Clint DeBoer and I got hands, actually feet , and put on a couple of the latest Wolverine Wellington boots: the Cabor and Roscoe models. What is Wellingtonian style? That's your high-sided slip-on boot. Probably the easiest image to have in your mind is cowboy boots. Of course, that's not true for everyone. There are different materials, heights, soles and various other options. Part of the reason we chose the Wolverine Cabor Wellington and Wolverine Roscoe Wellington is that they represent the two ends of what a Wolverine Wellington boot can offer.
What's so special about the Wolverine Wellington boot style? We actually ask for any Wellington boots. Just slip on the boots and get out and about with ease. No more tying and retying your shoes throughout the day. However, in order to function as work boots, they must be comfortable, protective, and slip-resistant. Most real cowboy boots on the market have a flat sole, which is great for getting your lady out two steps, but not so great when it comes to slipping hazards on the job site. As I took a closer look at these Wolverine Wellington boots, I realized I was doing so as someone who uses them on the job site and in various repair and refurbishment situations, both on the job site and around town.
Editor's note: Check out our best work boots review article to see our favorites 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've ever worn. Now that I've put it on the line, let me be more specific. First off, most traditional Wellingtons are stiff, even if you wear them for a while. Sure, the leather loosens up when you slip them in, but those uppers tend to stay pretty stiff. However, Wolverine Cabor Wellingtons are made of 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 these boots are waterproof if you step into the river, but they will keep you out of splashes and spray. In some simple environmental waterproofing tests, I found that not only is the material itself waterproof, but the stitching and construction also prevent water from intruding into the boot from other sensitive areas. During normal wear, you can expect these boots to hold up to weather and water – a very important issue in rainy Florida, for sure!
Technology and Convenience
Swap out the cowboy boot's traditional flat sole for the Wolverine's non-slip rubber lug outsole, which certainly makes traction a non-issue. I feel like a goat in these boots. The materials and construction all look very premium, and let's face it — at $180, it needs to be. If I was going to spend money on a quality boot like this, I would expect it to last. I don't see any reason why this Wolverine Wellington boot wouldn't hold up or let me down in this area.
Wolverine offers their EPX comfort technology in Cabor Wellington. This gives you a combination of impact absorption, weight distribution and flexibility, resulting in energy return with each stride (it reduces the natural fatigue that comes with walking and climbing). I'm not entirely sure of all the science involved, but I do know that I'm able to wear these boots all day without getting sore feet, or even wanting to take them off at night.
I have a problem with Wolverine Cabor Wellingtons – sizing. I ordered my typical size 9-1/2, but they feel really big when I wear them. I spoke big enough so I double checked to see if I ordered it wrong. Wellingtons in general will have some up and down, but this is beyond anything I've experienced before. In the end, swapping them out for a smaller full size did the trick. For me size 8.5 boots fit perfectly and feel great!
The Wolverine makes changing boots a snap. They offer free shipping and exchanges if you order online. For exchanges, you only have to start the process within 90 days, but Wolverine does specify it for unworn items. If you put them in for a fitting, don't wear them just yet and hope they will magically fit somehow. For this reason, I recommend going to a Wolverine retailer so you can try them on before deciding, or take advantage of their generous return policy should you decide you need a different size.
Assuming your size is correct, I can highly recommend the Wolverine Cabor EPX Wellingtons without hesitation. They're extremely comfortable boots, and EPX technology ensures they'll last you all day. They're also not as heavy as many other steel and composite toe Wellingtons. The Cabor is an outstanding member of the Wolverine Wellington boot family and 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 say no to…literally, they'll catch your eye. These boots give you the feel of a real cowboy boot—including the expected Triple-stitched design, nice, high 10" front/rear quarters, and strong drawstrings. The insteps of these boots are actually much shallower than my Wolverine Javelina High Plains boots (which also have shorter quarters). I still have no trouble getting my feet in. The full grain leather upper looks very durable and I think it will last you for years due to its smoother texture. There is also a moisture wicking mesh lining that even in Hot Florida, also does a good job of keeping the inside of the boot comfortable and dry. You can remove the OrthoLite cushioned footbed, but I actually put a gel insert on top and the fit was near perfect (it also Solved the slight heel lift issue I was having with the original boot, but it could be my foot).
This was my first experience with Wolverine's DuraShocks rubber lug outsole. I have to say I really like it. If you have hard feet and plan to use these boots for more than just looking great (which they do), the comfort outsole design really makes a difference. Wolverine's DuraShock technology places compression pads in the heel and forefoot sections of the sole. It absorbs impact and returns energy to the ground – there's a lot of physics involved, but the most important thing is that you get comfort and efficiency. If you're a total geek, know that it also meets ASTM F2413-11 I/75 M/75 standards. Add that to the lightweight insole, and you've got a pair of truly ergonomic boots that feel comfortable and can handle a lot of jobsite abuse. Jump, run, walk, kick concrete…it doesn't matter when you're wearing it.
I love that all my work boots have toe guards, and the Roscoe's composite toe is 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 boots is that you want them to look new—and you tend to spoil them at work…or worse, don't wear them at all. However, the brown leather on these boots deserves a lot of credit. It's smoother and more durable than the soft leather I use for my Javelina High Plains boots. So while it might take some scuffs and marks, it won't lose chunks anytime soon when you're abusing your toes or *gasp* actually working with these boots! Put them on – that's what they're for, and you'll soon appreciate how good they are for slip resistance, durability, and grip.
I love the triple stitching on the upper, and the Wolverine Roscoe boot is styled closer to a true cowboy boot design, with a full 10 inches of rise at the top of the collar. It has a traditional fore and aft rake and the drawstrings are nice and strong. The “four-stitched” design is beautiful, and the only thing that makes these boots not feel like cowboy boots is the square composite toe. It's a great look and a nice design compromise. My boots are brown, I prefer brown, but you can also try rust/brown, taupe/brown, brown/biar and black/tan. If you get Rust/Brown or Taupe/Brown, they are also waterproof.
It helps that Clint and I share the same boot size. We were able to inspect both pairs of boots and make a combined opinion. The verdict is simple – both are excellent work boots. They're well-made, well-designed, and comfortable enough that you won't get tired of wearing them all day on the job site — and that's important. Work boots don’t need to be stuffy leather lace-up styles without character or character, that’s great. Now you can wear cowboy boots and still meet OSHA's requirements for toe protection. I love options, having a nice pair of boots that are well made and comfortable is like finding a gem in the rough. Pick up a pair and you might feel the same way.
- Model: W10318
- Available Sizes: 7 – 14
- Color: dark brown
- Material: Leather outer layer
- Lining: wave mesh
- Comfort Technology: EPX
- Price: $180
- Model: W10381
- Available Sizes: 7 – 14
- color: brown
- Material: full leather outer layer
- Insole: OrthoLite with NXT Odor Control Insole
- Outsole: Goodyear Welt Construction
- Lining: Breathable wave mesh
- Technology: DuraShock
- Price: $190