9 Best Boots Made In The USA

You might have noticed over the last few decades that nothing seems to be made in America anymore, with much of our country’s manufacturing fleeing overseas to take advantage of lower production costs and looser regulations.

This is a trend that has been seen in the footwear industry as much or perhaps even more than in any other industry, as a whopping 98% of shoes in America are manufactured abroad. 

Sometimes, though, you want a bit of good old-fashioned American craftsmanship, with the added bonus that you’ll be supporting American jobs and American families in the process.

Happily, there are still a few companies making boots right here in the United States, and the quality does not disappoint. 

In this article, we’re going to run through nine of the best boots currently made in the USA over several different categories.

So strap yourself in, it’s going to be a long one! First of all, though, we’ll explain the methodology behind our decision-making process. 

How Did We Make Our Picks?

Over the past decade, I have spent thousands upon thousands of hours wearing boots for my job. In fact, I go through pairs of boots at a rate that other people probably couldn’t even begin to imagine.

Part of being a regular wearer of boots also means that you’re familiar with researching all the available brands, those based here and those based elsewhere, to find a sturdy pair of boots that will withstand the hours of rigorous wear and tear that I put them through. 

There are plenty of great foreign brands out there, that’s for sure, and there are boots made in England, China, Indonesia, and elsewhere abroad that I would highly recommend.

Nevertheless, I often come across people wondering where all the American-made boots have gone.

We have a great history of boot-making in this country, and it’d be a shame to let that heritage fade away without shining a light on some excellent boots made right here in the USA, today. 

So, this guide is based on years of experience wearing boots. Some of them I have worn personally, whilst for those I have not I have drawn upon my experience wearing boots in general, as well as hours of research, to make my picks. 

Right, without any further ado, let’s look at the finest craftsmanship American-made boots have to offer.


[amazon fields=”B001IOLGJG” value=”thumb”]


[amazon fields=”B001QJ69V8″ value=”thumb”]


[amazon fields=”B001IOLGJG” value=”thumb” image_size=”large”]

It was tight between this boot and the runner-up, but for my top pick I have opted for the Red Wing Iron Ranger. Red Wing Shoes was founded in Red Wing, Minnesota by Charles H. Beckman back in 1905.

The company soon rose to prominence, making hundreds of thousands of boots per year for the miners of Minnesota and across the midwest. The company then went on to manufacture shoes for American troops in both the World Wars.

The company has been making excellent footwear ever since, although they, like other companies, have not been immune to the trend of offshoring production.

They now produce most of their shoes in Asia, but the brand’s ‘Heritage’ line is still 100% made in the USA. Red Wing also has their own tannery based in the town of Red Wing, SB Foot Tanning Co.

The Iron Ranger boot itself is one of their most popular boots, and arguably one of the most iconic boots still made in the United States.

It’s about as close as you can get to the original Red Wing boots that the iron miners of Minnesota’s Mesabi range wore over a century ago, and with that in mind you can be sure you’re getting a sturdy and durable boot.

That’s not to say it isn’t stylish, though. Like all Red Wing boots, the Iron Ranger exudes old-fashioned American class- there’s a reason why celebrities like Ryan Gosling have been spotted wearing them. 

What We Like

  • The boot features a midsole made from cork and leather. This means that the boot is extremely durable, but also gets more comfortable over time as you break the boot in. 
  • As practical work boots go, the Iron Ranger is stylish and looks great.
  • The boot is an excellent first foray into Goodyear welts. The boot has a 270-degree one that can be recrafted and stands up well against water. 

What We Don’t Like

  • The boots can be a little uncomfortable to wear for extended periods during the initial break-in period. 

What Other People Are Saying

There’s no doubt that people absolutely love the Red Wing Iron Ranger. A brief glance at the Amazon review section for the product shows that the boot has received near-universal rave reviews.

83% of reviewers gave the boot the maximum rating of five stars out of five, whilst a further 7% gave a rating of four stars out of five. That’s nine in ten customers happy with their purchase.

Frequently mentioned phrases in the reviews include ‘highly recommend’, ‘love these boots’, and ‘high quality’. 

That being said, even the people who love Iron Ranger boots acknowledge that the break-in period is pretty brutal.

A top tip gleaned from one of the reviewers is to wear extra pairs of socks in the early weeks of wearing the boots to avoid the worst of the punishment they’ll face.

