once in a while. Because of this, it is the obvious winner - imagine having a pair of boots that will last longer than your laptop!


Their Women’s Shoes Compared

Women who spend a lot of time on their feet also need to choose the appropriate footwear for work. Both Red Wing and Danner work shoes are often worn by nurses, police officers, postmen and many other women whose work requires them to be on their feet a lot

Red Wing shoes featured in this part of the review are from the Irish Setter branch, as there was much more variety in this range than in their regular work shoes collection.

 I'll review the women's shoes the same way I reviewed the men's shoes, so just sit back and scroll down for all the information you could possibly need to make an informed decision. 

IRISH SETTER CROSBY

IRISH SETTER TWO HARBORS

DANNER STRIKER TORRENT

DANNER MOUNTAIN LIGHT

Irish Setter Work Women's Crosby Nano Toe Waterproof Punture-Resistant 6' Work Boot, Grey, 8.5 B US

Irish Setter Work Women's 83204 Two Harbors Work Boot, Brown/Teal, 8 B US

Danner Women's Striker Torrent 45 Duty Boot,Black,8 M US

Danner Women's Mountain Light Cascade Hiking Boot, Brown, 8 M US

 Waterproof

Yes

Yes

Yes

Not Fully

 Shank

Non-Metallic

Nylon

Nylon

Fiberglass

Insole

Removable Memory Foam EVA

Texon

Cushioning Polyurethane

-

 Outsole

Rubber Diamond Tred

Rubber Diamond Tred

Vibram Striker Torrent

Vibram Kletterlift

Last Type

L157

-

650

650 M

Country of Origin

-

-

Imported

USA


Materials & Technologies

The first boot we'll take a look at is Danner’s Mountain Light boot. It features an iconic retro design that’s been around since toe 70s. The entire upper part is made of one piece of Sienna cache leather, which is exactly what gives the boot such an antique look.

The boot is not fully waterproof, which really is a shame. It is however water-resistant and extremely quick drying. Danner’s Dri-Lex technology ensures this, and it also makes the boot completely breathable. With no waterproofing or insulation, this boot is an excellent choice for warm-to-hot climates.

The Irish Setter Two Harbors boot has an upper made of waterproof full-grain leather and abrasive resistant nylon. It is also equipped with UltraDry technology which makes the boot waterproof and breathable at the same time.

The waterproofing technology also utilizes their moisture management lining to help keep you dry. In terms of your protection, the Two Harbors has an aluminium toe and a nylon shank. These components not only guarantee your safety, but also make the boot very lightweight, as they are made of lightweight materials.

Winner: A tie between The Irish Setter Crosby and Danner Striker Torrent

The Irish Setter’s Crosby has an upper part made of full-grain waterproof leather. The UltraDry technology combines this leather with moisture management lining that guarantees your feet will stay dry.

In addition to that, this boot features the same electric hazard technology of the Red Wing men’s boots. And for your ultimate protection, it is also equipped with a non-metallic toe and a non-metallic shank. These won’t set off any metal detectors (obviously) and they’ll keep your feet as safe as they can be.

With the Striker Torrent, Danner went for an upper made of full-grain leather and 1000 denier nylon. The combination of these two materials makes the boot lightweight, and significantly improves its durability. These also have a nylon shank, which is another addition that improves their durability and lightweight.

It is also equipped with Gore-Tex liners. These guarantee that the boot stays 100% waterproof, and also remains breathable. It is not insulated, so it shouldn’t be too hot inside these during the warmer months.


Traction & Support

The Mountain Light is equipped with a Vibram Kletterlift outsole, just like the Men’s Light II. With this rubber compound in the outsole you will get plenty of traction on both dry and wet surfaces. In addition to that, the heel is designed to provide excellent shock absorption.

In terms of support, the Red Wing equipped this boot with StableFlex technology. This means that the Crosby has increased flexibility in the forefoot, but also a very stable heel.

As for the outsole, is comes with the rubber Diamond Tred outsole, which is heat resistant and has excellent traction on all kinds of surfaces.

This boot features the same StableFlex technology as the Crosby, which means it will give you excellent stability. On top of that, the Two Harbors has protective caps on the heel.

And, the rubber Diamond Tred outsole means you will have traction wherever your job might take you.

