9 Moc-toe boots you need to consider when buying

You want a mod toe boot, I want a mod toe boot, we all need a mod toe boot. Unlike traditional leather dress boots and even other styles we commonly associate with boots, moc-toe boots are firmly on the casual side of the spectrum. The fact that almost all are fitted with Vibram Christy blown rubber soles cements their casual label.

But where to start? There are a surprising amount of boot makers offering moc-toe boots with plenty ticking the right boxes such as that Vibram sole, waterproofing, repairable or recraftable elements, or just quality construction. For the most part you get what you pay for. With the more expensive brands that’s not just decades or a century of boot making experience but also the quality of leathers and where they are sourced from, the quality of the tanning, the detail in the stitching and construction, and much more. You might also be paying for that history in the name as much as you pay for the name on most luxury products.

Redwing’s Classic Moc 6 Inch are the first that come to mind. Image: Redwing

If provenance is important to you, pay attention to “built in” vs “made in”. Built in usually means materials or components were sourced from overseas but the shoe itself is constructed in the respective country of the brand (usually USA). The advantage here is the shoe can go to market at a much cheaper price but may be impacted by quality.

Made in means the shoe materials were all sourced in the brand’s country and constructed there as well. The advantage here is the shoe is made end-to-end with control over quality. This usually means labour costs are higher which result in a more expensive shoe.

Wolverine Men’s I-90 Durashocks Moc-Toe 6″ Work Boot

Wolverine are known for their 1000 Mile boot and that expertise has gone into their Moc-Toe 6″ Work Boot. It can be bought with a Carbonmax Toe (for extra protection) or Soft Toe but the first thing you’ll notice is the styling. The classic moc-toe boot styling is married to Wolverine’s more work like style and function with ore padding around the ankle area.

The moc-toe uses a waterproof full-grain leather with breathable waterproof membrane and moisture wicking mesh lining ensuring these can be worn year-round.

The DuraShocks® dual-density PU footbed can be removed and changed while Wolverine claim their high-abrasion TPU pads on the outsole are 3 times stronger than alternates such as rubber, with Goodyear welt construction.

Price: $201.00 AUD* ($155.00 USD / £113.00 GBP*)
*At current currency conversion rates from USD

Visit Wolverine for more.

Redwing Classic Moc 6 Inch

There really is no other moc that quite hits the style note like Redwing’s Classic Moc. First made in 1962, the boot has all the classic lines of Redwing’s other boots in the heritage range wrapped up in a moc-toe. It features Puritan triple stitching and a Goodyear welt along with Redwing’s high quality leather and is still made in the USA.

These are on the chunkier end of the spectrum which firmly places them in the casual category. They won’t be quite as comfortable as others right away but they will start to mold to your feet and over time will feel as though they are made just for you.

Where could the Redwing Classic Moc do better? Perhaps adding waterproofing or water resistance to more than just the Oxblood Mesa colour edition. And some customers have complained about premature wear from the Traction tread sole.

But these boots are fully recraftable ensuring you have choice when i comes to replacing the sole.

Price: $528.00 AUD* ($279.99 USD / £269.00 GBP*)
*Prices from local Redwing distributors

Visit Redwing Heritage for more.

Danner Bull Run Moc Toe

Danner’s Bull Run Moc Toe really hits the styling points with Danner worker-like design cues such as the multi-coloured laces.

Danner explicitly state their outsole, while recraftable, is not meant for pounding the asphalt in the city all day. These are boots have been designed for comfort first and those in a workshop or store all day with smooth concrete or floors for instance.

However if you want to turn these into a more robust walking shoe you can by replacing the sole with something more durable. It’s worth noting though that the original soles also offer electrical hazard (EH) protection with non-conductive electrical shock resistant soles and heels, so something to consider if replacing.

Available in a plain toe or steel toe.

Price: $264.75 AUD ($190.00 USD / £147.18 GBP)

Visit Danner for more.

Thorogood 6” Moc Toe

Where the Redwing boots are a little more conservative, the Thorogood Moc Toe boots are closer to Danner’s Moc Toe by being geared towards work conditions.

Styling-wise, Thorogood’s 6” Moc Toe boot sits very comfortably in the casual  category with small touches like the USA flag tag and Thorogood logo on the heal. Made with oil-tanned full grain leather, it’s constructed with a Goodyear welt and uses a MAXWear Wedge slip resistant outsole so it has almost everything you need in a work boot.

