Red Wing vs Grant Stone: A Detailed Boot Comparison for Quality Seekers

Choosing the ideal pair of boots involves more than just style. The perfect pair of boots combines style, toughness, and comfort to stand the test of conditions and time. In the realm of quality footwear, two brands deserve special mention for their superior craftsmanship and enduring appeal: the Red Wing Moc Toe and the Grant Stone Brass Boot.Red Wing, with its popularity among the general public seems to have become a benchmark for work boots to gauge whether different products are good enough.

The Red Wing Moc Toe boots are known for their unique moc toe construction and have come to symbolize traditional American workwear. These boots are praised for their sturdy construction and timeless design, appealing to those who are simultaneously aesthetically pleasing and functional. In contrast, the Grant Stone Copper Boots are praised for their superb craftsmanship and quality materials, offering boot enthusiasts a sophisticated but equally sturdy option.

We’ll be comparing the different features of these two boots in detail, from the intricacies of the design to the nuances of comfort and longevity. Whether you are a seasoned boot enthusiast or a novice, our analysis will help you make an informed decision. We’ll provide an insightful assessment to inform your buying decision.

Brand Overview

Red Wing Shoes: A Century-Old Legacy in Boots

Red Wing Shoes isn’t just another boot brand; it’s a century-old legend in the world of premium footwear. Born in 1905 in Red Wing, Minnesota, Charles H. Beckman’s vision was simple yet profound: to craft sturdy, comfortable boots for the hardworking locals – miners, loggers, and farmers. Over the years, Red Wing has grown far beyond Minnesota, yet it’s never wavered from its roots of exceptional craftsmanship.

Walking into the world of Red Wing Shoes feels like stepping back in time, where traditional boot-making is alive and well. Every pair of boots is a masterpiece, marrying old-school techniques like the Puritan triple stitch and Goodyear welt with modern innovation. These boots are not just tough; they’re designed to last a lifetime, with the option to resole them, giving them new life over and over again.

Red Wing’s secret sauce? It’s their own oil-tanned leather, crafted in-house at the S.B. Foot Tanning Company. It’s this commitment to top-tier materials that makes every Red Wing boot stand out – durable, stylish, and trusted by generations.

Grant Stone: A New Chapter in High-Quality Boots

Grant Stone might be the new kid on the block, having started in 2016, but it’s quickly carved out a niche in the high-end boot market. Wyatt Gilmore, the founder, brought a rich family heritage in shoemaking to the table. His goal? To create boots that aren’t just high-quality, but timeless and trend-resistant. Despite being relatively young, Grant Stone has already made waves for its exceptional quality and eye for detail.

The heart of Grant Stone lies in its relentless quest for perfection. They’re all about the finer things – from sourcing top-grade leathers from renowned tanneries to crafting boots using the 360º split-reverse welt technique. Every pair is a testament to precision and care, ensuring durability and style in spades.

But Grant Stone isn’t just about looks. They put a huge emphasis on how their boots feel. It’s all about getting that perfect fit, balancing classic design with modern comfort. This focus on both form and function, paired with their dedication to customer happiness, quickly puts Grant Stone in the spotlight for anyone who appreciates boots that are as durable as they are elegant.

Design and Aesthetics

Red Wing Moc Toe: Classic Americana with a Twist

The Red Wing Moc Toe isn’t just a boot; it’s like a piece of classic Americana on your feet. Its design is inspired by Native American moccasins, featuring a unique U-shaped toe box that’s not just about looks – it’s about giving your toes the room they need. This design started off as a practical choice for workers spending long hours standing, but it’s evolved into a style statement.

There’s something undeniably hearty and rugged about the Moc Toe’s look. The leather – often in shades that develop a richer, more personal look over time – makes each pair distinct. And then there’s the Traction Tred outsole, typically in crisp white rubber, providing not just a solid grip but also a cool contrast that catches the eye.

Color choices? Red Wing’s got you covered. From the iconic amber of the Oro Legacy to the darker Briar Oil Slick and the laid-back Hawthorne Muleskinner, each shade has its own vibe. It’s all about finding the one that fits your style and your story.

