This is the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot, it’s a design that was originally released in 1914, over 109 years ago, and it’s still being made in the USA today using the original patterns.
This boot design is emblematic of the footwear worn by many of our grandparents and great-grandparents, whether they worked on farms, in factories, on construction sites, in transportation, or other industries.
Wolverine: A History Speedrun
Wolverine was established in 1883 by G.A. Krause in Rockford, Michigan. From its inception, the company produced leather goods, primarily boots, that were designed for the blue collar workers of America.
In 1914 Wolverine unveiled the original 1000 Mile Boot, named for its promised durability of 1000 miles. It was more than just a marketing ploy, the name reflected the company’s confidence in the boot’s endurance, owing to both its craftsmanship and the materials used.
Made with locally sourced American leather, the boot was initially designed to cater to a growing working class that was building America’s railroads, skyscrapers, and factories.
It’s worth noting that the early 20th century was a transformative period for the United States. The country was shifting gears from an agrarian economy to an industrial powerhouse, the likes of which the world had never seen.
The demand for durable, comfortable footwear that could withstand the rigors of labor-intensive jobs was high. In this climate, the 1000 Mile Boot found its niche, becoming a beloved staple for countless workers.
The decades that followed saw the Wolverine company go through ups and downs, much like the country it was based in. Economic downturns, wars, and changing fashion trends tested Wolverine’s mettle.
Thankfully, the 1000 Mile Boot, with its ageless design and reputation for longevity, weathered these challenges and remained in production.
In the 21st century, as the world started moving towards fast fashion and disposable products, there has emerged a counter-movement that valued quality, sustainability, and timeless style. Recognizing this shift, Wolverine revived and redefined the 1000 Mile Boot for a new generation.
The company painstakingly referenced old design patterns and production methods to ensure that the modern version stayed true to its roots while catering to contemporary tastes.
The Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot
The modern Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot is made using the same techniques as the originals from over a century ago, some updates have been included to improve the boots further including the use of a Vibram® rubber heel from Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
The upper is now made from premium leather supplied by the Horween Leather Company in Chicago, Illinois and flat-waxed cotton laces from Landrum, South Carolina.
It also uses traditional Goodyear™ welt construction, this means the sole is stitched into place, so it can be easily replaced by a cobbler when it wears out – this vastly lengthens the potential life of the boot.
Sizing ranges from 6 – 14 US and you can choose between black or brown colorways. Sizing availability can vary due to the fact that the boots are individually made by hand, but new batches are coming out regularly.
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