After that, though, the leather will begin to mold to your foot shape, and you’ll possibly never own a more comfortable pair of boots. 

Overall Verdict

A true American-made classic, the Red Wing Iron Ranger deservedly takes the top spot on our list. The boot is the perfect blend of durability and high-quality manufacturing with style and comfort.

There aren’t many boots around that will last you a lifetime, but these boots very possibly will. 


The Vanguard boot from the Thursday Boot Co. can feel aggrieved at not taking the top spot, but it was extremely tight. Instead, we opted to award the Vanguard a joint runner-up/ best value boot award. 

The Vanguard doesn’t quite have the pedigree of the Iron Ranger, as the Thursday Boot Company has only been around a mere eight years, with the company founded in 2014.

Like Red Wing, though, the Thursday Boot Company has not been immune to the trend to offshore production. Most of their boots are made in León Guanajuato, Mexico. The Vanguard, though, is entirely made in the US.

By that, we mean that the company hasn’t just shipped in pre-made pieces and assembled the boot in this country- everything from the laces to the eyelets was made in this country. 

The boot has taken our prize for best value for good reason. At the time of writing, the Vanguard costs just $265, which is just about a hundred dollars cheaper than the Red Wing Iron Ranger. Despite that fact, the boot is just about as durable.

There’s a Poron, shock-absorbant sole, a Horween Chromexcel upper, triple stitching around the most important parts of the boot like the toe box, and more, which makes it a tough old boot.

The whole boot is made from full grain leather and there is also a resoleable Goodyear welt.

To top it all off, the shoe is great as it can serve perfectly well as a ‘dress-up’ shoe with its slim silhouette and slightly pointed toe. All in all, the Vanguard is an American-made work of art.  

What We Like

  • Excellent value. The boot is similar in many respects to the Iron Ranger but is considerably less expensive. 
  • Versatile- Well suited to more formal wear as well as casual and workwear. 
  • Made in the USA from start to finish with leather from Chicago.

What We Don’t Like

  • Can take a while to lace up due to a lack of speed hooks.

What Other People Are Saying

Many of the people buying the Vanguard have said they’re doing so as an update on the Thursday Company’s extremely popular Captain boots, in large part because they wanted to buy American-made boots.

The fact that many people are coming back for more Thursday Company boots is a good sign, and reviewers on the company website have given the boot 4.8 stars out of five. 

Overall Verdict

Super comfortable, great quality, stylish, and made right here in the USA. What’s not to like?

The boots don’t quite have the same pedigree as other brands manufacturing boots here in the US, but with a great price point, the Thursday Company’s Vanguard boots are surely worth a try.


[amazon fields=”B001QJ69V8″ value=”thumb” image_size=”large”]

Thorogood, established in 1918, is a brand within the Weinbrenner Shoe Company. Weinbrenner is currently headquartered in Merrill, Wisconsin. Thorogood is committed to American workers.

Not only are 65% of their boots made in the United States, they’re also a pro-union company owned by the workers. 

If you visit any reasonably large construction site in America, I can practically guarantee you that at least one of the workers will be wearing the Thorogood Moc Toe.

Plenty of workers might opt for fancy foreign brand boots, but honestly, in terms of longevity, you’d do well to find a better pair of work boots than the Thorogood Moc Toe. 

As a work boot, the Moc Toe doesn’t offer as much in the way of style as our previous two boots. Nonetheless, it is perfectly suited to hard outdoor labor. The solid wedge sole offers plenty of grip, and you’ll also be protected from electric shocks.

The boots also boast a 360-degree storm welt, meaning that your feet will stay dry no matter the weather. In general, too, the Moc Toe is supremely well constructed and durable, with a triple stitched upper. 

What We Like

  • Due to the 360-degree Goodyear Storm welt, the boots are essentially 100% waterproof.
  • Comes with a steel toe option.
  • Made by a unionized company.
  • The solid wedge sole made from hardened polyurethane is durable and relatively shock absorbent. 

What We Don’t Like

  • The shoes run a bit narrow, so you may need to opt for a half size up. 
  • American Flag branding visible on the boots isn’t to everyone’s taste.

What Other People Are Saying

Like us, many reviewers remarked that the toe box in particular was a little narrow. With that in mind, you might want to opt for a half size up if you have wide feet.