Grant Stone Brass Boot: Sleek and Sophisticated

Grant Stone Brass Boots are like the polished cousin in the boot family. They mix the timeless charm of traditional boots with a sleek, modern touch. Whether you’re hitting the town or heading to a meeting, these boots can switch gears effortlessly.

The standout feature here is the leather – smooth, high-grade, and sourced from the best tanneries. It’s the kind of leather that doesn’t just endure; it gets better with age. And let’s not forget the 360º split-reverse welt construction – it’s not only about making the boots last but also about adding that extra bit of sophistication.

Color options? Grant Stone plays it classy. You’ve got the ever-elegant Black Calf, the earth-toned Dune Chromexcel, and the deep, rich Crimson Chromexcel. Each color brings something special to the table, complemented by the careful stitching and neat eyelet details. In a Grant Stone Brass Boot, you’re not just wearing a boot; you’re making a statement about appreciating the finer things in life.

Construction and Materials

Red Wing Moc Toe: Built to Last with a Touch of Heritage

The Red Wing Moc Toe boots are like a trusty old friend – reliable and full of character. They use leather from Red Wing’s own tannery, which means every pair is consistent in quality. This leather isn’t just tough; it’s flexible and gets better with age, developing a personal patina that tells its own story.

The soles are something special too. They’ve got this white crepe sole, known as the Traction Tred outsole, that’s comfy and grippy – perfect for those who are on their feet all day. Its downside, however, is that it wears out quickly.

And when it comes to putting these boots together, they’re all about the Goodyear welt – a big deal in the boot world. This means you can resole them, so they’re not just boots, they’re an investment. The triple stitching and tough metal hardware are like the cherry on top – they look good and make sure your boots can take whatever comes their way.

Grant Stone Brass Boot: A Touch of Class in Every Step

Grant Stone’s Brass Boot is the epitome of elegance in boot form. They pick their leather from some of the best tanneries out there, like Horween and Charles F. Stead. Whether it’s the luxurious feel of Chromexcel® leather or the laid-back vibe of suede, these boots are all about top-notch materials.

The soles tell their own story of quality. Think stacked leather heels with a rubber layer for extra grip, and a full leather midsole that sits on a cork bed. This cork shapes to your foot over time, making each step feel like it’s tailored just for you. And the 360º split-reverse welt? It’s not just for looks – it makes these boots even more waterproof than the Red Wing Moc Toe.

Every detail on the Brass Boot, from the precise stitching to the Antique brass eyelets, speaks of Grant Stone’s attention to detail. They’ve even thought about little things like pull tabs and tongue pads for comfort and convenience. These boots aren’t just footwear; they’re a statement about valuing quality and style that stands the test of time.

Comfort and Fit

Red Wing Moc Toe: Sizing, Break-In, and Long-Term Comfort

The Red Wing Moc Toe boots are known for their sturdy construction, but do require a long break-in period, which is a testament to the sturdiness of the materials used. At first, the wearer may find the boots stiff, which is typical of quality full-grain leather. With the exception of the 9875 and 9874, all of my other red wing moc toes require a long break-in period at first. Over time, the leather softens and conforms to the shape of the wearer’s foot, resulting in a personalized wearing experience that is both comfortable and supportive.

For me personally, the Red Wing Moc Toe boots are all true to size. You can use mink oil to soften the uppers if they still feel stiff after a while of wear, and the leather stretches over time to conform to the shape of your foot. While leather insoles and cork fillers are both routinely standard on moc toe boots but provide a solid base, many users choose to add custom orthotics or extra footbeds for added cushioning.

Grant Stone Brass Boot: A Blend of Comfort, Support, and Sizing Insights

Grant Stone Brass Boots distinguish themselves with a remarkable balance of immediate comfort and enduring fit, a notable achievement for boots of such exceptional quality. The initial ease of wear can be attributed to the brand’s choice of supple, premium leathers and a construction methodology that thoughtfully blends sturdiness with user comfort. The break-in period for these boots is relatively minimal compared to more rugged counterparts like the Red Wing Moc Toe, with the leather and sole quickly adapting to the individual shape of the wearer’s feet.

