The Ultimate Moc Toe Boot Comparison: Red Wing vs Thorogood

When it comes to finding the perfect pair of boots, there’s no denying the popularity and appeal of moc toe boots. With their unique design and comfort, they have become a staple in many wardrobes. In this ultimate moc toe boot comparison, we’ll dive into the details of two of the most renowned brands in the market: Red Wing and Thorogood.

History of Moc Toe Boots

Red Wing Moc Toe Boots

Red Wing

Red Wing Shoe Company, founded in 1905 by Charles H. Beckman, has been producing high-quality footwear for well over a century. Their moc toe boot, specifically the Red Wing Classic Moc, was introduced in the 1950s and quickly became a favorite among workers and outdoor enthusiasts.


Thorogood, a division of the Weinbrenner Shoe Company, has been making boots since 1892. Known for its American Heritage line, Thorogood also offers a fantastic moc toe option: the Thorogood American Heritage Moc Toe Boot.

Design and Construction

Red Wing Moc Toe Boots

The Red Wing Classic Moc features a moc-toe design with triple stitching, ensuring durability and sturdiness. The Traction Tred rubber outsole provides excellent grip and stability, while the Goodyear welt construction guarantees longevity and the ability to be resolved.

Thorogood Moc Toe Boots

Thorogood’s American Heritage Moc Toe Boot also utilizes a Goodyear welt construction, ensuring durability and resole capability. The MAXWear wedge outsole offers superior traction, and the reinforced triple-stitching gives the boot a robust and reliable feel.

Materials and Quality

Thorogood Moc Toe


Red Wing uses full-grain leather from their own S.B. Foot Tanning Company, providing unmatched quality and consistency. Thorogood opts for oil-tanned leather from the Horween Leather Company, another reputable tannery known for its premium materials.


Both boots feature high-quality rubber soles, with Red Wing using their signature Traction Tred outsole and Thorogood utilizing their MAXWear wedge outsole. Both soles provide excellent grip, support, and durability.

Comfort and Fit

Break-in Period

Red Wing boots are notorious for their break-in period, which can be uncomfortable for some users. However, once broken in, the boots mold to the wearer’s feet, providing exceptional comfort. Thorogood boots tend to have a shorter break-in period, making them more comfortable right out of the box.


Both Red Wing and Thorogood recommend sizing down half a size from your regular shoe size for the best fit.

Durability and Longevity

Moc toe boots from both Red Wing and Thorogood are known for their durability and ability to withstand the test of time. With proper care and maintenance, these boots can last for years, even in tough working conditions.

Price and Value

Red Wing moc toe boots tend to be more expensive than their Thorogood counterparts. However, considering the quality of materials and construction, both brands offer great value for the price. Ultimately, the choice between Red Wing and Thorogood will come down to personal preferences and budget.

Maintenance and Care

Regular cleaning and conditioning of the leather will help prolong the life of both Red Wing and Thorogood boots. Using a horsehair brush, gently clean the boots to remove dirt and dust. Apply a leather conditioner specifically designed for oil-tanned leather to keep the material supple and protected.

Usage Scenarios

Thorogood Moc Toe Wear

Casual Wear

Both Red Wing and Thorogood moc toe boots are stylish and versatile, making them suitable for casual wear. Pair them with jeans or chinos for a timeless, rugged look.

Work Environment

Moc toe boots from both brands are designed to withstand tough working conditions. With their durable construction and slip-resistant soles, they’re ideal for various industries, such as construction, warehouse work, and more.

Customization and Personalization Options

While both Red Wing and Thorogood offer various color options for their moc toe boots, customization options are limited. However, the addition of aftermarket insoles or laces can add a touch of personalization while enhancing the overall fit and comfort.

Environmental and Social Responsibility

Red Wing and Thorogood are committed to environmental and social responsibility. Both companies manufacture their boots in the United States, providing jobs and supporting local communities. They also adhere to strict environmental guidelines in their manufacturing processes, ensuring minimal waste and pollution.

Warranty and Customer Service

Red Wing offers a 12-month warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. Thorogood, on the other hand, provides a six-month warranty for the same issues. Both companies are known for their excellent customer service, making it easy to address any concerns or issues with your boots.

Pros and Cons

Red Wing Moc Toe Boots

  • High-quality materials and construction
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Excellent grip and stability
  • Comfortable once broken in
  • Longer break-in period
  • More expensive


Thorogood Moc Toe Boots

  • Great value for the price
  • Shorter break-in period
  • Robust and reliable feel
  • Superior traction
  • Limited customization options
  • Shorter warranty period


Final Verdict

Both Red Wing and Thorogood moc toe boots offer exceptional quality, durability, and style. The choice ultimately depends on your personal preferences, budget, and intended use. If you’re willing to invest in a more expensive boot and can handle a longer break-in period, Red Wing might be the better option. However, if you prefer a more comfortable boot right out of the box at a lower price point, Thorogood is an excellent alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I know if a moc toe boot is right for me?

Consider your intended use, personal style preferences, and budget when deciding if a moc toe boot is right for you. Both Red Wing and Thorogood moc toe boots are versatile, making them suitable for casual wear and various work environments.

2. How can I ensure the proper fit for my moc toe boots?

Both Red Wing and Thorogood recommend sizing down half a size from your regular shoe size. It’s essential to try on the boots and walk around to ensure they’re comfortable and provide adequate support.

3. How often should I clean and condition my moc toe boots?

Regular cleaning and conditioning are crucial for maintaining the longevity and appearance of your boots. Clean your boots with a horsehair brush whenever they appear dirty and condition the leather every few months or when it starts to look dry.

4. Can I wear my moc toe boots in wet or snowy conditions?

While moc toe boots are not specifically designed for wet or snowy conditions, they can handle some exposure to moisture. It’s essential to dry them properly and condition the leather to prevent damage.

5. What can I do if my moc toe boots become uncomfortable after extended wear?

If your boots become uncomfortable over time, consider adding aftermarket insoles for additional cushioning and support. Additionally, ensure that you’re wearing the correct size and have allowed for an adequate break-in period.

Closing Thoughts

In this ultimate moc toe boot comparison, we’ve explored the key differences and similarities between Red Wing and Thorogood boots. Both brands have a long history of producing top-quality footwear and have garnered a loyal following for their moc toe offerings. No matter which brands you choose, you can be confident that you’re investing in a durable, stylish, and comfortable boot that will serve you well for years to come.