Can You Resole Red Wing Boots?

Red Wing boots are beautiful and durable, but they aren’t cheap. That’s why it makes sense to keep them around as long as possible. Unfortunately, the soles of these boots tend to become distorted and damaged after a lot of wear. If you lately found yourself Googling, “Can you resole Red Wing boots?” more often, continue reading.

Red Wing boots can be resoled. They are designed to allow the owner to maintain and replace their various parts, including the soles.

If you want to resole them, however, you can either do so yourself or send them back to the manufacturer at a cost, or you can find a repair shop in your area and take them there. If you choose to resole the boots yourself, we’ll go over how to do that below.

Can You Resole Red Wing Boots?

If you wear your Red Wing boots regularly, the thread connecting the boots’ soles to their uppers will wear down, and eventually, their heels may start to indent.

To maintain the integrity of your Red Wing boots and ensure that they last as long as possible, it is advised to resole them when necessary. As stated earlier, the boots are assembled in a manner that facilitates resoling from time to time.

When you’re ready to resole Red Wings in the United States, for example, you can take them to businesses that conspicuously offer the service of resoling Red Wing boots. It doesn’t matter whether the shoes are relatively old or new—they can be resoled as long as they were made in a resoleable design.

Or, you could send the boots to a Red Wing factory for resoling.

The best part about sending Red Wing boots to the factory for resoling is that you can get a quality resoling job done on your boots, instead of getting them resoled by a novice who (may not) have access to Red Wing’s proprietary resoling materials.

In Europe, Red Wing boots are repaired by specialist cobblers. You can visit these cobblers directly, or send your boots to a Red Wing store.

It goes without saying, however, that resoling Red Wing boots isn’t always possible—some boots can’t be resoled because their interiors are too worn out.

In the same vein, if the boots’ uppers are damaged in any way, such as being very dried out, in need of significant repairs, or cracked, it might be better to purchase new boots rather than resoling them.

Watch this video for a hands-on demonstration of a cobbler resoling a pair of Red Wing Moc Toe boots.

How Can You Resole Red Wing Boots By Yourself?

Red Wing boots can be resoled at the company’s store or by a certified repairman. This service may be expensive (up to or over $100), but it will ensure that your beloved Red Wings continue to look as dapper as they did when you first bought them.

However, if you choose to save money by taking the DIY route, here’s how:

First, remove the laces from your Red Wing boot. Then squirt some thinner around the top of the sole where it meets the boot. This will deactivate any adhesives keeping that sole attached to the boot, making removal easier.

After that, place your boot on a shoe repair stand so that the bottom of the sole is facing upward.

A boot stand holds the boot perfectly in place, enabling you to work on it with a sharp blade. Start loosening the sole from the boot by cutting along the part where the sole meets the boot (where you just applied thinner).

Make sure that when you use your blade to loosen the sole from the boot, you cut the stitches that attach it to the upper. Once you have cut all of these threads, you should be able to pull off the sole. Thanks to the Goodyear welting method used in the original construction of the boot, the midsole is usually stitched to the outsole. By pulling off the old “sole,” you’ve pulled away not just the outsole but also the midsole.

You may wonder if there’s any way to detach the outsole without touching the midsole. There is a way to do that, but it’s incredibly tiresome. Now that you’ve gotten rid of the old “sole,” you’ll either have to remove the old midsole from it or use a new midsole altogether. For the sake of your sanity and the longevity of your boot, use a fresh midsole during this resoling process.

Next, scrape off any remaining pieces of cork and adhesive from the underside of the boot. After the cork footbed and its accompanying glue have given way, you’ll notice a welt attached to the boot.

Some professionals recommend spraying vinegar on the underside of the boot to which the welt is attached. If you feel like it, use a blunt tool and hammer out any indents visible on the inner sole.

In order to remove stitches, you will need a machine with a seam ripper attachment. This is a circular piece with teeth coming out of it (it’s like a gear but has thinner teeth), and the teeth pull out the stitches as it spins.

Once you get the machine running, run it along the perimeter of your boot where the inner sole meets the stitches. This process can be done by hand, but it will take a long time to complete and can be difficult and boring.

After stitches have been pulled out, the underside of the boot should look like a foot-shaped piece of cork or foam. Note that welts do not need to be replaced every time a sole is replaced.

Now, apply some glue to the (new) midsole and firmly press it against the underside of the boot. Once the midsole is glued to the boot, stitch it to the boot with a sewing machine.

Where is the new outsole you intend to use? Take the new outsole and glue it to the midsole. Some shoe repair professionals recommend using Contact Cement for this purpose.

After gluing the sole to the midsole, you can hammer it gently to ensure it is secure. Then use a press machine to flatten it against the boot, and sand down the rough edges of the new sole.

To preserve their beauty, polish your Red Wing boots with a leather cream that will help you achieve a rich, glossy finish.


As you can see, the good folks at Red Wing Shoes have designed their boots such that they can be resoled many times. If you’re willing to pay a little bit of money, send your boots to a manufacturer who will do the work for you; if you’re up for the challenge and have a little time, follow these steps to resole your pair of Red Wings!

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Feature Image Attribution

By A Continuous Lean –, CC BY 2.0,


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