Winner: Danner Striker Torrent

The Striker Torrent features a Vibram Striker Torrent outsole that was designed specifically for them. It will give you great traction, especially on wet surfaces because it has outer lug pattern that sheds water.

In terms of support, these boots have a Danner TFX-8 platform that reinforces stability of both the toe and the heel.


Fit & Comfort

Comfort is where Danner’s Striker Torrent disappoints. It is quite stiff, and takes a lot of time to break in. Therefore, I have to warn you that you might get horrible blisters when breaking these in.

In terms of sizing, you should order these in the size you normally wear.

A big downside of the Mountain Light boot is that it does not come with an insole. This means that you’ll have to purchase one (or not if you already own an extra one) which to be honest is an unnecessary hassle.

In terms of fit, you should get these in half a size smaller, as they tend to be a little long.

The Setter Two Harbor boots should fit you very well in your usual size. They come with a removable PU insole that you might want to replace with a more comfortable one. In any case, Two Harbors boots don’t really disappoint in any way, but they don’t impress either.

Winner: (Red Wing) Irish Setter Crosby

You won’t have any regrets if you get the Crosby boots in your usual size, as they are designed to perfectly fit the shape of a woman’s foot. In addition to that, you’ll also be very comfortable in them, as they come with a removable EVA memory foam footbed.

Durability & Care

In terms of care, the Crosby, the Striker Torrent and the Two Harbors are not handstitched, which means that they are not recraftable. So, if a part of them breaks off or if the leather gets scuffed, there’s nothing you can do to fix it.

However, this does not in any case imply that these boots won’t have long lives, just that you cannot help keep them longer should they break or wear out in any way.  

In fact, all of these boots are extremely durable, even more so if you take proper care of them. The precise number of years they will last you really depends on how you use them and take care of them.

That being said, one pair of boots did impress me with their durability and it was the Mountain Lights.

What is most impressive about these is that I came across a review of a woman who has owned the same pair of these for 30 years. How can you beat that?

In addition to such a long lifespan, they are also recraftable. So, if they start to die on you sometime in the first decade, you can always send them in for recrafting.


Red Wing VS. Danner: Who Takes The Crown?

Well, you’ve seen the winners of each section, so you probably already have a pretty good idea. You’re right – the winner is Red Wing (including Irish Setter)!

It was a pretty close competition, but Red Wing won me over with their overall quality and value for money. And now, let’s take a look at the most impressive boots from this review.

In the men’s section, Red Wing Men's SuperSole was the definite winner. It is the ultimate shoe for someone who works on their feet.  And, with a number of added features focused on protection, such as the fiberglass shank and the electrical hazard technology, this really is the ultimate boot for the working man or woman.

Red Wing 606 Men's 6-inch Boot (7 2e Us)
6 Reviews
Red Wing 606 Men's 6-inch Boot (7 2e Us)
  • Slip resistant
  • Waterproof leather

A close second is the Red Wing King Toe boot. This is an excellent choice if you work in a hazardous environment. Why? Because the King Toe has lots of safety features. On top of that, because this is quite a sturdy boot overall, it is also a good fit for hiking or hunting.

Men's 6' Work Boot (RW 2240) Electrical Hazard, None Metallic/Composite Toe, Waterproof (11EE)
4 Reviews
Men's 6" Work Boot (RW 2240) Electrical Hazard, None Metallic/Composite Toe, Waterproof (11EE)
  • Electrical Hazard, Non-Metallic Toe
  • Waterproof, Red Wing Waterproofing System

In the women’s section there was actually a tie between Danner’s Striker Torrent and (Red Wing) Irish Setter’s Crosby.

The Striker Torrent is a boot of outstanding quality. It is a great fit for any woman who spends a lot of time on her feet, but particularly for women in law enforcement. It isn’t the most comfortable shoe ever, but its overall performance makes up for that.

Danner Women's Striker Torrent 45 Duty Boot,Black,8.5 M US
28 Reviews
Danner Women's Striker Torrent 45 Duty Boot,Black,8.5 M US
  • Durable, polishable full-grain leather upper with rugged and lightweight 1000 Denier nylon
  • Speed lace fastening system for secure fit

Irish Setter Crosby is also an excellent shoe for a working woman. They are wonderfully comfortable and your feet won’t get tired even after 12+ hours shift in these babies. And, with great traction and support, these are also a great fit for some outdoor activities, such as hunting or climbing.

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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