When I bought my first work boot as a teenager, all the guys on the framing crew swore by a wedge-sole moc-toe boot. It is a staple among iron workers, and over the last couple years, hipsters too. It seems hipsters have a real affinity for Red Wing, and I know commercial guys who swear by them. I have purchased both expensive and mid-range boots for work. I don’t buy expensive, more-than-$200 boots anymore - work boots can get trashed so quickly, I can’t justify spending more than that.
It has been a few years since I wore a wedge-sole moc-toe boot because I keep getting boots to review for Tools. I decided it was time again, and reached out to Golden Fox shoes. I had seen them on social media and saw they were selling at a good price. The company sent me a 6” non safety toe boot. At the same time, my co-worker decided to try wedge soles. He bought himself Thorogood 8” safety toe because they were available locally where he could try them on.
Golden Fox 6” Moc Toe Wedge Pro Work Boot. This boot features “oil full-grain leather,” a pigskin collar, and a polyurethane wedge sole that is oil and slip resistant. It also is made using pvc welt that is Goodyear Welt constructed to the boot. According to Golden Fox, a pvc welt will hold up better to liquid elements like water, but doesn’t do well in the snow or freezing temperatures.
The features of this boot are pretty straightforward. What I noticed after taking them out of the box and wearing them around the house is how instantly comfortable they are. I have been abusing these boots for the last four months and wore them in pouring rain and my feet stayed dry - though they are not technically waterproof. What I really like about wedge-sole boots is there isn’t the heel shock that happens from wearing a boot with heels. I also find that when walking walls or girders, I have better balance with the wedge sole.
The Golden Fox run about $135 and is made in China. At $135, I recommend this boot. The size fits true (I wear a 10-½ and they were right on the money). I doubt I’ll get more than a year out of them, but that is OK with me. In my experience, boots become less supportive as they age and because I’m on my feet all day every day, I need the support. So I’m fine getting a new pair every year.
Thorogood 8” Moc Toe Safety. Kyle bought this boot after trying them on locally. It is similar to the Golden Fox in that it features Goodyear Storm Welt and a removable footbed and has a polyurethane wedge sole. He went with a safety toe. The safety toe can be an issue for some in that it feels narrow and uncomfortable, but he hasn’t had that experience with these. After wearing them the last four months, he is sold on the comfort and quality of this boot. He, too, will easily get a year out of these. They aren’t waterproof, but there is a version of this boot available that is. If you’re working in wet weather a lot, we recommend going with those.
The Thorogood runs about $190 and is made in the U.S.A. These boots, too, fit true to size. He went with a slightly smaller size only because the store only carried whole sizes, but they’ve stretched nicely and he’s very happy with the fit.
Both of us noticed - and I suspect this is true of other wedge-sole boots - that they don’t stick very well to roof sheathing. Walking a 6-12 roof with OSB, both of us felt less sure, and I slipped a few times. Other than that, neither of us has any trouble recommending these boots.