Clint DeBoer and I got our hands, well feet actually, on a couple of the latest Wolverine Wellington boots: the Cabor and Roscoe models. What is the Wellington style? That would be your high-sided, slip-on boots. The most readily available image in your mind is likely cowboy boots. Not all of them are just like that, of course. There are different materials, heights, soles, and a variety of other options out there. We chose the Wolverine Cabor Wellington and Wolverine Roscoe Wellington partly because they represent both ends of what a Wolverine Wellington boot can offer.
What’s so attractive about the Wolverine Wellington boot style? We actually ask that of any Wellington boot. It’s the convenience of being able to slip on a boot and go. There are no laces to tie and retie throughout the course of the day. In order to be effective as work boots, however, they’re going to have to be comfortable, offer protection, and be slip-resistant. Most true cowboy boots out there have a flat sole that is great for taking your lady out to two-step, but not so great around job site slip hazards. As I take a closer look at these Wolverine Wellington boots, realize I’m doing so as one who uses them on job sites and around town in various repair and renovation environments.
Editor’s Note: Check out our best work boots review article for our favorite products for all applications.
Wolverine Wellington Boots: Cabor EPX Composite Toe Wellington
It’s unusual for me to start with a concluding statement, but these are probably the most comfortable boots I have ever worn. Now that I’ve laid it on the line, let me be more specific. First, most traditional Wellingtons are stiff, even after you wear them for a while. Sure, the leather will loosen up as you break them in, but those uppers tend to stay pretty rigid. The Wolverine Cabor Wellingtons, however, are made from soft and supple leather that feels great right out of the box and never tightens up.
The material is also conveniently waterproof. That doesn’t mean that these boots are going to keep water out if you step into a river, but they will keep you dry from splashes and spray. In some simple environmental waterproof tests, I not only found the material itself to be waterproof but the stitching and construction kept water from intruding into the boots from other sensitive areas as well. During normal wear, you can expect these boots to keep out the weather and the water—a very important concern in rainy Florida to be sure!
Technology and Convenience
Switching out the traditional flat sole of a cowboy boot and replacing it with Wolverine’s slip-resistant rubber lug outsole certainly made grip a non-issue. I felt like a mountain goat with these boots on. The materials and construction both seem very high quality, and let’s face it—for $180, it needs to be. If I’m going to pay for a premium boot like this, I expect it to be durable for a good long time. I don’t see any reason that this Wolverine Wellington boot will fail to hold up or otherwise disappoint me in that area.
Wolverine offers their EPX comfort technology in the Cabor Wellington. This gives you a combination of impact absorption, weight distribution, and flexibility during each step that results in energy being returned (it diminishes the natural fatigue from walking and climbing). I’m not entirely sure about all the science that goes into that, but I do know that I was able to wear these boots all day without my feet feeling sore or even looking forward to taking off my shoes in the evening.
There is just one issue that I ran into with the Wolverine Cabor Wellingtons—the sizing. I ordered my typical size 9-1/2, but they felt really big when I put them on. I’m talking big enough that I double-checked to see if I had ordered incorrectly. Wellingtons in general will have some play up and down in them, but this was beyond anything that I had experienced prior. In the end, exchanging them for a full size smaller did the trick. For me, 8.5 boots fit perfectly and felt great!
Wolverine made exchanging the boots quite an easy process. If you order online, they offer free shipping and exchanges. For exchanges, you’ll just need to start the process within 90 days, but Wolverine does specify that it’s for unworn items. If you get them in and try them on, don’t wear them around for a while hoping that they’ll somehow magically fit. For this reason, I’d recommend that you go to a Wolverine retailer so that you can try them on before you decide, or make use of their generous return policy in the event you decide a different fit is required.
Assuming you are sized correctly, I can highly recommend the Wolverine Cabor EPX Wellingtons without hesitation. They’re extremely comfortable boots, and the EPX technology ensures that they can be worn all day long. They’re also not too heavy like many other steel and composite toe Wellingtons. The Cabor is an outstanding member of the Wolverine Wellington boot Family and is well worth your consideration.
