Hey, Adam here. Today I’m bringing you a review of one of Red Wing’s most popular work boots, the King Toe work boot (style 435).
In A Rush?!
Overall, a very comfortable work boot right out of the box
If you’re looking for a good quality work boot that’s lightweight and comfy work boot, look no further. Especially if you have wide feet or you need work boots that come with a roomy toe box.
I bet you saw these boots being recommended in almost every single thread on Reddit or Facebook groups when someone asked for a work boot recommendation!
So if you’ve ever wondered: Is the Red Wing King Toe good? Is the toe box really extra wide? Are they durable or are they really worth the money? Then this review is for you!
Spoiler alert! This boot made it in our round-up of the best work boots for wide feet.
Buckle up cause it’s quite a long review. For your convenience, I’ve created a menu for this page that’s helpful to jump to a specific section. Just click on the “What’s inside” below to open it.
- Overall, a very comfortable work boot right out of the box
- The environment in which the boots are tested in
- A special thanks to Red Wing Lancaster
- Unboxing the Red Wing King Toe work boots
- Features of the Red Wing King Toe work boots
- First impressions of my new King Toe work boots
- The King Toe boots on the outside
- Inside the Red Wing King Toe work boot
- Where are they made?
- Will Red Wing King Toe boots fit wide feet?
- What do the letters stand for when it comes to the width of the boot? (W,M,D,E,etc)
- Are they lightweight? (How much do they weigh?)
- Are they comfortable?
- Break-in period: Do they need breaking in?
- Do they provide support? (ankle, arch, heel)
- Are they true to size? Do they run small or large?
- Heel height
- Heel to toe drop
- How tall are these Red Wing King Toe boots?
- What colors do they come in?
- Do they come in other styles?
- Price: how much do they cost?
- Red Wing Warranty
- Where to buy a pair of Red Wing King Toe work boots?
- Who do I recommend these King Toe work boots to?
- Last notes on these Red Wing King Toe work boots
- Overall, a very comfortable work boot right out of the box
- More pictures of these Red Wing King Toe boots
- Update: 1 month of wearing these King Toe boots
- Update: 6 months of wearing these King Toe boots
Who’s working on this page
Researcher & Editor
The environment in which the boots are tested in
Look, there are a lot of bad reviews out there from people that don’t actually work in their work boots. At BestForMyFeet.com you won’t have that problem.
We are all in construction, skilled trades or a blue collar jobs that will put a beating on your work boots.
Personally, I’m a welder and sheet metal fabricator. I work in a shop and make the occasional job site visit.
I’m on concrete floors all day so comfort is paramount for me.
Strong durable leather is also very important for me as my boots routinely encounter:
- sharp objects around the shop
- solder flux and other chemicals
- sparks from grinding
- splatter from cutting and welding
- driving the forklift, etc.
A special thanks to Red Wing Lancaster
If you didn’t know, we buy the vast majority of work boots we review on BestForMyFeet.com. But every now and then we accept a free pair of work boots.
So I’d like to give a special thanks to the Red Wing store in Lancaster, Pa, and its manager for sending me the King Toe boot I’m wearing and testing for this review!
If you live in the area or you are passing through I highly recommend checking out their store.
Did you know you can order Red Wing boots via IG or by phone?
Yes, you can order directly from them either by phone or on Instagram. But to be clear, this is only applicable if you buy your RW boots with our friends at the Red Wing Lancaster branch. Not all Red Wing stores provide this additional service.
They also have a great Instagram account with amazing Red Wing boot pictures which we will link in this review. Definitely give them a follow.
Also, just because a Red Wing store provided a boot for us, it will in no way impact our opinions about the boots or our opinions on the design decisions that Red Wing corporate has made about their boots.