Other than slight problems with the fit, customers, on the whole, seem very impressed with the durability and functionality of the boot as well as its comfort. 

Overall Verdict

Ok, so the Thorogood Moc Toe isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing boot around, but it isn't trying to be.

In terms of a practical, sturdy work boot made in this country, you can’t go wrong with the Thorogood Moc Toe, especially for the price. They’re an excellent value pair of work boots. 


We’d argue that every man should own a pair of chukka boots. They’re wonderfully versatile, as they can be dressed up, dressed down, and worn with a wide variety of different outfits.

For our American-made chukka pick, we’ve opted for the Campus Chukka made by Oak Street Bootmakers.

They are, arguably, the most distinctly American-made boots on our list, with absolutely everything used in the boots made in their Chicago factory.

The Campus Chukka is made with local Chicago Horween leather, either Chromexcel or Orion Suede. Because the material the boots are made from is full of oils and waxes, the boots are exceptionally waterproof. 

What We Like

  • The use of local Chicago Horween leather makes the boots not just a product of the USA, but a product of Chicago. 
  • Aesthetically pleasing and unique design.
  • The boot features a Dainite rubber studded sole, giving the boot great grip in wet conditions. 

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited options in terms of both color and sizing. 

What Other People Are Saying

Oak Street Bootmakers don’t have the biggest online presence, and thus it is no surprise that there aren’t an awful lot of reviews on the internet for the Campus Chukka.

From those reviews I could find, it seems most people are pleased with the quality of the boot’s construction and materials. Nevertheless, I did come across a few qualms about the boot’s price, which is well over $300.

But hey, that’s to be expected for a locally manufactured boot with this country’s relatively high production and labor costs. 

Overall Verdict

There really aren’t a lot of chukka’s made in the USA, but if that is what you’re after, there’s no doubt in our minds that Oak Street Bootmakers' offering is the best.

Made from Chicago Horween leather,  with a sturdy Dainite sole and 360-degree water-resistant Goodyear welt, you can’t really go wrong. 

Some people might balk at the price, but with so few American-made chukka’s on the market, it’s understandable that you have to pay a premium.


[amazon fields=”B0002L4N0A” value=”thumb” image_size=”large”]

Danner boots are well known to hikers across America, and indeed are extremely popular with them. The Mountain Light boot, which has been on sale since way back in 1979, has done much of the work with regards to popularizing Danner boots.

Perhaps unsurprisingly for a hiking boot, the Mountain Light is manufactured in Oregon- Portland, to be specific. 

Depending on the model you opt for, the boot is made from either Dri-lex or Gore-tex. As any seasoned hiker will tell you, there are three key considerations when buying a hiking boot; comfort, support, and water resistance.

The Danner Mountain Light smashes it out of the park on all three counts. The boot has a fiberglass shank that offers the arch of your foot plenty of support whilst remaining lightweight and breathable, and the boot also boasts fantastic water resistance.

There’s a reason why the boot is so popular with hikers and backpackers, after all. 

So, next time you hit the trails, why not try the Danner Mountain Light? There can’t be much more American than traversing the American wilderness whilst wearing a pair of American-made boots. 

What We Like

  • Lightweight fiberglass shank that offers support over tricky terrain.
  • Similarly, the sole of the boot copes extremely well across all terrains in all weathers. 
  • Simple construction makes running repairs easy when out in the wilderness.

What We Don’t Like

  • Lack of sizing options.

What Other People Are Saying

Given the boot has been around since the late 70s and has a reputation for dependability and durability, it’ll come as no surprise that plenty of people on the internet claim to still be wearing boots they purchased thirty or even forty years ago. Yes, they really are that durable. 

The boots are definitely an investment, but the boots are as popular with hikers today as they have ever been, by all accounts. 

Overall Verdict

You might get a touch of sticker shock when you see the price these boots retail at, but trust us, it’ll be worth it. There really isn’t anything that comes close when it comes to American-made hiking boots.

So, if you’re set on buying American on your next expedition, look no further than Danner Mountain Light boots. 


We really can’t rate these boots highly enough. Not only are they some of the best the USA has to offer, but they are also genuinely some of the best available in the world, too.

As the name suggests, Nicks handmade boots are entirely handmade and custom-made for each order. That means you’ll probably have to wait a little while for your boots to arrive- sometimes up to six months- but trust us, the wait is more than worth it. 

