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Nicks Moc Toe Review: The Toughest Moc?

William Barton
Expertise:

Boots, Leather, Heritage Fashion, Denim, Workwear

William founded BootSpy in 2020 with a simple mission: test and review popular men’s boots and give a real, honest opinion. Since then, we've welcomed over 5 million readers on our boot reviews and boot care guides. Reach out to him for your own personalized boot recommendation at william@bootspy.com. Or join 50,000+ subscribers on the BootSpy YouTube channel, or send him a message on the BootSpy Instagram. Read full bio.


Last Updated: Apr 3, 2024
7 min read

How does the Nicks Moc Toe stack up against other moc toe boots? I tested this Nicks and compared it against either other moc toe boots to see if it’s really worth the hefty price tag.

In this review, you’ll learn all about which options you should and shouldn’t pick on your Nicks Moc Toe, plus you’ll see what my experience was like with this well-respected brand.

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Nicks Moc Toe
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Bottom line: The Nicks Moc Toe is the toughest moc toe boot I’ve tried. The 1964 leather is relatively easy to break in and the support you get from the 2021 Vibram wedge sole is superb. While the boot is too beefy to be stylish, it’s my top recommendation for durability.

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Pros:
  • The most durable moc toe you can put on your feet
  • The 1964 leather (which is unique to Nicks) is relatively easy to break in
  • Lots of customization options
Cons:
  • It’s a heavy, bulky boot, so it’s much better suited to working conditions

I have a few Nicks boots—namely the Americana in Horween waxed flesh, and their tactical boot. But I wanted to try something more “bread and butter” for the brand. 

So I picked up the Nicks Moc Toe in their classic configuration with a recently developed Ash Grey 1964 leather. 

Nicks worked with Seidel tanning in Milwaukee to recreate an old leather they used to use back in the 60s and the result is a more supple and durable leather. Nicks has several different colors, but the Ash Grey is their latest. 

Author William Barton wearing Nicks Moc Toe Boots

I’ve been wanting to try out the 1964 leather, and this felt like a good enough excuse. 

Like all of Nicks boots, there are basically an unlimited number of customizations you can make on this boot. However, I prefer to go with Nicks’ “classic configurations.” When I went to visit their factory back in 2023, it was clear that they deeply think about how the materials go together. 

So for me, I think going with classic configurations that they set up will always be more well-thought-out than whatever I customize on my own. 

My Review of the Nicks Moc Toe Boot

First Impression

Nicks Moc Toe boot

This Nicks Moc Toe is a hunky beast. Like I said, I’m really comparing the Nicks against eight other moc toe boots

The Nicks is the bulkiest of them all. 

So from a style perspective, it’s not my favorite. That said, Nicks doesn’t make these boots for style. They make them for tough jobs, and in that respect, they’re the best. 

Nicks Moc Toe boot on author william barton

Nicks sets you up with a kiltie, leather laces, some stickers, and you even get the manufacturing tag from their Spokane workshop. I thought that was really cool.

The stitching is all spot-on, and it’s just so fun to open the box and see a beautiful pair of heavy-duty boots waiting for you. 

Nicks Boots Moc Toe Wedge

Nicks Moc Toe Wedge boots are an investment, for sure, but they’re the smart one every time. Not only are they incredibly durable and versatile, but the spacious construction, excellent support, ample padding, and handsome good looks make them a pair of boots you’ll be glad to wear both at work and around town.

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Leather Quality and Care

Nicks Moc Toe profile view

The 1964 leather is awesome. One of the things I spoke with Grant Pemberton, the former GM at Nicks, about was why they wanted to custom develop this leather. 

Unsurprisingly, big shoe companies have been pressing leather tanneries for cheaper and cheaper materials, and in response, tanners have had to cut corners and produce more brittle, thinner leather. 

When I was visiting the Nicks workshop, they had all these old boots from their archive, and Grant showed me a Nicks from the 60s. His excitement for the leather quality was clear. 

Nicks Moc Toe seidel leather scratch

Basically, given their excellent craftsmanship, Nicks wanted to also push the boundaries on material quality, so they asked Seidel to recreate some of the leather that they used to tan. 

And the Nicks 1964 was born. 

It’s really nice. It’s thick and feels very sturdy. But it’s not difficult to break in at all. 

I struggled with my Nicks Americana during the break in (with Horween waxed flesh leather). And I figured I’d struggle here. But that wasn’t the case at all. 

I picked up the newest Ash Grey color, and I like how it’s been aging. The scuffs and scratches don’t dig too deep into the leather, and it’s got a thick, full feeling throughout. 

Sole

Nicks Moc Toe vibram 2021 wedge sole

Nicks’ default wedge sole is the Vibram 2021.

Most people are familiar with the Vibram Christy wedge sole, and that’s what you’ll find on Red Wings, many White’s, and some variation of it on Thorogoods and Danners. 

So far, I prefer the Vibram 2021. It’s got more abrasion resistance because the rubber compound is a bit harder. I’ve seen a lot of Red Wings with a slanted heel that look pretty rough. 

The Vibram 2021 wedge sole will help with that. 

It’s also much thicker than the Christy sole, so even though it’s harder, overall, I think you get more shock absorption because you have more rubber underfoot. 

Nicks Moc Toe on stairs

You get tons of arch support in this boot from the wedge (plus there’s a leather shank in it as well). 

The insole is oak-tanned leather, with a thick 5mm veg-tanned midsole. 

