Bottom-line upfront: The 1883 Wolverine line of boots offer a blend of timeless, classic patterns and a modern appeal. Although some of its trendy kicks, like the 1000 Mile Boot, have declined in performance in the recent past, this brand has several other kickass boots and shoes that we would recommend without a second thought.
Wolverine Worldwide is a giant footwear company, known for its vintage-styled boots, that have a modern take. This American brand boasts over 130 years of experience in the shoe industry. It is no exaggeration to say Wolverine has helped to shape the entire boot industry.
Mind you, Wolverine is known not only for its brand but its subsidiaries too. If you own a boot or shoe labeled Caterpillar, Harley Davidson, Merrell or Hush Puppies, among others, the chances are that it was crafted by Wolverine.
Fashion-forward boots with a classic accent
Wolverine’s footwear corners the market due to the prime materials used (Horween Leather and Charles Steed suede) and the top-tier craftsmanship.
Let us take a look at some leading boots from this manufacturer’s line:
Our first recommendation here is going to be the 1883 Wolverine Kilometer Boot. At a glance, this boot appears somewhat similar to the legendary Redwing Heritage Iron Ranger 6-inch boot, but slightly easier on your wallet.
Full grain leather upper and triple stitches are some of the certifications that this boot is all about durability and value. It is available in 2 color versions- black and brown– that put your best foot forward in both casual and formal occasions. It seems like it could take a bullet when used as a work-boot too.
The Wolverine Kilometer boot is designed to offer protection even in the wettest and muddiest environment. As such, it is water resistant and equally resilient to the weather elements.
Unlike other cheaply made boots, you should expect the Kilometer boot to hold up pretty well even when subjected to high moisture conditions regularly.
These boots are grounded on Vibram rubber soles featuring Goodyear Welt construction for versatility and functionality.
A notable feature with these is that the heel stack transitions from rubber to wood and rubber again. While this mainly aims at adding a classic look to the boot, it might also cause some issues, considering that the two parts are joined using adhesive. On the upside, the bottom stack is replaceable with wear.
At the bottom, the Wolverine Men’s Kilometer boot offers above-average traction on most surfaces. But I wouldn’t consider them for snow.
Let’s talk comfort
First up, these boots run somewhat large. So if you don’t fancy the extra room in the toebox, you might consider going a size down. On the same note, the Wolverine Kilometer boot is available in medium and regular widths. So take your pick regarding your foot’s size.
This boot also utilizes stiff leather that will take some kilometers to break in completely. Fortunately, the leather gets better with age. The Kilometer boot has an unlined interior and a lightly padded leather footbed that calls for thick socks.
Without forgetting, this boot has a complex lacing system that purposes to give you your desired fit in different situations. It also has D-ring hooks for speedy lacing.
The 1883 Wolverine 1000 is arguably the most famous men’s boot that Wolverine has today. As its name suggests, you should expect to put on some extra miles on it than on the Kilometer boot.
Just by feel, the leather conveys an intuition of acceptable quality and durability. This boot uses Chromexcel leather supplied by Horween Leather Company.
To underline the high-quality leather, Wolverine uses white marine grade thread to hold the boot together.
Another great selling point for the Wolverine 1000 Mile boot is in its lacing system comprising of metallic eyelets and D-rings for speedy lacing. To complement this arrangement, the pair comes with waxed laces that will not disintegrate easily.
Unlike the Wolverine Men’s Kilometer boot, the 1000 Mile boot is not waterproof. This is a significant downside considering the considerable cost of the boot. Not everyone needs a waterproof boot, but if you do, this isn’t for you.
Similar to its predecessor, the Kilometer boot, the 1000 Mile also runs large. However, it has a roomy toe box, and the Goodyear welt construction makes it comfortable to use both as a casual and a work boot.
At the bottom, the Wolverine 1000 boot features a leather sole and a Vibram heel. The aim here is to offer you a boot that feels comfortable right out of the box with very minimal break-in requirement.
Unfortunately, most of its users report that their boots developed holes at the bottom after several wears. The Vibram heel also breaks off easily. The remedy here would be to replace the entire sole which could cost you just a fraction of this boot’s cost.
Worth pointing out is that its popularity has attracted the entrance of fakes. So, ensure that you get your boots from a reliable dealer. Dealers that have a track record of accepting returns are the best bet.
