By Jon Gaffney
on 2.24.09

thorogood-moc-toe-boots

A good pair of boots should be in any man’s wardrobe, and with work wear making a comeback, many options abound. Unfortunately, most of the companies offering such items want to charge a premium for “authentic” representations of American style. J. Crew even has the audacity to charge 3 bills (or as Patrick says, hunnies) for Red Wing boots that they have stylists break in for you!

The whole situation would make a New Deal worker roll over in his grave. In an effort to circumvent this madness, a recent quest for boots brought me to Weinbrenner USA, maker of Thorogood shoes.

Around since 1892, Thorogood is still headquartered in and assembles their boots in Wisconsin. Pretty impressive, when almost all manufacturers like them have bailed on the US scene.

I’ve been trying out the American Heritage Moc Toe Boot for the last month and I’m loving them. They’re 8″ boots, but come in a 6″ model, if that’s your thing.  The self described “tobacco gladiator oil tanned leather” is very supple, yet durable, and Vibram soles mean you’ll be able to put some serious mileage on them. When those wear out, just replace the soles and start all over again.

Which bring us to the point: value. Where else can you find top quality boots for a 1/3 of the price of many competitors?  Even better is that for those with either Hobbit feet or skinny feet (me), they’re offered in widths B through H, which is uncommon.  Rocking the Made in the USA tag isn’t a bad thing either. Other than that, I’ll let the photograph speak for itself.

Editor’s Note: These look great with jeans or cords, however, with khakis, an oxford shirt, and a rep tie they’ll also work as business casual. I wore them to work during a snowstorm last week and they looked like bulky boat shoes, and considering their heft they were ninja quiet.  For you purists, keep in mind the “Moc Toe” is not a true moc construction, it’s one piece of leather stitched to appear moc-like. There is a plain toe model available, if that’s a problem for you.

Cost: $119 from bootpro.com or $120 from Amazon

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