If you’re planning to spend $300+ on a couple of boots, then you’ll need to do your research. After all, you don’t want to go shopping after every other month. Our detailed Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot review focuses on every detail so you can make a more informed decision before dishing out your hard-earned money.
Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots Overview
Founded back in 1883, Wolverine has a long rich history that includes a stint creating pigskin gloves for the U.S Navy during WWII.
The company debuted its iconic 1000 Mile boot in the 1910s after developing a distinctive method of processing shell horsehide into soft and flexible leather. And while today the boot is produced using full-grain leather, its status as an icon of American footwear holds.
As the name suggests, and the company’s website states, the boot is designed to give you a thousand miles of wear. But does the construction really hold up?
Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots: First Impression
Straight out of the box, this is a good-looking, classic all-rounder boot. Not too bulky, not too sleek; not too formal, not too casual; it is one-of-a-kind middle ground boot that one would probably consider as solid footwear of the first choice, which seems to e the target market.
As a model that falls squarely in the “starters” price range of $200 to $400, it appears to be geared toward checking as many options as possible. And based on customer reviews, it makes for a nice boot that isn’t particularly exciting, but they sure look great.
The shaft has the 1000 Mile model attached to it- a nice touch- and the cowhide is waxy-looking Chromexcel from Horween.
The leather used is about two millimeters thick, thus they’re indeed built for durability. You will find triple stitching around the vamp, a classic Goodyear welt, and a Vibram heel that can take a beating.
On the flip side, however, while the rest of the sole is leather, be informed that they might not do practically well on slippery surfaces. Besides, there are no linings on the inside of the boot, which emphasizes their “no-frills workhorse” aesthetics.
Although they’re often billed as “workboots”, we can’t see these functioning all that well in hardcore sites but for a casual boot, we think these could last years. It’s good to mention that there are quality control issues.
Some threads will get loose where the vamp attaches to the toe box as well as the top of the shaft near the handy speed hooks. Not to mention the deep scratch on the sole.
Wolverine 1000 Mile Construction
The 1000 Mile is available in seemingly endless varieties: cap-toe, wingtip, Chelsea, rough out, chukka, and more. Moreover, you can customize your pair and make it a patchwork of different leathers, threads, and colors. In this post, we’re sticking to the basic, original, brown, Chromexcel 1000 Mile.
Chromexcel is one of the flagships from the great Horween Leather Company in Chicago. Aside from its modern-sounding name and long history, this leather has been used in engine seals on tanks during WW II.
It’s derived from a combination of tanned leather and then subjected to at least 89 separate processes taking about 28 days. The product is full-grain leather, which will be good news for most people.
Full-grain is mostly recognized as the highest quality leather and although it is not quite as smooth or uniform in color as top grain leather, it lasts longer and ages better. In fact, older full-grain leather is great for developing the nice rich patina coveted by boot lovers.
However, the top finish isn’t the most durable and is pretty vulnerable to scratches. Note that if you’re really interested in Chromexcel luster, you’ll need to condition these quite regularly.
Wolverine 1000 Mile Sole
Several elements make up the sole: three layers (i.e. leather sole, cork midsole, and leather insole) and there’s a Vibram heel that provides extra grip. It also features a 270-degree Goodyear welt with no shank.
That said, the sole isn’t the best either. The company is dedicated to delivering a classic-looking, butyl-treated leather sole to their models, which looks nice, but with little traction. The stated leather sole is also not that durable and will start sustaining scratches and dents pretty quickly.
On the bright side, there’s the Vibram heel to help manage these issues. Most buyers also prefer a Vibram half sole that’s rather easy to resole. The cork and the insole will slowly mold to your foot over time, improving comfort and arch support. However, the arch support isn’t so great and it’s good to state that there’s no steel, shank, or such to help with this aspect.
Wolverine 1000 Mile Fit and Sizing
These definitely run big. That means you should order a smaller size than your normal size. Since most people don’t really know their precise shoe size, we’d recommend trying them on while in the store whenever possible or have your feet measured first.
This should not be as hard as compared to more expensive brands, considering that the 1000 Mile is one of the most popular brands in the US.
The boots are offered in two different widths: D for normal feet and EEE for extra wide. Note that those Es actually stand for triple extra wide. After D widths come E, EE, and EEE. So, we’re referring to wide feet here, just as wide as shoe manufacturers make them.
Wolverine 1000 Mile Break-In
As earlier mentioned, the leather on these boots is pretty thick- a couple of millimeters- but even though they’re just as thick as other durable work boots such as Iron Ranger, they are not the hardest to break in.
The boots are fine to march right out of the box, but notably stiff in that you can tell the leather is new. The stated quality control issues with scratches and loose ends can be quite annoying but still inconsequential.
The Bottom Line
All things considered, the 1000 Mile is a decent buy. They’re versatile and serve comfortably in cities and suburbs- perfectly acceptable.
The leather upper is thick and nice, and will definitely last years. For work boots, however, the slippery leather sole is hard to overlook, though it makes for an easy break-in. In other words, the 1000 Mile boot is a great all-rounder. Not electrifying, but a wonderful piece of footwear.