Andre Phillips

Journeyman Lineman | Waterloo, IL | Style 2231
Andre Phillips

Journeyman Lineman

Waterloo, IL

I've done a lot of different work over the years. I put my back and heart into all of it, always in Red Wing boots. I now own 18 pairs.

Listen to Andre Phillips

These boots lived in a very crowded closet.

I started out on the farm in eight-inch lace-ups. Then I worked in machining, trucking, welding, maintenance and line work. The lace-ups weren't the best fit for all it, so I got some pull-on boots. And my Red Wing collection grew from there.

The way I see it, deciding which boots to wear each day is like choosing the right tool for a job. I'm now with a municipality that needs me to do a variety of work. If I know I'm going to spend the day in a backhoe, I wear my pull-ons. If I'll be doing electrician work indoors, I go for comfort. And If I'm going to be outside on a ladder, I wear the stiffest and toughest Red Wings I've got. I rotate through eight pairs for work. Some guys wear one pair until they're trashed, but I only wear the same boots for two days max and then switch off. You get more life from them that way, and it keeps the wear even across all my boots. It also gives them time to dry out, which makes them last longer. It's hard for me to part with all these Red Wings, because we've been through a lot together and each banged-up pair tells part of my story.

I never set the world on fire. But I think I've made a good and steady burn by doing what I can to keep things working. I need to keep working, too, but not for much longer. And you can bet I'll still be in Red Wings long after I retire.


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