Red Wing Iron Ranger VS. Wolverine 1000 Mile: A Head-To-Head Comparison

red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile

There is going to be a clash. Yes, in my mind. I always get myself trapped in the confusion of choosing what the best is.

 

Red Wing Iron Ranger VS. Wolverine 1000 Mile, you have me hooked this time. With boots that come from the legends, it is never easy to decide what to pick.

 

In many aspects, they are equally competitive. Who can blame me for taking the time to choose between the two?

 

  • They both have the highest quality of material that makes them durable and dependable. 
  • Companies that are an icon of American footwear for generations manufacture them both.
  • The difference in their price is not significant.

By experience, the two giants are survivors when it comes to extreme conditions. What is a better way of comparing than actually using them both? As a backpacker, I abuse boots through long hikes, rugged terrains, crossing rivers, and climbing mountains.  


The weather was never a reason to stop when it is about going outdoors. Summer or winter, you can find our team trotting down the trails. I am optimistic that these boots will not fail me.


Who do you think will claim the victory?


Red Wing Iron Ranger Review

Brand:

Red Wing Iron Ranger is one of the frontliners when it comes to Red Wing boots men’s collection. Considered as one of the leading styles, Iron Ranger got its name from the hardworking miners in Minnesota Northern iron range. It is funny, but I always think that the boots got its toughness from its background itself.


For over 100 years, RED WING is dominating the boots market and still stands as one of the most outstanding brands in footwear manufacturing. I do not need to raise a brow when it is evident that Iron Ranger is the most expensive I found in the line. I justify the price by noting down that it is the best. Definitely, the strongest contender among the boots.

Leather: 

red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile
red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile

Are you familiar with the scent and feel of genuine leather? Iron Ranger bears the Amber Harness leather of Red Wing. Every fan knows about the oil-tanned signature leather that is famous to be perspiration, stain, and water-resistant.

 

The simple and classic look of pure leather attracts boots lovers because of its natural beauty and remarkable sturdiness. If you wear them often, condition the leather after a few months. Of course, it also depends on how beat up the boots are when you wear them.

 

A little heads up though; the color of the leather turns dark brown after conditioning so you might want to consider this aspect when you go pick the right color for you. Otherwise, I suggest using a cream (Red Wing’s leather cream) that does not affect the leather’s color.

Vibram Soles:

red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile

I consider the soles as one of the vital parts that makes a work boot. It is not a surprise to have a leather insole for the Iron Ranger. However, I consider it a significant factor that the outsole is made of Vibram 430 min-lug.

 

This newly updated sole is for the desire to give an upgraded comfortable feel while holding a lustrous profile at the same time. The non-marking and the oil-resistant sole is one reason that makes the boots robust and dependable. 

Construction and Design:

red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile

One thing that Iron Ranger stands unique from its competitor is the fact that it is an original handcraft product from the USA. I admire the durable Goodyear stitch-down welt construction and the meticulous contrast stitching. The triple stitched waxed strand is outstanding and flawless.


This work boot is furnished with a bump cap toe that is purposely designed for more space, high polished hooks, nickel eyelets, and a 48” black/brown Taslan lace that do not pill over time.

Wearing the Iron Ranger Boots: Size and Fit, Color

Upon knowing the background, it seems natural to turn a blind eye to the cost upon purchase. If I have to identify the victor between the Red Wing Iron Ranger VS. Wolverine 1000 Mile, I need to make them be a part of my daily walks.


It took me a few weeks to break in the boots and felt comfortable. I will not recommend using these new boots for long walks, or you will end up crying. Our tolerance may be different, but I certainly will not be using it straight the whole day while working.

red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile
red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile
red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile
red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile

Although honestly, after a month, I tried it at work for a day in the shop and I must say that I wish it goes with extra cushions for more foot comfort. However, I can attest that it is superbly non-slip on wet surfaces.

 

In fairness, when I finally over the break in agony, it really felt comfortable. It was like the firm, cozy feel that supports my feet in place. Besides, I like wearing them with wool socks, just to lessen the heat or cold.

 

Heads up, if you decide to buy these brown work boots, size should be bigger by standards. Order a smaller size.


Wolverine 1000 Mile Review

Brand:

When I see a product that has protected and maintained its standards for a century and more, it is like a confirmation that they are serious when dealing with business. Wolverine 1000 Mile is a working boot that you can call a lifelong companion. A possession that means not to fail you in any situation.

 

Even with all the repairs that came along the way, it still is the same dependable footwear in every stride. How does Wolverine 1000 Mile compete with Iron Ranger? Does it mean to last after 1000 miles of wear?

Leather:

red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile
red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile

It always starts with the leather. The supple feel of the leather upon my touch is the first thing that comes to mind. The Wolverine 1000 Mile 100% Horween chromexcel high-quality leather has a high level of wax or grease that makes the boot easy to shine without a shoe polisher. This type of leather ages with coating rather nicely.


Do you know that you can customize your own pair of boots? Choose among the different kinds of leather like the rough out, chukka, Chelsea, wingtip and so on. You can even ask for a combination of them. Well, this original Wolverine 1000 Mile suits me fine, and I fancy the primary brown color.

Sole:

red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile

Wolverine 1000 Mile has ¾-leather sock insert footbed and a leather welt. The fixed leather outsole with cork filler makes me doubt it would last longer considering I am fond of outdoors. However, I see that the application of what they call Obenauf wax will waterproof and shield the leather.  


