Chippewa Apache VS Redwing Iron Ranger Boots Comparison

To be honest, both Chippewa Apache and Iron Ranger are absolutely badass work boots on their own terms. Fitted with solid steel shank and sufficient arch support, over the years these boots have proven to be comfortable, durable as well as tough.

Chippewa Apache VS Redwing Iron RangerBeing an industrial worker myself, I would personally recommend you to get a pair of any of the two and you will not be left unsatisfied.

Although I prefer the Red Wing Iron Rangers more than The Chippewa due to few comparative features such as a better cushioned insole, durability, ease of breaking in and a more than sufficient outsole.

Some companies even recommend Iron Ranger Boots as the best Goodyear Welted Boot out there with no compromise on materials, fit or aesthetics. The cost of these boots are really high so if budget is an issue, but the Chippewa are sure to please you too.

The Chippewa Apache Boots History

The Apaches are manufactured by a company named Chippewa. The company as its history suggests was established in the year 1901 in Chippewa falls, Wisconsin.

They also claim to use the finest materials and craftsmanship as a homage to the people whom the company owes its heritage and philosophy to. Their outdoor products are authentic, vintage and durable. 

The Red Wing Iron Rangers Boots History

Iron Ranger manufactured by a company named Red Wing Shoes is an American footwear company based in Red Wing, Minnesota. This company was founded by Charles H. Beckham in the year 1905 (4 years later than ‘The Chips’).

Supplying their sturdy goods throughout both the American continents. It takes more than 230 steps to build each pair by hand with the help of premium materials and converting them into supremely durable boots.

This article will provide you the necessary and informative comparisons based on certain points which will help you decide between ‘The Chippewa Apache’ and ‘The Iron Ranger’.

 After all, being a consumer your choice matters the most for us. 

 I personally reviewed the following characteristics of these two products for an appropriate comparison:

      •  Cost comparison 
      •  Toe type
      •  Leather
      •  Outsole
      •  Insole
      •  Insulation
      •  Waterproofing 
      •  Sole
      •  Ease of breaking in
      •  Durability

These above comparisons will surely be of enough help for deciding your preferred choices.

Comparison Table for Iron Ranger and Chippewa Apache

Categories Chippewa Apache Iron Ranger
Cost Comparison A pair of ‘The Chips’ might cost you between 270$ and 300$.

Comparatively less than the Iron Ranger Boots.      

A pair of these quality boots might cost you more than 300$ but within 330$ depending on features and quality.
Toe type Made up of composite toe mostly but steel toes are also available Made up of moc-toe mostly.
Leather The company specifically uses full grain leather making it a casual as well as a work boot. Made with premium harness oil tanned leather and chrome hardware.
Outsole Thick Vibram Outsole is a feature of this product protecting your feet from moisture and micro-bacterial attacks. Previously Iron Rangers came with a nitrile cork outsole which was not slip resistant unlike now that they are available with mostly Vibram mini lug outsole which provides slip resistance. Not considered as a typical winter boot but has sufficient traction.
Insole Non-padded hard leather insole making it a factor of discomfort. A bit thicker and cushioned insole especially in the heel and arch area. Comparatively more comfortable than ‘The Chips’.
Waterproofing Crafted of apache bay leather making it waterproof. Oil tanned leather makes it not only waterproof but also stain proof and sweat resistant.
Construction Goodyear leather welt construction. Goodyear welt construction stitched with a thin leather welt together with the upper and the insole of footwear.
Ease of breaking in The Chips also need a considerably shorter time to break in. Around 1-2 weeks are enough to break in them once you start wearing them anytime everywhere. A period of 10-20 days or 30 hours. Usually a very short period to break in them.
Durability The genuine apache leather fitted with eyelets give them a sturdy and durable finish for years to come. As their name suggests, these are as tough as iron. With thick oil tanned leather and triple stitched wax threads these are extremely durable. They last upto an average of eight years.

