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Reviews > Footwear > Boots > Wolverine Sightline Mid Cuff Boots > Test Report by joe schaffer

Wolverine Men's Sightline Waterproof Mid-Cut Hunting Boot
Initial Report
by Joe Schaffer

November 13, 2014

NAME: Joe Schaffer
EMAIL: never2muchstuff(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
AGE: 67
HEIGHT: 5'9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.4 kg)
HOME:  Hayward, California USA

    I frequent Califorauthornia's central Sierras, camping every month with a goal to match my age in nights out each year; about half the time solo. As a comfort camper I lug tent, mattress, chair, etc. Summer trips last typically a week to 10 days; 40 lbs (18 kg), about half food related; about 5 miles (8 km) per hiking day. I winter camp most often at 6,000' to 7,000' (1,800 to 2,000 m); 2 to 3 nights; 50 lbs (23 kg); 1 to 4 miles (1.6 to 6.4 km) on snowshoes.

The Product:
        Manufacturer: Wolverine Shoes
        Web site:
        Product: Sightline Waterproof Mid-Cut Hunting Boot
        Received: 11/7/14Wolverine Sightline hunting boots

My measures: (9 EW)
        Weight Left: 1 lb 3 5/8 oz (556 g)  
        Weight Right: 1 lb 3 1/4 oz (546 g)
        Sole Width (toe box):  4 1/4" (10.8 cm)
        Sole Width (heel):  3 1/4" (8.3 cm)
        Sole Length: 11 3/4" (29.8 cm)
        Height (front): 6 3/4" (17.2 cm)
        Height (back): 5 1/4" (13.3 cm)
MSRP: $120 US

Product Description:   
    This just-over-the-ankle boot combines leather for roughly half the outer with mesh for the other half. The toe box is all leather. The toe box is smooth; anchored into the lacing eye with a 1 3/4" (4.5 cm) belt starting at the welt and angling up over the metatarsal arch to 1 1/16" (2.7 cm) eye belt that has 5 round, plastic eyes and 2 plastic, closed loops at the top. The heel is 2" (5.0 cm) belted to the welt from about the vertical axis of the ankle, then in a dogleg to the center of the heel angles up in a 7/8" (22 mm) belt to center at the 5th eye. This belt also joins a 5/8" (16 mm) exposed wraparound belt sewn into the heel belt and has a V-shape under the ankle. The heel boat rises at the back of the heel to 1 3/4" (4.5 cm) and tapers in about 7 1/4" (18.4 cm) to 1 1/8" (2.9 cm) on each side, ending about 5/16" (8 mm) before the toe box. This space begins the mesh, which then fills in the lower part of the shoe, to the top of the ankle and the tongue. The tongue gap is about 1 1/2" (3.8 cm) and about 4 1/2" (11.4 cm) long. The back of the shoe tapers to about 4" (10.2 cm) vertically and scoops the top by about 3/4" (19 mm) wide by 1/2" (13 mm) for Achilles tendon room. There is a yank loop about 5/8" (16 mm) diameter sewn into the top of the leather and about 3/8" (10 mm) of the mesh at the back of the shoe. The leather is very brownish olive drab while the mesh is multi-colored camouflage in tones of red, brown, green and white. White stitching.

   The inside of the shoe has an orange fabric collar of about 2" (5 cm). Overall the shoe has a feeling of "fatness" of as much as perhaps 1/4" (6 mm). The shoe has a removable footbed about 1/8" (3 mm) thick, slightly thicker under the mid-front of the bed and at the heel, where the bed cups up 1/2" (13 mm) around the heel tapering in about 5" (1.3 cm) to nothing.

   Traction develops from 5 rows of lugs about 3/16" (5 mm) deep, with a total of 12 lugs on the heel and 24 under the fore foot. Lugs are sized from less than 1/4" (6 mm) in square area to about 1" (2.5 cm) in square area, in parallelogram larger lugs, trapezoid mid-size lugs and triangular smaller lugs.  An orange layer is glued to the sole around the lugs; and the sole is glued to the shoe. The sole is glued to the inner sole, which runs to about 1 1/4" (3.2 cm) from the toe end, where the inner sole tapers to nothing and the outer sole wraps up the toe box not quite to the top in front. The top of the inner sole at the heel sports a 1/4" (6 mm) orange band between the back of the heel belts.

