Wolverine has had a significant presence in America’s boot industry for over 130 years. The company, under the direction of founder G.A. Krause, started hand-making boots and shoes from their Rockford, Michigan headquarters in 1883.
By 1903, Krause and his employees were producing around 300 pairs of shoes per day, selling them to laborers and blue collar workers in larger cities like Grand Rapids, Flint, and Detroit.
Krause continued to grow his company, and by the 1920s, this once small-time boot-making operation re-branded and became Wolverine Shoe and Tanning Company.
Over the years, Wolverine has been at the forefront of technology development and footwear innovation.
One such innovation was Wolverine’s patented “1000 Miles” technology, a development that came about when workers in Wolverine’s tannery created a pliable shell horsehide that was durable enough to give guys 1,000 miles of wear-and-tear on their boots.
More recently, Wolverine has diversified their product line, and now makes boots for railroad workers, construction guys, and factory personnel alike. The company’s “Heritage” collection – vintage boot styles that have been revamped with modern-day materials and cushioning – are a popular pick among today’s fashion trendsetters.
Through it all, Wolverine has continued to infuse ingenuity and high-quality craftsmanship into all of their products, which is why the brand has become such a mainstay in America when it comes to boots and work shoes.
My top 3 personal favorite Wolverine boots:
Wolverine Contractor LX CM Boots
When it comes to pushing the envelope, Wolverine takes comfort to the next level. Such is the case with the Contractor LX. This boot has everything you’d expect from the Wolverine brand, including a cushy footbed, a waterproof upper and durable outsole. The difference in this model is the CarbonMax safety toe, which uses nanotechnology to form a strong, spacious, protective toe cap.
If you want to avoid the weight of a steel toe shoe, CarbonMax is the way to go. In fact, the lightweight material doesn’t take up much room in the toe box and an athletic heel provides maximum flexibility. Reinforcements throughout the heel and toe offer years of wear.
You’ll feel confident when you plant your feet in these boots. A rubber lug outsole provides excellent traction and helps ease the impact of standing for hours. With a sweat-wicking mesh lining, feet remain dry and comfortable.
Wolverine Addison 1000 Mile Wingtip Boots
With 1000 Mile in its name, it’s not surprising that this heritage style boot is designed for long-lasting wear. In addition to the refine ruggedness of Horween’s Chromexel leather, they feature a hand-buffed finish, a leather welted sole and footbed. The Vibram heel is the only part of the boot that does not contain leather.
They feel stiff when you first put them on but once you break them in, they form perfectly to your feet. These boots are great for walking around a carpeted office floor, but not for performing hard labor.
Nevertheless, the aesthetics alone make this boot a must-have for men who admire fine classic footwear. As the boots age, they develop a unique patina, giving them a sophisticated, timeless appeal. A wingtip design and double-row stitching complement the brogue detailing. The Addison comes with speed laces so you can put them on and remove them quickly.
Wolverine Novak Insulated Waterproof Composite Toe Hunting Boots
Wolverine has made boots since 1883, so it’s no wonder that they manufacturer some of the most rugged boots in the industry. Built to meet the demands of the backcountry, the Novak is as tough as they come. Although this hardy footwear is classified as a hunting boot, sturdy Goodyear Welt construction make it an ideal work boot.
Once you step into these bad boys, you’ll feel the comfort of a padded EVA footbed. Plus, Vibram outsoles increase cushioning and offer firm traction. Add to this, 1000 grams of Thinsulate insulation and a waterproof upper and your feet will remain warm and dry even in extreme temperatures.
The Novak is as stylish on the outside as it is comfy on the inside. Rich, brown full-grain leather looks dapper against a nylon collar. Furthermore, a combination of D-rings and speed hooks allow quick adjustments and make them easy to put on and off.
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