Red Wing Iron Ranger vs. Wolverine 1000 Mile Work Boots

red wing vs wolverine boots

Red Wing Iron Ranger vs. Wolverine 1000 Mile Work Boots

Red Wing and Wolverine

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 Rangers and Wolverine 1000 Mile through reviews and educating you on things to consider when investing in a quality work and dress boots for any environment.

Gentlemen, shall we.

Background and History of Red Wing

Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger 6-Inch Boot, Amber Harness, 9.5 D(M) US

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 footwears 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 the 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 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 footwears, 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.

Background and History of Wolverine

Wolverine Original 1000 Mile Boot Men 8.5 Brown

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 footwears and apparels- 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 labour, which is in short supply in the USA and it continues to accept new participants periodically

What People are Saying about Red Wing Iron Rangers

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 Rangers and Wolverine 1000 Miles.

Red Wing Iron Rangers 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 customers 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 Rangers 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 wears, then the Wolverine 1000 Mile is your best bet. But, if you want tough boots for working with in 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

Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger 6-Inch Boot, Amber Harness, 9.5 D(M) US

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 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 model of the Iron Ranger.

Main features

  • 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

Red Wing Heritage Men's Iron Ranger Work Boot, Copper Rough and Tough, 10 D US


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.

Main features

  • Toe bump
  • Nitrile cork midsole
  • Nickel eyelets and hooks
  • Vibram 430 mini-lug outsole
  • Copper rough and tough leather

Popular Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots

Wolverine 1000 Mile was so named because it offered 1000 miles of wear. Below are reviews on 3 models of the Wolverine 1000 Mile boots.

1.    Wolverine Men’s 1000 Mile Fashion Boot

Wolverine Original 1000 Mile Boot Men 8.5 Brown

With the glossy leather of this boot, you are sure to attract compliments from people while wearing them.

The outlook of this boot is proof that the boots were meticulously handcrafted. The craftsmen had your best interest at heart when they decided to apply the goodyear welt method of shoe construction because with that, you can always resole your boots. Also, the waxed cotton laces that come with these boots are durable.

Wolverine 1000 Mile fashion boot is best used as a casual and not work boot for several reasons. Firstly, the leather is not tough enough to be used as work boots. Secondly, the soles made of wood do not offer enough traction with the ground above certain floor surfaces and they are not slip-resistant.

Main features:

  • Wood sole
  • Hand crafted
  • Waxed cotton laces
  • Goodyear welt construction

2.    Wolverine Evans 1000 Mile Men’s Boot

Wolverine Evans 1000 Mile Boot Men 10 Brown Leather

The major difference between this boot and the previously reviewed boot is the sole of the boot. While the 1000 Mile fashion boot’s sole has Vibram rubber under its heel only, this has under the heel and forefoot, which offers it better traction with the ground and makes it slip-resistant.

The durability of this boot is assured because it is made of premium leather. The soles are also flexible, hence the whole boot because they are goodyear welt constructed.

However, you may be disappointed to find out that the boots are narrow. If you have wide feet, you may want to consider going for another model of Wolverine 1000 Mile boot.

Main features:

  • Made of premium leather
  • Hand crafted
  • Double stitched
  • Leather insole

3.    Wolverine Addison 1000 Mile Wingtip Men’s Boot

Wolverine Addison 1000 Mile Wingtip Boot Men

These boots with its brogue design, spell the word ‘vintage’. From the rim of the boots to its’ soles, every part of the boot shows the commitment put into making these boots one of the classiest casual boots you could have.

They are double-stitched to guarantee the boots do not fall apart under pressure. Its laces are cotton waxed to match the colour and style of the boots. The Vibram sole featured in these boots is located only under the heels. The rest of the sole is of wood, which means the slip-resistance is limited.

Main features:

  • Wingtip
  • Vibram outsole
  • Waxed cotton lace
  • Premium leather from Horween Leather Company, Chicago.

Things to Consider When Investing in a Quality Work and Dress Boots for any Environment.

Work and dress boots clearly meet different demands, but there are similar things you should consider before investing in them.


Boots require special care, they are not maintained the same way you’d maintain your regular footwears. So, it’s advisable to ask the store keeper or an authority on this how best to maintain your dress or work boots. For example, although we are advised to oil our boots to maintain its gloss and treat the leather, doing this often could soften the leather.


Even if you love boot-shopping, I’m sure you’d rather bought new boots because you want to increase your boots collection and not because you want to replace spoilt ones. The durability of a dress or work boot is guaranteed by the leather (or whatever material it is made of) and soles. If you are not an expert in knowing the quality of a leather, it is advisable you bought directly from the company or a trusted seller.


Nobody enjoys discomfort. So even if you want work or dress boots, you need to be assured of your comfort, especially with work boots. Most boots are made of leather insoles- which is hard and offers no comfort at all. Your best bet at getting comfortable in these boots would be to get yourself insoles.


Picking your correct boot size may be dicey. Some boots have a different sizing pattern. The Red Wing for instance, advises you bought a size ½ smaller than your usual shoe size

Final thoughts on Red Wing and Wolverine

Red Wing Iron Ranger Work Boots

If you are looking for work boots which 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 colours 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.


Wilcox Boots vs Timberland Boots : Who Makes Better Boots

7 Best Men’s Boots for Everyday Wear

Most Comfortable Oxfords Men’s Dress Shoes That Still Looks Stylish

9 Best Military Boots That Are Totally Worth The Investment

Shoes to Wear With Shorts and Polo Shirt

Most Comfortable Tuxedo Shoes for Formal and Wedding Occasions