With over two hundred years of combined experience, Red Wing and Wolverine have continuously turned out high-quality work and casual boots making it often difficult to choose which of their boots to go for.
The boots that create the most confusion, usually, are the Red Wing Iron Ranger and Wolverine 1000 Mile because they are both qualitative boots with similar attributes.
However, the more you read this article, the less difficult your decision making will be.
This article is written as a guide to help you choose between the Red Wing Iron Ranger and Wolverine 1000 Mile through reviews and educating you on things to consider when investing in quality work and dress boots for any environment.
Gentlemen, shall we.
Background and History of Red Wing
Red Wing was founded and named after a city in Minnesota in 1903 by a shoe merchant named Charles Beckam. Red Wing was a town known for mining, logging and farming. These activities created the need for tough footwear that could match the unfriendly work environment. This inspired the founding of Red Wing boots.
An important time for the company must have been during World War I, when they had to design and make boots for the muddy trenches.
Over time, the company expanded to meet the demands of people working in similar environments around the country, then grew bigger to cater for the foot needs of more than a hundred countries across the world. However, her headquarters is still located where she was founded.
Red Wing’s quality statement is to “Make great product, deliver on time and continuously improve.” You would be right to say they have kept their promise and have been rewarded with loyal customers and a reputable spot in the shoes/ boots industry.
Red Wing has grown so much that it has additional brands- the Irish Setter brand and Vasque- which were established in 1950 and 1964 respectively. Irish Setter focuses on the manufacturing of hunting and work footwear, while Vasque specializes in hiking shoes and boots and uses the slogan, ‘Trust on the Trail’ to market itself.
The different designs of Red Wing boots are grouped under Work Boots, Heritage Boots, and Hunting Boots.
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Background and History of Wolverine
Wolverine didn’t immediately start off as a boots manufacturing company when G.A. Krause founded it in 1883. Rather, it started as a small leather tannery with a handful of employees.
However, when they started the production of boots, Krause and his sons were producing 300 boots a day by 1903. With time, they turned out more boots daily, employed more persons and attracted several investments to their town. In fact, it was their factory that brought electricity to Rockford- where the company was founded.
The company has thrived on two things- age and quality. This is why they say, “We’re good because we’re old,” and “We’re old because we stayed good.”
Apart from boots and shoes, the company is also into the production of clothing such as jackets, vests and thermals; and the production of accessories such as socks, insoles and laces. Everything Wolverine produces is built for comfort, purpose and endurance.
There’s more to the company than footwear and apparel- community service.
Wolverine has continued giving back to the community. The company initiated a project- Wolverine Project Bootstrap- where participants are educated on the great opportunities in skilled trades careers. This project was initiated to meet the demands of skilled labor, which is in short supply in the USA and it continues to accept new participants periodically.
What People Are Saying About Red Wing Iron Ranger
We do not want you to take only our words when making your buying decisions, we decided to let you know what other users are saying about Red Wing Iron Ranger vs Wolverine 1000 Miles.
Red Wing Iron Ranger has established a loyal customer base for itself, with one of its users describing himself as an “Iron ranger addict.”
The boots have been getting so many positive reviews. A hyper-enthusiastic user described the boots as, “the best boots ever,” and another wrote that they are “the best boots money can buy.” Most users praise the boots for being made of tough leather, offering comfort and durability.
However, users unanimously agree that the boots take time to break-in. Sometimes taking as long as 3-4 weeks. But once they eventually break-in they become very comfortable.
The boots also easily scratch on its surface. But this can be remedied with periodic application of boots oil.
To crown it all, they offer great customer service.
If you are looking for boots that will give you the value of your money and have people shower you with compliments every time you wear them, then these are the boots for you. However, you may have to exercise patience for the boots to break-in before you enjoy the comfort the boots offer.
What People Are Saying About Wolverine 1000 Mile
The Wolverine 1000 Mile boots have been described as “classic, simple, and elegant looking boots.” They are your go-to boots when you need to look dapper in a casual outfit.
The boots are made of quality leather and unlike the Iron Ranger, they quickly break-in and retain their smooth surfaces, no matter what comes in contact with them. True to its promise to deliver on quality, a user confesses that, “the stitching and overall construction are impeccable.”
But not all customers are happy with what they bought. One of such customer complained that the boots are not properly finished- “when received, the fit and finish were off and after wearing them for an hour, the leather began to split along the stitching of the heel.”
Another complained that in less than eight months, the heels of his 1000 Mile had broken off. While another also complained that the wood sole is slippery, which can be risky on oily or wet surfaces.
Conclusively, when you buy the Wolverine 1000 Mile, it should be for its elegance and style. They are not built for use in tough environments.
Is One Better Than the Other?
Your choice of the Red Wing Iron Ranger or Wolverine 1000 Mile would depend on what you want of the boots you’re purchasing. If you are buying the boots primarily for its look, that is, you need a dressy boot suitable for casual wear, then the Wolverine 1000 Mile is your best bet. But, if you want tough boots for working within a demanding environment, you should go for the Iron Ranger boots.
Popular Red Wing Iron Ranger Models
Remember we earlier established that the different designs of Red Wing are grouped under 3 categories. The Iron Ranger happens to be under Red Wing Heritage Boots and was originally built for iron miners in the 1930s.
Below are reviews of 2 popular Iron Ranger Models.
1. Iron Ranger Men’s 6-Inch Boot in Amber Harness Leather
As the name implies, this boot is made of amber harness leather. It features a combination of normal and speed hooks to keep your feet laced properly within the shoe. The toes are given the freedom to move as they naturally will within the boot, courtesy of the boot’s bump toe.
For a perfect finishing, the boots are Goodyear welt constructed. Most parts of the boots are double- or triple-sewn to erase worries you may have about your shoes coming apart.
Apart from the quality, durability and comfort this boot offers, it also offers beauty. This is one of the fastest selling models of the Iron Ranger.
- Bump toe which lets the toes move more naturally
- Goodyear welt construction
- Amber harness leather
- Nitrile cork sole
- Steel shank
2. Iron Ranger Men’s 6-Inch Boot in Copper Rough and Tough Leather
Another fastest selling model of the Iron Ranger. This boot is crafted to stand with you through rough and tough times and this is assured, not only the leather of the boot, but by its sole as well. This boot offers better traction than the Iron Ranger Amber harness leather because of its Vibram sole which is slip- and abrasion-resistant.
Like the previously reviewed boot, this boot has a toe bump for free toe movement.
However, you may not like that these boots do not have a cosy floor bed because of its leather insole- which is hard. You will have to get new insoles if you want to feel comfortable wearing this boot.
- Toe bump
- Nitrile cork midsole
- Nickel eyelets and hooks
- Vibram 430 mini-lug outsole
- Copper rough and tough leather
Final thoughts on Red Wing and Wolverine
Red Wing Iron Ranger Work Boots
If you are looking for work boots that are tough, both in looks and quality, then the Red Wing Iron Ranger is what you need to get for yourself. They come in different colors you could choose from.
You’ll however need to exercise patience with the boots as they take time to break in because of the tough texture of the leather it is made of. But once they do break-in, you’ll enjoy your boots.
Wolverine 1000 Mile Work Boots
These boots are for the perfect gentleman who always wants to make a lasting impression with his shoes anywhere he goes to. But you must know that these boots are not for demanding conditions or environments. Knowing this will save you stress and money.
Conclusively, both boot brands offer quality and style. If you want both work and dress boots, then you should go for both brands. If you want either work or dress boots, then you should go for either brand.
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