People buy Nicks handmade boots for seriously heavy-duty jobs- we’re talking firefighting and logging, for example- and they are more than up to the job.

The overall build quality is second to none, and the boots are made from seriously thick leather. We’re being dead serious when we say you’ll never need to throw these boots away. 

What’s great is that as the boots are custom-made to order, you can customize the leather, the eyelets, the laces, and more. You’ll never own a pair of boots that are more distinctly your own in your entire life.

Of all Nicks handmade boots, we’d say that the Americana is the perfect choice. It’s borderline indestructible, as are all of Nicks boots, but they also look stylish and work great as casual wear, too. 

What We Like

  • Completely made to order, so you’ll never own a boot that fits you more perfectly. 
  • For our money, some of the best custom-made boots in the world.
  • Made with ridiculously thick 6.5 oz leather.

What We Don’t Like

What Other People Are Saying

People who buy Nicks Handmade Boots are the sort of people who will go to any length to get the best pair of boots possible. In many cases, they quite literally trust the boots with their life.

The quality of the boots is so good that nobody really seems to mind the three to six-month wait, or the boots’ high price point. 

Overall Verdict

If money is no object to you, you’re prepared to wait,  and you’re looking for the best quality American-made boots possible, Nicks is the only way to go. The quality is unparalleled.


[amazon fields=”B002P66MQS” value=”thumb” image_size=”large”]

Obviously, the most important function of a winter boot is to keep your feet warm and dry in snow and ice.

The Danner Trophy isn’t the easiest boot to get your hands on, but if you can find a pair in your size, you’ll soon realize just how warm these boots actually are.

The boots are made from waterproof treated leather, so you won’t have to worry about your feet getting wet, and they also come with a 10” shaft to stop all but the deepest snow creeping into the boots through the ankle.

Combine that with 600g worth of insulation and a stitch-down construction and you’re on to a real winner as winter boots go. 

What We Like

  • As these boots are manufactured by Danner, you can rely on them to be of fantastic quality. 
  • Insulation, tall shaft, and waterproofing make dealing with snowy conditions a breeze.
  • Self-cleaning sole keeps mud as well as snow and ice off the bottom of your boots- no more dragging it into the house with you.

What We Don’t Like

  • As with many less popular boots, there are few sizing options. 

What Other People Are Saying

As you’d expect, there aren’t that many people posting reviews of the Danner Trophy. However, those that I could find were positive on the whole, and the boots seem especially popular with hunters.

One reviewer has had his pair for eight years and regularly hunts in extremely rugged terrain in Montana in temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

He testified that during that time his feet had been kept dry, warm, and mostly comfortable. If that isn’t a ringing endorsement of the capabilities of these boots, I don’t know what is. 

Overall Verdict

If you regularly find yourself outside in the snow, or perhaps even just torrential rain, you’ll want a boot like the Danner Trophy. If it’s important to you to buy American, then the Danner Trophy is that boot.


Previously known as MYG Handmade, Kreosote boots are the most exclusive American-made boots out there. I know we’ve looked at Nicks Handmade boots, but Kreosote is on another level entirely.

In a workshop in Missouri, just one man- JD Gabbard- single-handedly designs and makes from scratch every single Kreosote boot using traditional Cordwainer methods.

Each pair takes 50 hours or more to complete, and only 35 are made each year, hence the brand’s exclusivity. 

Kreosote boots aren’t just boots- they’re a piece of American heritage. They’re made using traditional techniques, using traditional machinery and materials, by an extraordinarily skilled craftsman.

The end result looks and feels absolutely stunning. Of course, this craftsmanship comes at a premium, anywhere between $1400 and $1600. 

What We Like

  • The hours of skilled craftsmanship that goes into making each boot.
  • Completely custom-made to your specifications, so the boots will look and feel like you want them to.
  • The boots are a statement that could start conversations lasting for hours.

What We Don’t Like

  • The price tag. Yes, we know the boots are worth it, but not many people in this country can afford to spend $1500 on a pair of boots. 

What Other People Are Saying

The boots are so exclusive that I could find next to nothing written about them across the Internet. I did, however, find a video by YouTuber Carl Murawski, who reviewed the boots as part of a collaboration with Kreosote Boots.

He seemed extremely impressed with the boots, as did his audience, who snapped up the handful of pairs available in extremely short order. That seems to us like a pretty strong endorsement. 

