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New Wolverine boots reimagine original 1000 mile boot for company’s 140th anniversary

A reimagined classic

Collection of Wolverine Boots on counter

They aren’t good because they are old; they are old because they stay good. One hundred forty years is a long time to have your doors open, and the only way to make that happen is to ensure you only provide your customers with the best of the best. After a century and a half of making some of the best work boots on the market, Wolverine is digging deep into the archives to reimagine one of their most cherished classics. Like all Wolverine boots, the 1000 Mile is nothing but quality and effectiveness.

Of course, plenty of things make this boot the new (and old) staple you must have in your collection. You may ask what makes it so unique that Wolverine felt the need to bring it back. To find out for ourselves, we caught up with Scott Schoessel of the company to get his insight. “The original 1000 Mile Workboot was launched in the 1910s. The number one work boot of the time, the first work boot introduced on a broader scale. It was a fantastic boot known for its versatility and quality. It is called the 1000 mile because the claim is that it would last 1000 miles.”

Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot under a light

Throwback to the original

While the 1000 Mile boot is one of the staples of the Wolverine brand and is now offered in a myriad of colors and styles, the 140th Anniversary Edition sticks to the original. There are no bells and whistles. You won’t find a cap toe or a steel toe. You won’t find black or tan. You won’t find the Rough Out. It won’t be a hiking boot or a tactical boot. Instead, you will get a deep, rich, reddish hue on a basic boot that will look just as good no matter where you wear it.

“With WWII and the Industrial Revolution, the safety toe became very, very important,” Schoessel said. “As the core tradesman’s needs evolved. So did our offerings. We had always decided to keep the 1000 Mile the way it was because it was such a strong and compelling boot. Now, it is used more for fashion than it is for work. But it is an important boot for us, and we have never wanted to change it.”

Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot on counter

Keeping it simple

There is something to be said about simplicity. When you build a wardrobe full of classics with only flashes of trendy flare, it says something about you. People can assume you value consistency in who you are and what you wear. The 1000 Mile Boot honors this because it doesn’t need bells and whistles to continue its legacy.

Schoessel considers those values to be the cause of the 1000 Miles’ success. “It’s a minimalistic boot, but made to last for a long time. I love the look and feel of the boot, but the durability, the leather, and the construction have always been the calling card of the 1000 Mile.” As for the reason Wolverine gets to celebrate 140 years, “We don’t try to be something we’re not,” he said. “That commitment to being who we are and continuing to find ways to grow organically instead of trying to be everything to everyone is a distinct strategy.”

The 1000 Mile won’t be everything to everyone, but it will live true to a core belief held by Wolverine Boots. It will break in well before it breaks down.

Mark McKee
Mark is a full-time freelance writer and men's coach. He spent time as a style consultant and bespoke suit salesman before…
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