What Makes Thorogood MAXWear Wedge Outsoles Good? [vs Vibram]

Thorogood MAXWear Wedge Outsole are very popular, but what makes them different than regular wedge outsoles? Thorogood MAXWear Wedge soles are polyurethane-based instead of rubber-based, which makes them a bit more durable than regular wedge outsoles.

In this article I want to explain why I like the Thorogood MaxWear Wedge Outsoles by examining my Thorogood 1957 Boots (which use this outsole) and then also comparing this outsole to the popular Vibram Cristy wedge outsole. You can also watch my Thorogood MaxWear Wedge Outsole video below for more information:

Thorogood MaxWear Wedge Outsole Review

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.

Here I am wearing my Thorogood 1957 Boots:


Wedge outsoles also compress more than typical outsoles, which can reduce impact stress.

In the photo below I tried to capture how soft my Thorogood MaxWear Wedge soles are by compressing my thumb into the outsole (to see video of this, watch my 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.

What Makes Thorogood MaxWear Wedge Outsoles Unique?

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:


In the video at the top of the page I measured the softness of these Thorogood polyurethane-based outsoles to the softness of the popular Vibram Cristy Wedge outsoles. I found the Vibram Outsoles to be softer than these Thorogood outsoles.


But the trade-off is durability.

Because the Vibram Cristy wedge outsoles are rubber-based, they are not as long-lasting as these Thorogood MaxWear Wedge Outsoles that are polyurethane-based.

Do Thorogood MaxWear Wedge Outsoles Track Mud?

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 do 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 MaxWear Wedge Outsoles 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).

Thorogood MaxWear Wedge Outsole Conclusion

I like these Thorogood outsoles because they are still very soft and good at absorbing shock, but they are a bit more durable than typical wedge outsoles. If you are tired of your wedge outsoles wearing out so quick, these Thorogood boots might be a good option for you.

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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