I purchased the Thorogood 1957 Series Waterproof Moc Toe Boots so that I could test the waterproof effectiveness and comfort of these boots by using them myself and then cutting them in half to compare the internal parts to similarly priced boots. Additionally, I purchased a heavily used pair of Thorogood 1957 Boots so I could also cut them in half to review how the boot parts wore down over time.
My conclusion is this: Thorogood 1957 Boots are the best boots available in the Waterproof Moc Toe vertical. The leather separates this boot from its competitors. The leather is thicker than most leathers, but because it is tumbled and heavily infused with oils, it feels soft out of the box and easy to break in (learn more). When I tested 11 different waterproof moc toe boots, this leather was also the most water-repellent (learn more).
The comfort is also very good. The insole has gel-like padding that absorbs shock under my heel and toe pad (learn more), and this boot uses a cork filler above the midsole which is much better at providing long-term comfort than the cheap foam some boots use (learn more).
There are two drawbacks to consider. First, these boots use a synthetic welt and not a leather welt. Although this is a minor issue, synthetic welts break down quicker than leather welts, and can therefore cost extra to repair (learn more). Secondly, the price point might not make sense for every budget, especially when you consider the fact that waterproof boots don’t usually last as long as regular boots since the membrane liners eventually wear out (learn more).
In this Thorogood 1957 review I will go into deep detail using photos of the boots that I own. However, if you prefer video, I also put all of this Thorogood 1957 Boot Review information into the video below:
Pros & Cons of Thorogood 1957 Boots
|When I tested 11 of the most popular waterproof moc toe boots, these boots had the second thickest leather at 2.48mm thick (learn more)||The thicker leather and extra materials make this boot a bit heavier than other options (learn more)|
|The leather is heavily infused with oils and is tumbled so that despite being thick, it feels soft and flexible out of the box (learn more)||Price may exceed the budget of some|
|The thickness of this leather combined with the infused oils makes this a very long-lasting leather that is not prone to flaking. (learn more)||This boot uses a synthetic welt instead of a leather welt, which may lead to extra repair costs at some point (learn more)|
|The well-oiled leather was also much more water-repellent than the other boots I tested (learn more)||Because this boot uses a more traditional design, it does not have a padded collar|
|This boot is made in the USA (w/ Global Parts)||Waterproof liners don’t last as long as premium boot parts which can cause a tough decision on whether or not to replace the boot if liner wears out despite boot parts in good shape (learn more)|
|The internal waterproof membrane passed my waterproofing submersion test (learn more)||Laces are not waxed and will absorb some water (learn more)|
|The Thorogood MaxWear Wedge Outsole lasts longer than most wedge soles (learn more)|
|This boot is built using a Goodyear Storm Welt Construction for easy re-crafting (learn more)|
|This boot has more eyelets and speed hooks than average work boots which creates a secure fit & easier on/off (learn more)|
|This boot is available in both soft and safety toe|
|Uses cork filler under foot – cork is lightweight, easy to break in, and forms to foot (learn more)|
|Insole is better than average due to shock-absorbing gel pads under both the heel and the toe pad (learn more)|
|This boot uses a double layer of leather along the back of the boot for extra protection|
|My heavily used boots have no damage to the seams which are holding strong|
|I like the smell of the leather out of the box. It has a fresh, oiled smell|
It’s important to consider the price of boots. I purchased my Thorogood 1957 boots for $280. The price can vary slightly depending on the specific type of 1957 boots you choose.
I like to put work boots into four price tiers:
- $0 – $125 – Lower Quality – Typically Last 1-2 Years
- $125 – $250 – Medium Quality – Typically Last 2-3 Years
- $250 – $400 – High Quality – Typically Last 3-5 Years
- $400+ – Elite Quality – Typically Last 5-10 Years
The tiers above are just a general guideline and there is obviously many things that impact the quality of a boot.
Based on price, these Thorogood Boots are positioning themselves as a high quality boot that I want to be able to get 3-5 years of use out of. And I think the materials in this boot justify that. Let’s start this Thorogood 1957 Review by taking a closer look at how these boots are built.
Reviewing the Outside of Thorogood 1957 Boots
Evaluating the Leather
The leather is my favorite thing about the Thorogood 1957 Series Boots, and the leather is what separates these boots from many other cheaper options. Not only is it thicker, more durable, and longer-lasting than most other options, it is much better at handling water.
