Wolverine 1000 Mile Review

This is my detailed review of the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot. Read on to learn more about its specifications, features, and whether it is worth the money or not. 

As a boot collector and enthusiast, I could not help myself but get excited whenever I hear about a new trending pair of footwear. But due to my enthusiasm, I often forget to look at the classics on the market.

I have heard about the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots for quite some time now. However, I did not have the chance to try it until today.

In this in-depth Wolverine 1000 Mile boot review, I will discuss the brand history, leather quality, style and design, sole, sizing, break-in period, and price to performance. I will also talk about the pros and cons of these boots, so you can have a better idea of whether they are worth purchasing or not.

So, without further ado, let us get on with the detailed review!

Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots Overview

Wolverine Men's 1000 Mile Fashion Boot

The Wolverine 1000 Mile was first introduced back in the 1910s. It is considered America’s original work boot. It is named as so because it can last up to a thousand miles of wear.

The boot originally used horsehide leather to withstand rough working conditions. Now, Wolverine mainly takes advantage of full-grain cowhide and other high-quality materials designed for durability. Besides its impressive sturdiness, the 1000 Mile is also famous for its classic and masculine look. There is also a Goodyear welt construction that allows you to replace the sole to guarantee years of wear.


  • Premium Horween leather upper construction
  • Classic leather outsole
  • Vibram heel cap
  • Flat waxed cotton laces
  • Goodyear™ welt construction
  • Shaft measures approximately six inches from arch

What We Like About the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot

  • It is handcrafted in the USA
  • Full-grain high-quality leather construction that only gets better with age
  • Round-toe design for more wiggle room and comfort
  • Rugged and masculine design yet still stylish
  • Goodyear welted construction makes it easy to replace the butyl leather sole
  • Vibram rubber outsole provides much-needed grip for various terrains
  • 30-day Comfort Guarantee

What We Do Not Like About the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot

  • The lack of shank might not be ideal for those who need arch and heel support
  • A relatively lengthy break-in period
  • It can be more expensive than other everyday work boots on the market with similar quality and builds

Wolverine 1000 Mile Reviews

I chose the Wolverine Men’s 1000 Mile Fashion Boot in Cordovan No. 8 Leather. Do note that its name refers to the particular color and design. It does not indicate that it uses Cordovan, which is another type of leather.

First Impressions

Right out of the box, I like the style of the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot. It features a classic and all-rounder look that is ideal for everyday use. The rugged boot is not too formal yet not too casual either. At the same time, I think it suits both indoor and outdoor environments.

Additionally, the particular color—Cordovan No. 8 Leather—that I chose can complement most of my outfits. I can already see myself rocking these boots while wearing my favorite blue jeans or formal slacks.

There is also a subtle “Wolverine 100 mile” etched into the shaft. It was such a nice touch that lets you know the brand name without screaming it at your face.

Upon touching the Wolverine boots, I liked that they were about two millimeters thick. I also appreciate that triple stitching along the vamp, and of course, the Goodyear welt that makes it easy to re-sole the boots. 

As for the leather sole, it looks sturdy but lacks the grooves you often see from rubber outsoles. Fortunately, there is a Vibram heel that provides a strong grip on slippery surfaces.

The last to inspect is the interior of these Wolverine boots. It does not have any lining or cushioning, which further emphasizes the no-frills aesthetic of the everyday boot.

All in all, the Wolverine Boots left a strong first impression on me.

Leather Quality

Before, the Wolverine 1000 Mile only used one specific type of leather. Today, there are three available kinds available. These include Essex, Rough Out, and Chromexcel. Each one has its pros and cons. Plus, you have the option to customize your own pair and combine different leathers, colors, and threads together.

But in this detailed Wolverine 1000 Mile review, I will focus on Chromexcel. This leather type is perhaps the most basic and original one. It is among the flagship leathers from the Horween Leather Company in Chicago, United States. 

Simply put, Horween Chromexcel leather is a combination of tanned leather that undergoes an intricate crafting process. This procedure takes over the course of 28 days with at least 86 steps. It involves the material being impregnated or hot-stuffed with oils, greases, and waxes. It ultimately creates a pretty shiny boot, where the wax and oils move throughout the upper surface. It looks fantastic, making it the polar opposite of a dry and boardy leather that feels dead.

Additionally, Chromexcel is full-grain leather, which is considered the highest quality leather on the market. Although I find that it is not as smooth or uniform in color as other leathers, I have read that it is more durable. And upon testing it on the concrete and muddy ground, I can attest to this claim. The leather held up very well despite being subjected to rough terrain.

The Wolverine 1000 Mile on Horween Chromexcel leather also ages better. Thus, I am confident that it can last me for a long time, as long as I take proper care of the product.

Leather Care

Speaking of proper care, I have read that Chromexcel requires regular maintenance to maintain its quality. So, I did my research to find out how exactly do you clean the Wolverine 1000 Mile. 

