Ariat Vs. Wolverine Work Boots: Which Should You Choose?

Work boots are an essential item for many trades and jobs. With so many options on the market, it can be tough to decide which brand and style to go with. Two popular work boot brands are Ariat and Wolverine.

But how do you choose between them?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare Ariat and Wolverine work boots side-by-side. We’ll look at key factors like durability, comfort, design, and price. By the end, you’ll have the information you need to select the right work boots for your needs and budget.

A Brief Comparison Table

DurabilityGoodyear welt, premium leathers, stitchdown constructionGoodyear welt, quality leathers, ContourWelt design
ComfortATS shank, cushioning, forked shank for flexibilityEPX footbed, Ortholite cushions, ContourWelt flexibility
TractionVibram, Duratread outsolesVibram outsoles, lug patterns
Weather ProtectionWaterproof membranes and liningsWaterproof membranes
StyleWestern, cowboy-inspiredClassic American work boot
Price$170 – $500Under $150 for many models

Key Takeaways:

Wolverine Work Boots
  • Ariat is better for cowboy-inspired western styling, while Wolverine excels at classic work boot designs.
  • Both brands are evenly matched for durability, comfort, traction, and weather protection.
  • Wolverine work boots are generally a bit more affordable than Ariat’s boots.
  • It comes down to personal preference – pick the brand whose styles you like better.
  • With either Ariat or Wolverine boots, you can expect great performance and longevity.
  • Don’t overlook other top work boot brands like Red Wing, Timberland, and Carolina.

Ariat Work Boots

Ariat is a well-known brand in the western footwear market. They got their start making riding boots but have since expanded into work and lifestyle footwear as well.

Some key features of Ariat work boots:

  • Durability: Ariat uses premium leathers and advanced construction techniques. Their boots are designed to withstand tough working conditions. Many styles have a Goodyear welt construction for durability.
  • Comfort: Comfort technologies like Ariat’s ATS (Advanced Torque Stability) shank and special cushioning systems make their boots comfortable for all-day wear. Some boots also have a forked shank for flexibility.
  • Design: Ariat boots feature both traditional and modern styling. Most have an athletic, supportive fit. They are offered in lace-up and pull-on designs.
  • Traction: Outsoles equip Ariat boots with good grip and traction. Some feature Vibram or Duratread rubber outsoles.
  • Weather protection: Many Ariats have a waterproof lining to keep feet dry. Some models are also insulated for warmth.

Popular Ariat work boots:

  • Groundbreaker: A sturdy lace-up work boot with a roomy composite toe. It has a flexible shank and shock-absorbing midsole.
  • Workhog: Ariat’s top-selling work style. It comes in soft or safety toe options and has a Duratread outsole.
  • Rambler: A casual work boot with stitching details. Offers an athletic fit and ATS shank.
  • Terrain: A durable lace-up boot made for outdoor jobs. Has a Vibram outsole and waterproof lining.

Wolverine Work Boots

Wolverine Boots is another established American footwear brand, begun in 1883. They’re known for tough work and outdoor styles.

Key features of Wolverine work boots:

  • Durability: Wolverine uses high-quality leather and Goodyear welt construction. Their boots are built to handle demanding jobs.
  • Comfort: Technologies like Wolverine’s EPX anti-fatigue footbed and removable Ortholite cushions boost comfort. Their ContourWelt design adds flexibility.
  • Design: Wolverines come in plain toe and cap toe designs. They’re offered in both lace-up and pull-on styles. Most have a supportive, athletic fit.
  • Traction: Durable lugged rubber outsoles equip Wolverine boots with excellent traction. Some feature Vibram rubber.
  • Weather protection: Many styles have a waterproof membrane to block moisture. Some models are also insulated.

Popular Wolverine work boot models:

  • Raider: A rugged lace-up work boot with a carbon fiber toe. It has a slip-resistant outsole.
  • Floorhand: A soft toe pull-on work boot with an EPX anti-fatigue footbed.
  • Overpass: A sturdy waterproof work boot with a composite safety toe. It has a removable cushioned insole.
  • Legend: A 6-inch work boot with a Vibram lug outsole. Comes in soft and safety toe options.

Ariat And Wolverine Boots: Comparing The Brands

Now let’s compare Ariat and Wolverine work boots across a few key factors:

  • Durability
Ariat Work Boots
Ariat Work Boots

Both Ariat and Wolverine make durable boots using Goodyear welt construction and quality leather uppers.