Unboxing the Red Wing King Toe work boots
Features of the Red Wing King Toe work boots
|Safety Toe Cap
|Yes – Available with composite toe cap
|Toe cap style
|Round toe style
|Full-grain leather: Nubuck & smooth leather
|Available in 6 Inches & 8 inches
|Tan – light brown/ Esspresso – Dark brown
|Boot construction type
|PU and TPU combo
|Logged low heel sole
|1lbs 13oz per boot
|Oil and slip-resistant
|Yes – Non-metallic shank
|Yes – PU insole
|Electrical Hazard Protection
|Men 7US – 14US / Women 5US – 11US
|Men D to H / Women B to EE
|Boot made in
First impressions of my new King Toe work boots
In all honesty, there is nothing particularly remarkable about the boots when you look at them. They are very much a Plain Jane kind of boot that’s built for work.
That’s not a bad thing at all. But don’t let the lackluster appearances deceive you, this boot brings a lot to the table, let’s take a look at what’s under the hood because that’s all that really matters!
The King Toe boots on the outside
How a boot is built and what kind of materials it uses is vital to its performance and longevity as a work boot.
Below we’ll take a look at how the boot is made and what materials it’s made with. If it isn’t built to last then none of the other stuff matters, which is why we are starting here!
1. Material used in the upper
The King Toe is made with Red Wing leather which is made from US-raised cattle.
Red Wing describes the leather as having minimal surface imperfections with natural beauty and unmatched durability because they control every step of the process.
I can honestly say I didn’t notice any imperfections on the King Toe’s Nubuck leather when I unboxed them. Even now after wearing them for a few weeks they still look good albeit pretty dirty.
I’m told by Red Wing that the leather is in the 5-5.5oz range which makes it between 2-2.4mm thick.
So it’s similar in thickness to their heritage boots and boots from some of their top competitors such as Thorogood. The leather is also waxed and waterproof.
2. Rubber toe cap reinforcement
This particular model I’m testing doesn’t come with a toe cap bumper. Many people prefer the toe cap bumper because it helps avoid damaging the leather around the toe area.
Here are a few King Toe models that do come with a toe cap bumper:
Lately, we’ve talked about a lot of moc toe style work boots but in this case, the Red Wing King Toe comes with a round-toe cap style.
The King Toe comes with some beefy and sturdy-looking eyelets and speed hooks. I really like how wide the speed hooks are because it makes lacing up that much easier.
Nothing worse than a speed hook with a narrow opening for the laces! They are also a very sleek gunmetal gray color.
Boot construction type
Boot construction refers to how the outsole is attached to the leather upper.
In the case of the Red Wing King Toe, the outsole is a direct attach construction which typically means the outsole is injection molded and to me, based on my experience they do look injection molded.
Without going into a lot of technical details you don’t want to read about.
Injection molded outsoles mean that the upper is placed into a mold and the midsole and outsole material are injected into the mold in a molten state forming the outsole/midsole.
Unlike cemented/glued shoes, such as the Brunt Marin Toe work boots, which can have delamination issues if exposed to water frequently.
An injection molded design is considered waterproof and the bond between the upper and outsole is far superior to a glued/cemented construction.
This type of construction also means the boots are more flexible than a Goodyear welted boot such as the Thorogood 804-4375 Crazy Horse for example.
The downside is, an injection molded boot can’t be resoled like a Goodyear welted work boot.
The outsole is a dual-layer combo that has a PU midsole and a TPU outsole.
PU midsoles are perfect for this kind of boot because they are lightweight, rugged and compression-resistant, meaning, that they will support your feet better and for longer than a EVA midsole.
The TPU outsole on the King Toe is typically the outsole that is paired with a PU midsole. TPU excels at being a good work boot outsole for a myriad of reasons.
Some of those reasons being:
- They are lightweight
- Highly resistant to most oils and chemicals
- Slip Resistant
- High tolerance to abrasive surfaces
- High tolerance to cracking and splitting
- Very flexible
PU/TPU combo outsoles are extremely flexible. Try doing that with a Goodyear welted boot!
Needless to say, these outsoles are great for work. In fact, they are very similar to the outsole on the RockRooster Bakken Ak227 boots our fellow writer and reviewer, Jeff, recently reviewed.
Inside the Red Wing King Toe work boot
Moving on to the inside of the boots, we’ll continue our look at how these boots are made.
The tongue on the King Toe is comprised of the waterproof liner and leather. The base layer of the tongue is the waterproof liner which is gusseted up to just below the last eyelet.
