Viberg should not make the same mistake as many brands before. As they feel the hype they get dollar signs in their eyes. All becomes more and more too much business and the heritage and authenticity gets lost. Being a European who has lived a couple years in Canada I have seen this a couple times. Canadian brands weren't the best in properly being confident about their values and selling their strength in the past. But I guess the west coast is more laid back (I lived in Toronto...) and I am sure (hope) that Viberg won't go that way.
Having said all that I am currently waiting for a pair from their web shop I ordered a couple weeks ago. I'll be in the US next week and will pick them up there. Keeping the price in mind I was quite surprised that I had to add 75/150$ for shipping! Something I have never come across before when I ordered something above 150$.
Also, even if we now talking about shoes that are more high fashion than really workwear, their website used to be "workboot". I don't know any "worker" who could afford a shoe around 500$!! Maybe that is different in North America...
From what I understand from their interview with us (http://www.styleforum.net/t/352981/we-talk-to-third-generation-bootmaker-brett-viberg-about-new-directions/0_50) and from conversations, they are at the same time both 1) Positioning themselves a bit more as a fashion brand, and 2) Imposing their brand identity more, with respect to what types of projects they were willing to undertake.
The first is self-explanatory, but the the second requires a bit more explanation, especially when paired with the first. In the past, they did a lot of MTO orders for stores and individuals without any limits, which meant that product was made that did not reflect their values. From what I understand, they are going to be more discerning about this in the future.
As for workers buying $500 boots, I can tell you, first hand, that it happens, and for very practical reasons. I don't know about other types of "workers", but wildland firefighters (I have the lowest set of possible credentials) often buy a pair of custom boots (White's is the most common) that are specific for firefighting. They spent all day on their feet, often in hot, smoldering vegetation that just recently burned out, and the work is backbreaking. You are working in very hot temperatures, with fire-resistant clothing on (it's hot), and often wearing a heavy pack (45 lbs is typical. Smokejumpers carry up to 110 lbs of additional weight. You want boots that properly support your weight, with soles that won't warp because of the extreme heat.
So... the Vibergs I am getting, with have a comfortable Vibram 2060 sole, would not do it. But their traditional models certainly will. Of course, that customer is much less lucrative and more rare than the fashion customer. For example, I only need one pair of firefighting boots, which will last years, but I get footwear all the time, for the style. Companies have to walk the razors edge to appeal to the fashion customer without turning off their core customer. There are good and bad examples of both. I think that Carhartt, at least for the moment, is doing a good job. On the other hand, Levi's has floundered and made bad move after bad move, for years.