Here I am wearing my Thorogood 1957 Series Boots:
Type of Leather Used
The Thorogood 1957 Boots that I own use a Briar Pitstop leather (a chrome tanned leather) which is known for being a heavily-oiled leather (Thorogood Briar Pitstop Review). There’s a little trick you can use to see how oiled the leather is. If you bend the leather and crease it and it dis-colors, that is from the oils shifting away from the crease.
As you can see below, when I crease the leather on my Thorogood 1957 boots it dis-colors as the oils shift away from the crease (the color returns to normal as you even out the leather):
The Thorogood 1957 Boot is also offered in versions that use Trail Crazy Horse leather. Trail Crazy Horse is another heavily-oiled cowhide leather. It has a slightly more distressed look than the Briar Pitstop leather that my boots use. Both options are high-quality leathers that are heavily infused with oils.
How Does This Leather Perform in Wet Conditions?
The leather on these Thorogood 1957 Boots is very good at repelling water.
I will discuss this in more detail later in the waterproof testing section, but I drip-tested water onto the leather of these Thorogood 1957 boots to see if the leather would absorb or repel away the water. This is obviously an important issue for waterproof boots.
The leather on these boots repelled away the water and had no absorption. In the photo below, I tried to capture that (to see video of this, watch my Thorogood 1957 Review video at the top of the page):
To be effectively waterproof, it is important that boots not only have a waterproof membrane inside the boot (which keeps your foot dry), but it is also important that the boots have treated leather that repels away water. It does you no good if the membrane protects your foot but the leather itself becomes water-logged and heavy.
I recently tested over 10 different types of the most popular waterproof moc-toe boots, and I was shocked to find that only two of those boots had leather that actually repelled all water. This Thorogood 1957 Boot was one of those two boots – the other was the Chippewa Edge Walker (Thorogood 1957 vs Chippewa Edge Walker).
For comparison, below is a photo of a different brand of waterproof moc toe boots that I tested. This other brand had leather that immediately began absorbing water when I drip-tested it:
This is a major benefit of these Thorogood 1957 Boots, especially if you are working in very wet conditions. The leather is very good at repelling water.
Here is a photo I took of these Thorogood 1957 Series Boots about two minutes after I poured the water:
As you can see, the leather is dry with no absorption. This leather acts as an effective first layer of protection against water.
Thickness of the Leather
I measured the thickness of this leather as 2.48mm thick.
This is a very good thickness and is thicker and more durable than cheaper boots. The thickness of the leather combined with the oil that is infused in this leather makes this a long-lasting leather.
Here is how the thickness of leather on these Thorogood 1957 Boots compared to the other waterproof moc toe boots I recently tested:
|Boot||Leather Thickness (mm)|
|Carhartt WP Moc Toe||2.59|
|Irish Setter Wingshooter||2.36|
|Timberland Pro Gridstone||2.30|
|Red Wing Traction Tred 405||2.22|
|Rocky Outback Hiker||2.20|
|Chippewa Edge Walker||2.16|
|Ecco Track 25 Hiker||1.51|
This gives you an idea of what you are paying up for when you buy these higher prices boots. Although there are many things that separate these Thorogood 1957 Boots from cheaper boots, the quality and thickness of the leather is at the top of the list.
Is the Thorogood 1957 Boot Hard to Break In?
Despite using thick leather, this Thorogood 1957 Boot is not hard to break in. There are three main reasons why this is the case:
- Tumbled Leather – The Briar Pitstop Leather is tumbled which softens it and helps break the leather in before the boot is assembled.
- Oils – The oils in the leather also help give the boot a soft, comfortable feel straight out of the box.
- Materials Under the Foot – This boot uses cork and rubber underneath the foot instead of leather which reduces the break-in period.
Is This Leather Long Lasting?
Because this leather is thicker than the leather on most work boots (and also treated with more oils) it is a longer-lasting leather. The oil not only protects the leather from moisture, but it also prevents the leather from drying out and cracking.
It is important to keep the leather oiled to prolong the life of the boot (I like to oil mine about once every 4-6 weeks).
Below is a close-up picture of the leather on my pair of used Thorogood 1957 boots. As you can see, the leather is not cracking or flaking in the natural bend spots (and the seams are also holding up well):
This leather has a lot of life left in it.