Horween, the leather manufacturer, suggests cleaning the 1000 Mile Boot with neatsfoot oil or Venetian Shoe Cream. On the other hand, Wolverine recommends leather conditioners that have pine pitch and mink oil in the ingredients. But they said that if you prefer more heavy-duty wear, then a leather dressing might be more suitable for you. Regardless of which product you choose, they can only work if you follow the right care instructions.

Fortunately, Wolverine has an informative instructional video that takes me through the dos and don’ts of caring for the boots. The VP of Product Development suggests cleaning the leather and sole with a damp cloth. He also encourages us to get a brush if we want to get rid of excess dirt. It is essential to clean the boot regularly to ensure that it will last for a long time. Once you are sure that there is no excess debris, he recommends using a leather conditioner. He also likes to cover the boot exterior with a sealer, wax, or polish to protect it against the elements.

I also called up Wolverine to get more advice on leather care. They told me that it is best to conditioner the boots every two or three weeks if I wear them everyday. But personally, I do not use the 1000 Mile boot on a daily basis, especially during colder months. I wear them every other day at most, so they have time to air out. Plus, I avoid using waxed polishes because Chromexcel is still considered an unwaxed leather despite having waxes involved in the creation process.

Overall, I find that the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot is relatively easy to take care of. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and you will have a pair of footwear that can last you for a long time.

Style and Design

Different Styles and Designs of Wolverine Men's 1000 Mile Fashion Boot

If I can describe the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot in one word, I would pick “classic.” The entire collection just exudes a timeless look with a hint of ruggedness. Wolverine currently offers dura-shock, insulated, and waterproof options on top of the original 1000 Mile Boot. I find that it is the perfect footwear for everyday wear. But at the same time, I find that it fits more formal events as well. 

The pair that I own is the 1000 Mile Fashion Boot in Cordovan No. 8 Leather. It is a cool dark brown color that oozes off masculinity. And true to its name, it is stylish and fashionable in my opinion. The stitching looks sturdy and adds decorative detail to the boots. Meanwhile, the dark brown cotton laces and brass eyelets have a subtle color that complements the leather exterior. Furthermore, the Goodyear welt is so much thicker than I have imagined, which brings a more rugged appearance. Overall, the boots have a very versatile look, making them easy to pair with any outfit.

My favorite way to wear my Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot is with my slim dark jeans. I like how the ruggedness of both pieces blend together so well. But besides casual wear, I really appreciate how I can pull off wearing a blazer or sport coat with this pair of footwear. Just make sure that the clothing uses a relatively casual fabric, such as corduroy or tweed.

Leather Soles

Besides the leather exterior quality and design, I was also impressed with the leather sole of the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot.

It features three layers, namely a leather outsole, a cork midsole, and a leather insole. To top it off, a Vibram rubber heel and a 270-degree Goodyear welt add stability and durability to the sole.

The butyl-treated leather outsole fits well with the overall leather exterior of the Wolverine 1000 Mile boot. However, I find that it provides little to no traction, even on flat surfaces, due to the lack of grooves or treads. It is also easily susceptible to dents and scratches, so I have to be careful when I am using it on rough terrains.

Fortunately, there is a Vibram heel cap that makes up for this flaw. Since it provides extra grip, I find it useful on slippery surfaces and uneven ground. I also noticed that the traction could improve the longer you wear them. So, again, the Wolverine 100 Mile Boot only gets better with age.

As for the midsole and insole, they slowly mold to your foot to guarantee greater comfort and arch support. With that said, the lack of shank or steel results in insufficient support. I always find myself missing the soft cushioning found in my other pairs of boots. 

All in all, though, I am still satisfied with the sole of the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot.

Fit and Sizing

In terms of fit and sizing, I highly recommend trying the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot in-store to ensure that you will get the right size. If that is not possible, go to any shoe store anyway. Once there, ask for the staff to measure your feet using a Brannock device. Then, check the sizing chart of the Wolverine 1000 Mile to guarantee the proper fit for you.

When I was checking the boots in-store, I found out that the sizes tend to run large. Hence, I ordered a pair of boots that is a half size down. I recommend you also do the same for a comfortable fit.

As for the width, I asked the staff at Wolverine if they have other width sizes—it turns out that they do! There are D-wide boots that are ideal for normal feet. But EEE boots are also available for individuals with wider feet. EEE simply stands for triple extra-wide. Do note that these boots are really wide, so they can fit loose depending on your feet.

But since I have relatively narrow feet, the D size is enough for me. It fits me like a glove, which ensures comfortable wear throughout the day.

Break-in Period

The Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot has a pretty thick leather at around two millimeters. So unlike my cheaper pairs of boots with thinner leather, this particular model took some time to break in. I found the leather stiff, which told me that it was new. However, it also caused discomfort at the back of my heel when walking for long periods. It took at least a week before the 1000 Mile boots stopped being painful. 

