Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘thorogood’

Trot Moc – the back to nature shoe

June 12th, 2017

It’s great to see heritage footwear brands like Thorogood motoring forward with new models and vintage reissues.

Fun fact: Weinbrenner/Thorogood  made boots for CC Filson in the 1990s. And when Archival started, we met with Thorogood to discuss a possible collaboration. That project never materialized, but here’s a variation on an oxford I wish we had released:

Andrea Cesari, sewing savant and pattern historian, unearthed info on another US footwear company lost to time: Trot Moc. Trot Mocs were made by the Ashby Crawford Company of Marlborough, Mass, whose ads pitch the shoes to men, women, and children in the pages of mainstream publications like Saturday Evening PostOutside and Ladies Home Journal in the 1910s. Like all our fave heritage footwear examples, Trot Mocs were handsewn, goodyear welted, and made from “tough and long wearing” tanned leather.

Since visuals of Trot Mocs are limited to a few scarce catalogs and scratchy, microfilmed magazine reprints, here is a verbal description of Trot Mocs: “The toe is plain, without cap or stiffening, and since the shoe is made on Blucher lines, a perfect adjustment can be made by lacing. The soles and heels are fitted with steel grippers which are rivetted through so they cannot hurt the foot. The shoe is unlined.”

In the absence of Nike and New Balance, Ashby Crawford marketed Trot Mocs as everyday wear, perfect for sport, play, and vacation (in ads, the shoe is billed as the “national play shoe” and the “back to nature shoe”).

But here’s what I love most about Trot Mocs: each pair came with a cast metal stick pin:



Archival Deadstock

October 7th, 2011

It’s great to see US brands like Red Wing, Wolverine and Thorogood reissuing work boots and shoes from their archives. While the original versions were designed for hard wear, modern offerings are likened to dress shoes and sold at a premium. If you’re longing for the real deal, take a look at these ebay auctions for deadstock shoes and boots from the 1930s and 1940s.

1940s John Pilling Shoes

If you don’t see a style you like, here is a mail order portal for shopping from the past:

Archival Field Trip: NYC/Brooklyn (Pt 1)

October 30th, 2010
Bobby Short portrait at the Cafe Carlyle. Soon after we landed we headed over to the Carlyle for a dinner show featuring OFAM favorite, John Pizzarelli and his wife Jessica Molaskey. Jonathan Schwartz was in the audience. 

Tom, Sara and I breakfasted in Brooklyn with Matthew from the William Brown Project.

Pratt campus. We wanted to see to whence Tom has disappeared.
Visit with Emil and Sandy, the kind and creative gents behind Hickoree’s/The Hill-side.
Some Hill-side wears with Brooklyn view

Exemplary packing station

Sara and Tom inspecting a Stanley & Sons conveyor belt tote
Brooklyn transport

Brook Farm General Store. Our Chaz would enjoy being a shop dog.

In constant transit. Footwear report to follow.

I emailed with this nice gent about places to stay in Brooklyn. We ran into him–by chance–at the restaurant he manages, Marlow & Sons. In addition to serving food, they sell woven towels and Armor-Lux apparel.

The Brooklyn Kitchen. Tom and Sara browsed the pickling supplies. I obsessed over the MKS Design paring knife on the left.


We stopped by Epaulet to check out their new Thorogood farm boot and Vanson for Epaulet waxed cotton motorcycle jacket. Lots of foot traffic in the shop.

A few doors down from Epaulet, we made a quick visit to Smith + Butler. Tom checked the fit on a Pointer chore coat. Just out of the frame, a reality TV couple browsed the inventory of nautical scarves, Barbour jackets and American workwear.

An all-important, end of day pause for cured meats at Los Paisanos meat market.

NYC/Brooklyn field trip, part two, coming next week.

Archival Review: Thorogood Boots

August 11th, 2010

We’ve been working with Weinbrenner, the parent company of Thorogood, to digitize some of their company archives. There’s some tremendous material in there. We’d love to have the power to just point at a few boot examples and have them re-issued (we’re working on it). Click to enlarge these great scans.

Of course, the Japanese are already on it.

Apparently the Roofer boot (above, still available) is very popular over there, and here’s a vintage boot in a recent issue of GO OUT STYLE.

Until we can have pristine reproductions of historical Thorogood boots, we’ll have to make do with their present-day offerings (which include some work boots and shoes which can be sized for women). Unfortunately, most of Thorogood’s line is… very technical, using more ballistic nylon and SWAT aesthetics than full grain leather and low-profile soles. Weinbrenner manufactured shoes and boots for CC Filson so we’re confident in their capacity to execute more archival styles. I’m pleased to report that their 6″ Moc Toe is completely worthy of its heritage. My pair have excelled in every way.

They’re made in Weinbrenner’s factory in Merrill, Wisconsin, from American-tanned leather. The worksmanship is tidy, although the star rivets holding the speed lacing studs on have sharp ends (but that’s only noticeable when you pull the double tongue apart).

They came with decent stock insoles, although I swapped them out for my favorite Filson cork insoles. They broke in within a month and are now very comfortable. I like the Vibram wedge soles better than other wedge soles, they seem to have better traction on wet surfaces. I’m not wild about the blingy MADE IN USA tag on the outside of the boot, but that’s easy to solve with 30 seconds and a knife.

Available in an endless variety of widths and sizes, down to 6 and up to 14. All this is to say – they’re basically Red Wing killers, and for $130, they’re pretty much half the price. Get some for this fall and winter.