One thing I like that Thorogood does with the leather when assembling this boot is they actually use a double layer of leather behind the heel. This area takes on a lot of stress, especially since many of us use this area to kick off our boots.
Many boot brands will make it look like they use a double layer of leather here, but only use one layer. Thorogood is actually using a double layer, so good for them:
Evaluating the Goodyear Welt
One of the potential drawbacks to the Thorogood 1957 Boot is the welt. Actually, there are both good and bad things to consider here.
First of all, this shoe is built using a Goodyear storm welt. This is widely considered to be one of the best ways to construct a boot, and it makes the boot very easy to re-craft when needed. So that’s a positive.
But one of the drawbacks about Thorogood 1957 Series Boots is they are built using a non-leather welt strip. Instead, they use a synthetic welt. These synthetic welts are not as durable and as premium as leather welts.
The welt is the stripping around the bottom of the upper where the seams are sewn to connect the upper to the lower of the boot. Here is a look at the synthetic welt on my new Thorogood 1957 Boots:
Leather welts are much better at handling wet and muddy conditions (and not cracking over time). Things like rain and dried mud and salt and changing temperatures (when combined with long-term use and the stress of bending the boot) can cause synthetic welts to fracture.
Will the synthetic welts on these Thorogood 1957 boots crack easily? No, they will not. In fact, most of the time these synthetic welts perform just fine. But leather welts are considered to be the much more premium option, and so that is something to consider.
How big of a concern is this? I’d say this is a minor concern. The synthetic welts on my heavily used Thorogood 1957 Boots have *not* cracked, but they do show wear (to see video of this, watch my Thorogood 1957 Boots video at the top of the page):
Because the welts are pretty banged up, I would likely have these welts replaced during a re-soling. Every cobbler I’ve worked with in the past has automatically recommended me to upgrade the welt to a leather welt even if my synthetic welt was not fractured.
That, of course, costs extra money (I think in the past it has cost me in the $125 range to get a new sole + welt). And the debate becomes, do you want to pay extra on a re-soling for a boot that costs ~$280? I’d say my answer is yes, but it is debatable.
The reason I’ve gotten them replaced in the past is once I get the leather welt put on, then moving forward I no longer have to worry about the welt, and just simply get a new outsole glued on when needed. The leather welt will last for a long time.
I would like it if Thorogood would start using leather welts, but I’m *guessing* this is one of the few areas on the boot they are trying to save a little on production costs so they can keep the boots priced below $300.
Overall, this is a minor disadvantage, but it is a disadvantage nonetheless.
Evaluating the Eyelets
Another thing about the Thorogood 1957 Series Boot that I like is the eyelets. Many standard 6-inch work boots have 6 eyelets and many standard 8-inch work boots have 8 eyelets. Thorogood includes an extra eyelet in both versions.
This helps you lace the boot tighter, which helps pass more control to your foot and also helps hold out water and debris. Another awesome detail is Thorogood incorporates three speed hooks, which makes the boot much easier to take on and off:
Cheaper work boots will usually only have between 0 and 2 speed hooks. Having the third speed hook is really nice and creates extra space to slip my foot in and out of the boots.
These eyelets have held up well on my used boots and not become damaged or loose:
As you can see above, the laces on my used boots have also held up nicely over time.
Reviewing the Under-Foot Comfort of Thorogood 1957 Boots
In the sections below, I will review the parts under the foot inside these Thorogood 1957 Boots. Below is a graphic identifying the basic parts.
I am going to focus on the most important parts: the insole, the shank, the cork filler, the midsole, and the outsole.
Evaluating the Insole
The insole of the Thorogood 1957 Boot provides noticeable cushioning underneath both my toe pad and my heel.
To achieve this comfort, these insoles have a sort of gel-like material underneath the toe pad and heel. I took one of my new insoles and cut it in half so you can better see the layer of foam sitting on top of the yellow gel-like material that is beneath the heel and toe pad:
The gel material is extremely comfort and helps absorb shock.
These Thorogood shock-absorbing insoles (in combination with the wedge outsole) really help take stress off the bottom of my foot. That’s why I recommend these boots to those of you who spend long work days on your feet on hard surfaces like concrete.