The sole has three layers (leather, cork, leather) that perfectly mold the shape of your foot for ease and arch support. Although without a shank, I doubt it would do a great job. Well, I’m just sharing my thoughts.


Although there is no doubt that the wax is of high quality, I still worry that its protection will not last that long. Besides, I know that leather soles are inadequate when it comes to traction. Well, there is always an option of installing Vibram Rubber Sole to address the said issue.

Construction and Design:

red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile

Taking a closer look, with its GoodYear Welt construction, a white marine grade thread holds the boot together, and it uses waxed laces and bronze eyelets that appears to be durable enough to last long. These boots will display a classical type of footwear.


The classic design of the boots give a somewhat boxy and shiny but does not show off as too formal or casual. It’s the type of boots that I can wear and fit whatever the day would bring.

Wearing the Wolverine 1000 Mile: Color, Size, and Fit:

I observed these famous brands have a bigger size than the usual standards. Expect that the Wolverine 1000 Mile is big. I may advise not buying it online just to be sure, or try to find out the smaller size that fits you.


Good news to those who have wide feet, Wolverine 1000 Mile offers two sizes. “D” for normal feet size and “EEE” for customers with wide feet.

red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile
red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile
red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile
red wing iron ranger vs wolverine 1000 mile

Honestly, the boots are not as striking as anticipated but it is great looking and stunning considering the brown and black choices of colors. However, to me, it is more of casual footwear that I can use in any occasion. While I was thinking of using them even on formal events, I know these work boots are durable and can last a long time.


Wearing them was not a breeze either. I found it a bit difficult for the first few walks. I suggest taking it slow and going for short walks. You would eventually observe the change of the feel after a few weeks.

 

I intentionally wear the boots every other day so it can air out for a while. But if you do not have another spare of boots, I suggest to condition it at least once every two weeks just to maintain the top finish appearance.

Red Wing Iron Ranger VS. Wolverine 1000 Mile

I have stated my individual reviews for both brands to give you a glimpse of their materials, construction, their background, and my personal experience when wearing them. I have a table that will show you how I rate the two regarding specific criteria. Take note that the scores are according to my personal preference. 

Brand

Design

Leather

Sole

Size/Fit

Colors

Total

Red Wing

10

9

9

9

9

9

55

Wolverine

10

7

9

8

9

8

51

My Personal Pick/The Best Product

Sale
Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger 6-Inch Boot, Amber Harness, 10 D(M) US
  • The product is natural leather and its easy for scuffs to happen but they rub out.This can be removed by a soft dry cloth and lightly buffed out the scuffs.
  • Fit Recommendation - Many customers size down ½ to 1 full size.
  • Features a bump toe for more room up-front. Double layer leather toe cap and leather heel pocket
  • Style No. 8111
  • Care instructions -Use warm water and a soft bristle brush to remove stuck-on dirt and then use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away any remaining excess dirt

Last update on 2018-10-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It’s rather apparent that my winner is Red Wing Iron Ranger. As you can see, the two legendary brands are not that far apart from the competition. As tight as it can be, I need to pick my own winner.


Red Wing Iron Ranger displays a much more pleasing aesthetics and outstands the safety and support offered. It did give me a hard time during break-in, but once I got the feel of it, the comfort in my every step amazes me. Besides, it’s been a while, and the boots still hold up to its toughness like its brand new.

Other Work Boot Brands that I recommend:

I do have a couple of choices that I also found worthwhile and promising work boots. Try to have a peek and tell me what you think.

Timberland Pro Men’s Titan Work Boots

Sale
Timberland PRO Men's 26078 Titan 6" Waterproof Safety-Toe Work Boot,Dark Mocha,10.5 M
  • Ankle-high work boot with waterproof leather upper featuring lace front and PowerFit comfort system
  • Contoured work tongue and padded collar. Contoured open-cell polyurethane footbeds
  • Meets or exceeds ASTM standards. Nylon diffusion shank for structural support and torsional rigidity
  • PU midsole with lightweight and durable cushioning
  • Nylon diffusion shank for torsional rigidity

Last update on 2018-10-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This 6” waterproof safety-toe work boots is lightweight, durable and is versatile. Also waterproof, the Timberland Titan Work boot features soft full grain leather, alloy safety toe for a superior fit, antimicrobial lining for odor control, slip/oil resistant rubber outsole, and cement construction for comfort and support.

KEEN Utility Men’s Tacoma Work Boots

Sale
Keen Utility Men's Tacoma Waterproof Work Boot, Black, 10.5 M US
  • Left and right asymmetrical composite toes
  • KEEN.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane
  • Full-grain waterproof leather upper
  • Meets ASTM F2412-11 F2413-11 I/75 C/75 EH and F1677-96 Mark II non-slip standards
  • 100% Non-metallic construction;90 degree heel

Last update on 2018-10-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

KEEN work boots are also of full-grain waterproof leather upper. The work boot has a breathable membrane and left/right asymmetrical composite toes. I like the modern style of the boots that makes me think that it’s suitable for the younger generation. No kidding, but I like the black and brown color choices as well.

Tony Anderson

My name is Tony and I am sitting on a mountain of experience that I would like to share with you! I’ve been to so many incredible places and done some pretty cool things. So I am hoping that you will find inspiration through my travel experiences to help you get started with your adventure and make travel a priority. I will also be talking about different travel and outdoor gear available in the market today that will make your trip and outdoor experience better.

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