Across the forefoot, a strip of black leather is stitched on which allows you to lace the boots up tight without creating pressure points on the top of your feet.
Finally at the top, around the ankle, the tongue is made from the same Nubuck leather that’s on the rest of the boot.
All King Toe boots come with a liner. However, not all the liners are waterproof.
Some are just moisture-wicking and make the boot more comfortable while some, like the 435 we are reviewing, have Red Wing’s waterproof liner.
Waterproof membrane: Are they waterproof?
Select styles of the King Toe have Red Wing’s waterproofing system which consists of three layers.
The first layer is a moisture wicking material that helps move moisture away from your feet so they stay dry.
Secondly, there is foam padding that provides all day comfort followed by a waterproof bootie built into the boots that prevents water from entering into the boot from the outside.
I decided to put the waterproofing to the test. I recently helped my dad lay some new sod in his yard and noticed a puddle had formed while we were wetting the soil.
Decided to stick my foot in it for a bit to see what happened. I didn’t have back up boots so fortunately for me the waterproofing worked and my foot didn’t get wet!
The particular style I’m wearing in this review is a soft toe (style 435) but have no fear, the King Toe comes with lots of safety toe options.
All of the safety toe styles have a non-metallic/composite safety toe. Some such as the King Toe ADC even have a rubber toe guard around the toe, which is a feature more and more work boots are coming with.
The King Toe does have a removable PU insole. In terms of removable insoles it’s pretty standard looking but comfortable enough for me.
If the stock insole doesn’t work for you, your local Red Wing store will have a plethora of insoles to choose from, including orthotic insoles made by Superfeet and the moldable insole from SOLE.
The Red Wing King Toe doesn’t have an internal heel counter cover. If I could make one suggestion for the boot it would be to add one.
Many boots with a waterproof liner fail at the heel first so it’s nice to have a heel counter cover in a boot.
Where are they made?
These Red Wing King Toe work boots are made in Cambodia. Now I’m not positive if all the King Toe styles are made there or not. But what I can tell you is, they are all imported.
The King Toe isn’t an American-made work boot. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are low-quality or junk.
Red Wing does have a reputation to maintain and wouldn’t stamp their name on the side of a poorly made boot.
Will Red Wing King Toe boots fit wide feet?
The King Toe is great for wide feet! In fact, Red Wing says the King Toe has 44% more toe box room than their other boots.
I measure at an E(wide) width on the Red Wing scanner and Brannock device. I fit into the D(medium) width just fine.
The toe box on the D width is about 4 ¼ inches wide. My foot measured in just under that.
Here are some extra images that can help appreciate how much wider the Red Wing King toe work boots are compared to some other popular work boots brands I have.
What do the letters stand for when it comes to the width of the boot? (W,M,D,E,etc)
There’s a lot of confusion about these among people looking to buy a pair of work boots. Hopefully, the little table I’ve put together might help you understand what’s that all about!
The letters simply represent how wide the work boots are.
|N or A
|M, or D
|W or 2E
|XW or 3E
Are they lightweight? (How much do they weigh?)
The King Toe is very lightweight! It weighed in at a very light 1lbs 13oz per boot! But please keep in mind that the weight will vary based on size and style.
A size 13 8in CSA-approved style will undoubtedly weigh more than the soft-toe version I’m wearing for this review.
Are they comfortable?
They are very comfortable. They had athletic shoe like comfort on day one! And after wearing them for a few weeks that hasn’t changed!
Break-in period: Do they need breaking in?
They have absolutely no break-in period! Red Wing made these boots ready to go to work as soon as you take them out of the box.
Do they provide support? (ankle, arch, heel)
The King Toe has excellent ankle support which I imagine would be even better on the 8-inch version.
As far as arch support goes, they should be fine for most people and you can always replace the stock insole with a different Red Wing insole.
In general, the King Toe is a very stable boot and supports my feet well.
Are they true to size? Do they run small or large?
In my opinion, they run pretty true to size and if you wear thicker socks you could probably size up. I measure at 11.5 on a Brannock and the 11.5 King Toe fits me perfectly.
But don’t worry, the experts at the Red Wing store will scan your feet and get you in pair that fit your feet well!