In the photo below, I tried to capture how forgiving these insoles are by compressing the gel material between my fingers (to see video of this, watch my Thorogood 1957 Boots Review video at the top of the page):
However, I should note, (even though this is obvious) these insoles will wear down over time. This is the case with all insoles, but as you can see below, on my heavily used insole the top lining has come loose and a hole is beginning to wear through the big toe area:
Thorogood offers replacement insoles and my advice would be to buy an extra pair so you can swap them occasionally to clean them and let them dry.
Overall, because of the shock-absorbing gel pads, these insoles are very good and much better than the insoles in most work boots.
Evaluating the Cork Filler
The filler is one of the most important areas on a boot. This is often one of the areas where boot brands will cheat you because you can’t see this area unless you tear the boot apart.
Below, you can see the location of the Thorogood cork filler in relation to the other boot parts:
When the boot is lasted, the leather is pulled down and hammered into place as the bootmaker creates the shape of the boot. When the leather is wrapped around and hammered onto what will be the bottom side of the boot, a cavity is created in the middle (with that leather surrounding it).
Because this cavity is below your foot, it is important that boot companies use quality materials to fill in this cavity. These materials need to help hold shape and provide comfort (this material is called the “filler”). These Thorogood 1957 Boots use cork as the filler for this cavity.
Cork has long been used as a premium filler in both boots and dress shoes. It is popular because it is lightweight, easy to break in, and forms to the shape of your foot.
Here is a close-up look at the midsole section and the cork filler of my Thorogood 1957 Boots:
Some cheaper boots will use bad foams or even cardboard-like material in this area, which quickly loses its shape and provides poor comfort. Cork is much more resilient, and makes for a longer-lasting, comfortable fit.
For example, pictured below is the internal parts of a cheaper brand of boots I bought for $99:
If you look above, these cheaper boots are using a gray-colored cheap foam as the filler. Here is a close-up of that cheap foam:
I show you this to give you a better idea how these Thorogood 1957 Boots separate themselves from cheaper boots. These cheap internal foams become paper-thin within months. The cork used in the Thorogood 1957 Boots holds its shape much longer than cheap foams (while also forming to the shape of your foot).
And, again, this is often an area where boot brands try to cheat you because you can’t see this area from the outside of the boot. These Thorogood 1957 Boots are using quality cork (as they should in this price range).
However, it’s important to understand that even cork will eventually wear thin once you put enough miles on your boot. Below is a comparison of my new Thorogood 1957 Boots compared to my used Thorogood 1957 Boots:
As you can see, the cork has lost some of its shape over extended use. The good news is the cork is still pretty evenly distributed (it hasn’t clumped up), and it certainly has not smashed as thin as cheap foams do.
Overall, the cork is a good thing. It forms to the foot and is more resilient than cheap materials. But my advice is to still consider having a cobbler replace the cork at some point if you intend to use these boots for 3-5 years.
Some cobblers will use hot paste cork and iron it into place, while other cobblers will just use sheet cork. Both are acceptable.
Evaluating the Composite Shank
The Thorogood 1957 Series Boots use a composite shank in both the soft-toe and the steel-toe versions.
The shank provides support to the midsole and bridges the gap between the toe pad and the heel. In a wedge outsole, the shank isn’t quite as important. But for the raised heel versions, a shank provides support to that part of the boot sole that is not in contact with the ground (to help prevent it from losing shape).
Here is a close-up look at the composite shank in my Thorogood 1957 Boots:
Composite shanks are very popular in work boots, as are steel shanks and even leather shanks. The benefit of a composite shank is it weighs less than a steel shank while still providing needed support (and is non-metallic).
This composite shank is very common in work boots and is not something that separates this boot from other options.
Evaluating the Rubber Midsole
The Thorogood 1957 Series Boots use a rubber midsole.
Rubber midsoles are not as premium as leather midsoles, but they are very common in this price range and for this type of boot. Rubber midsoles are popular in work boots because they are more flexible than leather, and easier to break in. They’re also cheaper to manufacture, which helps keep the price point down.
The midsole is the tan-colored rubber just above the outsole and below the cork. Here is a picture of the midsole in my Thorogood 1957 Boots:
Leather midsoles are more durable and over time provide better comfort by forming to the unique shape of the foot, but the rubber midsole on this boot is just fine (and again, no other boots in this price range will use a leather midsole). Leather midsoles are more common in the $400+ price range.
A cobbler will tell you that a leather midsole is the better option, not only because of durability and comfort, but because leather adheres better to the glued wedge outsole. When you get your boots re-soled, you can ask for a leather midsole if you like.