   Fabric laces are about 1/8" (3 mm) in diameter with orange/brown diagonal striping; 66" (1.7 m) in length.

   Wolverine says: 

    Waterproof leather and diesel mesh upper. WolverineŽ PC dry silver waterproof membrane lining. Removable open-cell polyurethane footbed. Compression molded EVA midsole. Rubber lug outsole. Nylon shank. Cement construction.

Sightline side viewInitial impressions:
    The first thing that captured my attention on this boot is the thickness of the walls, which I find remarkably comforting. The shoe fits me perfectly; so well, in fact, that I dared to venture out on a 12-mile (19 km) 4-day hike the day after I got them. The leather structure of the lower part of the shoe feels solidly stable, while the mesh fabric collars my ankle in firm but cushioned support. As the shoe also has a waterproof liner, I expected it to be rather hot for warm-day hiking. My feet did feel too warm at times during almost-summer conditions, but evidently the liner breathes so well that moisture buildup turned out to be minimal. I wonder what will happen when the leather gets wet.

   I like the rubber sole covering most of the front of the toe box, where most of my toe dragging and bumping seems to happen. I'm still going to scuff the leather, but not as severely. The only question might be if the glue can last the shoe or if I can manage to drag it loose.

    As a strident type A I don't much care for the lacing system. I know hooks can be a trip hazard and lace buster, but hooks go fast. My fingers have to do a lot of work to get the laces done and undone. The yank loop is a little too small for those fingers, and in combination with the cumbersome lacing (certainly not unique to this shoe) I find it not very helpful. For me the laces tie too close to the top of tongue. I can mitigate that by running the lace from the top side of the loop, but that makes pulling the laces even more difficult.

    The open cell footbed looks good and offers early cushioning, though I would say no support. I wouldn't expect it to last long. At the moment it feels good.

   The structure of the shoe looks great to me. Reinforcing belts seem positioned at exactly the right places; and space between the leather at the forefoot reduces the amount of energy required to bend the shoe. Support for the ankle seems pretty good, a factor I hold dear. The sole seems stiff enough to isolate rubble from my feet. Stitching appears perfect and I find no broken or loose threads. The waterproof liner prevents dust from penetrating the shoe, a bit of trade off for those times the liner may make the shoe too hot. (I hate dirty socks.)  My gaiters held a proper "seal" around the shoe and did not ride up.

   The camo pattern is quite different on each tongue, which may help me remember which shoe goes on which foot.

Field Report

January 10, 2015

Field Conditions:
    I've been out twice with the Sightlines including the trip briefly referenced above:
    1) Carson Iceberg Wilderness for 4 days, leaving with 210 lb (95 kg) on the shoes. Dry, with a temperature of about 60 F (16 C) during hiking hours. About 6 mi (10 km) on trail and 6 mi (10 km) XC (cross country).
    2) Dodge Ridge for 4 days, leaving with 205 lb (93 kg) on the shoes plus tugging a 40 lb (18 kg) firewood sled 1.4 mi (2.2 km) 500' (150 m) uphill on groomed snow and 0.1 mi (0.16 km) XC on 6" (15 cm) dry powder. Second hiking day was same route back to the car to drag up the balance of the firewood; and lastly a mostly empty sled back to the car. I put about 6 mi (10 km) on the shoes in temps of about 55 F (13 C) and about 16 hours cavorting about camp in temps ranging down to about 20 F (-7 C). Camp conditions included dry powder around the site; wet mud during the day where the campfire melted the snow; and frozen mud around the campfire as soon as the sun went down.
    For both outings I wore synthetic liners under wool hikers.

    On the first trip I spent more hours hiking more miles. My feet felt a little too warm at times but socks stayed fairly dry. I stepped in mud holes a couple times and while that was not much duration in muck, no water came through. I did change socks when I switched to camp shoes, but I wasn't as wet as I might have expected after hiking 3-5 hours in warm temps with waterproof footwear.
    The second trip included a more strenuous activity as I was yarding the sled, and temps were quite right for it. As hard as I was working I wouldSightlines in snow camp shoes have expected moisture in the 1.5 hours it took to get to camp, and would not have been surprised if snow contributed to it. However, my feet remained so dry that I did not even change socks to lounge about camp. I left my camp shoes in the car hoping the Sightlines would work out as camp shoes on their own, and I was quite pleased. While hiking my feet were very happy, neither warm nor cold. Perhaps the snow kept interior temperature in check. The shoes performed very well hiking in these mild snow conditions. Sitting with my feet in the snow or on frozen ground for any longer than probably 20" or so did get the toes and soles uncomfortably cold. I wouldn't have been able to spend much evening time outside had it not been for the fire. These shoes seem to have a broad temperature range of comfort for me, perfect for California fall and mild winter conditions. I have not tested them in rain or sloppy snow.

