Wolverine Fulcrum Boots

We tested these boots in different regions of the USA to get the best feel for the boots’ capabilities. A majority of the testing took place in the steep, talus filled mountains of Southern California as well as backpacking trips in Joshua Tree. There was also extensive trips conducted in the Pacific Northwest up such infamous peaks as Mailbox and other “lesser” day hikes. In many regards Wolverine’s Fulcrums are a solid boot but there are a few small problems that still need to be sorted out before this can be a truly great all around boot. We will touch on that in a bit.

First Thoughts

Everyone agreed that the boot looks very sharp. The full-grain leather looks great and coupled with the catchy color waves the Fulcrums will look just as good on the trail as they would on the town.

There were also no complaints of wet feet. The Gore-Tex membrane kept the testers’ feet very dry. One tester went so far as to stand in a pool of water for several minutes after hiking in the rain for hours and his feet stayed totally dry.  There are not any seams on this boot that can develop leaks.

In the mud, dirt, and everything in between the soles performed well. However, both testers did notice slipping issues with the boots’ Vibram Mutant soles in certain conditions such as when crossing wet rocky terrain (e.g. flooding in typically dry creek beds throughout the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California). However, the boots excelled on the trek up Mailbox Peak. The testers donned crampons and even though the boot is not very stiff they felt comfortable ascending the steep ice and snow slopes near the summit.

©Isaac Tait

Fit

An area both testers experienced difficulty in was the boots’ sizing. After they went down about one full size from their usual size the boot fit was great. Although one tester reported that despite a size change his heel rubbed going uphill and his ankle rubbed while hiking downhill. The dichotomy in fit and comfort is most likely due to the differences in foot shapes and profiles of those testing the boots. Make sure that you try these boots on before taking the $200 plunge.

Technology

A cool feature that only Wolverine offers is the ICS (Individual Comfort System). At first the testers were a bit skeptical about this feature, but after several excursions they discovered that the ICS technology really does help.

It works like this: with the boot off first remove the insole. With the insole out of the boot you will notice a red rubber disk in the heel of the boot, remove it. The disk has several “teeth” protruding from the bottom and as you turn the disk inside the heel of the boot you can adjust the fit for various comfort preferences and foot posturing problems. If you have issues with rear foot varus (the heel of the foot tilted inward), fore foot varus (the heel of the foot tilted outward), or over-pronation then these might be the perfect boots for you. One of our testers has very high arches and felt that the ICS technology made a significant difference in the comfort of the boots.

After playing with the ICS feature for awhile you can find a setting that feels most comfortable for you and alleviate any problems you may be experiencing with other lesser boots in regards to comfort.

Pros

* Looks

* Waterproof

* ICS Technology

Cons

* Sole traction

*Fit can be troublesome for some

Final Thoughts

Wolverine has 125 years of experience building long-lasting and comfortable footwear. Their market has targeted mainly work boots but with the Fulcrum they have delved into the hiking and outdoor market. With a sole upgrade and some tweaks with the sizing this could be a very sharp and solid hiking boot. If you have problems caused by “abnormal” foot posture then these boots could work very well for you. Just make sure you try them on to ensure you get a proper fit. It is good to know that Wolverine backs up their footwear with a 30-day comfort guarantee.

Pertinent Data

Manufacturer: Wolverine

Date available: Currently available

Manufacturer’s Website: Wolverine Footwear

MSRP: US $200

Listed Weight: Contacting rep for weight

Actual Weight: 1490 grams (size 8.0 pair w/ insoles)

Materials: Full Grain Leather

Size/Model tested: 9.0 and 8.0

Requirements: Should size one full size down (width sizes available)

Warranty info: 30 day comfort guarantee

Colors Available: Black and Brown

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