There is a common misperception that “roughout” leather is less durable than full grain leather. Leather is composed of three parts: the skin surface (top grain), the middle (corium), and the bottom of the hide (flesh side). Many tanneries remove, or split off, the top grain of the leather side for use in the manufacturing of other goods. This leaves only a portion of the leather to be used toward a pair of boots, resulting in less durable upper leather. For our roughout boots, the full grain leather remains intact and the leather is simply inverted, placing the top grain surface on the inside of the shoe.
We use Mohave, Abilene, and Muleskinner leathers for our roughout leather boots. Since the top grain of the leather is not removed, the durability, quality, and water resistance are maintained throughout the tanning process. Some Heritage boots are made with water resistant roughout leathers- Mohave and Muleskinner—both of which provide enhanced water and stain resistance.
Roughout leather is more uniform in terms of color and the lack of blemishes. Since WWI, Red Wing boots have been worn by the United States military, where uniformity and durability are essential. Our Mohave leather is used for the military boots in three colors: Sand Mohave, Sage Mohave, and Olive Mohave.