The historical work boot most similar to the Merchant is style 245 from 1920, which was made without a toe-box, but instead featured a plain toe and raw cut at the quarter edge. The Merchant is built on the 8 last, which is also used for the Blacksmith. But because of the missing toe-box, the Merchant has a slimmer look and a lower toe profile than the Blacksmith. Sole: The Merchant is built on a Chemi Gum sole, which Red Wing has been using for work boots since 1964 and is now introducing in the Heritage line. Featuring a lower cork content than the Nitrile Cork sole. The Chemi Gum sole creates a clean, slim, and lightweight boot.
A new pair of Red Wing Heritage boots should fit comfortably tight on your foot, with enough room to freely wiggle your toes. Over time the full grain leather upper, leather footboard and cork midsole mold to your feet, creating an enduring and customized fit over time with each wear.