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Published on October 25th, 2011 | by Greg

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Boot Up With Wolverine: Serious Footwear, Part Two

When we were last slip­ping our toes in­to a good pair of boots, they of­fered Gore-Tex and a nice mid-cut style that bal­anced weight with com­fort and sta­bil­i­ty. An­oth­er key fea­ture was the Vi­bram out­sole, which helps with grip­ping ter­rain of all kinds, es­pe­cial­ly when wet. And fi­nal­ly, we were big fans of the spe­cial in­sert, which might nor­mal­ly be over­looked but felt sol­id and nice­ly cush­ioned. To­day’s pair match­es those same fea­tures, and made for a hard-to-choose bat­tle. Even the price tags are sim­i­lar!

To­day’s rugged men’s footwear choice are the Wolver­ine Ful­crum ICS GTX Mid-Cut Off-Road Hik­er boots. The full-grain leather up­per was sup­ple, and we liked the small num­ber of seams. Siz­ing seemed ac­cu­rate- we tried a 9.5 and it felt true to size, if a bit wider than some we’ve seen. Wolver­ine’s siz­ing is a bit more re­stric­tive in some ways but less in oth­ers; they on­ly of­fer up to a size 14, but they do have both nor­mal and ex­tra-wide ver­sions.

Un­like in part one of this duo, the Wolver­ine Ful­crum’s on­ly come in brown or black and while we would’ve po­ten­tial­ly liked more op­tions, they prob­a­bly were best served with this col­or pair. A quick poll of staff re­vealed that most pre­ferred the oth­er pair in terms of style, as they have a bit more per­son­al­i­ty to them. But ev­ery­one thought the Wolver­ine Ful­crum’s looked “man­ly”, per­fect for use where they be­long- as a lum­ber­jack, per­haps, or just hik­ing some se­ri­ous trails. As be­fore, these aren’t work boots- no steel toes- but held up well to some abuse in pud­dles, grav­el, and pave­ment alike. The lack of tex­ture on the out­side meant that scratch­es and scuffs ap­peared pret­ty quick­ly; we’d rec­om­mend oc­ca­sion­al pol­ish­ing and con­di­tion­ing for the leather.

The coolest part of these shoes is a bit gim­micky- but most of us here are suck­ers for even ran­dom tech­nol­o­gy. The In­di­vid­u­al Com­fort Sys­tem, the ICS part of the name, is Wolver­ine’s at­tempt to make an ad­justable in­sole for your heel. By ro­tat­ing a lit­tle gel disc, you can choose a cush­ion lev­el, or keep your heel plate firm- and al­so choose from Out­ward or In­ward com­pen­sa­tion for high or low arch­es. Hon­est­ly, we were a bit skep­ti­cal at first- you have to re­move the shoe and do a bit of work to change it, but once set you prob­a­bly won’t need to mod­i­fy the set­ting that of­ten and it does on­ly take a few sec­onds. You could feel the dif­fer­ence, and in the end we were pret­ty im­pressed. No break-in time was nec­es­sary; we put them on and got ac­tive. An­kle sup­port was ex­cel­lent; they seemed a ex­treme­ly firm around the toebed, which was help­ful.

At $200, these are a great pair of boots. Su­pe­ri­or wa­ter pro­tec­tion, and a nifty built-in gad­get that ac­tu­al­ly helps with both com­fort and sta­bil­i­ty. Over­all, we found this pair slight­ly less com­fort­able for day-to-day use, but ac­tu­al­ly the bet­ter choice when we were an­tic­i­pat­ing the more se­ri­ous con­di­tions (they seemed warmer and more durable). For those par­tic­u­lar­ly fash­ion-con­scious, the Wolver­ine Ful­crum might not catch your eye, but gad­get lovers will ap­pre­ci­ate the in­ter­est­ing ad­justable cush­ion­ing sys­tem.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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