I love reviewing work boots. There are so many styles and features, it’s easy to get lost in the myriad of products on the market. Because of the vast selection, everyone tends to have their preferences. My new favorite are “steel toe cowboy work boots”, boots that are near-perfectly epitomized by the Wolverine Javelina High Plains Boot. The Javelina (which is pronounced “have-a-leena”) is a real leather cowboy boot that’s equipped with a steel toe and tons of other features that make it a great boot for the construction site or just about any other residential or commercial job site.
One of the things I found out about them right off the bat was that they make a great motorcycle riding boot. Wolverine made the Javelina High Plains boots slip resistant with a nice grippy rubber lug outsole—critical for backing your bike up or coming to a stop on oily intersections. Plus, since they have a steel toe, I’m not switching boots when I get to the job. These boots are even EH (electrical hazard) rated, meaning that under dry conditions the soles and heels are capable of withstanding an application of 18,000 volts RMS at 60 Hz for one minute with no current flow or leakage current in excess of 1.0 mA.
The ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75 EH Standard in a nutshell
- 75 ft-lbs impact resistance
- 75/2500 pounds compression resistance
- 75 ft-lbs metatarsal impact protection
- Zero electrical resistance at 500 kohms
- Electric hazard protection (EH)
- 270 pound puncture resistance (PR)
- No signs of de-lamination or cracking after 1.5 million flexes
- No corrosion, de-lamination or deterioration after exposure to a 5% salt solution for 24 hours
In terms of style, I like the shape and feel of the boot. The steel toe is squared off a bit, but not “blunt”, so it retains the general tapered shape of a more traditional cowboy boot—it’s a nice compromise that works. The leather upper is triple stitched under the shaft, which comes in either green or blue (I reviewed the green, which I think is a much more natural-looking color). A six parallel stitching design adorns the shaft in a traditional western style, and two pull straps site atop a split entry that stretches to allow for easier slip-on of the boot.
- Oil and slip resistant rubber outsole
- Genuine full-grain 10″ leather upper/shaft
- Sturdy 360° stitch Goodyear welt construction
- Dri-lex mesh lining
- Removable Ortholite triple density footbed/insole
- Fiberglass shank
- Leather pull straps
- Square steel toe (ASTM F2413-05 M I/75 C/75 EH)
- Compression midsole
The sole of the boot isn’t just a spec, it’s actually truly slip-resistant—a fact I proved on many occasions when planting my feet onto oily road surfaces while driving my motorcycle after a light rain. The rubber sole sits atop a 3-layer midsole that is comprised of a heel cushion, a green molded stabilizer that you can see from the profile of the boot as well as from below, and a shock-absorbing EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate) layer that runs from heel to toe. All of these layers are visible from the side and you can really get a feel for how well this boot is made. Last but not least, the Goodyear welt construction features a nice thick stitching that goes all the way around the boot and looks like it will endure a lot of wear.
These Steel Toe Cowboy Boots are Comfortable!
My foot is a tad wide and this boot felt great, particularly in the area of the heel. The steel toe offers the protection you need without being obnoxious, and it left enough room to get it underneath the shifter of my cruiser—something I have trouble with when wearing some booths with a high upper. The sizing runs about right on these and I found that just a normal cotton sock was enough to provide the comfort I needed, though a boot sock wouldn’t be problematic either and would provide a more snug fit.
Inside the boot you have a nice soft Dri-lex mesh lining that felt comfortable and resisted moisture buildup. I really liked how the OrthoLite footbed was easily removable in the event you wanted to place your own insert within the boot. Between the comfortable insole and the well-padded heel cushion, this is a boot I found I could wear all day long with no soreness. There is a good amount of flex where I wanted it—just in front of the arch—and the outsole and midsole gave me confidence that I wasn’t going to suffer any penetration through the bottom of the boot when walking around roofing jobs (which I’m apt to do on at least a monthly basis).