Wolverine marks a milestone as its DuraShocks technology celebrates 20 years of punching the clock.
WOLVERINE WILL FÊTE the 20th anniversary of its DuraShocks series with a new boot for Fall ’12. Pairing the brains and brawn of the original with recent technological advances, the brand continues its relentless commitment to making comfortable work and outdoor footwear.
DuraShocks came into being based on Michigan State University Biomechanics research that showed how shock waves sent up the leg when weight is exerted on the heel and ball of the foot lead to fatigue. To combat this, Wolverine designed a patented outsole with two compression pads in the forefront and heel to absorb the shock and return the energy of each footstep. Since their inception 20 years ago, more than 25 million pairs of DuraShocks have been sold around the world. “If you go back to when the DuraShocks collection was first introduced, the premise was that a lot of people in the work industry were used to working in hard, board-y, uncomfortable footwear and it took a long time to break them into something they wanted to wear,” says John Estes, vice president of sales for Wolverine, a division of Wolverine World Wide. “In the ’90s, everyone had grown up in athletic footwear—wearing tennis shoes to school and such—so we wanted to come out with something that was easy to put on, more comfortable and more along the lines of an athletic shoe.”
Dubbed “The World’s Most Comfortable Boots,” Wolverine even added a 30-day comfort guarantee, something that still applies today. “People look to us since we’ve come out with this shoe to be a leader in technology,” Estes says. “We haven’t just rested on Wolverine Durashocks. Every year or two, we come out with something new and more exciting.”
While aesthetically the latest version is basically the same, with a full- grain leather upper and a classic rubber lug design, the newly added combination of a Goodyear Welt and direct-attached construction—aided by an injected-molded TPU midsole that conforms to the foot over time—form a strong bond for increased flexibility and durability. The Foster is available in a six-inch, eight-inch and Wellington styles with an optional steel toe, and retails from $116 to $136. The brand will also mark the anniversary with a national contest: Launching this fall, the grand prize winner of the Wolverine Ultimate Big Game Party Sweepstakes will receive a trip for two to the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans, along with a tailgate prize package. Additional details will be released later this year. —Lyndsay McGregor