Chippewa Apache

Our Review: A proper rugged outdoor work boot in terms of looks and effectiveness. I as well as many would prefer them over loggers or the Wolverine 1000 miles.

Given its cost it is highly in demand in the US for its tough features within a justified price. The company’s heritage and history adds to the style of these boots.

Build quality: Goodyear Welted construct, built with a 100% full grain leather made using hides from some of the best tanneries in America, a non-slip Vibram outsole, sewn with a puritan stitch (three row stitch pattern), waxed laces and stitches. What else do you need?

Comfort: Pretty comfortable due to the removable and washable inner cushion, the leather softens with time. Lightweight and breathable to keep your feet dry and comfortable.

Protection: Waterproof, insulated and steel toes make these a top choice for workers in need of protective footwear.

Features: Tough built, Goodyear Welted, full grain oil tanned leather, Vibram outsole, waxed stitches, cushioned insole, insulated, waterproof, lightweight, breathable, durable, proper protection with steel toes.


      • Durable
      • Offer traction
      • Waterproof
      • Insulated
      • Offer proper feet protection
      • Appealing looks

Cons (Depending on various types):

      • Sizes may run big (for moc toes).
      • Runs larger than indicated (for service utility boots).
      • Non-removable insole(for homestead pebble boots)
      • Can be pricey(for composite toe boots)
      • Can be heavy for some users(for logger boots)
      • Mediocre welting(for lace up boots)

Iron Ranger

Iron Rangers have the reputation of being the best first boots a man can buy. If it’s in your budget, they are quite versatile, feel comfortable, are durable. Their quality construction make them completely worth their prize.

Build quality: Premium quality harness and oil tanned leather, Goodyear welt makes the boot better with age with a tolerable break in period. Also consists of a steel shank for better arch support and stability. The nitrile cork outsole provides poor traction in winters and slips everywhere but not with the mini lug soles available now with Iron Rangers.

Comfort: A proper ball and toe area with cushioned make these boots quite comfortable and easy to break in.

Protection: Moc toes do not provide sufficient toe protection, waterproof, insulated and prone to various hazards making them a preferable choice for workers.

Features: Premium harness leather, Goodyear welted, cushioned insole, puritan stitched, brass speed hooks for precise lacing, moc toes, minimum break in period, waterproof, insulated, durable.


      • Personalized fit.
      • Custom comfort.
      • Leather insoles.
      • Easy to repair.
      • Easy to resole.
      • Worth your money.


      • Not made for intense construction environments.
      • Toe scratches easily.
      • Quite pricey.

See also: Red Wing Iron Ranger Vs Wolverine 1000 Mile


Are both these boots constructed with a steel shank?

Yes both these boots have a steel shank constructed within them for a top notch arch support and stability especially in the ball area.

Are Iron Ranger Boots available with steel toes?

Initially they were made with an extra leather toe cap to provide more toe protection until a decade later Red Wing first came up with the concept of providing steel toe. Now they are available with steel toes.

What is the substitute of Iron Ranger Boots since these are quite costly?

Thorogood Boots are the best substitute to Iron Rangers with a comparatively lower cost for a pair. Thorogood boots also provide proper protection for workers, are fashionable and quite sturdy.

Wrapping Up!

“Variety is the spice of life!”

Of course we all have heard that, but sometimes too many choices might end up creating confusion about which one to choose unless you are crazy enough to take away all of them.

Workers face the same kind of problem especially when buying their work boots. There are probably hundreds of choices when you want to buy your perfect pair of boots that fits your work environment.

This article brings you a comparison between two of those boots, Chippewa Apache and Red Wing Iron Ranger. 

Hope I was able to appropriately compare these two products on the basis of necessary key features helpful for the workers. The bottom line remains to not hesitate before buying either of these.

Take that for sure that I will keep on bringing more comparisons for the viewers.

Till then Stay Safe and…

Stay Happy and Healthy!

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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