The main takeaway is the rubber midsole in in this boot is very standard for this price range and in no way damages the value of these boots, but rubber midsoles just are not as premium as leather midsoles. I would suggest you watch my Thorogood 1957 Boots Review video at the top of the page for a more thorough break down of the midsole area.
Evaluating the Outsole
One thing I like about Thorogood is they offer many of their most popular boots in both a wedge outsole version and a raised-heel version. Which one is best for your will be determined by the specifics of your job.
I like to wear wedge outsoles because they add a bit more comfort (especially when I’m on my feet all day on concrete). Wedge outsoles evenly distribute contact stress across the entire bottom of my foot instead of localizing it on my heel and toe-pad like traditional outsoles.
Wedge outsoles also compress more than typical outsoles, which can reduce impact stress. In the photo below I tried to capture how soft my outsoles are by compressing my thumb into the outsole (to see video of this, watch my Thorogood 1957 Boots Review video at the top of the page):
But wedge outsoles won’t make sense for every job. A raised heel helps provide slip protection and can be essential for those who climb ladders all day.
Thorogood uses a unique wedge outsole. They call their outsole the MAXWear Wedge. This wedge outsole is polyurethane based instead of rubber based.
Even though this outsole is very good at absorbing shock, it isn’t quite as soft as rubber-based wedge outsoles. Yes, it is still soft, but Thorogood is positioning this outsole as being a bit more durable than other wedge outsoles (while still providing adequate comfort).
Here is a look at the outsole on my new Thorogood 1957 Series Boots:
One downside of wedge outsoles is they tend to wear out quicker than normal outsoles, so using this polyurethane-based wedge outsole can help add a bit more life to your wedge outsole. Still, with time, the outsole will begin to wear.
Here is a look at the outsole on my used pair of Thorogood 1957 Boots:
Some people claim they like wedge outsoles because they “track less mud”. In general, I have not found that to be the case with wedge outsoles. I think they’re a bit easier to clean because they don’t have the deep lugs, but I still find that all the wedge outsoles I use accumulate mud just like deeper-lug outsoles.
I used my Thorogood 1957 Boots at a muddy construction site and they did accumulate mud:
This was not surprising and it was very muddy – I just say all of this to say that I would not expect these wedge outsoles to accumulate less mud than traditional outsoles (but they are a bit easier to clean).
Waterproof Testing Thorogood 1957 Boots
Waterproof Testing Summary: I submerged these boots into a water tank for 5 minutes and the membrane did not allow any water inside the boot (learn more). I drip-tested the leather and the leather repelled away all of the water and did not absorb any water (learn more). I soaked the laces for 5 minutes in a cup of water and the laces did unfortunately absorb some water (learn more).
Submerging the Boots in a Water Tank
These Thorogood 1957 Boots use an X-Stream Waterproof™ membrane that is both waterproof and breathable. The tongue on these boots is gusseted up past the third-highest eyelet so that the waterproof membrane can be lined up to this height on the boot.
Here is a look at the tongue gusset:
To be both waterproof and breathable, these waterproof membranes have billions of tiny pores that are much smaller than a water droplet (so water can’t get in), but also larger than a water-vapor molecule (so your feet can breathe).
The problem with waterproof membranes is all it takes is one manufacturing error (like a needle or nail puncturing the material) for the membrane to fail. To test the effectiveness of this membrane, I submerged my Thorogood 1957 Series Boots in a water tank (up to the second-lowest eyelet) for five minutes to see if the waterproof membrane would hold out water.
Here I am submerging these Thorogood 1957 Boots (to see video of this, watch my Thorogood 1957 Boots Review video at the top of the page):
My testing results were this: The waterproof membrane passed this test and *did* hold out all water. In the photo below, you can see the tissues inside the boot were still dry after submerging.
Drip Testing the Leather
It’s not enough for a boot to just have a waterproof membrane. You also need the leather itself to be water-repellent. If the leather is not water-repellent, then the leather will become soaked and water-logged in heavy rain (even if the membrane keeps your foot dry).
And if water soaks through the leather, it can become trapped between the leather and the waterproof membrane, which means it will slowly dry in there and form musty, moldy odors.
As I discussed earlier in the article, I recently tried 11 different types of waterproof moc-toe boots. Out of those 11 boots, these Thorogood 1957 Boots were one of only two boots that actually had leather that repelled water effectively.
