One of the nation's leading makers of work boots, Red Wing Shoes of Minnesota, is recalling 114,000 pairs in the United States and Canada because of a faulty toecap that leaves wearers vulnerable to injury.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday that the protective steel toecaps on some models of work boots made by Red Wing Shoes "could fail to protect the wearer's feet in an impact."
Anyone with those leather boots should stop wearing them immediately and either return them to where they were bought or contact the manufacturer at 1-800-733-9464 for a free replacement pair. No injuries have been reported.
The recall covers 105,000 pairs in the United States and another 9,000 in Canada that were sold from $185 to $340 at Red Wing stores and other outlets from October 2012 through November 2013.
There are 45 styles of boots — sizes 11 to 18 and widths B to H — subject to the recall. The U.S.-made boots have 6- to 11-inch ankle heights and were sold in brown, black and maroon. For the complete list, visit the company's website: www.redwingshoes.com.
The defect in the German-made toecap was discovered "as part of our normal quality-control process [during] random testing of footwear for impact performance," said Red Wing Shoes' marketing director, Peter Engel. "This toecap would not withstand the impact."
Even though the recall applies to 114,000 pairs, Engel said the company believes there are about 3,000 pairs that actually have the faulty toecap, with roughly 1,000 still in inventory.
"There are about 2,000 on feet that we need to get back," he said.
The company alerted the Safety Commission to the defect, Engel added.
Red Wing Shoes produces about 2 million pairs of boots of various types annually. Engel said he has been with the company for 15 years and this is the first recall for Red Wing Shoes that he can remember.