A critical feature of the Grant Stone Brass Boot is the incorporation of a steel shank. This addition not only enhances the overall structural integrity of the boot but also provides substantial arch support. The steel shank ensures a stable and supportive wear experience, particularly beneficial for those spending extended periods on their feet.

Regarding sizing, particularly for the Floyd last used in the Brass Boot, it is commonly advised to go down half a size. The Floyd last tends to run large, offering a more generous fit, which can be particularly noticeable in the toe area. Downsizing by half ensures a snug, more precise fit that can accommodate the natural stretching of the leather over time.

The internal features of the boot, like its fully lined interior, contribute significantly to its comfort. This lining not only enhances the boot’s longevity but also ensures a smooth, irritation-free experience against the skin. The cork bed midsole plays a pivotal role in comfort, molding to the foot’s contour and providing a personalized, cushioned feel that responds dynamically during wear.

Durability and Longevity

Red Wing Moc Toe: Tough as Nails, Year After Year

Red Wing Moc Toe boots are real workhorses. They’re built to take on anything – city sidewalks, rough trails, you name it. The leather they use is something else: it’s this rugged, oil-tanned stuff that shrugs off water and just gets better with age. And because they’re made with the Goodyear welt, these boots aren’t just tough – they’re ready for a long life. You can even get them resoled when needed, which means you could be strutting around in them for years, maybe even decades.

Keeping these boots going strong involves some care. Regular cleaning and conditioning are key. A soft brush, a bit of leather cleaner, and a swipe of mink oil or boot cream are all you need to keep them in tip-top shape. Let them dry naturally, pop in some shoe trees, and you’re doing your part to keep them around for the long haul.

Grant Stone Brass Boot: Stylish Today, Tomorrow, Always

The chromexcel leather used in the Grant Stone is smoother and shinier than the leather used in the Red wing. Thanks to the 360º split-reverse welted construction, these boots are both durable and stylish.

To make sure these boots stick around, a little maintenance goes a long way. Clean them gently, condition them now and then, and maybe add a bit of shoe cream or wax polish to keep them looking sharp. Cedar shoe trees are great for keeping their shape and soaking up any extra moisture. Letting them air out naturally after wearing and keeping an eye on the soles will also help ensure these boots can be a staple in your wardrobe for years to come.

Both Red Wing Moc Toe and Grant Stone Brass Boots are champions of longevity. With the right care, they’re not just boots you wear; they’re stories you live and share, growing more distinctive and personal with every step. It’s this blend of durability, style, and personal history that makes these boots so appealing to those who don’t just buy shoes, but invest in a journey.

Price and Value: Red Wing Moc Toe vs. Grant Stone Brass Boot

Red Wing Moc Toe: Quality at a Fair Price

Red Wing Moc Toe boots strike a balance between price and quality. They’re not cheap, but they’re also not sky-high in price, especially when you consider what you’re getting. These boots are a solid investment – they’re built to last, have a timeless look, and are a bit of heritage you can wear. The fact that you can resole them adds even more value, stretching your dollar over many years.

In the second-hand market, Red Wing Moc Toe boots hold their own. Thanks to the brand’s reputation and the quality of their boots, they tend to keep a good part of their value. This ongoing popularity is a testament to the brand’s consistent quality and the lasting appeal of their boots.

Grant Stone Brass Boot: Premium Price for Premium Quality

Grant Stone Brass Boots are on the pricier side, but there’s a good reason for that. They represent luxury in the boot world – think high-end materials and craftsmanship that you’d usually see in more expensive brands. For those who appreciate the finer details and top-notch quality, Grant Stone boots are definitely worth the price.

As for their standing in the second-hand market, Grant Stone is making waves. The brand might be newer, but it’s quickly building a reputation for quality and longevity. This growing recognition means their boots are likely to hold their value well, making them a smart buy both for wearing and as a potential future collectible.

