I'm looking to get some non-work boots and would like to get a USA made product. I was looking at the Danner Forest Heights and some Red Wing boots (iron ranger, beckman). Anyone have any experience with these brands? I know they're known for quality but with the prices being $200-$300, do you think they're really worth it?
I do not have experience with those brands, but I do have some Allen Edmonds boots (one pair bought used, one new) and would certainly recommend them as being worth it. The quality is much, much better than what you'll get for $50-100 (made in china, soles cheaply glued on). Allen Edmonds will also recraft most of their shoes, which is their way of saying that they can do repairs up to replacing the entire sole (I'd have to check prices, but last time I used the service it was somewhere around $40 for new heels and $100 for a complete resoling, including a new cork footbed).
I have never seen Allen Edmonds before. Some very nice boots!
I am a big fan of Red Wings. I have worn steel toe Red Wings for my work boots for years. They are consistently high quality, well made boots. I also like that I can take them to the RW store anytime I want for a free pair of new laces, complimentary shine, and a complimentary boot oil treatment.
There is one negative with Red Wings. Not all of their shoes/boots are made in America anymore. Many are being made in China. So if you want a pair made in America, be sure to check the label on the back of the tongue to insure that they were in fact made in America. I have worn both American and Chinese made Red Wings. I've found both to be very high quality. I prefer to by the American made though. I'm currently wearing a pair of American made Red Wing 2406's and I love them.
I've noticed a trend among some boot makers, including my favorite brand. Only their high-end boots are made in the US and they have started to import some of their low end boots.
Those companies don't openly advertise this, of course, but if you search closely, you can find which models are made where.
Just telling you to be diligent. I was recently burned.
Yes, I discovered this with Red Wing. I know their "Irish Setter" and "Vasque" line are made in China. Very disappointing, but I guess they're feeling the pressure (or just wanting more profit?).
I've worn Dunham boots for a long while now. Hold up well for my job, while I'm on my motorcycle, and when out doing yard work and the like. Not too pricey and from what I can tell they're a subsidiary of New Balance, which IIRC makes it's shoes stateside. I'd love to have a good pair of Red Wings but I've got the old, Dom Perignon tastes with a Miller Light budget so it's not always practical.
The red wing iron rangers are made in the states, and are a good choice
I may have missed it elsewhere, but what specifically do you want/need boots for? Is there something in particular you are planning on using them for, or are you looking for some good looking boots just to wear about your day? I don't mean to offend or insinuate anything by asking, I was just trying to see if there was a specific goal in mind for them that would help making recommendations more focused.
edit: Now see. The poster right above me asked the very same question while I had left this tab open so I could read other stuff before I responded to this. I fail.
I bought some Red Wing boots in Red Wing, MN about a month ago and love them. Initially very rigid and uncomfortable but after wearing them a bit, they've relaxed a bit and I really like them.
Found this site lingering in my bookmarks menu. The concept looks great (crafted in the USA) and so do the boots. I can't vouch for them though, they are a little out of this guys price range.
Oak Street Bootmakers
The Oak Street boots are awesome, but definitely a little over my price range :-)