By Jayden Mark
What makes a stellar work boot? Is it the style? The durability? Maybe the versatility is most critical to you.
However you choose to define a great work boot, there’s no denying that Wolverine is a powerhouse brand in this highly competitive industry. Let’s take some time right now to do an in-depth analysis of Wolverine work boots as we tackle the question of whether they’re any good.
The Origin of Wolverine Boots
Let’s face it: unless you work in the construction industry or you’ve chosen a similar profession, you probably haven’t heard of a ton of different work boot brands. Even an individual who has never stepped foot on a construction site has likely heard of Wolverine, though. That’s a reputation the company has carefully cultivated, and it’s not an exaggeration to say they’re known throughout the world.
Nothing is more tenacious than a wolverine. The animal kingdom’s scrappiest scavenger is capable of clawing its way to the very top of the food chain, and the Wolverine brand has that same hard-nosed, take-no-prisoners attitude. These boots have been around since 1910, when the manufacturers came out with an offering they called “The Original 1,000 Mile Boot.” The company claimed that it was good for at least 1,000 miles of wear.
Are Wolverines Made in the USA?
Like the modern man who’s in touch with his emotions, these first Wolverine boots felt tough on the outside but had a soft interior. They were made of horsehide leather that could withstand the most punishing conditions. The company still makes boots that are remarkably similar to the original design they pioneered more than a century ago.
Wolverine advertises that they still make some of their boots right here in the old US of A. Their original factory is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but they now have several more all across the country. The “1,000 Mile” boot is still made in the US, as are some others. These days, most are made in China, and some other countries as well, along with the crucial safety features that make them ideal for various labor-intensive industries. Still, when you slide a pair on, you’re wearing a little piece of Americana.
How Versatile Are Wolverine Boots?
Versatility is one of the qualities that the general public usually brings up when you ask them about work boots. If you’re in the market for a top-quality boot, you probably want one that will do the job brilliantly if you’re working long hours on a construction site. Maybe you’re doing conservation work, disaster relief, fishing, or farming. You might also need one that’s a suitable candidate for tromping through your backyard, picking up the gifts that your toy poodle so thoughtfully left for you.
Wolverine should have you covered in every one of these situations. It’s a brand that prides itself on having a tough-as-nails reputation, and it’s well deserved. Whether you’re tackling an indoor DIY job or spending your days outside in the elements, there’s no test that this footwear can’t pass with flying colors. Another aspect of these boots that some consumers swear by is that they also look semi-formal. You can combine them with some well-worn jeans and your favorite flannel, and you’re instantly rocking the “working man chic” look.
Wolverine Boots Provide Style, Comfort, and Variety
The dun-colored work boot that’s a backbone of the Wolverine collection completes nearly any outfit nicely. You can also go with a darker-colored option if you’re sporting some heavy winter gear to go meet your date for a romantic rendezvous at your local watering hole after work. There’s no need for you to go home and change, and your taste in footwear is sure to get some hearts in your vicinity fluttering.
From a more practical standpoint, you should also know that the company offers over two hundred different styles. Though some of them look pretty different to the naked eye, each one comes with thin soles, durable stitching, and a thirty-day comfort guarantee. You can try a pair for thirty days, and if it’s not working for you, you can easily send it back for a full refund. You might get them in a Safety Toe style, or the Moc Toe variety is another popular one.
Safety Features of the Wolverine Boot
Safety is another aspect of work boots that the manufacturer absolutely cannot neglect. If you typically spend the majority of your time outdoors, you likely want some footwear that can cushion your feet from impacts and will give you a solid, non-slip base to stand on at all times. If you’re wearing your work boots indoors, maybe you need them for protection if you’re going line dancing and your date has two left feet.
You’ll be pleased to hear that Wolverine boots are made with cushioned footbeds and midsoles that absorb shocks. They have arch support if you’re going to be up on your feet for many hours out of the day. By grabbing a pair of these bad boys, you’ll be in good shape to avoid foot fatigue. The company also makes steel-toed work boots in three categories: composite toe, alloy toe, and steel toe. They make waterproof ones and EH-rated work boots if your job calls for that.