To test the leather, I drip-tested water onto these shoes to see if it would absorb or repel away. The leather on these boots repelled away the water and had no absorption. In the photo below, I tried to capture that:
This treated leather caused the water to repel off the boot without soaking into the leather. I would suggest you watch my Thorogood 1957 Series Boots Review video at the top of this page to see the actual video of the water repelling off the leather.
For comparison, below is a photo of a different brand of waterproof moc-toe boots that I tested. This other brand had leather that immediately began soaking in water when I drip tested it:
And below is another brand of popular waterproof moc-toe boots that had instant absorption:
This is a major benefit of these Thorogood 1957 Boots, especially if you are working in rainy conditions. The leather is very good at repelling water.
Here is a photo I took of these Thorogood 1957 Series Boots about 2 minutes after I poured the water:
As you can see, the leather has no visible absorption and remained dry. This is one of the biggest strengths of these Thorogood 1957 Series Boots.
Submerging the Laces in Water
The laces are easy to overlook on boots. If you are buying waterproof boots, it certainly helps to have laces that are wax-coated to help prevent the laces from becoming water-logged.
To test the waterproofness of the laces on these Thorogood 1957 Boots, I submerged the laces in a cup of water for five minutes.
My testing results were this: The laces did become slightly water-logged. However, the absorption was not the worst I’ve seen. Overall, these laces are “fine”, but if you work in extremely wet conditions, upgrading to wax-coated boot laces may be best.
In the photo below, I am squeezing the laces just after removing them from the water. You can see moisture shining from the laces in between my fingers (to see video of this, watch my Thorogood 1957 Boots Review video at the top of the page):
You can find waxed boot laces for about $15 on Amazon if you wish to upgrade these laces.
How Much Do Thorogood 1957 Boots Weigh?
The Thorogood 1957 Series Boots are a little heavy compared to other similar waterproof moc toe work boots. When I tried 11 of the most popular waterproof moc-toe boots, the Thorogood 1957 was the third heaviest.
I own style 814-3600. This is the soft-toe, 6-inch wedge sole boot. My size 12 Thorogood 1957 Boot weighs 2.20 pounds per boot:
This, however, is not all bad.
The Thorogood 1957 Boots are heavier than most other boots because they use better, more premium parts. As we discussed earlier, they’re using a thicker leather which adds weight (and they’re using a double-layer of leather along the back). They are also using more hardware, and have more premium materials under the foot for comfort.
Here is how the weight of Thorogood 1957 Boots compares to other waterproof moc toe boots:
|Timberland Pro Gridstone||2.14|
|Red Wing Traction Tred 405||2.08|
|Irish Setter Wingshooter||2.07|
|Carhartt WP Moc Toe||2.05|
|Chippewa Edge Walker||1.91|
|Rocky Outback Hiker||1.54|
|Ecco Track 25 Hiker||1.49|
I’ve tried a lot of work boots over the years, and for me personally, anything over 2.50 pounds per boot is too heavy. These Thorogood 1957 boots come in below that, and when I wear them, they don’t feel too heavy.
Even though there are options that weigh less, I don’t consider weight to be a major issue with these boots.
How Thorogood 1957 Boots Look with Jeans
Thorogood 1957 Boots with Bootcut Jeans
Thorogood 1957 Boots with Regular Jeans
Thorogood 1957 Boots with Slim Jeans
How to Get Thorogood 1957 Boots Repaired
You can take your Thorogood Boots to a local cobbler for repair, but Thorogood also offers a repair service through their website.
When I used this service in the past, Thorogood sub-contracted the actual repair out to a company called NuShoe. I decided to use this service because they specialize in Thorogood repair (even though it does cost a bit more due to shipping).
If you are working with a smaller budget, using a local cobbler is probably best. However, I was pleased with the repair process through NuShoe. They contacted me via email after I sent in the boot and asked me what I wanted done to the boot. They were easy to work with. This is where you can learn more.
How I Maintain My Boots
How often do you need to re-oil your boots? This depends on how much you use them. If you are wearing them regularly for work, you will need to re-oil them once every 4-6 weeks. If you work in extremely muddy conditions, you may need to do it every 2-3 weeks.
I use boot oil, but boot wax is fine also. This is the brand of oil I use:
This shoe oil costs me $17. Thorogood also sells their own brand of boot oils.
