Style: Plain Toe Service Boot
Leather: Horween Indigo Dyed Chromexcel
Outsole: 18 IR Cork w/Vibram 468 Heel
Insole: Comfort Cushion
Welt: 360 Degree Goodyear Storm Welt
Hardware: Nickel, Speedhooks
Made in the USA
About the Beloit Model:
Here it is, the other pair I got from the Thorogood 1892 Collection: the Indigo Dyed CXL Beloit 814-9011s. After talking with Clint Greendeer over at Context Clothing (Interview with Clint on the Natural Nantucket Janesville Review) and about his favorite 1892 Boots, I had to get another pair! I was torn between the Beloits and the Tomahawk Lodan Green 814-7011s. What made me ultimately go with the Beloits was the indigo dyed Chromexcel Leather and the fact that the 6" service style boots just look better on me than taller models.
The Beloit Boots are inspired by the hardworking farmers at the turn of the 20th century, these handcrafted Beloit boots help today’s growers of art, technology, and manufacturing get the job done in style. Just like their Janesville Moc-Toe cousin, the boots are named after a small town in Wisconsin. According to Thorogood, the town of Beloit is known as "the Gateway to Wisconsin" and is the birthplace of the speedometer. The bit of history that goes along with the 1892 Collection is the cherry on top for me. I love heritage boots and the story behind them!
Once you get the boots out of the box, admire the craftsmanship and beautiful leather, you will be presented with two styles of laces: leather and waxed cotton. Personally, leather laces make boots much tighter on my feet and break very easily, so I tossed those aside. The regular laces are just par-for-the-course for me; useable, but nothing special. Luckily, I have a bunch of Pisgah Range LTD Laces and found the Maroon pair to be the perfect contrasting mate for the boots.
After putting on the laces, I did a quick quality control once over. The stitching and welting are well done (really like the storm welt) for the most part. There are a few uneven stitch lines on the heel of the right boot but nothing that would affect them negatively in terms of performance. It is a meniscal cosmetic flaw that make my pair unique to me and remind me that these boots are truly handmade.
Once getting them on my feet, they were quite comfortable. The Beloits use the same No. 60 last as my Janesville and the only difference between the two is that the Beloits were a bit tighter towards the front of of my feet at the beginning. However, after a couple of wears, the Chromexcel leather formed to my feet and I am able to spend all day in them. Hardly a tough break-in!
I really like the cork sole and Vibram heel combination. Cork soles are more comfortable than most rubber ones for me, but of course the downside is that they provide less traction. The rubber heel on the Beloits help balance that out and provide pretty good shock absorption as well. After doing a little investigating, I found that the exact heel model is the Vibram 468 Comfort Cushion which main compound is SBR. I have no idea what that is but I like it!
Inside the boot, you will find a pair of removable Thorogood insoles that the company provides in most, if not all, their models. The one issue I can see with the sole is more cosmetic as the Vibram heel is lighter in color than the black sole. Personally, I don't mind it but I understand why it would bother others.
I love the way Chromexcel feels and often find myself running my hand over the boots when I am sitting down (Yes, I am weird). The normal con, or pro depending on who you ask, with Chromexcel is that it scratches and scuffs easily. In my opinion, it is cool to see the different shades of blue that appear after a few wears but if you are a person that likes a clean looking boot, you might be polishing these often. Me? I work for that patina!
Loose grain seems to be a popular topic in the boot community, particularly when it comes to Chromexcel. Nick, from the Horween Tannery, explains that more here. While my pair of Beloits may not be immune to loose grain, it is not prevalent and again, I like when my boots age and look beat up. What's the point of buying them if you don't wear the heck out of them?!
Currently, the Beloits, and the rest of the 1892 Collection by Thorogood, are on sale at stores such as Context Clothing and Milworks. I read a rumor that the 1892 Line is going on hiatus in May because of Thorogood's new business partnership but I cannot confirm this statement first hand. Regardless, the sale won't last forever and these boots are already hard to find as it is!