Overall Verdict

If you’re a boot nerd or just someone who can afford to spend $1500 on a pair of boots, these could be the perfect American-made boots for you.

You can’t get much more authentic than a single man manufacturing them in his workshop in Missouri. That said, these boots are, sadly, out of the price range for most boot shoppers. 


[amazon fields=”B01DDM1TRY” value=”thumb” image_size=”large”]

Ok, so we’ve unashamedly left the best till last. What type of boot is more quintessentially American than a cowboy boot? Unfortunately, though, American-made cowboy boots are nowhere near as easy to find as they should be.

These days, most traditionally styled cowboy boots are made abroad. Sure, you can get yourself a pair of custom-made or handmade cowboy boots fairly easily, but these are often jaw-droppingly expensive.

We’re talking nigh on $1000 for a pair, and that just isn’t a price we think is worth paying unless you’re an actual, full-time, cowboy. 

Thankfully, there is an option for made in the USA cowboy boots that won’t break the bank. They’re the Bison Leather Boots from Abilene, a company set up in 1980 that proudly boasts that their boots are made exclusively in the US.

Abilene’s slogan is ‘Affordable Quality’, which means great quality boots at sensible prices. We think that ethos is commendable in light of the fact that Abilene has little competition for American-made cowboy boots and could probably charge more.

Thankfully, Abilene more than lives up to its slogan with this classic cowboy boot, which is plenty tough enough and looks great, too. 

What We Like

  • The boots are, like cowboys themselves, tough and rugged. 
  • Stylish Cuban heel which looks amazing and is great for riding.
  • Classic cowboy boot design makes the boot versatile- these boots can be worn for practical purposes or as a fashion statement. 

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited sizing options and almost no color options. 

What Other People Are Saying

Most reviewers on Amazon seem more than pleased with their purchase. 75% of reviews have a five-star rating, whilst a further 14% of reviewers give it a rating of four stars. This equates to almost nine out of every ten customers happy with their purchase.

Most reviewers remark on how gorgeous the boot looks, although there have been a few concerns expressed about sizing. The suggestion is that the boots run a little narrow, so you may need to order a half size up. 

Overall Verdict

If you’re looking for American-made Cowboy boots that won’t cost you a fortune, then look no further than Abilene’s Bison Leather boots. Just bear in mind that the boots run a little narrow when ordering!

Boot Brands You’ll Be Surprised To Learn Aren’t Made In The USA

It’s not exactly a secret that most American footwear brands don't make their boots in the USA anymore. It’s happened to some degree in nearly every industry. There are some brands, however, that you may be genuinely surprised to learn are not made in the US.

These include brands like Ariat and Carhartt. Some other popular brands like Rocky, Fry, and Wolverine do make some shoes in the USA, but the vast majority of their boots are made abroad. 

It should be said, however, that the desire to buy American isn’t, at least in our case, the result of some belief in the innate superiority of American craftsmanship over foreign manufacturing. Indeed, most of my boots, including some of my best, are manufactured abroad.

However, there’s something to be said about shopping within your own country. You’re supporting American jobs, which is great, but you’ll also be doing your little bit to reduce your carbon footprint by decreasing the travel distance of the product you’re buying.

In an ever more globalized world, it’s definitely worth trying to buy as local as possible as often as you can.

9 Best Boots Made In The USA

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Brands Are Best at Making Their Boots In The USA?

Of the boot brands featured here, Kreosote takes the prize by virtue of being the work of one man. Abilene, Nicks Handmade shoes, and Oak Street Bootmakers are also extremely good for manufacturing their products here.

Are Timberland Boots Made In the USA?

Although arguably the biggest American boot brand, the vast, vast majority of their boots are not made in the United States. These days, only a select handful of limited-release boot ranges are made in this country. 

Why Are So Few Boots American Made?

In an ever more globalized world economy, with improving transport links, American boot manufacturers quickly realized they could save money by taking advantage of lower production costs in other countries. They then simply import the boots to the United States.

Final Thoughts

If this article has proved anything, we hope it’s that American manufacturing is far from extinct. There are still plenty of great companies making outstanding products right here in the United States.

If only more of us bought American more often, perhaps we could see more American businesses truly thrive. 

All nine pairs of boots here are excellent products made in the USA. We just hope that between our nine different categories you found the right pair of American-made boots for you. 

Joseph Pais