Thorogood boots are great value for American made boots

Red Wing Shoes is without a doubt the most iconic American shoe maker. Since 1905, Red Wing has produced its boots in the United States and continues to provide exceptional quality. But if you’re looking to shop for a stylish and durable pair of work boots, the Minnesota-based bootmaker isn’t the only name in the Midwestern shoe game. Thorogood, a Wisconsin-based work boot manufacturer, has been providing quality footwear for 125 years.

Like Red Wing, Thorogood continues to manufacture their work boots in the United States, and their boots are actually more economical than Red Wings. But the brand has largely gone under the radar of the casual consumer. Perhaps their continued focus on the workwear market puts them out of the spotlight. So what’s the deal with Thorogood? Here are some thoughts on the shoes, based on practical testing (or uh, feet in place).

What we love about Thorogood boots

While I don’t own a pair of Red Wings for direct comparison purposes, I can confidently say that the Thorogood boots are comfortable, stylish, and durable, and a worthy buy for anyone shopping for work boots.

Thorogood makes several different styles of boots, and the shoes I’ve owned for the last three or four years are 6 inch plain toe boots with no steel toe. If you are more of a moc-toe lover, the plain toe boots compare to Thorogood’s 6 ″ moc-toes.

I can’t say for sure how many miles I have ridden them, and while I certainly haven’t worn them everyday or subjected to working conditions, Thorogood boots are more than durable enough for the casual boot wearer. . Does my pair look a bit battered now? Yes, but they are work boots; scuffs and signs of wear are part of the appeal.

thorogood boots instagram

thorogood boots instagram

Buy: Thorogood 6 inch Moc-Toe Boots $ 239.95

Many work boots are stiff and have a long break-in period. But Thorogood’s boots are very comfortable. The collar is padded to support the ankle, while the heel counter is structured to conform to the natural shape of the foot. The leather is soft but strong and the boots are reasonably breathable. The toe box is also comfortable and spacious. Can’t speak to the brand new break-in period as I actually bought my used Thorogood boots. But at least in terms of breaking them to fit my feet, it was a painless process.

The Thorogood boots have a polyurethane wedge sole and known as the MaxWear wedge. It’s oil and slip resistant, which means you can comfortably walk on any type of ground, wet or dry, without worrying about slipping. And while I’ve never tried wearing them to a machine shop, the slip resistance has come in handy in wet weather. Unsurprisingly, after years of wear, the backs of the soles have worn somewhat. But they are still far from needing to be replaced.

The soles are attached to the shoes with Goodyear storm piping. As the name suggests, a storm piping prevents water from entering the shoes. The key detail that sets a Goodyear stitched shoe apart from other types of soles is that they can be resole. This means that after the wedge sole is completely worn out, a skilled shoemaker will be able to sew a new sole onto the shoes. It’s not a cheap process, but it’s significantly cheaper (and unnecessary) than just throwing away your used shoes.

Thorogood’s 6 inch single toe and moccasin boots have seven eyelets. The lower three are traditional perforated eyelets, while the middle three are hook eyelets, also known as quick hooks. The top is a perforated eyelet, which you are unlikely to use. The three quick hooks make it very easy to lace up and unlace these boots. Plus, the sturdy leather zipper adds an extra layer of convenience when putting on the boots. The upper is oil tanned leather and the interior has a cotton drill lining. A fiberglass upper helps the shoe keep its shape. A cushioned Poron sockliner is included with the Thorogood boots.

What we don’t like about Thorogood boots

In terms of looks, Red Wing’s boots have a style advantage. The additional stitching along the leather upper of the Thorogood boots arguably detracts from the clean look of the Red Wing boots. Thorogood’s regular boots are also not waterproof, although Thorogood does sell waterproof versions of their popular boots. Thorogood’s boots are chrome tanned rather than vegetable tanned, which is a mark against her for leather purists. Not surprisingly, too, the white wedge soles will attract a lot of dirt; they won’t stay clean and white for long. Like many men’s boots, these tend to be slightly wide. I normally do a 10.5, but my Thorogoods are a size 10. That’s a pretty minor gripe, but it’s something to be aware of.

The verdict

Thorogood boots are made by a union in the USA and tend to cost around $ 40 to $ 60 less than Red Wing boots. The shoes lasted me for years, plus the number of miles the previous owner had run. The leather uppers are soft and flexible, while the MaxWear wedge sole provides support and stability. If you are looking for American made boots and want comfort, style and quality, Thorogood should be on your radar and in your shopping cart.

1. Thorogood 6 ″ Moc-Toe Boot

thorogood boots

thorogood boots

Buy: Thorogood 6 inch Moc-Toe Boots $ 239.95

2. Thorogood 6 ″ boot with plain toe

thorogood boots

thorogood boots

Buy: Thorogood 6 inch Soft Toe $ 215.00 (Orig. $ 242.00) 11% off

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