Red Wing vs Wolverine Boots Comparison


The Red Iron Ranger and Wolverine 1000 Mile are two American boots that have grown in popularity as of recent and for good reason. Both leather boots are extremely well crafted and are in similar in style and price.. So we comprised a short comparison guide so to make the choice between Red Wing or Wolverine easier.

iron ranger vs 1000 mile

boots similar to wolverine 1000 mile

Red Wing Iron Ranger

alternative to red wing boots

Wolverine 1000 Miles

Red Wing Iron RangerWolvering 1000 Mile
StyleMore of a work boot styleDressier boot
Made in USAYesYes
LeatherS.B. Foot Tanning Co. Oil Tanned LeatherHorween Chromexcel Leather
ConstructionGoodyear Welt ConstructionGoodyear Welt Construction
Good for harsh weather?YesLess so
SizingRuns narrow - Go 1 size down but widerTruer to size, but may need to size down a half size.
PriceCheck the latest price on AmazonCheck the latest price on Amazon
iron rangers vs 1000 mile boot comparison

wolverine vs red wing
Upper & Leather Comparison: 

The Iron Ranger and 1000 Mile boot both look aesthetically similar at a glance. What makes them different are the obvious cap toe on the Iron Ranger and maybe the choice of color from the different treatments each brand uses on the leathers. Let’s take a look at what make makes these boot different starting with the leather used in the uppers:

Red Wing uses S.B. Foot Tanning Co. oil-tanned leather in their Iron Ranger boots. The leather on the Iron Ranger has a less finished feel than the leather used in the 1000 Mile boots. What you can expect are boots that can handle everyday wear and being worn in harsh conditions. But the downside is a leather finish that looks rougher, making it less of a polished boot.

Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots use Horween Chromexcel leather in their 1000 Mile boots. Out of the box the leather is already soft and conditioned. Although conditioned and water repellent,  the 1000 Mile boot may not do as well as the Red Wing Iron Ranger in harsh weather conditions such as snow and mud. Horween leather is more prone to scratches than the leather used in the Iron Ranger. Expect to regularly clean and condition the leather if you plan on the 1000 Mile as your everyday boot. The Horween leather can be polished for an amazing shine and this is where the 1000 Mile boot has a style advantage over the Iron Ranger.

Neither leather is necessarily better as each are considered good high quality leathers. The preferred leather depends on how you will be using the boot during it’s lifetime. If you are looking for boots similar to wolverine 1000 mile but with more ruggedness then the Iron Ranger should be considered. But if you want a nice polishable boots that would do well in a business casual setting then the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot is a great alternative to Red Wing boots.

wolverine vs red wing boots

wolverine 1000 mile vs red wing
Sole & Breaking In Comparison:

Both the Iron Ranger and 1000 Mile have Goodyear welt construction. This kind of construction is built to last many years of wear. Re-soling is an option for both boots which is great news if you intend to buy a pair of boots to last you a lifetime.

The sole on the Iron Ranger is a nitrile cork sole. Couple the nitrile cork sole with an all leather insole it will take a couple of weeks to break these boots in. Keep this in mind before purchasing your own pair. The outer soles are smooth but has small grip indentations. 

The 1000 Mile sole is stacked leather at the heal and finished with rubber. Like the Iron Rangers, the outsoles are also smooth so keep this in mind if you live in an area with lots of snow and ice. Breaking in the 1000 mile should be easier than the Iron Ranger because of it’s construction. But still expect a break-in period so that the leather insole can have time to conform to your feet. For the winter, you may want to visit a cobbler to install half soles for better traction in snow and ice. Like the Iron Ranger, the 1000 are not ideal snow boots.

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