Wolverine Pulsar Preview - Gear Review

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wolverine boots have been for 125 years for their sturdiness and comfort. So when I saw that they had entered the hiking shoe arena, I knew we were not going to be let down. The folks at Wolverine put their heads together with Vibram® and GORE-TEX® to create the Pulsar, a low-cut waterproof hiker, complete with Wolverine's Individual Comfort System Technology. The Pulsar is due to hit the shelves with Wolverine's Spring/Summer line, but the Paddle Junkie was able to score us a sneak preview. I was more than excited to give these a try.



The first weekend I laced these on, it was for a fundraiser 5K in a torrential downpour. I had read the package insert about Wolverine's Individual Comfort System technology, and selected the cushiest setting for the 5K. During the race, the ICS disc with OrthoLite footbed kept my feet comfy while the GORE-TEX® fabric kept my feet dry. Furthermore, the double-wrapped laces did not slip a bit while the Vibram® sole made for sure traction. Though they're a little heavier than your average running shoe, in the deluge that morning I'd bet they were lighter than most the sopping running shoes out on the course. I could not have been more impressed with how these performed right out of the box.

My next test for the Pulsars was to see how they'd do on a whole day working outside. For this, I thought I'd see how the other ICS settings worked. I read that the "Firm" setting helps to return energy during your step, thus combating fatigue. I knew I had a long day ahead working on my deck, so I set the ICS disc to "Firm." While I was working it was nice to have the sturdiness of a hiking shoe for support, and 12 hours later, my feet still felt great.

If I had to have one complaint about the Pulsars, it is that the waterproof-ness is not always consistent. They are great for splashing through puddles, but if you choose to walk through really wet grass, moisture can start to leak through. GORE-TEX® recommends against the use of waterproofing waxes or greases because they may affect breathability, but perhaps there is some sort of spray that may help this issue.

However, that said, the Pulsars have become my all-around go-to for hikes, to walk the dog, and to grab a beer if the weather looks like it may turn to crap. With the winter months just around the corner, I look forward to surmounting whatever freezing muddy slush Mother Nature may send our way, confident that the Pulsars will not let me down.

Wolverine brought its years of quality craftmanship to the table, and with a little help from Vibram® and GORE-TEX®, created one kick-ass pair of hikers.

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