The reason why wedge boots are usually offered in the "moc toe" style is because the first boot that made that sole popular had one, and that's all everyone's been making ever since.

Sure, it's a classic look...but is the moc toe really any better?

If you love it, then it's what you like and that's fine...but if you aren't married to the moccasin toe shape, wedge boot without one is arguably better.

So let's talk about why the moc toe is so closely associated with the wedge sole.

The First Wedge Sole Boots Had Moccasin Toes

It's impossible to talk about wedge sole boots without acknowledging the elephants in the room when it comes to wedge boots.

Thorogood and Red Wing. Those two brands are heavily associated with this boot style, they're the ones who made them popular and a lot of boot companies just copy their designs...

...except for the ones who make them better. More on that in a second.

The Red Wing 870 (the original moc toe wedge boot) came out in the 1950s, and Thorogood released it's moc toe wedge boot in the early 60's, originally as an outdoor boot for the Boy Scouts.

Both caught on as all-purpose and/or work boots, which cemented that boot design as a style.

But that still begs the question of why a moccasin toe?

The best guess was that it was a nod to the Native American moccasin, due to the heavy influence of Native American culture (Red Wing is headquartered in Minnesota, Thorogood/Weinbrenner in Wisconsin) in the Upper Midwest.

So, should wedge boots have a moc toe? Well…

Benefits Of A Round Toe For Wedge Boots

Functionally, a moccasin toe doesn't do much.

It doesn't create extra room for steel toe boots, because only having extra room in the toe box to begin with does that.

It doesn't add any actual protection; only having a steel toe (or failing that, a celastic or leather toe cap) does that.

It doesn't give the toe box any additional structure. Look at any pair of moc toe boots after a year or two of wear, and the toe will have flattened. A lot of moc toe boots look like Italian loafers with a few years of wear.

A round toe is going to hold its structure better over the long run. It will be easier to clean and oil or grease. If you have to get your wedge boots with a steel toe, a round toe box will if anything allow for a bit more headroom, so to speak.

What's Most Important In Wedge Boots Or Any Work Boot

When all things are equal, the toe shape doesn't really matter.

What matters is that a pair of boots fit correctly, support your feet correctly, are comfortable enough to wear and satisfy what you want or need in a heritage boot or work boot.

Look, if you find a pair of typical moc toe boots that you love...that's great! You like them, and that's what matters. But if you demand the best in fit, form and function, you're going to find deficiencies.

Factory boots tend to only fit perfectly if you get very lucky. Getting a pair made-to-order, and fit to your feet is far more reliable if you're going to be on your feet all day.

It's also true that a lot of mass-market wedge boots are known for lacking arch support. The minimal heel drop is a double-edged sword; while the foot is flatter with a lower heel, there's usually less structure in the arch area.

If you need arch support, a lot of factory boots will require new inserts. Or you can get boots from work boot specialists, who build it into the footbed.

And you're at the mercy of what colors they have available, instead of being able to choose the exact color of boot that you'd like to wear. Not being able to get the exact color you want on a $50 pair of sneakers is one thing; on a $200+ pair of boots...that's something else.

Invest in quality, and you can get what you want and what you need.