Considering all the flaws that the 1000 Mile boots have on the durability front, I would not recommend it to anyone who wants to buy a boot only once every few years. Instead, take a look at the Wolverine Durashock WO3238.
Honestly speaking, this boot is everything that the 1000 Mile is not; waterproof, check, super comfortable, check, durable, check, lightweight, check. Yes, and you also get it at a bargain price.
But what makes the W03238 Durashock a good buy?
Let’s talk about comfort because this is hands down, what plagues most boots. The Wolverine W03238 comes in all sizes and regular and medium widths. Better enough, there are several extra wide boots in select sizes for people with bunions.
The upper is features thick Nubuck full grain leather and has a shaft measuring approximately 9.5 inches from the arch. This alone renders the W03238 nicely as a reliable boot for the cold season. On this note, I love the support that your heel gets at the back.
Its inside features Wolverine Duraschock technology with a Dri-lex mesh lining that is visible all around the boot and on the tongue. This lining wicks moisture from your feet thereby making the W03238 an around-the-year boot.
To highlight this comfort, you get a boot with a dual-density polymer foot-bed that deadens most of the shock that comes your way while walking. This footbed’s closed-shell technology has spring functionality that offers you optimum support when your job requires you to stand for extended periods.
This rugged boot is also lightweight and has insulation. It flaunts 200g of Thinsulate whose role is to protect your feet from the elements while retaining heat.
At the bottom, the Wolverine W03238 gets support from Durashocks outsole. Worth noting, the upper and the sole have a direct-attach construction design for extended durability. The sole also has a shock-absorbing compression pad at the heel, and another at the front, to see that you go through the most stressful day at work with less fatigue.
Lastly, the Wolverine W03238 also has another sibling the Wolverine W03295 that is insulated, waterproof, and equally comfortable. You could consider it if these extra perks top your list.
Wolverine Women’s Boots
Admittedly, Wolverine is better known for its men’s line of boots. However, digging deeper, you’ll realize that this brand has some fabulous options for the ladies too!
Men’s boots are great. But rarely do we come across a model that creates a WOW effect. However, in Wolverine Women’s Boots arena, several kicks are doing exactly that.
A smart taupe, blue, black, or marmalade ankle boot is what the modern woman needs to add to her closet. Talk of a boot that you can flawlessly style with monochrome black outfits and even your vintage Levi’s.
The first impression with the Wolverine Women’s 1000 Mile boot is undoubtedly its design. Similar to the Men’s 1000 Mile version, this boot also utilizes Chromexcel leather.
It has a shaft measuring around 5.25 inches from the arch and a seemingly chunky 2.5-inch heel. Worth pointing out is that these boots fit to size, and are super supportive.
Are they ideal for icy conditions? Sure! These boots’ rubber outsole and substantial heel offer excellent support on multiple surfaces and might be a great addition this fall.
Other women’s boots worth checking out in the Wolverine 1883 Women’s 1000 Mile line-up include the Wolverine 1000-mile Bonny Pull-on and the 1000 Mile Wedge Boots.
The Lizzie Combat is a boot that you are likely to wear throughout the season, so consider going for a pair that matches your style. Luckily, Wolverine presents it in 3 colors, black, brown, and grey.
True to Wolverine’s traditions, the Lizzie Combat boot has an upper made of full-grain leather and a rubber sole that offers optimum traction in any climate. Have I mentioned that they are waterproof?
This boot has heel measuring approximately 1 inch and a leather footbed for some degree of comfort. Unfortunately, this footbed does not offer enough padding. So you might consider investing in some thick socks.
To make wearing comfortable, the Wolverine Lizzie Combat Boot has a side zip and a pull-on tab at the back. You also get three adjustable buckles that give you a more secure and customizable fit.
The major gripe that most buyers have about this boot, however, is that it runs small. It is also somewhat narrow. So, sizing up a whole size might be the remedy.
Are the Wolverine 1883 boots a good buy?
In my experience with the Wolverine boots, I’d say YES. If you like stylish boots with a vintage inspiration, Wolverine has many excellent choices.
Two frequent issues are 1) many of its boots and shoes are not true to size and 2) most of its boots are not rugged enough for heavy-duty jobs. In that case, this Blundstone Boots Review article has several solid alternatives.