These aren’t waterproof, for that you’ll need to move to a 1957 Series Flyway Moc-Toe. They are however available with a steel toe and/or 8” version.

Price: $389.00 AUD ($282.00 USD / £203.49 GBP)

Visit Thorogood for more.

White’s Perry

White’s moc-toe has a very similar approach to Redwing in that they are’t selling the practical “worker” benefits as much as they are the design and heritage.

Using their newly developed Arch-Ease® 1972 Last and traditional logger upper they’ve created a boot which offers something different to Redwing, claiming a break-in free period. The full grain water-resistant leather upper means it’s ready for crap weather too.

The Perry uses a Goodyear welt construction and are resoleable. The Vibram Christy sole is something of a moc-toe go-to and the Perry wears this as well.

Price: $352.00 AUD* ($269.95 USD / £197.00 GBP*)
*At current currency conversion rates from USD

Visit White’s for more.

Nisolo Mateo All Weather Boot

The Mateo All Weather Boot takes a more conservative approach to it’s moc-toe with a lower profile around the toe, reminiscent of a traditional moccasin giving it more versatility for everyday wear.

These are less focused on working functions and more on fashion and the Vibram Christy sole adds a good degree comfort when used for general everyday use while still retaining a good degree of grip and durability.

Even though the styling suggests the Mateo boots are more fashion oriented, they will be able to handle light rain conditions as the upper is made of waterproof leather. All weather, but not heavy downpours!

Unfortunately Nisolo don’t do international shipping, so anything outside the USA will require a workaround.

Price: $339.00 AUD* ($260.00 USD / £189.00 GBP*)
*At current currency conversion rates from USD

Visit Nisolo for more.

Sorel Madson II Moc Toe Boot

On a budget? Or want to not worry about damaging your expensive moc-toe boots? The Sorel Madsen moc-toe boots might be your choice. Looking closer to a hiking boot in design it nevertheless features a moc-toe design ensuring you’re the stylish one when camping with friends! 

The seam-sealed waterproof construction, waterproof nubuck leather upper and suede collar means you can take them virtually anywhere although Sorel do advise these are for light rain—you’ll need to look elsewhere for downpours and puddles.

The moulded EVA mid and outsole don’t have the sophistication of other boots on this list and won’t be recraftable but they will be comfortable right out of the box. These aren’t boots you’ll be keeping for a lifetime, rather a use and abuse pair allowing you to change it up now and then.

Price: $241.00 AUD* ($185.00 USD / £135.00 GBP*)
*At current currency conversion rates from USD

Visit Sorel for more.

Thursday Boots Diplomat

Thursday Boots are all about retaining as much quality as possible while keeping prices reasonable and well below other more established brands.

Their moc-toe boot Diplomat has a similar toe style to that of Sorel’s Madson moc-toe with a reduced height and more rounded toe. The rest of the boot is more conservative much like Redwing’s moc-toe with Goodyear welt construction.

Leather inner and outer, steel shanks, Kevlar blend laces, reinforced eyelets, and cork midsoles ensure longevity while the outsole is Vibram’s Christy which you’ll find on most others on this list.

You’d be hard pressed to find fault with the quality too even at face value. Thursday Boots currently employ the services of boot makers from the capitals of boot making around the world such as León (Mexico), Porto (Portugal), Alicante (Spain), and Arkansas (USA). 

Price: $259.00 AUD* ($199.00 USD / £145.00 GBP*)
*At current currency conversion rates from USD

Visit Thursday Boots for more.

Oak Street Bootmakers Camp

Oak Street Bootmakers have possible the most moccasin styled moc-toe boot on this list and so look a little dressier with quite a unique profile thanks to the construction and stitching.

The handsewn construction matched with Horween® Chromexcel® Leather and Vibram Christy Sole means quality is first. Combine that with the fact they are fully recraftable, these are more of an investment boot.

They also feature an unlined form-fitting inner. waxed handsewn thread, tone-on-tone stitching, antique brass eyelets, and  rawhide laces.

Oak Street Bootmakers also have a commitment to being made in the United States, end to end and while this makes the shoes more expensive, it ensures local industries benefit.

It’s notable that Oak Street Boots also offer free worldwide shipping.

Price: $453.00 AUD* ($348.00 USD / £253.00 GBP*)
*At current currency conversion rates from USD

Visit Oak Street Bootmakers for more.

Need some driving shoes? Check out this list of the best driving shoes from casual to luxury.

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