Thorogood American Heritage Boots (w/ used photos)

Thorogood boots are made by Weinbrenner Shoe Co., an employee-owned company based in Wisconsin that has deep roots in American culture.

Weinbrenner Shoe Co. started manufacturing shoes in the late 1800’s and was a significant contributor of boots for the US Army in both WWI and WWII. That same American pride is carried forward into their modern-day business, and specifically to the American Heritage boots, which are made in the USA by union workers (source).

In this article let’s take a closer look at the Thorogood American Heritage boots and discuss what the options are with this boot. We will also take a look at a used pair of Thorogood American Heritage boots to see how they have held up over time (photos at the bottom).

Thorogood American Heritage Boot

Steel Toe Available – Full-Grain Leather Upper – Moc-Toe and Round-Toe – Wedge Sole Available – Shock Absorption Footbed – Goodyear Welt Construction – Slip Resistant Outsole  Made in USA

“American-built comfort and toughness at its finest.”

The Thorogood American Heritage boots are one of the most popular work boots on the market. They are well-known for combining comfortable construction with long-term dependability. These boots are American-built comfort and toughness at its finest. These boots come in a wide range of styles. Here are some of your options for the American Heritage boots:

  • 6″ Lace-up
  • 8″ Lace-up
  • 11″ Pull-on
  • Moc-toe
  • Round-toe
  • Plain-toe
  • Safety-toe
  • Wedge Sole
  • 90-degree heel

Whether you need a lace-up or pull-on, round-toe or moc-toe, plain-toe or safety-toe, the American Heritage line of boots has you covered. In this article we will focus mainly on the American Heritage 6″ Lace-up Moc Plain Toe boots.


What We Like

The Thorogood American Heritage boots are those work boots that look good both on and off the clock. They find that healthy balance between style, comfort, and toughness. Yes, these are wedge boots made in the USA.

The thing that jumps out about this boot is the comfort. This boot fills that need for those workers who need a tough boot, but not necessarily a rugged boot that has aggressive lugs for uneven or rocky terrain.

Do you work on smooth surfaces like concrete, tile, etc? These boots provide the toughness you need, but give you a comfortable base (especially if you choose the wedge soles).

In the world of boots, certain styles are built for rugged outdoor work, while other boots are built for factory use. These American Heritage boots are made for those factory workers and tradesman who need something tough and dependable, but without the heavy-duty, rugged lugs that can weigh a boot down.

If you are working on concrete all day, you don’t need a logger boot with aggressive, heavy lugs. These American Heritage boots provide a nice alternative that is comfortable, but still tough.

These boots have premium construction, with moc toes made in the USA by union workers. They’re built using a Goodyear Storm Welt, which we will discuss more below, but this type of build actually adds some moisture protection to your midsole area. To read more about how this boot fits, visit our Thorogood Boot Sizing Guide.


What You Must Consider

There are a few things you must consider about these Thorogood American Heritage boots. First, they use a fiberglass shank. A shank is a supportive piece usually in the midsole between the outsole and insole of the boot (info). Why does this matter?

Fiberglass shanks won’t be as sturdy as steel shanks. At first maybe that sounds bad, but understand that these fiberglass shanks can have their advangtages. Fiberglass shanks not only help keep the overall weight of the boot down, they also provide a bit more comfort and flexibility, while also providing adequate support.

There’s no debating though, the steel shanks do provide more support than the fiberglass shanks. So you’ll need to consider the tradeoff: do you want the extra support of a steel shank or the lighter weight and flexibility of a fiberglass shank?

If you are someone who works a job that demands constant pressure to the bottom of your boots (for example, climbing ladders all day or using a shovel or walking on uneven gravel), then you will probably want to stick with a boot that has a steel shank. **Thorogood makes several boots that use a steel shank for support.

But this fiberglass shank can actually be a benefit for those of you who work in a factory or trade that doesn’t demand you to use the bottom of your boots to climb or dig, etc. This fiberglass shank will help keep the weight down and make the boot a little easier to wear, while still providing adequate support.