How Much is a Pair of Wolverine Boots Going to Cost You?
Wolverine Men’s Floorhand Work Boot
You’ll find a pretty wide range of Wolverine boot prices. The price point is based, in part, on where the boots are manufactured. Generally, the ones made outside the US are cheaper. For instance, you can get a Men’s Floorhand Waterproof Steel-Toe 6’’ Work Boot right now for $105 that is made in China.
That one comes in Black, Dark Brown, and Wheat, and it has a moisture-wicking lining. It’s slip-resistant and breathable, with a waterproof membrane. You also get a rubber midsole and removable, fully-cushioned footbed molds.
Wolverine Men’s 1,000 Mile Plain-Toe Original Boot
You can contrast that to a Men’s 1,000 Mile Plain-Toe Original Boot, which is similar to the first model made by the company more than 100 years ago. That one is US-made, and the difference in price is significant, as it will run you $385.
Available in Brown or Black, it has a Vibram heel and an all-leather outsole. The leather comes from the famed Horween Leather Company in Chicago. It’s a non-safety work boot. Consider how much you’re willing to spend as you peruse the various Wolverine options, since some can be three or four times as expensive as others.
What About Their Availability?
You are not going to have to look for very long to find a pair of Wolverine boots. You can go straight to the website and find the best possible selection, and you can get them shipped right to you while you sprawl on the couch watching SpongeBob. If you’re dead set on giving Jeff Bezos your money, you can also avoid the manufacturer’s website and find dozens of different Wolverine boot styles, colors, and sizes on Amazon.
If you’re one of the rare consumers who still like going to brick-and-mortar stores, you can also find the Wolverine brand at Famous Footwear, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kohl’s, and many others. It speaks to the popularity of this company that you can encounter their boots just about anywhere quality footwear is sold.
Does the Company Make Wolverine Boots for Both Men and Women?
Wolverine makes many of its styles available to male and female shoppers. All the ones you’ll find for sale specify whether they’re intended for men or women. If you’re a taller individual or someone with larger feet, you might have a little bit of trouble finding Wolverine boots in your size. A man who needs a size 10 or 11 boot will probably find what they need with minimal effort. Someone needing a size 16 or something equally gargantuan may have to look a little harder to find a pair that works for them.
However, it’s worth mentioning that Wolverine is a company that at least seems to understand that all humans are built differently and that all of us have different-sized feet. Searching should turn up a Wolverine boot option in your size, even if you’re tall enough to easily dunk a basketball. Some comparable work boot companies simply stop making boots after size 14 or thereabouts.
What Do People Say About Wolverine Boots?
So, is Wolverine a brand you want to get behind? You bet your boots it is. Not just any heavy-duty footwear would dare to share its name with the roughest, toughest, nastiest mutant in the Marvel Universe, but Wolverine has no problem doing it. Consumers who buy this brand often report that they can keep the same pair for multiple years without needing to replace them. Any boot wears down eventually, but those who buy from Wolverine should get a much longer usable life from their purchase than a cheaper knockoff they’d find at Target or Walmart.
Many people who go shopping for work boots think about practicality first. You probably want a boot that will keep your feet snug and dry in a downpour, a blizzard, a tsunami, or whatever else the elements see fit to send your way. At the same time, you want some footwear that will earn you appreciative glances from both your coworkers and Tinder hookup. Wolverine boots fit all of those criteria.
Is Wolverine the Work Boot for You?
You can certainly find cheaper work boots, but you’re not likely to encounter ones that are made any better. If you’re intent on getting a work boot that’s built to last, you should have no issue dropping a bit more cash for an option with such a sterling industry reputation. Not only that, but you have hundreds of styles to choose from, so you can select the one that matches your aesthetic as well as your practical needs.
Bottom line? Whether you’re facing Mad Max-style end times in an apocalyptic wasteland or dinner with your in-laws, a pair of Wolverine work boots give you the best chance of survival.