Thorogood boots are iconic for their rugged, workwear inspired aesthetic and all-around functionality. With over 125 styles of American Heritage footwear and over 125 years in business, the Thorogood Shoe Company has done and seen it all.
This in-depth Thorogood Boots review features the Hike ‘n Camp, 6″ moc-toe boot. I’m going to briefly touch on the brand’s history, cover the boot’s style & design, quality & craftsmanship, comfort & durability, shoe sizing & price, the pros & cons and most importantly how they’ve held up over 4 seasons of wear. Finally I’ll wrap things up by answering some commonly asked questions.
Let’s get into it.
THOROGOOD BOOTS REVIEW
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A HISTORY OF THOROGOOD SHOE CO.
Thorogood Shoes is a Weinbrenner Shoe Company that’s employee owned and has been assembling footwear in Wisconsin since 1892.
Thorogood’s parent company, Weinbrenner was formed in 1900, 8 years after Albert H. Weinbrenner — the company’s founder — opened a cobblery in Milwaukee as a 27 year old. It wasn’t until 1918 that the Thorogood line of boots was born.
By 1927, Weinbrenner became a major contributor of boots to the U.S. Army in World War I. And 9 years later in 1938 they began crafting safety footwear.
In 1942 the company celebrated its 50th anniversary and produced all-military footwear for the duration of WWII, which included combat and dress styles.
At this time the military style boots became popular with civilians. And by 1964 the Official Boy Scout Boot; The Hike ‘n Camp which features a wedged sole and moccasin style stitching was released and became the company’s best-selling boot of all-time.
6″ MOC TOE STYLE & DESIGN
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The Thorogood 6″ moc toe is a construction boot that’s stylish enough for everyday wear. Before we talk style and design, let’s answer, what is a moc toe?
What Is A Moc Toe Boot?
A “moc toe” can come in a shoe or boot design. What distinguishes one is the seam running across the top of the shoe, around the toe box. The “moc” in moc toe is an abbreviation for moccasin which if you’ve noticed has that unmistakable detail along the top of the shoes.
6″ Moc Toe Boot Design:
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The Thorogood moc toes are rugged style work boots similar to Wolverine or Red Wing. They feature 3 standard eyelets followed by 3 speed hooks and finished off with a single grommet. The speed hooks aid in easy lacing and makes heel lock lacing a breeze. This is my personal favorite way to lace up my boots or shoes while hiking because it “locks” the heel in place, preventing heel slippage.
Additionally, the boots have a flat sole as opposed to a separated heel which makes it easy to maneuver around a construction site and comfortable for working on concrete all day. They are 6 inches in height, and run about halfway up my calf. There’s prominent white contrast stitching across the boot’s upper and the Thorogood logo is prominently stamped across the heel of the left and right boot. I personally like the way the logo appears brandished on the leather.
Another ubiquitous detail is the Made In U.S.A. tag stitched along side of the boot’s vamp. Some would say it’s an unnecessary embellishment, but I don’t mind it. If it’s an eyesore for you though, you can easily remove it. I personally think it adds to the boot’s charm.
6″ Moc Toe Boot Style:
These boots look great with all kinds of rugged looks. Pair them with a denim or canvas jacket and selvedge jeans with a crisp cuff or corduroy pants. Alternatively you can rock them with distressed jeans, a hoodie and bomber jacket for a rugged, sporty look. Thorogood moc toes can even play nicely with refined, smart casual pieces like a topcoat IMO, which makes it more versatile than you’d think.
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And even though these are considered work boots, built for construction workers, I wear these Thorogood casual boots for the look and aesthetic of it. But it’s good to know that the functionality is there too.
QUALITY & CRAFTSMANSHIP
The Thorogood 6″ moc toe is proudly made in the USA by union workers. This pair features tobacco oil-tanned, full-grain leather that allows for your feet to breathe.
Inspecting the boots, there are no loose threads, just a some extra stitching fabric here and there, but no cause for concern. The beige leather trim is precisely stitched along the boot ankle and contrasts against the brown leather.
Additionally, these moc toes are constructed with a Goodyear storm welt, which is pretty much a Goodyear welt that makes for a sturdier and more waterproof boot. The added detail is apparent as a storm welt is both decorative and functional.
Furthermore, these Thorogoods are laced with Taslon laces. These are strong, heavy duty and long lasting shoe laces. You can just feel that they’re made to last when you lace up your Thorogood boots for the first time.
And then on the inside of the boot, you’ll find a removable Poron comfort cushion insole for added comfortability. It also helps to give you a better fit if the boots are slightly large on your feet.
Finally, all Thorogood moc toes come with a chunky MAXWear Wedged sole adds nearly 1.5″ in height which is a bonus for shorter guys. I always feel much taller when I wear my Thorogoods.
Hike ‘n Camp Boots Complete Specs:
- Category: Work/Lifestyle
- Construction: Goodyear Storm Welt
- Weight: 3.71 lbs
- Height: 6″
- Insulation: No
- Color: Tobacco
- Footbed: Ultimate Shock Absorption™ Footbed
- Insole: Poron™ Comfort Cushion
- Shank: Fiberglass
- Waterproof: No
- Lining: Unlined
- Outsole: MAXWear Wedge™
- Toe Protection: Non-Safety Toe
- Country Of Origin: Made In USA
Quick note: If you’re enjoying this Thorogood Boot review, then you’ll probably like this comprehensive Wolverine 1000 Mile Review of the iconic boot over 3 years later.