Wolverine Roscoe DuraShocks 10″ Composite-Toe Wellington Work Boot
For a more traditional “cowboy boot” look, the Wolverine Roscoe DuraShocks 10″ Wellington Work Boots are hard to pass up…literally, they grab your eye. These boots give you the feel of a true cowboy boot—including the expected triple-stitch design, and a nice, tall 10″ front/back quarter and sturdy pull straps to get them on. These boots actually have a much shallower instep than my Wolverine Javelina High Plains boots (which have a shorter quarter as well). I still had no trouble getting my foot inside. The full-grain leather upper looks to be quite durable, and my thought is that it will give you years of use due to its more polished texture. There’s also a moisture-managing mesh lining which did a great job of keeping the inside of the boots comfortable and dry—even on hot Florida days. You can remove the OrthoLite cushion footbed, but I actually placed a gel insert right on top and the resulting fit was near-perfect (it also resolved a slight heel-lift issue I had with the stock boots, but that could be the shape of my foot).
This was my first experience with Wolverine’s DuraShocks rubber lug outsole. I have to say that I really like it. If you are hard on your feet and intend to use these boots for more than just looking great (which they do), the comfortable outsole design really makes a difference. Wolverine’s DuraShock technology puts compression pads in both the heel and forefoot section of the sole. It both absorbs shock and returns energy to the ground—there’s a lot of physics involved, but the bottom line is that you gain comfort and efficiency. If you’re a total geek, then just know that it also meets ASTM F2413-11 I/75 M/75 standards. Coupled with the lightweight insoles, you get a really ergonomic boot that feels comfortable and handles a lot of job site abuse. Jump, run, walk, kick concrete…it won’t matter with these on.
I like for all of my work boots to have toe protection, and the composite toe on the Roscoe’s are no slouch. They offer the protection of a steel toe, but with less weight. They also have the added benefit of being electrical hazard rated.
A Great Pair of Work Boots
The problem with great-looking boots is that you want them to stay looking new—and you tend to baby them on the job…or worse, not wear them at all. The brown leather on these boots is something to write home about, however. It’s a smoother, more durable finish than the softer leather I’m used to with my Javelina High Plains boots. So, while it may take some scuffs and marks, it won’t be as quick to lose chunks when you abuse the toe or *gasp* actually use these boots for working! Go ahead and wear them—that’s what they’re for, and you’ll quickly appreciate how great they function for slip resistance, durability, and grip.
I love the triple stitching on the uppers, and the Wolverine Roscoe boot style is very much a truer cowboy boot design, with a full 10″ rise to the top of the collar. It has that traditional dip in front and back, and the pull straps are nice and strong. The “quad stitching” design is beautiful, and about the only thing that keeps this from being a full-on cowboy boot is the squared-off composite toe. It’s a great look and a nice design compromise. My boots came in brown, which I prefer above the other options, but you can also try out the Rust/Brown, Taupe/Brown, Brown/Biar, and Black/Tan. If you get either the Rust/Brown or Taupe/Brown they are waterproof as well.
It helped that both myself and Clint share the same boot size. We were able to check out both boots and render a combined opinion. The conclusion is simple—these are both excellent work boots. They are well-built, well-designed, and have a very comfortable fit that lets you wear them all day long on the job site without tiring out your feet—and that’s important. It’s great that work boots don’t need to be stuffy leather lace-up models with no character or personality. Now you can wear a cowboy boot and still meet OSHA requirements for toe protection. I love options, and having a great-looking boot that’s also well-made and comfortable is like finding a gem in the rough. Pick up a pair, and you’ll likely feel the same.
- Model Number: W10318
- Available Sizes: 7 – 14
- Color: Dark Brown
- Material: Leather Outer
- Lining: Wave Mesh
- Comfort Technology: EPX
- Price: $180
- Model Number: W10381
- Available Sizes: 7 – 14
- Color: Brown
- Material: Full Leather Outer
- Insole: OrthoLite with NXT odor-control sock liners
- Outsole: Goodyear welt construction
- Lining: Breathable Wave Mesh
- Technology: DuraShock
- Price: $190
I love the wellington plain toe ranch boots with the original flat sole.you change them to lug sole now I am going to have to find a boot somewhere else!why couldn’t you offer both styles flat and lug?