PRODUCT REVIEW: Red Wing 10875 vs. 405 Moc Toe Work Boots
Red Wing is known for several things: heavy-duty work boots, quality craftsmanship, dedication to functionality, and also holding themselves to the highest standards in the industry. Regardless of what boot they are making, Red Wing puts their core ideals into every pair. However, this does not mean that they only make “old-school” work boots. Red Wing continues to innovate and update styles, while also maintaining their heritage pieces. Today we are looking at two of the classics: the 10875 6-inch Moc Toe Wedge Boot and the newer 405 Traction Tread Waterproof 6-inch Moc Toe Boot.
Short Story: Red Wing understands that you can’t make one boot to please everyone, so they make several types of boots that speak to several types of workers. The classic 10875 is a very traditional boot that has maintained its look and style for decades. It is great if you are looking for a leather moc toe with no frills, just good old-fashioned quality and durability. The newer 405 takes several new technologies to make a modern wedge that is lighter, more flexible, and waterproof so that you can immediately be comfortable and ready to work the day you put them on. Either boot is a great option and below we will get into the details of what makes each one great.
Long Story: Let’s start with the classic model, the Red Wing 10875 Traction Tred, 6-Inch, Moc Toe, Wedge Boot. This is a statement piece that has been in the Red Wing line for decades and it is truly an iconic style of the brand. If you are looking for a pair of boots that feature heavy-duty leather, classic triple-stitched seams, and a Goodyear welted outsole, then this is where you want to look. The boots feel stiff to begin with, and the lack of a liner, cushioned insole, and padding may turn away some people looking for immediate comfort. The benefit, however, is that the work you do to wear these boots in, and truly have them mold to your foot, will keep them comfortable for years and years.
The benefits of an all-leather boot are the durability, the resistance to breakage, the ability to clean, condition, and re-condition as the years wear on. The Traction Tred Sole is great on the job sites for iron workers, carpenters, and those who stand on concrete all day. The Goodyear Welt makes it easy to replace the outsole, so that once you break in the upper, you can continually replace the outsole to keep the boots for years (that is assuming you take care of the leather uppers). Made in the USA, these boots really are a throwback to when all boots were made this way; hand-crafted and cared for by someone who works hard, and made for those who work hard.
I happen to own four pairs of the classic moc toe wedge boots, and I have only used two so far (over the last 12 years). The boots were definitely stiff at first and I would recommend wearing them for only a few hours at a time at first, and with a thicker boot sock. As the leather starts to wear, and the creases form, you will feel the sole soften and then you will find how comfortable these boots can be.
Let’s not forget that there is a newer/younger brother to the classic moc toe, and that is model 405 Waterproof, 6-inch Moc Toe Wedge Boot. This boot puts in a ton of features that all lead to a softer, more comfortable boot from the get-go. Here is a quick list of features that stand out: 1) it’s waterproof, 2) it has a cushioned liner and insole, 3) it features a curved ankle collar with padding, 4) rubber-blown outsole 5) traditional eyelets, and speed hooks 6) available in composite toe, 7) a welted outsole for replacement and repair.
All of these features are meant to make you feel comfortable and ready for work the moment you put them on. The full-grain leather is durable, and the added features of a liner and a waterproof membrane will keep you working and dry all day. The multi-layer traction tred sole doesn’t track dirt or mud and is comfortable for any heavy-duty environment and standing on concrete all day long. This boot has been in the line for years and has quickly become one of the most popular for a combination of fit, features, function, and comfort. This boot is perfect for anyone who needs a pair of boots today, wants to wear them right away, and wants to be comfortable in them all day. The option of getting it with a composite toe (Model 2415) only makes it more versatile in the workplace. The safety rating is good for any jobsite and it meets all OSHA ASTM F2413 standards. With options abound, this newer boot packs a lot of features into a single style.
Either way, you cannot go wrong, it’s just a matter of preference on style or features. Each boot has a benefit that will speak to you in a different way. Regardless of which style moc toe boot you choose, the easiest way to make them last is to use leather protector or mink oil. This way, when you invest in a good pair of boots, you can keep them and use them for a long period of time!
Adam, Dave’s New York