Interested in grabbing a pair of the Wolverine Kilometer boots? I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pair of these boots when they first came out. Being a fan of the Wolverine brand myself, I wanted to find out whether the new Kilometers would come close to the success that was the 1000 Mile. So after a lot of research and after having spent days reading up on reviews, I’ve come to find that the KMs are undeniably worth the purchase.
With a completely different sole design and construction, harder-wearing leather uppers, and a slightly more rugged appearance, the Wolverine Kilometer Boots might possibly be one of Wolverine’s best designs to date. And that’s not just my opinion – that’s what many other users of the boot have to say.
Wondering what makes the Wolverine Kilometer such a big hit? I’ve put together a complete review on these top-notch boots so you can find out why they’re probably the right fit for your everyday footwear needs.
The Classic Fashion Leather Boot Appeal
First things first – the Wolverine Kilometer is a really good looking boot. At a glance, it doesn’t really look all that different from the 1000 Mile revival that was released way back in 2009. In fact, an untrained eye might say that the two boots are one and the same.
However, there are a few slight differences between the designs. Firstly, the KMs have a wider sole that juts out from under the uppers. This leaves room for the stitching which ultimately makes the KMs feel a lot more hard-wearing. The Kilometer boots also use a different lace and lacing system. Unlike the 1000 Mile that uses a flat lace, the KMs use a round lace which I think gives it a more casual appeal.
All things considered though, there is no denying that the Kilometer boots are just as good looking as their more expensive 1000 Mile brother. The leather stain is just as appealing, and the silhouette doesn’t really differ too much so you can enjoy the same timeless aesthetic at a much cheaper cost.
Slightly Tougher Uppers for Longer Lasting Wear
The Wolverine Kilometer Boots uses full-grain leather, which is slightly tougher than Chromexcel. That said, they do have a break-in period that may last longer than other dress boots of a similar design. I would even say that this could be the reason for the boots’ name, as it felt like I had to walk a kilometer in them to get them to loosen up.
Even with several weeks of wearing them out, the leather was pretty stubborn. Of course, there are upsides and downsides to such a construction. While they somehow guarantee durability, they also take a toll on overall comfort. But it really wasn’t too problematic, and really just felt like the boots took a little more time to warm up to my feet compared to others I’ve tried in the past.
I also want to mention that the Kilometer Boots are far more resistant to scuffing as the leather is a little more polished than other Wolverine dress boots. Don’t let that get you feeling too confident though – the leather can scuff up with enough force. When it does, those scratches are going to be a lot harder to get rid of.
A Full Vibram Sole for Better Traction
When you think of a dress boot, you don’t really consider traction too much because you won’t be using it on difficult terrain. Nonetheless, it’s always nice to have some grip just so you can prevent clumsily slipping around your office space.
The Kilometer Boots uses a Vibram sole that allows users to plant their feet more firmly across smooth surfaces. This is thanks to the unique tread pattern that incorporates small circular impressions that create a slight suction against the ground. Generally, the soles just felt a lot more stable to walk in especially if you compare the feeling to leather soles used by a lot of other dress boots.
The soles are also less prone to damage because they’re more accommodating of bending and movement. Plus the fact that Vibram is known to be one of the hardest wearing sole materials out there, the boots were definitely designed with daily use in mind.
So-So Comfort Could Be Improved
Let me start off by saying that the Kilometer Boots aren’t exactly that uncomfortable. In fact, they can be pretty decent especially after you break them in. And that’s where the problem lies.
The boots take a really long time to break in. So straight out of the box, they can feel stiff, stubborn, and unforgiving. The insoles aren’t anything special and that’s what I think the manufacturer sacrificed in order to achieve a lighter price tag.
Even then, the boot is spacious enough around the mid and forefoot so you can comfortably sneak in a gel insert without sacrificing size. That is of course if your feet are the right shape for the boots. Running a size bigger, the boots seem to have been designed for people with slim, long feet. So if you’ve got wider feet, you might experience greater discomfort right off the bat because of the stubborn uppers.
Expertly Executed Construction All Around
When I first held the Kilometer in my hands, it was easy to see that the boots were made to the highest of standards. Firstly, the stitching was pristine with triple stitches connecting the vamp to the quarter for satisfying durability.
Connected to the uppers via Goodyear Welt Construction, the soles are designed to stay and withstand the usual peeling and breaking that poorly attached soles often suffer.
The lacing system was a dream to work with. Two D-ring hooks along the upper edge of the shaft make it a lot easier to slip your feet into the boots. These hooks are followed by five standard lacing eyelets that make adjusting the fit close to effortless. Plus, switching out the usual flat laces with round laces seemed like a very intuitive touch. This minor design element makes them so much easier to on and off the boots.
Satisfying Overall Performance
After a few months of wearing the boots out and about, I can say that they’re a reliable choice for everyday use. Once you get past the break-in period, the boots almost start to feel like a second skin which makes walking and standing around comfortable and bearable even for extended periods of time.
The Vibram soles are great to walk in. I find it to be particularly more durable compared to many other boot soles I’ve used. In terms of aging, the boots take to wear and tear beautifully. I find that instead of fighting off scuffing, it’s a lot easier to just let the minor flaws take over.
With more scuffs and scratches, the boots look a lot more timeless. The leather may also make room for some light-grain creasing. This is particularly pronounced in areas that commonly get bent like the throat and shaft. But even with all the signs of a well-used boot, the Kilometer Boots retain their vintage aesthetic appeal. In fact, they end up looking even better with constant use.
Pros of the Wolverine Kilometer Boots
- Timeless silhouette makes the boots suitable for both casual, formal, and office wear. Being that they are so versatile, they might just suffice as your daily footwear of choice.
- Tough Vibram sole reinforces the boots for daily use, giving you a springier, safer, and slip-proof step.
- Hardy uppers are built to last, giving you a boot that rolls with wear and tears to age beautifully.
- Significantly cheaper than other Wolverine dress boots with similar designs.
- Satisfying performance on the overall just makes the boot feel like a great investment for daily work and play.
Cons of the Wolverine Kilometer Boots
- Uppers can feel stubborn and unforgiving for a while, taking much longer to break-in compared to other dress boots.
- Comfort isn’t the greatest there is, but an insert could help improve that.
- May be too slim for individuals with wider feet.
The Bottom Line
It’s not easy to find a pair of leather dress boots that you can confidently use on the daily. So if you stumble on a pair of these boots, jump at the chance to buy them.
These boots are durable, stable, and timeless, allowing you to use them as everyday footwear. Plus, they match virtually any and all outfits. It’s also worth reiterating that the boots age divinely. You can be confident scuffing them up and getting them worn out without worrying about compromising their original aesthetic appeal.
So are the Wolverine Kilometer Boots worth the purchase? Based on my experiences, and the experiences of thousands of others across the web, I would say definitely. At a reasonable price, the boots offer a world’s worth of benefits that very few others are able to provide. So they do turn out to be a great footwear investment for boot buffs who want long-lasting pieces.