To oil the boots, I like to brush excess dirt off my boots and then quickly hose them down and towel dry them. You want to make sure the leather is clean before you apply the oil.
Thorogood 1957 Boots Review: My Conclusion
What I like most about these boots
These are great boots and I highly recommend them. This is what sticks out the most to me from wearing these boots:
- Thickness of Leather – I measured the thickness of the leather on my Thorogood 1957 Boots at 2.48mm, which is thicker than most types of work boots. This is one of the key factors that make this boot long-lasting. And, because this is an oiled, tumbled leather, it is not stiff despite being thick.
- Oil-Infused Leather – The Thorogood 1957 Boots are available in two types of premium leather: Briar Pitstop or Trail Crazy Horse. Both are full-grain cowhide leathers that are deeply infused with wax and oils to make the leather soft, resilient, and extremely water-resistant. When I drip-tested water onto this leather, it performed better than all other brands of waterproof moc toes I tested. The leather on my used boots is not flaking or cracking. This is a long-lasting, durable leather and is the best feature of this boot.
- The Insoles – The insoles use a unique gel-like material underneath the toe pad and heel that absorb shock much better than average insoles.
- Extra Hardware – Thorogood uses three speed hooks, which is more than many types of similar boots. This makes it easier to take the boot on and off.
- Made in USA – These boots are made in the USA (with global parts), so it does give a peace of mind that the manufacturing process is at least a bit better than fully imported boots.
What I would change about these boots
I wish these boots used a leather welt instead of a synthetic welt.
In *most* cases, synthetic welts are fine. However, if you subject them to wet, muddy conditions, over time they can fracture.
This fracture does not make the boot unusable, it just means you will need to spend extra in repair costs at some point (to see video of this, watch my Thorogood 1957 Boots Review video at the top of the page).
Are Thorogood 1957 Boots Worth It?
When I recently tested 11 different types of waterproof moc toe boots, these Thorogood Waterproof Moc Toe Boots were my favorite boots due to how effective the boots were at repelling water. The leather is exceptional and long-lasting, and the materials used under the foot provide great comfort.
But as much as I love these boots, one issue that always comes up with waterproof boots is the longevity of the liner itself. As I mentioned earlier, this Thorogood liner passed the submersion test. It is a high-quality liner that is comfortable against my foot.
Still, these liners (even the high-quality ones) are not indestructible. Think of them like socks. Cheap socks wear out quickly. Premium socks don’t wear out as quickly, but they still wear out eventually.
These waterproof membranes are put through extreme stress from constant friction with your foot. Over time, wear spots will appear in the heel and toe areas, just like with a sock.
Your membrane liner also may get punctured if your boot gets punctured. Once the liner membrane is damaged, you no longer have that perfect waterproof protection.
And that is ultimately the problem with waterproof boots. The liner *usually* is not capable of surviving as long as the other boot parts. Again, that’s not a knock on Thorogood – Thorogood is one of my favorite boot brands and they use one of the best liners on the market.
But liners eventually fail. And so the debate becomes, if you know the liner *could* fail sometime in 1-3 years of frequent use, is it worth investing $280+ in a boot? If the liner fails, you are left with a boot that can no longer provide that perfect waterproof protection you need for extremely wet work environments.
I really like these Thorogood 1957 Boots. They use high quality materials and the leather is exceptional. I won’t fault anyone for buying these boots because they provide better waterproof protection than all other waterproof moc-toe boots I have tried.
But it’s fair to say that the membrane liners of waterproof boots usually do not last as long as the other boot parts. So that is something to consider. Would you buy a new pair once the liner fails? Are you comfortable buying a boot at this price range knowing that you might replace it (due to the liner) in 2-3 years?
Or would you just go ahead and wear the boot even if the liner is compromised since the other boot parts would likely still be in great shape?
My Conclusion: The Thorogood 1957 Boots are great for wet conditions because the leather is much better at repelling water than other boot brands. I like the comfort under the foot in large part due to the shock-absorbing insole. Because Thorogood uses a unique polyurethane based outsole, the outsole on these boots lasts longer than other wedge outsoles. These boots are made in the USA and don’t use cheap foams or cardboards for filler under the foot. These are comfortable, durable work boots capable of handling tough, wet work environments. But the price point might not make sense for every budget, especially if you plan to replace your waterproof boots every 2-3 years.