When I first contacted Red Wing Korea, I was worried that they wouldn’t accept my request. Thankfully, Red Wing Korea has allowed me to visit them, take photos and interview. I visited Red Wing Korea during the less busy time to avoid the crowd.
The Red Wing store is located in Garosu-Gil in Apgujeong, Seoul. Apgujeong is in the epicentre of the Korean shopping street and it often gets very crowded with shoppers and tourists. Sadly during the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of visitors has decreased tremendously. But, it seemed like people are still searching for great looking boots and shoes because Red Wing store was busier than I expected.
Red Wing, is an American shoemaker that is founded in 1905 by Charles Beckman. The brand is well over a hundred years old and Red Wing has been making great shoes and boots. You are able to see Red Wing boots on the streets in Korea quite easily during the colder season. When I came to Korea during Christmas to visit my family in 2017 and I remember seeing a lot of people wearing the Red Wing moc toe boots or similar style boots. Most people prefer sneakers more in Korea; however, people’s interest in longer-lasting and better quality footwear is increasing.
Outside of Red Wing Korea
On the way to Red Wing Korea store, it was pretty easy to navigate. The store is not on the main road, but once you get nearby, will be able to see their huge sign with their logo. The store was spacious from the outside. I was very excited about the number of different Red Wing boots that I could see in the store. Some people think that Red Wing only makes a few same models and the brand is boring. But, there are reasons why that the Red Wing has come this far and they have more styles than you think.
You are also able to see a retro-like poster of an Irish setter boots advertisement in front of the store. Because of this poster and the logo, It’s not hard to miss the Red Wing Store when you are walking nearby. I also hear that other Red Wing stores in Korea have a similar design.
Inside of Red Wing Korea
If you are a fan of Red Wings boots, you will be able to notice the boots and the style that is used as an interior. The inside is very well presented and gives a very welcoming vibe. But of course, you can see the difference between the Red Wing store and Berwick store. While Berwick gave a formal atmosphere with business-related merchandises, Red Wing store had a more casual and rugged vibe. Doesn’t mean which one is good or bad. People have different tastes and frankly speaking, those two brands supply different types of footwear for different occasions.
My favourite part was 8 Boots on the shelve with a cross-section of the Beckman shoes in the first row. When a brand shows a cross-section of their shoes, you can see the entire construction of the boots and it means that the brand is very confident with their products. So the fact that Red Wing shoes the cross-section means that they are confident with the quality of their boots. On the cross-section photo, you can see the steel shank in the mid-foot and the thickness of their leather insole. Also, the famous triple stitching on the side of the boots that prevents the boots from stretching too much and also makes it durable. There are many characteristics that the Red Wing has put thoughts into when making these boots, but also they are very simple.
When I walked in, I was greeted by the Red Wing Korea store staff members who were, of course, wearing Red Wing Boots. They were nice and helpful and most of all, the staff knew everything about the boots, including their history and material behind it. I learnt so much about Red Wing as a brand and I am sure they will explain it to you too if you can visit there. The Red Wing store often do a class where they teach you how to take care of your Red Wing boots. I think this is important because a lot of people are not familiar with how to take care of their boots. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture their boot care classes, but I wish to visit them again when I have a chance.
I have mentioned above that a lot of people think of Red Wing boots as the same, and yes I was one of them. I thought all the moc toe boots are the same. But after listening to the staff explaining the difference. I realised that they aren’t all the same. The last of the boots, the welting method, the leather (even if they look the same, when you touch it, it’s completely different) were all different. Listening to the staff, I really wanted to buy more boots, I had to stop myself from reaching my wallet.
They also had some limited edition boots. They had the all-white leather moc toe boots and Red Wing X Fragment collaboration boots too. Apparently, the white leather use on the boots is only able to be produced once every three years when the tannery cleans their entire factory. That is extremely interesting and very rare. I wanted to try it on but I was afraid that I may scuff it.
For anyone with giant’s feet. The size they carry is up to US 11. So if you do have giant’s feet I would recommend you to call them first before you visit them and make sure you put in an order to collect it from their store.