Handmade in the USA, and modeled after footwear from 100 years ago, Wolverine offers a line of leather-soled retro boots that will turn heads indoors and out. We tested the top-line Krause boot model for the past six months.
It ain’t cheap. At $550, the Krause is the crown jewel in Wolverine’s 1,000 Mile Collection, a high-end line of retro-design leather boots.
During our test, the Krause has performed with good looks, comfort, durability and a unique old-school aesthetic that gets attention wherever we go.
Is $550 too much to pay for a boot? That’s up to you, and thankfully we’re not in charge of your personal finances. The high price to pay is derived in large part from the meticulous construction process that takes place in Wisconsin to build each pair.
The Krause boot, named after Wolverine’s founder, is inspired by the original designs used at Wolverine in the early 1900s. With its top-end materials and intricate construction, the Krause is a fashion boot that lives up to the name of the collection from which it hails. I haven’t walked 1,000 miles in them, but after six months of use there’s no noticeable wear aside from character-building creases in the leather.
A traditional brand of leather called Horween and a Vibram rubber heel are included. A leather storm-welt band (sewn between the boot upper and sole) helps with water resistance.
(Check out our video post that highlights the painstaking construction process of the 1,000 Mile Collection: “Video Reveals American-made Boots, Century-old Technique.”)
More a dress shoe than an outdoors boot, the Krause has an old-school leather sole. On the uppers, you use shoe polish and brushes to shine them up.
Indeed, these are boots made to be worn indoors and for short jaunts outside only. They’ll match a formal outfit, with a dress shirt and tie.
There’s no tread on the sole. You won’t get traction, and there’s also no insole or padding. But the leather uppers are soft and pliable — I found them non-restrictive and comfortable, allowing my ankles and toes to flex.
They weigh 23.9 ounces per foot in a size 10 boot. For everyday wear this is light enough.
To put it simply, the boot is classy enough to wear to formal affairs, but constructed well enough to withstand day-to-day punishment and use. The made-in-the-USA point adds a feel-good component, and there’s obvious craftsmanship put into each boot. The Krause boots are a classic model that will last for years, decades perhaps, if treated right and worn well.
—Patrick Murphy is an assistant editor.