Maybe, it’s the lack of a fancy logo. Maybe, it’s just poor marketing. But despite being in the business for over 130 years, Wolverine are still far from the most popular work boot manufacturer. And that’s a shame because they make some damn fine products.
Arguably the best example of this is the Men’s Raider. In terms of both comfort and durability, they are more than match for the likes of Timberland and Keen. And depending on your shoe size, prices range from absolute bargain to more than reasonable.
So what’s so special about the Men’s Raider?
Wolverine remind me a lot of Keen. Both have been around for decades. And both have used that time to come up with a wealth of different features designed solely to increase comfort levels during a long shift.
One of their most popular work boots, the Men’s Raider is a very good example of this. This definitely won’t be apparent the day that you put them on. But give them a week to break in and you should start to see exactly what I’m talking about.
In terms of comfort, the Men’s Raider primary feature is their patented Multishox system. This consists of three things:
- The footbed itself features a comfort gel for increased cushioning.
- The arch (the area between foot and heel) is designed for increased flexibility.
- The foot and heel of the sole feature multiple pressure pads. These are the parts of the boot that actually hit the ground. And the pads are designed to offer maximum shock absorption.
The result is a boot that should tick all the right boxes for those who spend long hours on their feet, particularly but not exclusively, on hard surfaces.
It’s also worth noting that Wolverine offer a 30 day money back guarantee. And the only qualification for this is a receipt and the fact that you don’t find them comfortable.
I mention this not because you’re likely to need it but because it’s a very strong indicator of the manufacturers confidence in what they sell.
The Men’s Raider are available with a choice of steel or soft toe. The steel toe is a little on the heavy side but certainly not as bad as I’ve seen elsewhere. The outsole has excellent traction and is slip resistant on both oil and water. The arch is deep enough for safe ladder climbing. Some pairs, but not all, discuss electrical hazard protection so if it’s a necessity, be careful which version you choose.
Out of the box, these boots are not waterproof. Don’t get me wrong, they’re made primarily of leather and therefore will keep your feet dry in light rain or the odd puddle. Anything more than that however, and you will want to apply some kind of water repellent.
The Men’s Raider are another example of work boots designed for moderate climates. I could wear these boots year round but if you live somewhere particularly hot or cold, look elsewhere.
The Raider series come in a choice of black or brown. The brown version has a classic appeal that many people will appreciate. But personally, I stuck with the black, pictured above. As you can see, this is very good choice for people like me who wear work boots seven days a week. They look good on the job. They look even better off it.
The steel toe version currently has just over 200 customer reviews on Amazon for an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Comfort and value are obviously the biggest selling points. But what I found most interesting about the reviews is the number of people praising durability levels. Claims of one to two years wear appear to be the norm rather than the exception.
In conclusion, the Men’s Raider are a perfect example of just how underrated the Wolverine brand remains. The Multishox system brings them right up their with Keen in terms of comfort. Durability levels appear well above what they should be given the modest price. And the black version at least looks nicer than anything Timberland have ever produced. If you agree with my assessment, you know what to do.