I’ve had a lot of work to do, and the Wolverine Raider 6″ work boot got right down to business with me. I am a general building contractor, and over the last week I wore the Raiders while rewiring a workshop, building an interior wall and doorway, loading materials into my truck and doing my general trek through daily life. The Raiders are very comfortable as an everyday work boot, and a good-looking choice for general use.
The leather upper conforms well to my foot, and comfortably fits my wide forefoot.
The tongue is an even softer grain of leather, and there is foam padding around the ankle to further contribute to comfort.
The lacing system incorporates four eyelets on each side with a pair of hooks above them for cinching up the ankle portion. The laces themselves are of an unusually silky material that makes it easy to tighten up the boot before finishing off the lacing process. The Raiders are easy to get on and off. There was very little break-in necessary, as the leathers used are all fairly soft to begin with.
The Multishox Individual Comfort System includes a gel footbed, a flex arch for extra support, and individual shock absorbing compression pads. I definitely noticed the comfort difference when working all day on concrete surfaces.
The Contour Welt 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 Wolverine Contour Welt is meant to provide a flexible connection between the uppers and the soles of the boots, without sacrificing the toughness and durability you need in a work boot. Some boots will seem to always crease or fold at the same point, leading to discomfort. Not so with the Raider. They flex more like a running shoe.
So far I have used the boots in very dry conditions here in Colorado, so I am not sure how water resistant the boots will be. I noted that the care instructions recommend using Wolverine Boot Dressing or Wolverine Silicone Spray for water repellency. Since it is a work boot, scuffing of the leather is inevitable; perhaps the dressing would help prevent or even repair the scuffing.
If your work requires it, there is also a steel-toe version of this boot (rated ASTM F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 EH), which gives you a little more confidence on the job.
The Wolverine Raider can also pull double-duty as a hiking boot, given the comfort, outsole technology, and durability.