But when compared to other boots at the same price range, like the Iron Ranger, I noticed that the 1000 Mile Boots are much easier to break in. I experienced blisters and pain when walking in the Iron Rangers. In contrast, the 1000 Mile Boots simply caused slight discomfort during the first week of wearing them.

As for the sole, the Wolverine 1000 Mile did not feel stiff. It is easy to walk in straight out of the box—a benefit of the relatively weak sole without much traction.


I purchased the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot for around $350 at Amazon. It was at least 10% off, and I needed a new pair of boots, so I had to go ahead and buy them. Do note, though, that you can get the boots at a much lower price during major sale dates. I saw it retailed at 40% off at Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale and Amazon’s Black Friday Sale. So if you happen to see them at that price, I recommend buying them because that is an absolute steal.

But even though I got it at around the original price, I do not regret the purchase. I think the price is reasonable, considering the high-quality materials and craftsmanship of the boots. Just think about the durable Goodyear welt and the leather that comes from one of the most reputable tanneries in the country.

Overall, the price to performance of the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot is hard to beat.

What Other Customers Say About the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots

We checked hundreds of customer reviews for the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots on three popular eCommerce stores. It has an average rating of 4.5/5 stars, making it one of the highly-rated leather boots on the market.

Most users were impressed with the leather quality and USA manufacturing of the 1000 Mile. They were satisfied with their purchase because the boots feel premium and can last them for a long time.

Another feature that stood out for a lot of customers is the Goodyear welt. One user said that “while these boots will probably wear a bit faster than others with mostly Vibram outsoles, the ability to re-sole … will pay off in the long run.” The boots ultimately allow you to pick the right sole for your needs. You can either choose to have them replaced at Wolverine or at your local cobbler. If you have decided on the latter option, you can select from a rubber tap sole, rugged Vibram lug, and rubber wedge.

Many Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots reviews also mentioned the style and design. They appreciate how the boots are suitable for daily wear, yet they would not look out of place in business or business-casual attire. Plus, the waxed laces with speed hooks complement the classic design while making the rugger boot easier to take on and off.

If there is any critique, it would be the soft nature of Chromexcel leather. Some customers have to be careful around rough terrain and pets because they can easily leave scratches.

Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot Alternatives

Are you looking for a more affordable version of the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot? Or perhaps, a more premium model? Below, I will discuss a few alternatives to the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot that are worth considering.

Red Wing Heritage Men’s Iron Ranger Boot

Red Wing Heritage Men's Iron Ranger Boot

The Red Wing Heritage Men’s Iron Ranger Boot is perhaps the closest competitor of the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot in terms of features and price offered.

Red Wing is also an iconic American brand with just as much heritage as Wolverine, having been established in 1905. Based on the number of reviews of their products, you could argue that Red Wing is the more popular option of the two.

I also own a pair of their flagship product, the Iron Ranger Red Wing boots. In terms of style and design, they look similar to the 1000 Mile. The genuine leather construction adds sophistication to your overall look. Plus, the Vibram 430 Mini-lug sole offers better grip and traction on surfaces. The only thing I did not like as much with this product was the lengthy break-in period.

Thursday Boot Company Captain Men’s Lace-up Boot

Thursday Boot Company Captain Men's Lace-up Boot

If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to Wolverine 1000 Mile, consider getting the Thursday Boot Captain Lace-up Boots.

They pack the same impressive features but at a significantly lower price. These include the Goodyear welting for replacing the soles, full-grain leather (albeit not Chromexcel leather), and a stylish silhouette. The main difference lies in the sole. The Captain Boots have a studded rubber outsole that provides strong grip and traction on various surfaces.

So if all these benefits sound good to you, try the Thursday Boots for yourself.

Allen Edmonds Men’s Higgins Mill Boot

Allen Edmonds Men's Higgins Mill Boot

Those who want a dressier version of the Wolverine Boots might like the Allen Edmonds Men’s Higgins Mill Boots.

They feature the same Horween Chromexcel leather construction and Goodyear welting. But instead of the leather sole, this pair of boots use a robust Dainite sole for all-weather traction. They also have a slimmer profile and a lower toe-box, ideal for dressier outfits and more formal events.

All these benefits come at a steep cost, though. It is around $100 more expensive than the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots. 

Is the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot Worth the Cost?

I personally think the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot is an excellent pair of footwear for the price. It features full-grain Chromexcel leather that only gets better with age. There is also the Goodyear welt construction that allows you to replace the sole. Other benefits include the classic silhouette, leather sole with Vibram heel, and round-toe design for comfortable yet stylish boots.

However, if you need a stronger grip on slippery surfaces, you might be disappointed with these boots. But for everyday use in casual or business-casual events, I find them suitable and versatile enough to meet my needs. So, make sure to consider your own needs before purchasing these boots.

Once you have decided, you can use this link to order your Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot today or click here to read more customer reviews.