Wolverine Raider Steel Toe Boot Review

Wolverine Raider Steel-Toe EH boots2
PTR Review
  • Pro Review 9.1

So, the bottom line is, I’m a convert. The Wolverine Raiders have not only changed my mind on steel toed boots, they've made me enjoy wearing them. As Wolverine claims, I can say for sure that the Raiders “have the kind of ruggedness you’d expect in a Wolverine boot, with the flexible comfort you enjoy from a pair of sneakers.”

Overall Score 9.1 (out of 10)

Anyone who has ever worked in construction, agriculture, manufacturing, or has spent any time hunting or hiking is probably familiar with the name Wolverine. For over 130 years, Wolverine has made boots and shoes that have earned a solid reputation for defying any environment—and doing it with style. Boots that are both comfortable and good-looking tend to rate high in my book. Needless to say, I was pretty stoked when I found out my next review would involve a pair of their new Wolverine Raider steel toe boots. I’ll also have to admit upfront that I typically avoid steel-toed boots due to their weight. I wasn’t entirely sure what would happen with the steel-toed Wolverine Raider bots, but I was committed to being objective. As it turns out, I was in for a few surprises.

My aversion to steel toe boots comes from working in Florida. They have a tendency to be stiff, heavy, hot, and clunky…they’re just all-around uncomfortable in this sub-tropical environment. Throughout my time in and around the construction world (and to this day), I only wear steel toes when they are required. With that said, this was the first pair of Wolverine steel-toed boots I had put on my feet. Based on the emphasis on comfort these boots were advertising, there had to be something different going on.

In the back of my mind, I told myself “Maybe, if I gave the concept of Florida steel toes one more try…”

Editor’s Note: Check out our best work boots review article for our favorite products for all applications.

Wolverine Raider Steel Toe Boots Features

Out of the box, the Wolverine Raider steel toe boots appear to be a high-quality set of boots—just as you might expect. The leather is tough and well-cut, and the stitching is true in all areas, with no loose or long ends. The unbendable lace hooks have a solid feel that lets you know they’re in for the long haul. As I scrutinized all the details and gave them a solid thumbs-up my curiosity kept growing.

Wolverine Raider Steel-Toe EH boots

One’s appreciation for apparel, especially footwear, is a very subjective thing—at least that’s true for me. Given the right situation, however, I know that I can be persuaded to enjoy something new. When I first tried the Wolverine Raiders on, my concerns seemed to stand front and center—they were stiff and heavy, and I knew I had some breaking in to do. I walked around the house for a bit, analyzing the fit and trying to get a feel for the features Wolverine touts. “Contour Welt” and “MultiShox” are great marketing terms, but it wasn’t until I had worn the Raiders for a few hours on the job that these comfort features began to make sense. For more on the Contour Welt feature, take a look at this video from Wolverine:

Wearing the Wolverine Raider Steel Toe Boots

The more time I’ve spent in these boots, the less I’ve noticed them. In light of past experience, that’s impressive—they really do break-in. The Contour Welt allows for remarkable flexibility as you move through the ups, downs of the job, while the MultiShox system in the sole absorbs the impact of your stride over any surface. Wolverine has implemented these systems around a footbed that cushions your feet and makes you forget you’re wearing work boots. The toe box has ample padding that cushions, insulates, and makes you forget you’re wearing steel-toed work boots.

Wolverine Raider Steel-Toe EH laces

Editorial note on boot terminology: The “welt” of a boot is the material rim sewn around the edge of a shoe upper to which the sole is attached.

Wolverine has also eliminated another issue I tend to have with work boots in general. I have skinny ankles, and boots occasionally leave too much room around them after the laces are cinched up. The Raiders, however, are true to size and have just the right amount of padding at the top of the shaft. Although a thicker set of ankles would still have plenty of room, mine, along with my feet, fit just right in these boots.

Wolverine Raider Steel-Toe EH upper

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it in a nutshell. While steel-toed boots can get a bad rap for being heavy, cumbersome, and bulky, Wolverine has taken them to a place where they can be comfortable, well-padded, and have a nice fit. The bottom line is—I’m a convert, and I live in sunny Florida. The Wolverine Raiders have not only changed my mind on steel-toed boots, but they’ve also made me enjoy wearing them again—even as summer is beginning to peek its head around the corner. As Wolverine claims, I can say for certain that the Raiders “have the kind of ruggedness you’d expect in a Wolverine boot, with the flexible comfort you enjoy from a pair of sneakers.” To check out the Wolverine Raider Steel Toe Work Boots for yourself, visit their website or your local Wolverine retailer.

Wolverine Raider Steel-Toe EH sole

Wolverine Raider Steel Toe Boot Details & Specs

  • Full-grain leather upper
  • Breathable CK mesh lining
  • Flexible, athletic Contour Welt construction
  • Multishox removable full cushion footbed
  • Lightweight PU midsole
  • Slip, oil, and abrasion resistant Multishox rubber lugged outsole
  • Steel toe ratings: ASTM F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 electrical hazard
  • Price: $160
  • Sizes: half sizes 7 – 12, 13, 14
  • Widths: Medium, Extra Wide

Related articles