    I wouldn't have expected traction issues and I experienced none. Cars had packed the snow to ice at the trail head entrance and I slipped on that. I had snow shoes on the sled and never used them.

    The shoes are still relatively new (18 mi/29 km) and I am happy to report no blisters or discomfort. So far I've had no injurious or even painful pronation.
randing separation
    The randing (rubber wrap up from the sole to toe) on one boot shows separation of about 0.125" across about 0.75" (3 mm x 19 mm). I find that not uncommon. If the bonding separation grows, then I might have a concern.

Long Term Report

March 15, 2015

Field Conditions:
    I've gone backpacking 4 more times in California, USA, bringing total mileage on the boots to 69 (111 km); loading the boots typically around 200-210 lb (91-95 kg).
    a) Pt. Reyes National Sea Shore, 3 days and 13 mi (21 km). Sunny, warm, dirt road and dirt trail.
    b) Rancheria Falls in the Hetch Hetchy area of Yosemite National Park, 4 days and 20 mi (32 km) with the longest day 9 mi (14 km) (a lot for me). Sunny, hot, mostly rocky trail.
    c) Preston Falls in Stanislaus National Forest, 2 hiking days, 10 mi (16 km), sunny, hot, mostly dirt trail; a mile (1.6 km) or so of wet grass on the way out.
    d) Herring Creek in Stanislaus National Forest, 2 days, 8 mi (13 km), sunny, hot, half pavement, half dirt road and trail.

    On the Hetchy hike I did manage to submerge the boots for 15-20 minutes in what proved to be impassable muck under puddles. I managed to keep the depth less than ankle deep and my socks stayed completely dry. An hour of rain wetted the trail on the way out of Preston Falls, and my socks suffered no wet. Otherwise, most of my last ventures turned out to be dry and hot. I remain fully amazed at how resistant these boots are to water intrusion; and yet they breathe well enough to keep my feet mostly dry in the heat. Even after the 9 mi (14 km) hike I kept the boots on in camp for several hours before changing to camp shoes. These boots do not have aggressive lugs and tend not to tear up the ground as much as typical backpackers. I believe if I become weight obsessed for a trip, I could eliminate camp shoes. Some of my other boots that have waterproof breathable liners tend to run on the warm side and my feet get moist or sometimes even nasty. Footwear I have with mesh/leather construction and without a WPB liner stay wonderfully cooler and dry, but let dust in and I struggle to abide the tradeoff. My prissy nature denies a feeling of comfort when I know my feet are getting dirty. I believe I am getting the better of both worlds in these shoes.

    I have not gotten any blisters and am fully satisfied with the comfort level. The shoes required no break-in.

    The randing has not separated any more than previously indicated. I don't find any other sign of premature wear. There are no loose threads. The insole continues to ride well and remains firm, doing a good job of isolating rubble from my feet.

    Though I experienced very little wet granite, I find wet-granite traction is not so good. I've had no slippage issues otherwise. This morning I had a short stint of very steep ravine fully blanketed in dry pine straw and the shoes held well.

    The shoes have maintained a natural smell. Even when hot, I find no hint of chemical odor. I thought the bright orange inner might bleed, but it hasn't yet and now I'd think it won't.

    I've had a few ankle turns, but none that hurt. Sprains are my greatest fear (perhaps second only to snake bite) and I've developed enough confidence in these boots I carry only one brace, so far not needed.

    I have other footwear that in specific areas may be better and some not as good. All things considered, I rate these boots very high. My only area of concern is wet-granite traction, and since granite in California is not seeing any precipitation anymore, all I have to remember is not to spit in front of me.
Quick shots:

    a) Comfortable
    b) Dry
    c) High value
    d) Wet-granite traction not great

Thank you Wolverine and for the opportunity to test this product. This concludes my test reporting.

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Reviews > Footwear > Boots > Wolverine Sightline Mid Cuff Boots > Test Report by joe schaffer

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