If you are currently facing a dilemma between purchasing a pair of Red Iron Ranger or Wolverine 1000 Mile boots, then you are not alone. Since many men are facing this seemingly tough choice, we have decided to provide you with a short comparison review to help you make the best choice to suit your specific needs and tastes when you choose one of these two iconic American boots.
Although they do look similar in style and make, and come at a similar price, there are some differences between the two.
What’s in common:
First of all, let’s look at what features are similar between the Red wing Iron Ranger and the Wolverine 1000 Mile boots:
- they both are USA made
- they both have a durable Goodyear welt construction, so they are both resoleable
- they both have leather soles
- they have a somewhat similar appearance
- they are offered at a similar price
But in actuality, there are more differences between the two as compared to the similarities. Here are some of the main differences between the two:
- The Wolverine 1000 Mile boots are dressier than the Red Wing Iron Rangers which are more like work boots.
- The leather used for the Iron Ranger boots is oil tanned from SB Foot Tanning Co, while that of the 1000 Mile boots is Horween Chromexcel. The difference in the leather used for the uppers makes the feel of the leather different, as well as the coloring of the boots. The leather of the former is rougher and has a less finished feel, while that of the latter is softer, conditioned and more polished.
- The Iron Ranger is sturdier and more suitable for harsh weather conditions, including mud and rain, than the 1000 Mile boots. Also the Horween leather of the 1000 mile boots is more susceptible to scratching and abrasions even though it comes water repellent and conditioned out of the box.
- The Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots can be brought to a stunning shine, but if you plan to use these boots on a daily basis, you must know that regular cleaning and conditioning is required.
- Although both models of boots have a Goodyear welt construction which allows for re-soling, there are differences in the actual soles of the two. The Iron Rangers are fitted with nitrile cork soles coupled with all-leather insoles, and their Vibram outsoles are smooth with small grip dents (mini lugs). This boot will require several weeks to break in. The soles of the 1000 Mile boots are made of stacked leather in the heel area, and are finished with rubber, and due to this the break in time is shorter. Neither of the two pairs of boots is suitable for the winter season though, even though you can get half soles installed by a professional cobbler for better traction, especially on your 1000 Mile boots.
- The Red Wing Iron Ranger boots have a metal shank
- The sizing differs too. The Red Wing Iron Ranger boots tend to run a size larger but are also a bit narrow, so it is recommended you pick a wider size and yet order a size down of your regular size. The Wolverine 1000 Mile boots are truer to size, but still you may need to order half a size smaller than your regular shoe size.
Here are the main characteristics of the classic Wolverine 1000 Mile boots, which make them such a unique and sought for pair of US made boots:
- handmade in America, ever since 1883
- Conditioned and polished, high quality Horween Chromexcel leather from Chicago
- Strong resoleable Goodyear welt construction
- Durable Vibram heel with mini lugs stitched to the leather upper
- 4 eyelets and 3 hooks for quick lacing of the waxed cotton laces
- They need about 2 weeks of break in
- They tend to run ½ a size larger than your normal shoe size
Simple, classic, comfortable and very dressy looking, the Wolverine 1000 Mile boots are excellent for wearing with jeans, as casual footwear and look great. They do need regular cleaning and conditioning, but due to the fact that they can be resoled, these boots can last you a lifetime. Not too suitable for harsh weather conditions, but they have their unique classic look which makes owning a pair of these boots definitely worthwhile.
These sturdy, durable and yet great looking classic boots have been made in Minnesota since the 19th century and still have the characteristics which made them one of the most popular boots in the US. Here is a brief description of the materials used and the features of these boots:
- A resoleable stitch down Goodyear welt construction
- Natural and un-finished water, stain and perspiration resistant oil tanned leather from SB Foot Tanning Co uppers
- Capped toe with unique contrasting stitching
- Non-marking, sturdy and oil resistant Nitrile Cork outsole with all leather insoles
- Quick lacing system with Nickel eyelets and hooks and taslan laces
- A steel shank for added stability
- Little break in time is necessary
These classic American boots for men are excellent work and casual boots. They are very sturdy and will withstand through rain and abrasions. The perfect boots for every man who wants durable, resoleable, comfortable and great looking oil-tanned leather boots
Conclusion: Red Wing Iron Ranger vs Wolverine 1000 mile
Overall, they may look similar, but in actuality the 1000 Mile boots are more polished and dressier boots suitable for wearing when going out on a day or to spend leisure time with friends, while the Red Wing Iron Ranger boots are more rugged and can actually be used for everyday work and other chores. So, when picking one of the two you need to consider the activities and regularity you are planning to wear these boots for, plus the weather conditions in your area. The Iron Rangers will definitely withstand harsher weather, rain, mud and snow much better than the 1000 Mile boots and we highly recommend them as plumbers footwear.
In other words, they may seem quite similar aesthetically and price-wise, but these two famous American made boots are quite different. Both models will need regular cleaning and conditioning, but both are resoleable which makes them quite suitable if you are looking for lasting, life-long boots.
Since both the Red Wing Iron Rangers and the wolverine 1000 Mile boots are hand crafted and made of top quality leather and materials in the US, they are definitely both worth buying and wearing. Given the Goodyear welt construction of both models of boots, you will be making a wise investment, whichever pair you choose.
Our recommendation is that if you can afford it, purchase a pair of both. You can have a dressier version and a more rugged one to interchange depending on the occasion you are wearing them to, as well as on the weather conditions. Once you purchase the appropriate size of both boot models, you will probably start to notice the differences between the feel and the look of both boots. They are in actuality quite distinct, which makes it OK to own a pair of each.