Worn by British soldiers over half a century ago, the desert boot is widely considered a staple in modern menswear. These causal, lightweight boots commonly bear a round of familiar features, including two to three eyelets, a rounded toe box, crepe sole and ankle-height upper. And though Clarks Originals proves to be a go-to favorite in this category, there’s a new kid on the block, and it’s one worth some fanfare: Red Wing Heritage.
Today, the trusted Minnesota brand debuts its Weekender Collection, inspired by the original desert boots of WWII-era soldiers. The collection opens with two silhouettes — a traditional high-top chukka and an oxford that rests below the ankle — both sitting atop Red Wing’s proprietary ComfortForce footbed. Each style is offered in three hard-wearing leathers (“Charcoal Rough & Tough,” “Hawthorne Muleskinner”, “Copper Rough & Tough”) sourced from the S.B. Foot Tanning Company, which also provides leather for Red Wing’s traditional work boots.
Most notably, however, the Weekender Collection diverts from the rugged Goodyear welt associated with Red Wing Heritage, opting instead for a lightweight stitchdown construction. It’s a new direction for the brand, but an important one too, the collection selling itself on the out-of-the-box comfort and flexibility synonymous with casual weekend wear.