These Wolverine boots have pretty well all the features that you’d want in a great work boot.
At just over 1 pound 8 ounces, the new 6″ Wolverine Wilderness Boots are among the lightest work boots I’ve tried. They’re available as a soft toe or composite toe boot in sizes 7 to 14 and in 5 different colour combinations for the soft toe.
Price: $100 US (soft toe) $110 US (composite toe)
Made in: Overseas
The toe has a durable rubber coating that adds some waterproofing, and provides good resistance from scuffs and scratches.
The midsole, located above the outsole, is made of compression molded EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) foam, a widely used material in footwear. The foam is packed with tiny inert gas filled cells. As your foot hits the ground air inside the cells is compressed, providing a cushioning effect. When you lift your foot the cells decompress, ready to absorb the next impact.
The heel is likewise rubber coated, and is stitched to the leather upper. A looped tab just above the heel makes it easier to pull the boot on and off.
The lining is made of a wave mesh polyester fabric that helps wick moisture away from your foot. Polyester fabric is very strong, it’s resistant to stretching, and just as important, it’s resistant to mildew.
The collar is amply padded – thick enough to enhance fit and comfort but not overly tight, and it provides good support for the Achilles tendon. The back of the boot is sloped downward, which I find more comfortable, as it doesn’t dig into the top part of my heel, especially when flexing my foot.
The upper part, or body, of the boot is made of full-grain leather and nylon canvas, double stitched together. This combination offers somewhat less overall durability and water resistance than you would find in an all-leather boot. However, they won’t take as much time to break-in, and they make the boot lighter in weight, more flexible, and more breathable. The nylon canvas isn’t as durable as full-grain leather, but it is highly abrasion resistant. The result, I think, is a boot that provides a good blend of durability, support, and comfort.
The eyelet arrangement is fairly standard – four pairs of a durable ABS eyelets with two pairs of hooked eyelets at the top. I found that I didn’t have to undo all the laces – I could loosen the laces at the top and easily slip my foot out.
The EPX dual-layer replaceable insoles are designed with a four-part foam system that incorporates ribbed spines for flexing and a honeycomb heel to absorb impact. The insoles provide some level of shock absorption and increase overall boot comfort. The only reason to replace them is if you have specific support requirements such as fallen arches or flat feet, or if you feel that you need even more cushioning than these insoles provide.
The sole (aka ‘outsole’) on these boots is made of a tough non-marring rubber compound that is slip, oil, and abrasion resistant and very long wearing. The round nubs and deep treads provide very good grip. And, of course, the sole is waterproof.
One area where water penetrates a boot is the seam where sole is joined to the upper part of the boot. As you’ll find on a lot of work boots today, the sole and the uppers on this pair are joined with an adhesive rather than sewn, which means the sole can’t be replaced. However, this is a less costly method of construction which makes the boots more economical for the end user.
Whether you’re working in the shop or on a job site, the last thing you want is sore and tired feet. And, you certainly don’t want to throw good money after crappy boots. These Wolverine boots have pretty well all the features that you’d want in a great work boot – comfort, light weight, easy lacing, durability, tough oil, slip, and abrasion resistant sole. The fit is snug, arch support is very good, and I can wear them all day long without any discomfort.
I always enjoy your newletters but hoo boy was those one ever packed with information that I can use. The posters, the boots and the elusive smell of Zebrawood. Thanks so much.
If you think Wolverines are good you should also do an article on MERRELL hikers. They are very comfortable right from the get go and it took me ten years to destroy a pair. I live in a country setting and these are used around the workshop as well as the property.