When deciding between Red Wing and Grant Stone, it comes down to what you value more in a boot. If it’s rugged, long-lasting style at a reasonable price, Red Wing is your go-to. If you lean towards luxurious materials and exquisite craftsmanship, and don’t mind paying a bit more, then Grant Stone is the way to go. Both brands offer great value, just in different ways.

The Column Chart Comparison

The column chart visually represents the comparison between the Red Wing Moc Toe and Grant Stone Brass Boots across four factors: Design and Aesthetics, Construction and Materials, Comfort and Fit, and Durability and Longevity.

Red Wing vs Grant Stone Boot Comparison Chart

Design and Aesthetics:

In the design and style department, Grant Stone Brass Boot nudges ahead with a score of 9, compared to Red Wing Moc Toe’s 8. This indicates a preference for Grant Stone’s refined and elegant design over the Red Wing’s signature classic American look.

Construction and Materials:

Here, Grant Stone Brass Boot shines with a perfect 10, showcasing its use of top-notch leather and its impressive 360º split-reverse welt construction. Red Wing Moc Toe isn’t far behind with a score of 9, reflecting its high-quality materials and reliable Goodyear welt construction.

Comfort and Fit:

Grant Stone Brass Boot leads again with a score of 9, suggesting its excellent blend of comfort right out of the box and a lasting, snug fit. Red Wing Moc Toe, scoring a 7, might take a bit longer to break in, which could impact its immediate comfort.

Durability and Longevity:

Red Wing Moc Toe edges out with a score of 9, just above Grant Stone Brass Boot’s 8. This implies that while both boots are designed for longevity, Red Wing Moc Toe’s robust build and resoling capability might make it more enduring through extensive use.

Final Thoughts

Wrapping up the showdown between Red Wing Moc Toe and Grant Stone Brass Boots, it’s clear both brands bring something special to the table. Red Wing Moc Toe is your classic, tough-as-nails boot. It’s got that rugged, timeless American look and offers a lot of bang for your buck. It’s the kind of boot that keeps up with a hard day’s work and still looks great.

On the flip side, Grant Stone Brass Boots are about luxury and finesse. They’re for those who appreciate the finer details – think high-quality materials and a sleek look that’s as good for a night out as it is for a boardroom.

So, what’s it going to be? If your priority is a boot that’s built to last, with a style that never fades, Red Wing Moc Toe is your go-to. But if you’re after something that’s a cut above in terms of elegance and don’t mind spending a bit more, then Grant Stone Brass Boots are calling your name.

Either way, you’re getting more than just a pair of boots. You’re picking a partner for your journey – be it the tough, reliable Red Wing or the sophisticated, top-quality Grant Stone. It all comes down to your personal style, what you need in a boot, and how you want to step through your day. Remember, the right boots are not just a purchase; they’re a part of your story.

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1. What are the main design differences between Red Wing Moc Toe and Grant Stone Brass Boot?

The Red Wing Moc Toe is known for its iconic American workwear style with a distinctive moc-toe design, while the Grant Stone Brass Boot offers a refined, polished look with clean lines and high-quality leather.

2. Are there significant differences in the comfort and fit between the two boots?

Red Wing Moc Toe boots have a notable break-in period but offer excellent long-term comfort and support. Grant Stone Brass Boots are known for their immediate comfort and sophisticated fit, thanks to their quality materials and design.

3. Which boot offers better value for money?

Red Wing Moc Toe boots are generally considered a great value for their durability and style, especially given their mid-range price. Grant Stone Brass Boots, while more expensive, offer premium materials and craftsmanship, making them a worthwhile investment for those seeking higher-end quality.

4. Which boot is better for rough outdoor activities?

The Red Wing Moc Toe is more suited for rough outdoor activities due to its rugged build and durability in various conditions.


Stan is an adventure enthusiast with a love for the outdoors and American heritage brands like Red Wing and Filson. With a background in environmental science, Stan combines his outdoor experiences with a commitment to sustainability. His reviews go beyond functionality, exploring the brand ethos and craftsmanship. Stan inspires readers to choose gear that's durable, environmentally responsible, and true to American craftsmanship, making his advice indispensable for outdoor aficionados.

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