FULL REVIEW + PICTURES: https://stridewise.com/red-wing-vs-wolverine/
Red Wing versus Wolverine is the biggest boot battle of them all. The question of Iron Ranger or 1000 Mile has been hotly debated since time immemorial and there’s good reason: they’re both often considered the best entry level boot, they both have cult followings, and they’re similarly priced.
I’ve actually worn both pairs of boots for months, and I think there’s a clear winner.
WATCH THE ORIGINAL RED WING REVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amleWqDrCf8
The Amber Harness color is oil-tanned, full grain, remarkably thick leather that is no fun to break in (expect blisters) but over the year that I’ve been wearing these, the leather and the sole have molded to the shape of my foot and almost feel like they’re custom designed for me.
It doesn’t have as much color depth as Wolverine, but it aged much better as time went by. I conditioned them with Obenauf’s Leather Oil and while it darkened the leather a lot more than something like Venetian Shoe Cream would have, it did a great job of keeping everything moist. Taking care of oil tanned leather doesn’t need to be overthought.
Wolverine opted for the famous Chromexcel® leather, a combination tanned leather from Horween Leather Company that is jam packed with oils, waxes, and greases, including beeswax and beef tallow. It has great depth of color and looks fantastic in sunlight, the only real downside is that the top finish is pretty vulnerable to scratches and nicks.
You just need Venetian Shoe Cream to condition these, but Saphir’s Renovateur can also be good if you like shinier boots. While Chromexcel is good quality, Wolverine doesn’t seem to have done a great job selecting their materials — these boots creased like crazy within just a week of wear.
WATCH THE WOLVERINE REVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAmSrCuX-tA
It depends on when you buy them. Traditionally, this shoe has been made with a nitrile cork sole, but as of summer 2018 it’s only available with a Vibram mini lug, which offers superior traction and grip.
Then there’s a cork midsole, a steel shank for arch support and stability, and a leather insole. Both boots have a 270-degree Goodyear welt, which makes them easy to resole and offers some water resistance.
These boots have a butyl-treated leather sole, which I didn’t like at all. They slip pretty easily in wet weather and while the grip does improve over time, you’re rewarded with a very ugly, scratched up leather sole for your troubles.
There’s also no shank in this boot and while the Vibram heel offers a little better shock absorption, this advantage is nullified once you get the full Vibram sole in the new Red Wings.
For either boot, I recommend ordering a half size down from your sneaker size. I’m between 11.5 and 12 on a Brannock device and I’m comfortable in the size 11 from both brands.
Red Wing has widths in D and EE, Wolverine in D and EEE. Narrow feet need not apply, unfortunately.
READ MORE: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO HOW BOOTS SHOULD FIT: http://stridewise.com/how-boots-should-fit
On Amazon you can get a pair for about $320. They sometimes go on sale on Nordstrom Rack if you’re patient.
Expect to pay about $360 on Wolverine’s official site. They’re a little cheaper on Amazon (the price fluctuates) but don’t expect it to approach Red Wing’s price, which has the clear advantage here.
YOU SHOULD TOTALLY BUY YOUR PAIR AT THE LINK IN MY REVIEW: https://stridewise.com/red-wing-vs-wolverine/
The 1000 Mile is definitely dressier and more versatile, but Red Wing is cheaper, gives better support, has better grip, and more importantly it aged much, much, much better.
READ THE ORIGINAL RED WING REVIEW: https://stridewise.com/red-wing-iron-ranger-review/
READ THE ORIGINAL WOLVERINE REVIEW: https://stridewise.com/wolverine-1000-mile-review/