Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots Review

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A quality leather boot can be a lifelong possession, even a generational heirloom. To endure the rigors of abuse the boot must be made from the toughest leather, sewn well, and very comfortable. How well does the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot stack up to 2,640,000 footsteps?

Update: As it turns out, maybe not so well: http://www.bestleather.org/wolverine-1000-mile-boots-six-month-checkup-uh-oh-sole-separation/

Update: After a year of use, this is what they look like as I clean and condition them.

construction ruggedness

The first impressions are of the thickness and suppleness of the Leather. It is Chromexcel leather from the Horween Leather Company, which supplies a lot of high quality leather. This leather is treated for 23 days with a variety of oils which makes the leather age with patina quite nicely. The feel of the leather is supple and substantial. By feel alone the boot conveys an attitude of durability and quality. High quality, check. For a $340 MSRP I would hope so…

The thread holding the boot together is white marine grade thread, the same type used in sails and Saddleback Leather products.

With some boots you get inexpensive laces, with the 1000 Mile Boot you get waxed laces made from short-weave cotton. They will not be disintegrating any time soon. When they do some different color laces may add an appealing level of colorific contrast. Another option are Leather Laces.

Leather soled boots tend to encounter a contradiction in purpose because of their rugged construction and yet their lack of traction and dislike of water. No doubt this is a consideration, but the application of high quality wax from Obenauf will waterproof and protect the leather. Having your cobbler install a Vibram Rubber Half Sole is also an option for increasing traction. With proper protection these boots will stand up to intense physical or liquid abuse (as will all quality leather).

If you need good traction from your boot and you want the characteristics of the 1000 Mile Boot then investigate the Red Wing Beckman, it has a rubber sole and is slightly cheaper. However, the Beckman does not have the Chromexcel leather which is an important selling point for the 1000 Mile Boot.


It is not an unduly bulky boot yet by no means is it feminine in proportion. The 1000 Mile Boot does not quite compare with the dramatic style of the Alden Men’s Plain Toe Boot Brown, it is quite acceptable in it’s understated functionality. As an onlooker commented:

It has the look of being custom or handmade but still has consistent quality. It isn’t a combat boot or a work boot, it’s an everyday boot.

You have two color choices, black or brown. Both are stunning. Black provides a nice contrast in color in the sole and body of the boot, not to mention the rest of your attire. Interestingly, the black boots can be worn formally if shined properly. Brown goes well with anything and always looks manly.

For conditioning the leather Horween recommends plain Neatsfoot Oil for their Chromexcel leather.

Best Leather conclusion

These are spendy boots, perhaps too much so for the limited functionality (water and traction). However, if you normally keep dry and value their awesome quality this may be the perfect daily boot for you. Just don’t go logging in them.

You can find a good a pair used on Ebay or new on Amazon. Check out this post on buying shoes on Ebay for ideas on getting them much cheaper than retail.

Make sure you read the one year cleaning/conditioning article on them.


About Author

A love for the symbolism of quality motivates me to enjoy the excellence of these products. I hope my labors are helpful to you. Most photos are shot with a Canon 6D and L glass and are not edited for color. What you see is what you get.

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11 Comments on "Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots Review"

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Artie Shell

How would 1000 mile boots pair with dress pants or slacks?


Hey Artie, I think they would be a bit too casual. The chromexcel doesn’t shine up well enough to fit that kind of setting. Of course, the shell cordovan 1000 mile boots are probably another story.


[…] TJ Kastning via Best Leather […]

Erik Clover

I bought a pair about 4 months ago and the leather around the eyelet ripped while lacing them up. They are in essence ruined with very little wear and no abuse. Wolverine would not warranty them and give me a replacement. They just pretty much blew me off. Yeah, I’ve never damaged a pair of shoes, boots or anything that laces like this. I would not buy again and you should not either.


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Steve Young
The heels of my boots were made of stacked cardboard with a round hole hollowing out the inside – really a cardboard shell holding on a small rubber pad on the bottom of the heel. Very cheap construction. Both of the heels fell off within the first two weeks of use. I had a cobbler put on proper heels. Wolverine Customer Service would not acknowledge the error or even help me. The boots are fine now with the new heels but it cost me an extra $50 to get rubber substitutes, not the stacked leather you would expect from costly… Read more »
Word of advice – I bought a lovely pair of Wolverine 1000 Mile boots, only to find that the quality was entirely rubbish. The soles were basically stuffed after wearing once. They went like wet cardboard. Like the other users, Wolverine wasn’t interested in replacing. Neither was the shop. They’ve made their money and obviously giving you another pair isn’t going to help, ‘cos they’re all the same shyte. They’re not cheap. For that money, I expected some solid quality. They looked really good too. I didn’t look for reviews on the boots. My bad – so to restore balance… Read more »
Captain Blood
Purchased two pairs of black boots and one pair of brown shoes. The leather is great for thickness, durability, and comfort. Sadly the stacked heels fell off within a month, then the boot leather began pulling away from the sole. Wolverine customer service was useless, simply advising I return them to store. So having paid £25 to have them shipped one way they expected me to pay again to send them back for inspection. Here in the U.K. Our shoemakers tend to be more understanding and generally fall over themselves to ensure good service. In the end I took them… Read more »