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What is a Moc Toe Boot? Some Surprising Facts to Know!

Fact checked by Andrew Carnegie

what is a moc toe boot

If you are someone who is into wearing boots, you probably already encountered the term “moc toe boots”. But what is a moc toe boot?

The first pair of moc toe boots was known to be created in the 1950’s by Red Wing, a shoe company based in Minnesota. It bears resemblance to moccasin, and is considered a modern and stylish kind of boot as it was created by integrating an inidgenous shoe design with leather boots.

Everything About Moc Toe Boot


The term moc toe is the abbreviation of moccasin toe.

Moccasin is a Native American footwear usually made by gathering a single piece of leather from the bottom of the feet upwards to wrap the feet, and securing it with a drawstring.

However, the style we see on moc toe dress boots or work boots seemed to be derived from a variation of moccasin that uses two pieces of leather to create the topline of the shoes.

Footwears that are called moc toe meaning they have seams created by bringing the leather around the sides of the foot and attaching a U-shaped flat piece of leather on the vamp.

Moc Toe Vs Round Toe


Moc toe vs plain toe is a self debate that you may have when buying boots. Choosing one over the other is a matter of preference, especially on the aesthetic aspect.

But if you are more focused on practicality, perhaps, learning about the features of moc toe boots can help you settle this debate.

1. Features

Based on the moc toe shoes definition, the basic features of moc toe boots are made with leather with U-like topline. Aside from this, they also have wedge or heel soles made of sturdy rubber, such as Vibram.

Some companies make additional features for specific purposes such as adding steel toes and anti-slip soles to make them as work shoes.

However, bear in mind that every manufacturer makes their moc toe boots different. To help you in making your choice, you might want to know what other boot wearers recommend and get to know more about their features.

When it comes to moc toe boots, Red Wing and Thorogod already cemented their spot on top in designing and manufacturing them. Thus, they are also two of the most-recommended brands of moc toe boots.

Here are their major features:

Features of Thorogood Moc Toe Boots

  • Uses a combination of regular eyelets and speed hooks
  • Has leather pull tab
  • White triple stitching that contrasts the the tanned leather
  • Outsole is out of Polyurethane
  • Has fiberglass shank

Based on its features, it can be drawn that Thorogood boots are made for work.

The materials used for its soles are heavy-duty that do a great job in shock absorption, as well as in electrical shock resistance. The use of speed hooks is also favored by workmen because it allows them to take off and put on their boots quickly.

Despite its heavy-duty materials, a pair of Thorogood moc toe on feet is surprisingly lightweight, and can even withstand wet working conditions.

Features of Red Wing Moc Toe Boots

  • Thicker tanned leather
  • Has a wedge outsole made out of crepe rubber
  • Leather insole and cork midsole
  • Shankless
  • Has triple stitching

As the first manufacturer and designers of moc toe boots, Red Wing has kept its vintage style.

Unlike Thorogood, Red Wing’s features are not particularly worker-oriented. However, they are highly recommended if you’re looking for moc toe boots in style.

Matter of fact, its thick leather looks better as it ages, giving it a stylish and timeless look.

2. Pros and Cons

Listed here are the pros and cons generally observed in most moc toe boots.


  • Because of their construction, they offer a bigger toe room and are more comfortable compared to round or plain toe boots.
  • The seams on their vamps also allows it to be more flexible.

Thus, moc toe work boots are preferred by workmen or by anyone who dislikes having their toes against the roof of the shoes.


Considering its advantages, there’s not a lot of downsides that can be associated with a moc toe boot’s basic features. Just like any other other footwears, any disadvantage will really depend on how shoe companies design them.

Poorly designed moc toe boots will not be as comfortable and efficient, especially when working on jobsites. In this regard, it is recommended to check the design and features made by manufacturers in order to determine if they are the right boots for you.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why are moc toe boots so popular?

Moc toe boots first became popular among workmen, such as miners and electricians.

As time went by, they caught the attention of regular folks who wanted to incorporate rugged boots in their casual outfit. They learned how to wear and pair it with different pieces of clothing, such as jeans and T-Shirts. Thus, the popularity of moc toe boots outfit started to take off.

Is moc toe a safety boot?

If you’re wondering, “is moc toe the same as steel toe?”, here’s the answer:

Although they are associated with safety boots, a boot that has a moc toe design is not automatically considered a safety or a steel toe boot. However, its structure makes it easy for it to be converted into moccasin steel toe boots or composite toe boots.

What are moc toe boots good for?

The design of moc toe boots was geared to protect the toes. Therefore, they make a good choice of footwear to be worn when working tough jobs, such as construction or electrical work.

If you are not really into wearing them as safety boots, you can still sport a pair of moc toe boots and make them a part of your casual outfit.


Answering the question “what is a moc toe boot?” revealed a lot of interesting things about this boot inspired by a Native American footwear.

Aside from the origin of its name, you also learned about its versatility– how they can be worn in and out of the jobsite, and how they can give your outfit a classic and rugged look.

Definitely, moc toe boots easily stand out among other styles of boots not only because of their distinctive design, but also because of the features and comfort that they have to offer.

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