COMFORT & DURABILITY
The 6″ Thorogood moc toes are some of the more comfortable boots you’ll own. This is due to the Poron comfort cushioned insole. You can remove them, but why would you? 4 years in they are wearing strong and show no signs of deterioration.
On the outside, the MAXWear Wedge outsole is extremely durable and made with slip and oil resistance in mind. These boots truly are made for workwear professionals. The wedge gets dirty fairly quickly, but can be easily cleaned up.
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And though the boots aren’t waterproof that doesn’t mean they aren’t snow friendly. I wear my Thorogoods in the snow every winter season. As long as there aren’t slush puddles everywhere, you’ll be alright. You can always apply mink oil or waterproofing spray if you want to be safe.
The leather develops a patina overtime and looks even better now than when I bought it. And the more you beat it up, the more character it develops.
Thorogood Boots Break In:
The Thorogood moc toe break in period will take about 6-12 wears depending on how long you wear them for. The leather isn’t incredibly rough, but if I remember correctly, it did take some time for the leather to soften up. And now it wears like a well fitting glove, especially up along the ankle.
Don’t be afraid to beat these boots up as they are built to withstand pretty much anything you throw at it. The stitching is tight and secure, there’s no signs of sole splits and the soles have very little visible signs of wear.
Quick note: If you’re enjoying this review of Thorogood Boots USA, then you’ll probably find my other writing on all things men’s style useful. Each week, I share updates, style tips and other things not shared on the blog through my free email newsletter.
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HOW THE BOOTS HAVE HELD UP
The boots are now 4 years in and still going strong. It’s worth noting that I only wear my Thorogoods in the late-fall season, through winter. I’m not quite sure when I became a boot guy exactly, but I own at least a dozen pairs now. And I always rotate my shoes and boots, so I never wear them on consecutive days. This is something I do with all of my shoes no matter how well made they are. This, I’ve found helps to extend the life of all the shoes and boots in my collection.
I don’t drag my feet when I walk and so the sole wedge has little wear. Even if I did drag my feet, the wedge is so durable that I believe they’d still be in great shape. The tobacco, full-grain leather has developed a nice patina and worn in look. There are marks across the boots, showing signs of age and wear that adds to the character IMO.
As for conditioning, I’ve only conditioned these boots once, maybe twice with some Kiwi shoe polish. And when the soles get too dirty, I’ll simply wipe them with a wet cloth or a Lysol wipe and it cleans them right up. All in all, my Thorogood moc toes are holding up quite nicely after 4 seasons and I see them lasting well into the next 4 years.
SHOE SIZING, PRICE, ETC.
My running shoe size is 8 US, and I sized down to a 7.5 which is what I normally wear for my boots. They’re a bit tight (not painfully), especially when I wear thicker socks, which I normally do with rugged boots like these. And so size 8 might have been the better choice considering these boots don’t stretch much over time.
I would recommend to either get your running shoe size or size down a half size. Try both and keep the one that fits the best, accounting for slight stretch as well. And if your feet are even slightly wider than normal, I would pick the wide option (EE) over the standard (M) width as these boot run fairly narrow, though still true to size.
Coming in at under $200 (usually around 150), Thorogood boots are considered entry level. As of right now, they are $184.95 on Amazon with free shipping, which is a great price for a boot like these.
THOROGOOD BOOT PROS & CONS
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- Affordable price point well under $200
- Iconic boot style and overall solid construction
- From a brand with longstanding heritage and American tradition
- Extremely comfortable, removable insole
- Built to last as evidenced through 4 years of wear
- No-slip MAXWear Wedge outsole is long lasting, providing excellent traction
- Fairly lengthy break-in period if I recall
- The boots are heavy (3.71 lbs), but they’re work boots after all
ANSWERING COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Do the soles squeak on tile or marble floors of an office building?
A. Not that I’ve noticed.
Q. Do the boots make noise when you walk, like dress shoes?
A. No, the wedge sole is foam like and so it’s a silent glide.
Q. How much taller will the boots make you?
A. A good inch and a quarter taller, which is great for shorter guys.
Q. Are the boots waterproof?
A. No, but they are water resistant and will hold up in the snow or light rain. Alternatively, you can also treat them with mink oil or water proofing spray.
Q. Are the boot’s soles slip and oil resistant?
A. Yes, as stated on the bottom of the soles.
Q. Do the shoes run big or small?
A. They’re true to size, however if you like a more snug fit, you can size down a half size to account for stretching. If you like to wear thick socks with your boots then going with your normal shoe size is a good idea.
Q. Do these boots have a steel/safety toe?
A. No, but they do have a steel, safety toe version of the boot. It’s also worth mentioning that these boots are hard toe and not soft.
Q. Do the boots insulated?
A. No insulation.
Q. Are these boots safe to work around electricity?
A. Yes, they are EH (electrical hazard) rated.
THE BOTTOM LINE
These boots are rugged alright, but not clunky at all, in fact they have a relatively slim profile for a work boot.
Furthermore, Thorogood boots have a longstanding heritage and are American made. The 6″ Moc Toe is iconic in its style and design. What started out as the official boots of the boy scouts became ubiquitous among construction workers on job sites all around the world.
If you want a first pair of moc toes, it’s hard to do better than the Thorogood 6″. As for color, pick the one that most resonates with your current aesthetic. They’ve got colorways in black, black walnut with a black sole, and a darker brown called “Trail Crazyhorse”. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with any of these.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THOROGOOD BOOTS?
Let’s continue the discussion over in the Gentlemen Within Private Facebook Community.
Looking forward to seeing you in there.
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