Looking for a pair of hiking boots that won’t give you a bad case of buyer’s remorse? I know a brand worth checking out. Wolverine has been around for quite some time, offering buyers an extensive line-up of durable, reliable, and affordable boot choices for a variety of uses. I should know – I’ve studied the brand a number of times, and they always managed to impress.
So, for anyone in search of some good hiking boots, I can definitely recommend Wolverine. After all, there is no such thing as a bad purchase when their line-up includes choices like the Wilderness Gunmetal Boot or the crowd favorite Spencer Boot.
Keen on copping a pair of Wolverine boots for that next hiking trip, but not quite sure about the what’s and why’s of the brand and their boot choices? Keep on reading as I discuss the details of Wolverine hiking boots and provide you a few worthy recommendations along the way.
A Burly Build for Extreme Conditions
Unlike choices like the Ahnu brand which tend to look sleek and slim at a glance, Wolverine hiking boots tend to appear more robust and durable. And that initial appeal isn’t just for show. Many of the boots in the series are made with the highest quality materials, offering you superb performance and resilience that’s guaranteed to keep you confident on any trail.
For instance, choices like the Spencer Hiking Boot feature that chunky, bulky aesthetic that says a lot about its overall durability. The design utilizes rugged leather uppers, sturdy synthetic outsoles, and incredibly secure construction which make it one of the best sellers in the line-up. These boots are also as heavy as they look, weighing in at 23 ounces. Lots of users find them ideal for easy, casual hiking trails, or the typical beginner trek.
If you want something that’s a little more reliable on expert level trails, I can suggest the Fulcrum Hiking Boot. This first-class outdoor boot is exceptionally reinforced, using a Vibram Mutant outsole for pristine cling on jagged rocks and uneven paths. It also boasts a Gore-Tex membrane which is both breathable and water resistant for wet, muddy terrain. So if you like going on heavy hikes and you want to go in full battle gear, then the Fulcrum should be a suitable addition to your arsenal.
A Firm Bite on Dangerous Terrain
One of the biggest risks you’ll face on any path is the terrain. Mud, rocks, inclines, descents, and lots of other factors will greatly affect your step, and may even put you in danger of fatal falls and accidents.
Wolverine isn’t new to the game though. So they’ve managed to develop their own outsole systems that work seamlessly on any and every surface you might encounter outdoors. Take the Black Ledge LX Waterproof Leather Hiking Boot for instance. This boot comes with outsoles that can easily outperform other hiking boots in the same price range.
The boot’s sole features one of the most prominent tread patterns I’ve seen. The ultra-thick rubber soles were designed to hook onto rugged surfaces. So what you get is crazy reliable traction that won’t compromise your safety or confidence.
The Wolverine Crossbow is another worthy mention for the top performers in the traction arena. At a glance, it’s easy to see that the soles on these boots were developed with durability, reliability, and stability in mind. The treads offer multi-directional traction, and they work great to keep your feet firmly planted on both wet and dry surfaces. So whether it’s a dusty mountainside or a muddy forest trail, you know these boots won’t disappoint.
Supreme Comfort with Every Step
No one wants to have to keep stopping during a hike to give their feet some time to rest. Fatigue is the biggest challenge your feet will deal with on a trail. And when you try to climb when you’re tired, you put your own safety at risk.
A pair of comfortable hiking boots will give your feet that extra boost of energy to keep you going for longer. That said, Wolverine’s line-up of hiking boots offers superb comfort to keep your feet pain-free. The Wilderness Gunmetal Boot is one that I can recommend if you’re looking for something that’s really easy on the feet.
This particular design uses a full cushion insole that’s soft yet dense. The footbed allows just enough pliability to accommodate shifting weight without letting your feet sink into the material. What you get is durable and responsive support, allowing maximum comfort for long treks.
Some other features that make Wolverine boots particularly comfortable are their moisture managing mesh linings and built-in nylon shanks. The linings are exceptionally efficient at wicking away sweat to keep your feet cool and dry. The nylon shanks on the other hand allow substantial bounce. They also work well to reduce the uncomfortable feel of jagged objects underneath the soles.
An Injury-Free Hike Thanks to a Smart Support System
Stepping on uneven terrain and ascending or descending trails can put your ankle at risk of twisting or moving through injurious ranges of motion. Eversion and inversion injuries are all too common during a hike. That’s why it’s imperative that your chosen boots effectively restrict excessive ankle movements.
Personally, I think support is one of Wolverine’s strongest suits. Their hiking boots come with superb collar construction that locks the ankle in place. Take the Alto Mid Hiking boot for example. This particular design boasts a tight-fitting, plush padded collar that’s not only supportive, but also incredibly comfortable.
What’s more, the boot leaves users the option to adjust fit depending on their preference with lacing eyelets that reach the top-most edges of the collar. This allows you to secure the boot to suit your standards without leaving room for potentially injurious movements.
Not Exactly the Lightest Boots
For the most part, a vast majority of their selection are incredibly heavy. The Blackledge LX Waterproof Hiker for example weighs in at almost 4 pounds per pair. This places each individual boot at nearly 2 pounds. With that kind of weight on your feet, you mind find yourself huffing and puffing not too soon after you start your ascent.
The Hudson– a popular work boot from the brand – has been used time and time again by lots of buyers as a hiking boot. That’s because it has a lot of features that translate well from the factory to the trail. This includes its nubuck suede uppers, moisture managing mesh, and plush padding. The only issue is its weight. With each boot weighing in at almost 1.7 pounds each, they place a total weight of 3.2 pounds on your feet.
Unfortunately with hiking boots, weight is something that’s often sacrificed in favor of durable construction and resilient design. If you’re looking for something lighter on the feet though, I suggest you check out models like the Xero Daylight Hiker. Based on my research, it’s one of the sleekest hiking boots you’ll be able to find.
Pros of the Wolverine Hiking Boot Line-Up
- Ultra durable construction can take you through the most demanding terrain and trails with supreme ease and safety.
- Comfortable boot designs gently accommodate your feet and provide substantial responsiveness to minimize fatigue.
- Supportive boot designs make sure your ankles and feet are kept far from injury with intuitive features that maximize safety.
- Aggressive traction on a variety of surfaces, allowing you to firmly and confidently plant your feet without slipping or losing balance.
- Reasonably affordable selection gives you a top-notch boot at a fairly cheap cost.
- Boot designs tend to be pretty heavy at an average of 2 pounds per boot.
- Uppers do not break-in, so they will stay pretty stiff even after several uses.
The Bottom Line
Wolverine’s hiking boots are definitely some of the most reliable, durable, and cost-effective designs I’ve seen. So if you were wondering whether spending on a pair would be a smart move, I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t hesitate. With such impressive designs that perform outstandingly on trails of varying difficulty ratings, Wolverine hiking boots are nothing short of an investment for casual users and die-hard hiking fanatics alike.
Sure, they’re not flawless. After all, there is no such thing as the perfect hiking boot. For the most part, Wolverine tends to make hiking boots that weigh too heavy on the feet and feel stiff even after a number of uses. But when you consider everything else they bring to the table with their designs, it’s easy to see that these two downsides aren’t deal breakers.