It’s springtime in Boulder, Colorado, and a perfect time to test out the new Wolverine Brek Wellington boots. The photo above shows them in pristine condition, but they really should be used in muddy conditions to test their mettle. As a transplanted New Englander, I at first thought the style of these boots was too Western for me, but they have grown on me and now I like the looks and comfort of the Breks. I had wondered if they would wear well with jeans, and they do. I don’t have special boot jeans, just normal cheap jeans from Costco, and the legs slide right over the Brek Wellingtons.
The Brek Wellingtons share many features with the Raider 6″ boots which I recently tested. The Raiders have become my everyday work boot for all manner of construction work. I have started wearing the Wellingtons in rotation with the Raiders to compare the performance of the two boots. While the Raiders have the MultiShox Individual Comfort System, the Brek Wellington incorporates the Durashocks system. The Durashocks insole has shock absorbing pads incorporated into the insole at the heel and forefoot. They do feel comfortable, but not as soft overall as the Raider’s Multishox system which includes a gel footbed. With either system there is a definite difference in comfort when working in the Wolverine boots versus typical boots.
The DuraShocks outsole is slip, oil, and abrasion-resistant; the soles are indeed quite grippy, and I did not slip when climbing ladders or stepping over the rear bumper of a pickup truck. I felt well supported and comfortable on grass, gravel and stones. The DuraShocks outsole with Goodyear welt construction feels sturdy yet flexible in a variety of activities.
The Brek Wellington is a roomy and comfortable boot to wear for yard work, casual wear, and hiking. Because it is a slip-on high-topped boot, it has a completely different feel from the Raiders I have become accustomed to wearing. Obviously there is no way to adjust the fit with lacing. But I do find that they are roomy without shifting around too much on my foot. I had never owned Wellington style boots before, but I like the idea of a no-lace shoe that I can take off easily when entering my home or the home of a customer. I worried that I would have trouble taking them off, but they come off rather easily when wearing regular cotton gym socks. In cooler weather I would probably try them with medium weight polypro or wool socks.
A big selling feature of the Brek Wellingtons is the claim that they are Waterproof, as a Wellington boot should be. I picture a shepherd slogging through mud, muck and high wet grass. Unfortunately, we don’t have those conditions in Colorado at the moment, so I decided to use a makeshift testing tank.
I stood in a plastic storage bin wearing the Brek Wellingtons with cotton gym socks underneath. I then sprayed them with a garden hose, taking care not to spray into the top of the boots. I filled the bin to the point that the water nearly overflowed into the boots, and then waited about five minutes. I also moved my feet to simulate walking through a stream. Then I stepped out of the bin and assessed the dryness. As I walked on dry ground, there was a squelching sound as water and air tried to escape from point of attachment between leather uppers and rubber soles. While no water seeped through the leather, or the seams in the leather, I think a few drops must have gotten between the uppers and the soles and into the boot. Taking off the boots, I noted a very few wet spots on my otherwise dry socks, mainly near the toe area. Still, I don’t think these are meant to be waders, and I think they fared quite well in this test. For walking through wet grass, snow, mud, and occasionally a shallow stream, I think I would be well served by the Brek Wellingtons, and much more comfortable and fashionable than if I were wearing all rubber Wellies.
I noted that the care instructions recommend using Wolverine Boot Dressing or Wolverine Silicone Spray for water repellency. When hiking or doing work on the ranch or farm, scuffing of the leather is inevitable; perhaps the dressing would help prevent or even repair the scuffing.
Overall, I would recommend the Wolverine Brek Wellington boots for casual wear or for outdoor work and hiking. I look forward to trying them out in the rainy season and snow and ice. I think they will be great to have around when it is time to go shovel the snow from the driveway this winter. If they wear as well as the Raiders have been doing, they should be a good addition to my closet.