Wolverine 1000 Mile Cordovan Boot Review

By | 2018-03-05T12:54:32+00:00 Nov 28th, 2017|Categories: Shoes|Tags: |5 Comments

single cordovan red lace bootThe autumn chill is now, thankfully, in full swing. I love the summer time as much as anyone, but after a while, the heats start slowing you down, and I, for one, begin to yearn for some crisper air.

As a clothing fanatic, it’s totally reasonable that I’d want to wear sport coats, hats, and all the other accouterments that come along with the time when leaves change color.

Thankfully, this past week was chilly enough to really warrant some boots, and I had a new pair that I absolutely needed to take for a spin: the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot in Cordovan No. 8.

As you may know, this isn’t the first time that I’ve reviewed a pair of Wolverine 1000 mile boots. It’s unlikely that this will be my last pair, either. I was a big fan of the original pair I got, and my new ones are truly a thing of beauty.

I’m particularly excited to own and review a cordovan boot. Though my footwear collection is easily in the triple digits even after a serious downscaling session with the ruthless Michael, I’ve never owned a pair of cordovan shoes despite being well aware of the quality and comfort of the material.

Below is a full review of my new boots including:

Wolverine 1000 Mile Cordovan No. 8 Review

To recap, the Wolverine 1000 Mile line of footwear is an American-made, workwear-inspired line of shoes with a particular focus on boots. Utilizing high-quality materials and construction, these boots’ design is based off of Wolverine’s original pattern, which was created in 1914.

They can be dressed up or down quite easily. As such, there’s incredible value behind the $365 price tag.

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What’s In The Box?

red wolverine boot box

The box, unsurprisingly, is sturdily made. Like the 1000 Mile Bison Boots I reviewed in July, these boots came wrapped in a branded black flannel bag. Again, I would have preferred that there were two flannel bags (one for each boot), but I can always repurpose another set should I need to travel with these and / or store them safely.

Harris Tweed Slippers - Custom Made In England By Foster & Son

wolverine boot flannel cover

wolverine boots in their box

Construction & Materials

The 1000 Mile boots are crafted with Goodyear welt construction. This in an of itself is enough to justify the price tag, as it allows for the boot to be resoled repeatedly for years and years. Should I ever have a kid, I could pass these down to him if I take excellent care of them (which, for the record, I do).

One thing that makes this boot so unique is that the upper is crafted from cordovan leather made by Horween Leather Company, the premiere tannery in the United States. What, exactly, is cordovan?

Cordovan Leather

First things first: the word “cordovan” refers to both a color (burgundy-ish, brownish red) and a particular material: shell cordovan.

cordovan boots on fire escape

Cordovan leather, also known as “shell cordovan,” is a fascinating thing. The word “cordovan” itself comes from the Spanish town of Córdoba, its hometown.

It doesn’t come from a cow, but rather a horse. Specifically, it’s a material that comes from a horse’s rump. This leather is renowned for its breathability, comfort and longevity, and also its expense. Many cordovan shoes will be hundreds of dollars more expensive than their calfskin counterparts.

man tying wolverine cordovan bootsThe total process for making cordovan leather -tanning, stuffing, shaving, and polishing- takes no less than six months. It’s an exhaustive process that yields a phenomenal product, and Wolverine is smart to have used this material as an upper for their boots.

Conveniently for a pair of boots, cordovan is very water resistant (though not technically waterproof). Goodyear welt constructed shoes tend to have improved water resistance as well, so Wolverine’s iteration will have me in a good spot should I get caught in the rain.

Regardless, these are going to wear in beautifully over the next few years. I’m very much looking forward to this!

The Last

In keeping with the previous pair I got, the last features a rounded toe and standard boot heel. Being a big and tall man, I take a 14 wide shoe and have a preference for round toes over pointed ones. This last is perfect for me, which is another reason these likely won’t be my last pair of Wolverines!

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One Boot, Two Ways: The Look Of The Wolverine 1000 Mile Cordovan Boot

It’s clear as day that these boots will look fantastic with denim. I decided to push the envelope a bit and asked myself, “Can I wear these with a suit?” I just got a new one from Indochino that I was excited to take for a spin, and I’m very pleased with the results!

Men's Black & White Houndstooth Tassel Slippers

Look 1: Three-Piece Suit

wolverine 1000 boots with 3 piece suit

Again, fall is here and it’s not getting any warmer for months. I picked up a suit in a heavier weight fabric to combat the chill, so it makes sense that one would wear boots with it.

man in suit wearing wolverine boots

As it happens, the base color of my suit is navy blue, whereas the boots are that classic brownish red cordovan color. These primary colors always play nicely together, and I couldn’t help but have a bit of fun coordinating my pocket square with the boots.

wolverine cordovan 1000 mile boots with plaid trousers

John Lennon was wrong. Happiness is a new pair of boots!

Look 2: Odd Sport Coat

I love playing around with clothing, and one of my favorite things to do is wear matching trousers and waistcoat with an odd jacket. I happen to have a beautiful hunting jacket from Benson & Clegg in a gorgeous houndstooth that paired beautifully with both the other elements of my new suit and the Wolverine boots.

cordovan wolverine boots with sport coat

The coat has some flecks of red and other Earth tones in its houndstooth weave that work incredibly well with the cordovan boots. There’s also a fair amount of blue in it, which allows it go pair well with the trousers and waistcoat.

wolverine 1000 mile boots with odd jacket

You can switch out the trousers for dark jeans and lose the vest and have yourself a more casual iteration of the same thing.

man looking at pocketwatch

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Final Review: 5 Out Of 5 Stars

wolverine 1000 mile cordovan lace up bootsI’m in love with these boots.

They’re comfortable, well made, versatile, and extremely handsome. The workwear aesthetic is wonderful, and I’m very pleased with the color and choice of cordovan upper. Kudos to Wolverine for such an amazing boot!

Wolverine 1000 Mile Cordovan No. 8 Boot
Reviewed by Paul Anthony, on .
"What a phenomenal pair of boots! Incredibly well-constructed, comfortable, and handsome, these boots are a must-have for the fall and winter. Very highly recommended."
Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★

About the Author:

Paul Anthony is the founder and creative director at Bespoke Unit. He has had a life long affair with design, watches, fragrance and clothing. Originally from England, he now lives in the USA splitting time between NYC & Philly. Favoring "British Style", but has an overall eclectic taste.


  1. Alex January 28, 2018 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Sorry to say that these shoes are NOT made of Shell Cordovan. They are regular Chromexcel leather and “cordovan” refers to the color only.

    • Paul Anthony January 29, 2018 at 7:18 am - Reply

      Ah okay. But the site does state it is Horween Chromexcel leather.

      I suppose you’ll have to take it up with them, if you believe they are falsely advertising.


      – Paul

      • Alex February 11, 2018 at 12:03 am - Reply

        Their site states it is Chromexcel. They would not be guilty of false advertising if the shoe is made of that material. That part is not confusing.

        But in the article above it is stated the boots are made of a material contrary to that which is stated by the manufacturer.

  2. Greg February 14, 2018 at 7:36 am - Reply

    I believe Alex is correct. I do not believe Horween Chromexel is shell Cordovan, but a less expensive calf leather that has fantastic characteristics. Shell dies not wrinkle the way your boots have around th e toe break. I think it confusing that they call it #8 as this is a common shell color.

    • Paul Anthony February 15, 2018 at 10:59 am - Reply

      Thanks for that Greg!

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