There also appears to be a nylon slip-sole between the midsole and outsole. This could be for better adhesion, easier resoling, or it could just be to stop squeaking

In any case, every single part of this sole is well-built and at the top end of durable. 

Fit and Sizing

Nicks Moc Toe ash grey head on

I picked up a size 10D, which is the usual size I get with Red Wing, Thursday, Grant Stone, White’s, Truman, Wesco, etc. 

I have the most standard feet you can imagine. 

The 10D from Nicks is perfect for me.

I don’t have any hot spots or any sore parts of my foot after wearing these, even when I wore them the first time. 

If you get your Nicks and they feel a bit snug, you can remove the kiltie, which will give your instep a bit of room.

And if they’re a bit loose, you can just add a Spenco insert and that should help out a lot. But Nicks is spot on with their sizing guide.  

Nicks Boots Moc Toe Wedge

Nicks Moc Toe Wedge boots are an investment, for sure, but they’re the smart one every time. Not only are they incredibly durable and versatile, but the spacious construction, excellent support, ample padding, and handsome good looks make them a pair of boots you’ll be glad to wear both at work and around town.

Check Price

What do Other Reviewers Say?

I asked a friend of the BootSpy channel, Mike at @booteddev on Instagram what he thinks of his Nicks Moc Toe and here’s what he had to say.

View this post on Instagram

The Nick’s Moc Toe in the HNW last was by far the easiest Nick’s to break in. With the arch not being as aggressive as the 55 last and the combination of the wedge sole, these took me half the time to break-in than other Nick’s like the Urban Logger. Only downside is it’s very difficult to dress these up with the Seidel work leather.

Mike @booteddev

Nicks Moc Toe Alternatives

Grant Stone Brass

moc toe Grant Stone Brass boot black

The Grant Stone Brass is my favorite moc toe. Of course, I like boots more for their style, and I think the Nicks Moc Toe is clearly superior for working conditions. 

But if you’re looking for a stylish moc toe that’s still substantial in terms of construction and materials, the Grant Stone Brass is my choice. 

Grant Stone Brass Boot

The Grant Stone Brass boot is a total beast. The construction and stitching is meticulous and the build quality is the best I’ve experienced. While I personally prefer a slightly slimmer style, there’s no denying that the Grant Stone Brass Boot is one of the best value-offers in boots today.

Check Price Read Our Review

White’s Perry

Whites Perrycloseup view of leather

The White’s Perry is a few hundred dollars less expensive. It’s a Goodyear welted boot, rather than the Nicks stitchdown. It’s a solid boot, and a decent competitor to the Red Wing Classic Moc. 

In a lot of ways, I still think the Red Wing Classic Moc is a better choice than the White’s Perry. But I figured I had to mention it because I’m sure it’s on your mind. 

Red Wing Classic Moc

Red Wing Moc Toe slate closeup

The Red Wing Classic Moc is a great boot. SB Foot Tanning leathers are seriously underrated. It’s comfortable, it’s iconic, and it’s a durable boot. 

You will eventually need to get your Red Wing’s resoled because that Christy wedge sole wears out pretty quick. But if you’re not looking to spend $500+ on a pair of boots but can still afford high quality, then the Red Wing is a more “work oriented” boot compared to the Grant Stone, and it’s still one of my favorites. 

Red Wing Classic Moc

The Red Wing Classic Moc Toe boot has quite a large toe box, which can be off-putting for some, though it’s an ideal match for American Heritage workwear aesthetic. The Puritan Triple stitching, 360-degree Goodyear welt, and thick full grain leather footbed all make for a beast of a boot that will easily last years.

Check Price Read Our Review

My Thoughts Overall

What I Like

  • I tested nine different moc toe boots and the Nicks Moc Toe is easily the most durable. 

  • The 1964 leather Nicks custom developed with Seidel is rugged but supple, and it’s relatively easy to break in, especially given how thick it is. 

  • I got the standard configuration, but if you choose custom, you can have basically an unlimited number of variations. 

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s the most heavy, bulky moc toe I tried. This is probably great if you’re using them to work. I primarily wear boots for style, so they’re a bit bulky for me, but this is just up to personal taste. 

Who is the Nicks Moc Toe for?

The Nicks Moc Toe is a great boot if you want the most durable moc toe on planet Earth.

The Verdict

I knew Nicks built their boots like tanks. So I wasn’t really surprised to find out that my new Moc Toe boots from them were super durable and well-built. 

However, I was surprised with the 1964 leather. 

It’s soft and supple, and it was quite easy to break in, which was a bit of a shock given how thick it is. 

I really didn’t have any trouble with my Nicks Moc Toes from the first moment I put them on. 

It’s a comfortable boot, with a lot of arch support. I love the use of the Vibram 2021 sole over the Christy wedge—that’s going to help with the longevity of the boot.

When I compare my Nicks Moc Toe to my other eight moc toe boots, it’s easily the most durable. 

And when I say it’s bulky, it’s like this: I think Thorogood and Danner just make a big, bulky boot that can fit a lot of people. Nicks isn’t like that. The pattern is well-thought out and it’s not bulky for the sake of it. 

It’s a bulky boot because they use insanely thick leather, and the insole and midsole are a full CM of oak-tanned leather, which could probably stop a flaming arrow.

FAQs

What is Nicks celastic toe?

Celastic is a thin toe stiffener that a lot of brands use. It helps the toe of the boot keep its shape over time and it doesn’t add bulk or weight. Most boots have some sort of toe stiffener—many using celastic. It’s not a safety toe. 

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