The Thorogood shoe company has a history that runs right back to 1892 when Albert Weinbrenner first teamed up with Joseph Pfeiffer to open "Weinbrenner and Pfeiffer" at 140 West Water Street, Milwaukee where they specialised in the sale of shoes and work boots.
At the start of the 1900s, the pair began to manufacture their own work boots and were turning out around 60 pairs a day. As their reputation grew, so did demand. By the end of 1905 manufacturing output had reached 2500 pairs a day. By 1916 this number was at around 20,000 pairs and the manufacturing plant had more than 80 cutting machines. With the increasing need for specialized boots for various trades, Weinbrenner introduced the Thorogood brand. Back then, a pair of work boots cost around 7-8 Dollars at a shoe store and around 4 Dollars at wholesale.
In the 1930's, Weinbrenner continued its expansion with the purchase and fitout of another three plants. When World War 2 arrived in the 1940s, Weinbrenner dedicated all of it's work to to the Armed Forces and even today the company manufactures a great number of military service boots.
In 1950, the company introduced the very first Lace-to-toe Roofer boot, a style that is often imitated but never bettered. Commonly referred to as Monkey boots, these boots feature a unique toe box design and precisely adjustable lacing which made the style an instant hit among roofers and carpenters. The Roofer is also one of the few shoes around which doesn't bite your foot when you have to work in a kneeling position, which is mainly due to its very short but roomy toe cap.
These days, the boots feature a high quality oil-tanned leather upper with seam reinforced rivets, a goodyear storm welt and cotton drill vamp lining. A removable dual density insole and comfort cushion sits on an engineered composite shank and rubber midsole and the outsole comprises of a single-density polyurethane MAXwear Wedge, designed after the famous Vibram Christy wedge sole but about 20-30% longer lasting. The boots are still made in the USA and are available in a range of colours.
Today, over 125 different styles of work boots and shoes are manufactured by Weinbrenner at two large factories in Wisconsin. That makes them the largest "Made in USA" footwear manufacturer. Unlike many other companies, Weinbrenner remains dedicated to keeping the majority of its shoe production in the United States and the quality of the workmanship on their boots is testament to this.
In the interest of full disclosure, this is not a sponsored post. These boots just really are that good. Here's my pair of 6" round toes after a few months of heavy wear:
I've already added a pair of Tobacco Roofers to my Autumn wishlist - they'll look great with some nice clean selvedge, a beat up Barbour and a Filson 256. If you'd like to know more about Thorogood and maybe purchase a pair of their fine boots for winter then visit thorogood-shoes.co.uk for the best prices and service in the UK.