Thorogood American Heritage Safety Toe Boot
Thorogood is considered one of the most trusted brands in the industry and their American Heritage line are some of the highest rated work boots available. To be honest though some of that rating is purely because they are made in the USA. However, with the number boots manufacturers now just importing cheap boots it is probably worth an extra point in the ratings, but when you name something the “American Heritage” you want to make sure your product is worthy of the name. So lets take a look at what they offering and see if it is.
Firstly, Thorogood are making around 18 different boots under the American heritage label, different soles, colors and both 6 and 8 inch versions. We decided to limit it to a set of the same design with the standard shaped toe, even doing that gives us safety and non safety toe and both six and eight inch versions. The manufacturer tells us that these men’s safety boots are built with supreme craftsmanship and expertise. Looking at them they have very good quality leather uppers that are strong but reasonably soft and in the safety toe versions finished in a dark brown color from being tanned with black walnut oil. The soft toe versions are more of an orange brown that is named “Tobacco Gladiator”. I wondered if there was some relevance or historical background or something in regards to the unusual naming. My in-depth research of throwing the name into google only brought up references to these boots including the manufacturers site where we are told that the Tobacco Gladiator leather is their largest volume leather by popular demand they have two factories processing over 10,000 square feet per week! They also tell us that they are using a natural aniline leather which means it is in its most purest, natural and imperfect form. It is tumbled to allow the wearer to feel the soft natural flexibility and durability of this very special leather, a process that can be seen by the wrinkles. On each half pair it is possible to see the natural color, markings and wrinkle variations due to animal’s growth pattern and different oil migration. With that variation, each boot takes on the natural personality of its hide and as every cow is different it absorbs the color, oils and tumbling affects differently. That’s actually the shortened version but I think it is apparent we are in area of good quality leather and as mentioned for its strength it is quite soft.
Moving on, the stitching is excellent and the boots are triple stitched on the vamps and counters. The eyelets are made of brass and each boot has three studs at the top for faster and tighter lacing. Unlike some of the competing boots there aren’t any reports of the eyelets or studs coming off with these. A cushioned collar is around the top and the tongue is adequately cushioned without being too think that you feel you have strapped a lump to the top of your foot. Housed inside the safety toe version is a steel toe that obviously meets the safety standards and the welts use a Goodyear storm welt construction.
The outsoles are a strong dual density polyurethane with a 90° heel as you would expect it is slip and oil resistant. Thorogood actually give us a test statistic on them being anti-slip in that they have a static coefficient of friction of greater than 0.5 when tested according to ASTM F489 using the James Static Coefficient of Friction machine. Sounds impressive and I can understand what they mean but when so few others give stats is this regard there is very little basis for comparison. The question is really do other manufacturers not show the test results or do they not test like this, I’m not sure, so lets just say they have good anti-slip soles.
The mid sole is rubber and the insole uses a Poron shock absorbing technology to provide good comfort. This is actually very effective and they are a very comfortable boot that is often mentioned in numerous customer reviews with comments like “These are the most comfortable shoes I own, forget just boots they are the most comfortable shoes” and “They are great, they feel like sneakers when you walk but a strong work boot when at work”. However the arches are quite high.
On all four versions the electrical hazard protection meets all the standards and is tested for 18,000 Volts shock resistance.
A quick summary of the features
Goodyear storm welt construction
Comfort weave lining
Engineered composite shank
Triple stitched vamp and counter
Solid antique brass hardware
Security stitch “ball to ball” on outsole
Steel Toe – ASTM F 2413-05 M/I/75/C/75 steel toe.
Outsole – Thorogood dual density polyurethane comfort sole with 90° heel. Slip Resistant
Insole – Removable dual density Ultimate Shock Absorption™ footbed on Poron® 4000 comfort cushion.
Electrical Hazard Protection – Tested for and meets CAN/CSA-Z195 18,000 Volts standard.
Made in USA by ISO 9001 certified shoe company. Union Made.
Overall: A great boot that I feel lives up to its name. Well-made and long lasting, I really struggled to find anything negative to say about them beyond perhaps that they are not waterproof, but they also do not make any claims in this regard to be so not really surprise. It’s pretty easy to see why they are so well regarded.
- Provides electrical hazard protection
- ASTM F 2413-05 M/I/75/C/75 Steel Toe
- Fiberglass support shank
- Non-marking, slip-resistant outsole
- Double-stitched Goodyear welt construction