Second, you will want to consider the outsole. The American Heritage is offered in both a wedge (called MAXWear Wedge) and a more traditional 90-degree heel outsole (called MAXWear 90). In general, across all types of boots, wedge outsoles are considered to be the more comfortable, but less durable option. This means they are awesome to work in, but lose their traction quicker.

The more traditional outsoles, that have a 90-degree heel, are important for trades who really need to maximize traction and avoid slipping. Which outsole is best for you will come down to your own personal job requirements. Aagin, you can buy the Thorogood American Heritage boots in both a wedge outsole and a more traditional 90-degree heel outsole (links at bottom of article).


Design Specs

UppersFull-Grain Leather
ToeVaries by style
BuildGoodyear Welt

Most versions of the American Heritage boots are not waterproof. Of course all leather is, to some degree, capable of repelling moisture, but these boots do not have a waterproof lining. In fact, most versions of this boot do not have any type of lining.

This makes these boots nice hot-weather, hot-factory work boots. If you really need waterproof wedge boots, the 8-inch boots with round-toe come in a waterproof version.

Although these Thorogood American Heritage boots are not waterproof, they do use the Goodyear Storm Welt construction. The Goodyear Welt process is considered by most to be the best way to build a boot, and is easily re-crafted if you need a new outsole (source).

The material used in a Goodyear Storm Welt (this boot) actually is a bit wider than the traditional Goodyear welt, and offers greater moisture protection in the midsole area than the traditional welt construction. **Pull-on version uses standard Goodyear Welt.


Comfort is a huge selling point for these Thorogood American Heritage boots. As we discussed previously, these boots are best for those who work mainly on smooth, flat surfaces like concrete.

If you work on gravel or other rough surfaces, you will probably want a more rugged style boot, possibly also with a steel shank for extra support and protection (Thorogood makes several types of rugged boots).

That is not to say these boots aren’t dependable. They are. These boots fill a different type of need for workers. The thing about heavy-duty rugged work boots is they usually have aggressive lug patterns and heavy outsoles that make them more of a chore to wear.

These boots find a healthy balance between comfort and toughness. Again, you can get these boots in varying types of outsoles, but the most comfortable (in my opinion) will be the wedge outsole. The wedge outsole is not going to be for a rugged environment.

Wedge soles are built for comfort and are perfect for factory workers or other trades who spend most all of their day standing on concrete, tile, or other types of smooth surfaces.

The wedge soles on the American Heritage boots still have slip-resistant properties (source), but just don’t expect these wedge soles to provide the rugged outdoor traction needed on uneven terrain and gravel.

These boots also have what is known as Poron™ Comfort Cushion insoles and a removable shock-absorption footbed. Poron™ Comfort, who makes the cushioned insoles for these boots, is a world leader in designing dependable, breathable, and flexible cushioning material used frequently in the footwear industry.

These boots are comfortable because they combine the wedge soles, with the Poron™ Comfort insoles, and add a shock-absorption footbed on top (and use that flexible fiberglass shank we discussed earlier).


Summer or Winter Boots?

The Thorogood American Heritage boots (in most versions) are unlined, which makes them better summer and/or indoor work boots. These boots are not insulated. If you are looking for insulated Thorogood boots, I would recommend the V-series.


The American Heritage boots are offered in several different styles, including both plain-toe and safety-toe. Some versions use a steel-toe, while others use a composite toe. The outsoles of the Thorogood American Heritage boots are slip-resistant.

Steel ToeCertain Styles
Slip ResistantYes
Made in USAYes
Size6″, 8″, 11″

***Please double check that whatever version of the Thorogood American Heritage boot you choose matches the safety standards needed for your job. As we have discussed the safety features of this boot will depend on what style number you buy.

Used Thorogood American Heritage Boots

Here is a look at a used pair of Thorogood American Heritage boots.

As you can see, despite use the seams have held up well. The wedge sole is beginning to show wear, which is very typical for a wedge sole. Again, the wedge sole is built more for comfort, and won’t have the deep lugs of a rugged outdoor boot (because it is not needed).

These boots make the most sense for workers who spend most of their day on flat surfaces like concrete, tile, wood, or packed dirt, and don’t need an aggressive shoe. Instead, workers in these conditions are often looking for something with more comfort. These Thorogood American Heritage wedge boots are built for comfort.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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