The heel comes in at 1.5 inches tall. Pretty standard heel height for a work boot that isn’t a logger-style work boot.
Heel to toe drop
The King Toe has about a half inch of heel drop. It’s nothing crazy but just enough to provide enough arch support for most people.
However, if you do need more arch support Red Wing does have some nice orthotic insoles made by SuperFeet.
How tall are these Red Wing King Toe boots?
The King Toe comes in 6” and 8” versions. For the review, I wore the 6” version. The total height of the boot from the ground up is 7” +/- a half inch at the front and back.
What colors do they come in?
They come in a tan/light brown Nubuck leather and a newer darker brown color called Esspresso.
Do they come in other styles?
Yes in fact they have 16 different styles to choose from. We won’t cover details on them all but we will show a few they offer.
From Left To Right. 6in King Toe ADC, 8in King Toe ADC, and the King Toe with a met-guard.
They also have a model with a boa lacing system and one that comes in the newer darn brown leather called Espresso
And ladies rejoice! Red Wing has a women’s version of the King Toe in women’s sizes!!!!
Red Wing King Toe work boots for women
Price: how much do they cost?
At the time of writing this review, the Red Wing King Toe work boots cost as low as $209.99 for a non-waterproof boot and up to as much as $279.99 for a tricked out CSA approved style with all the safety bells and whistles.
Red Wing Warranty
I couldn’t do a review of a Red Wing boot without talking about the Red Wing Warranty. All Red Wing work boots have a 30 day no questions asked comfort guarantee.
That means if for any reason the boots aren’t comfortable you can come in and get your money back or exchange them for a different boot.
They also come with a one-year manufacturer warranty for workmanship.
This means that if your boot has a waterproof liner that leaks or a broken shank that’s causing issues, you can bring the boot back to the store and leave with a new pair!
This is one area that Red Wing really shines among their competitors, such as Thorogood, who has you ship boots back to them because they don’t have any brick-and-mortar stores. You can read about, our team member, Jeff’s Thorogood return experience here.
Also if you get Red Wing Boots with the BOA lacing system and snap the wires, the Red Wing store will put new Boa laces on for you.
Where to buy a pair of Red Wing King Toe work boots?
Unfortunately, you can only buy them in-store. On the other hand, going in-store to get your King Toe boots will assure a perfect fit.
So you’ll find them at your local Red Wing Store or from our friends at Red Wing Lancaster if you happen to live nearby.
Who do I recommend these King Toe work boots to?
Literally all and any trade depending on style.
The ADC or CSA-approved styles will be great for anyone doing work at a job site that’s rough on boots. I have no doubt that you can find a work boot style that will match your job’s needs.
Last notes on these Red Wing King Toe work boots
In closing, despite the boot’s very plain and lackluster appearance, it is definitely a power housework boot that brings a lot to the table.
With 16 styles to choose from, I have no doubt you can find one that will match the demands of your work environment.
Well, I hope this review has helped! Let us know if you have additional questions!
Overall, a very comfortable work boot right out of the box
If you’re looking for a good quality work boot that’s lightweight and comfy, look no further, especially if you have wide feet or you need for work boots that come with a roomy toe box.
More pictures of these Red Wing King Toe boots
Update: 1 month of wearing these King Toe boots
Stay tuned, it’s coming …
Update: 6 months of wearing these King Toe boots
Team Members Working On This Page
Red Wing Lancaster opened in October of 2020. We specialize in work and heritage footwear for both men and women. We take pride at our store in getting you fitted in not only the correct size but also in footwear that fits your needs.
Hey, I’m Adam. I’m a welder and metal fabricator. Primarily doing aluminum tig and sheet metal fabrication. Spend most of the day on my feet on concrete floors in the shop with the occasional job site visit.
Construction Professional, driver, crane operator, cleaner, head chef … these are just some of the jobs I did in the past. Working in all these different environments taught me that having good footwear to protect your feet from different dangers at work IS PARAMOUNT for any worker! On this website, I aim to share all my knowledge and personal experience in dealing with different footwear and foot care issues, and hopefully, you can get something out of it. Enjoy!