Ariat uses techniques like stitchdown construction for very durable boots. Wolverine relies on its proven ContourWelt design.

Most styles from both brands will provide long-lasting wear, standing up to tough conditions for years.

Ariat’s cowboy-style boots may have a slight edge in durability thanks to the stitchdown method. But overall, it’s a draw for durability.

  • Comfort

Ariat and Wolverine both use special technologies to enhance comfort. Wolverine’s EPX anti-fatigue footbed gets high marks for all-day comfort. Ariat’s ATS shank offers great arch support and stability.

Both brands also use cushioning systems and supportive, athletic fits. Ariat has a edge in flexibility thanks to the forked shank design some models feature. For all-around comfort, it’s very close between the two brands.

Also Read: Differences Between Rios of Mercedes And Lucchese Boots.

  • Traction

The grippy Vibram and Duratread outsoles used on many Ariat and Wolverine boots provide excellent traction. Both brands understand the importance of slip resistance for safety and mobility at work.

Wolverine has a bit more variety in its outsole lug patterns. But most styles from both manufacturers perform well in traction and grip. Another draw.

  • Price
Wolverine Work Boots
Wolverine Work Boots

Ariat boots tend to come at a slightly higher average price point than Wolverines.

Their cowboy-inspired styles can range from around $170 up to $500 for exotic leather.

Wolverine has more work boot options under $150.

However, both brands offer boots across a range of prices.

Expect to spend $120-250 for most standard Ariat or Wolverine work boots.

Significant sales can also bring down prices. Overall affordability is similar between the two brands.

  • Style

Here’s where the brands differ the most. Ariat has more western-influenced work boots, along with some rugged outdoors and motorcycle styles. Wolverine sticks to a core work boot aesthetic across most of its lineup.

Wolverine’s boots look right at home on a job site. Ariat has styles better suited for ranches, farms, and the great outdoors. It comes down to personal preference in work boot styling.

Ariat Or Wolverine: Which Is Better?

So which brand makes the better work boots? Here are some quick takeaways:

  • Ariat wins for cowboy/western styling. With their riding boot heritage, Ariats excel at delivering rugged, cowboy-inspired work boots. Wolverine lacks traditional western styles.
  • Wolverine edges out in work boot pricing. You can typically spend a little less and still get excellent quality with Wolverine work boots. Ariat boots come at a small premium.
  • Both deliver great comfort and durability. Using innovative designs and high-quality construction, Ariat and Wolverine are evenly matched for comfort and long-term durability.
  • Traction and weather protection are comparable. With advanced outsoles and waterproofing, both brands design boots to provide grip and keep feet dry.

Also Read: Alternatives To Paraboot Michael Shoes.

FAQ – Ariat And Wolverine Work Boots

Is Wolverine a good brand of work boots?

Yes, Wolverine is considered one of the top American work boot brands. They’ve been making tough, durable boots since the 1800s. Wolverine uses high-quality leather and advanced comfort technologies. Their boots have excellent traction and weather protection. While not the cheapest boots, Wolverines deliver great performance and longevity.

What is a good brand for work boots?

Some other good work boot brands beyond Wolverine and Ariat include Red Wing, Timberland, Thorogood, Carolina, KEEN, and Danner. Look for boots made with leather uppers, sturdy Goodyear welt construction, supportive design, slip-resistant outsoles, and safety toes if required. American-made boots from established companies are generally a good bet.

What are the toughest cowboy boots?

Some of the toughest cowboy boots are made by Ariat, Justin, Tony Lama, Lucchese, and Rios of Mercedes. Look for high-quality full grain leather, double or triple stitching, sturdy cowboy heels, and riding boot-inspired construction. Stitchdown crafted boots tend to be the most durable cowboy boots.

What cowboy boots are most comfortable?

Some comfortable cowboy boot brands include Ariat, Justin, Tony Lama, Dan Post, Twisted X, and Rocky. For comfort, look for boots with a forked shank for flexibility or a walking heel. Cushioning, supportive footbeds and lightweight materials also improve comfort. A square-toe design allows more room for your feet.

The Bottom Line

Ariat and Wolverine both make excellent work boots. Ariat is the way to go for cowboy-inspired styling. But Wolverine takes the crown for classic American work boot designs, often at a more wallet-friendly cost.

With either brand, you can expect great performance and long boot life. Pick the brand whose styles speak to you personally for the best satisfaction. And don’t overlook other popular work boot companies like Red Wing, Timberland, Thorogood, and Carolina as you shop around.

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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