10 Years On, Still Going Strong: Red Wing 9111 Boots

My pair of Red Wing 9111s celebrated their 10th birthday in September.

The manufacturing tag says 09/09, meaning these things have been in use for just over a decade now.

They’re still holding up well despite having been kicked about and put through the wringer, which makes them a perfect example of why it’s worth forking out for quality footwear.

Far from being dead.

These boots are sturdily built and made with good quality leather, which means instead of falling apart and/or becoming ugly like a cemented shoe with lower quality leather would, it gets better looking.

A lovely patina has developed from years of scuffs and wear. I haven’t even looked after them very well, but they’re still looking good.

It’s getting about time to replace the laces as there is a small rupture on one of them. With that easy fix, I’ll get more years out of these boots.

I’ve worn them nearly every time I’ve ridden my motorcycle, and any time there’s been yard work to do. They get the occasional casual wear too, maybe once every couple of weeks.

Despite the 875 model number printed on the inner tag, they are definitely not a RW 875, as they lack the moccasin style toe that defines the 875 look (a photo of the actual 875 model is included below). It took me quite some time in searching to find out exactly what model they are, until someone on Styleforum‘s boot thread recently pointed me in the right direction and the search finally ended.

RW sellers in Australia remarked at having never seen a boot like these particular ones distributed in Australia, which naturally led to some suspicions that they could have been fake. However given the quality leather, sturdy construction and comfort it seemed like altogether too much work to have been wasted on a counterfeit. Thankfully I was finally able to find out what the real model number was.

Walking on clouds.

One thing that has stuck with me about this pair of boots is the comfort level. I can wear these all day and it feels like walking on clouds. The strong but slightly spongy sole is doubtless to thank for this.

However, there is a slight problem caused by it too. I’ve noticed that I seem to be a total magnet for static electricity when wearing these. They don’t seem to allow for me to become grounded when walking about; as a result I find myself getting static shocks when entering and exiting the car. It’s only a minor niggle.

If I’m wearing them while travelling I just stick to the motorcycle.

It’s worth saving for quality footwear.

I hate to think of how many pairs of cheap shoes I would have gone through in the same time these boots have been alive.

Cost wise, it would probably rank in the thousands over a decade. Instead, I’m laughing all the way to the bank.

That’s all for today!

Thanks for reading. Got a pair of shoes or boots that have lasted you forever? Let me know what your favourites are!

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With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

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