Wolverine has been making footwear since 1883. They offer a range of shoes that have an “Individual Comfort System” (ICS) – a gel heel insert situated under a removable insole with four settings to customize the fit and performance of the shoe.

I tested the Wolverine Terrain II ICS™ Low-Trail Hiker on hikes, runs and general walks. The shoe is built on an EVA midsole with an “Armortek” frame and mesh upper, with an OrthoLite® insert for the footbed.

The Terrain II fits true to size and is roomy in the toe box without being too loose. Yet, the overall feel of the fit was not as comfortable as I would like in a shoe of this type. I found odd points of pressure from the Armortek frame near the toes. This pressure did not result in any blisters during any hikes, runs, or regular walking. The shoes felt better after a few good hikes but not to the point I like. Wolverine has a history of long break-in time with our other testers, so I am curious if after more time will they meet my desired level of comfort. Also, there was some rubbing on the outer ankle bone. This was most noticeable when traveling downhill.

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As this shoe is billed a light hiker, traction on the trail is a high priority. Walking on wet wood, wet rock and mud, the shoe held its ground and kept me upright. Hiking up technical single track the shoe gave me a solid grip to climb with. Hiking down steep declines the shoe held in place with minimal slipping resulting in confidence on the trail.

These shoes have a mesh upper which offer no water protection, in case that is important to you, but the breathability is great. When stepping in a puddle, the foot gets wet where water touches the mesh. However I was impressed at how long my feet stayed dry during a hike in light rain and how quickly they dried.

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The gel settings are: Cushion, Inward, Outward, and Firm. Cushion absorbs the shock from walking. Firm returns the energy of the heel strike to assist in projecting the foot forward. Inward helps compensate for excessive pronation (inner sole wear). Outward compensates for excessive supination (outer sole wear).

Out of the box I set the shoes to Comfort and wore them that way for a few hikes. Changing the settings immediately produces a different feel. Firm was certainly a more solid feel. When I set it to Inward I could feel the arch support a bit more. I think this set the firm part of the ICS disc to the inside edge of the shoe encouraging the foot to roll inward less.

In conclusion the Wolverine Terrain II is a well built shoe that keeps your feet under you on a technical train. It is a valuable asset to any hiker under non-rainy, sub-alpine conditions. Check the fit; your feet may prefer something different than mine.

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Pros

  • Excellent traction
  • Well built
  • Good breathability

Cons

  • Slightly uncomfortable fit
  • Not water proof (environment dependent)
  • Aftermarket insoles may negate the ICS effect

Tech Specs

Manufacturer: Wolverine

Date available: Currently

Manufacturer’s Website: www.wolverine.com

MSRP: $112.00

Listed Weight: N/A

Actual Weight: 447g (per shoe)

Materials: Synthetic

Size/Model tested: 10.5 US

Colors Available: Mountain Blue, Moss, Brown

Warranty info: 30 day money back (-S&H) on UNWORN, More than 30 days less than 90 = merchandise credit

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