Why I Love Red Wing Moc Toe 8890 Boots in Charcoal Rough and Tough Leather

What is the Red Wing Moc Toe 8890?

The Red Wing Moc Toe 8890 is essentially a 6-inch boot renowned for its unique moccasin-inspired toe style. This design pays homage to the legendary 875 Moc Toe, which was a hit among farmers and hunters during the 1950s. What sets the 8890 apart is its charcoal rough and tough leather upper, showcasing a deep gray hue that beautifully ages over time to form an enriched patina. This quality leather is procured from the S.B. Foot Tanning Company, a subsidiary of Red Wing, with an established reputation in leather production since 1872.

The boot incorporates a white traction tred outsole made from crepe rubber, offering excellent cushioning and grip across diverse terrains. It’s bound to the upper using the durable Goodyear welt technique, which means the boot can be resoled when required. In terms of hardware, the boot includes nickel eyelets and sturdy laces that complement the color of the leather.

To enhance comfort and support, the boot is equipped with a leather insole and a leather heel counter. A notable characteristic is its absence of a shank, which makes the boot notably flexible and less heavy compared to other boot varieties.

These boots are built to last for years and they look better with age. Red Wing developed several different styles of Charcoal Rough and Tough (CRT) leather boots. In addition to Moc Toe 8890, there are Iron Ranger 8086 and Blacksmith 3341.

What are the features of the Red Wing Moc Toe 8890?

  • Characteristics of Charcoal Rough and Tough leather

The charcoal rough and tough leather is a nice dark grey color that goes well with jeans or khakis. The leather is thick and durable, but also soft and flexible. CRT leather is a pull up leather with natural vintage appearance that looks slightly worn. When the leather is stretched or pulled, the oil on the surface cause the color migration and lighter areas to appear.

  • The patina of Charcoal Rough and Tough leather

The boots were solid matte charcoal when you first wore them. Rough & Tough leather developed a rich patina which added character and depth. The patina, if unconditioned, should turn into a light grey and brown over time.

  • Black VS Charcoal

Full Black is a bit intense and formal. If you don’t want full black, charcoal is an option. The color is really versatile, at least for casual wear. Rough & Tough leather looks a little dry and not as waxy as CXL leather.

  • Size & Fit

The boots are true to size, but they run a bit wide, so I recommend getting a half size down if you have narrow feet.

What are the drawbacks of the Red Wing Moc Toe 8890?

The Red Wing Moc Toe 8890 is not without its flaws, and there are some drawbacks that you should be aware of before buying them.

Some of the drawbacks are:

The boot is hard to break in, and requires some patience and perseverance. The leather is stiff and tight at first, and might cause some blisters or discomfort. The outsole is also slippery on smooth surfaces until it wears down a bit.

The boot is informal and bulky, and might not suit everyone’s taste or occasion. The boot is not suitable for formal or business settings, and might look too casual or rugged for some people. The boot is also quite heavy and chunky, and might feel cumbersome or clunky on your feet.

How to care Red Wing Moc Toe 8890

You can darken it up with a little natural leather conditioner. All natural leather conditioner can effectively fix stretches and creases. Apply a thin layer with a clean cloth or your fingers, and let it dry for at least an hour. Keep them stashed in a spot that’s cool and dry, steering clear of direct sunlight or places that radiate heat. Utilize shoe trees or even newspaper to maintain their form and soak up any residual moisture. Be sure not to store them in plastic bags or boxes since these can potentially trap in dampness or even give rise to mold.

I recommend these boots to anyone who is looking for a versatile, reliable, and stylish pair of boots that can handle any weather or terrain. For further reading, you might be interested in our other related posts:

[Red Wing 9875 Irish Setter Review]

[Red Wing Blacksmith 3344 Review]


Stan is an adventure enthusiast with a love for the outdoors and American heritage brands like Red Wing and Filson. With a background in environmental science, Stan combines his outdoor experiences with a commitment to sustainability. His reviews go beyond functionality, exploring the brand ethos and craftsmanship. Stan inspires readers to choose gear that's durable, environmentally responsible, and true to American craftsmanship, making his advice indispensable for outdoor aficionados.

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