Web Scraper for Red Wing Boots Part1

This article is about the process of my personal project: Red Wing Hunter.

April 04, 2019


I love boots, but it’s quite expensive to buy a brand new one. I have a few favorite brands Red Wing, Alden, and Viberg.

Unlike others, Red Wing boots go on sale regularly. Popular sites for finding in sale products or factory 2nd products are Nordstrom Rack and Sierra Trading Post .

Because of that I occasionally check those websites to see if there are discounted Red Wing Boots.

Checking those sites every time are time-consuming. We have to visit two different sites and need to filter specific boots size. That makes me tackle this project.


Since this is a personal project, I can choose whatever technologies I like. I chose Node and GraphQL for the backend. I can do the Express library instead of GraphQL, but I decided to use GraphQL for the learning purpose.

Cheerio is a popular library for JS web scrapping. It gathers HTML information and manipulates with JQuery like syntax.

To do web scraping, I need to view source code and find meaningful information that I can use, but there is one problem. Most of the websites are doing DOM manipulating through Javascript, and this manipulated DOM is not visible in the browser’s source code; this is why Inspect and View Source Code show different DOM elements.

One thing that I can do is that go to Network tab in Chrome browser and figure out what request is sending to their server. While doing this, I noticed that Nordstrom Rack uses API to query product information, and it responses with JSON file, which is good news since I can use the API instead of doing web scraping.

For Sierra Trading Post, I can scrap entire HTML, and I haven’t noticed any missing products. So I used Cheerio to select specific products.

How about database do I need a database to store information? I am only interested in current product information, so I decided not to use a database.


Now, I can query product information that is on sale on both Nordstrom Rack and STP and shows a list of products.

Here is a final result that shows the query result.

GraphQL Query Example

If you want to see the code and play around, check my Github page. GitHub - JinwooOh/redwingHunter: Web scraper for Red Wing Boots


Next step is implementing frontend. I am thinking to use Next.JS which is React framework. Once I finish with the frontend, I will post the process.