Wolverine, a footwear brand based in Rockford, has partnered with Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery in Kentucky to collaborate on a boot designed to honor the American worker.
The limited-edition 1000 Mile boot features a heel crafted from white oak bourbon barrels previously used in the aging of Old Van Winkle bourbons.
“The collaboration celebrates the legacy and spirit of the American worker, a cause to which both Wolverine and Old Rip Van Winkle are genuinely devoted,” says Tom Kennedy, global brand president for Wolverine. “These are two American brands with deep roots coming together to showcase their love for American craftmanship, bourbon and boots.”
The boot will be released this fall alongside Old Rip Van Winkle bourbons. It has a cap-toe 1000 Mile silhouette and is handcrafted in the U.S. with Horween Cavalier Squash leather. It is hand-numbered and has a special edition metal tag.
“We are proud to partner with Wolverine to create a boot for Old Rip Van Winkle collectors and fans that will raise funds to support the future American workforce,” says Preston Van Winkle, fourth generation business owner of Old Rip Van Winkle.
The shoe is available for pre-order now ahead of its Oct. 1 release date and will retail for $400 per pair on Wolverine.com. All proceeds from the boot will go toward the mikeroweWORKS Foundation Work Ethic Scholarship Program.
“The skills gap is real and getting wide every year,” says Mike Rowe, founder of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, television host, writer, narrator, producer, actor, and spokesman. “Our country faces a growing shortage of skilled tradespeople, and my foundation is committed to helping more people get the necessary training they need to fill these in-demand jobs. Wolverine and Old Rip Van Winkle understand this problem better than most, and their commitment to the American worker is laudable. I’m grateful for their support and leadership, and I’m hopeful more companies will follow this example.”
Wolverine has created boots for more than 135 years. The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery was founded in the late 1800s. The mikeroweWORKS Foundation is a nonprofit that works to debunk myths and misconceptions about the trades in an effort to help close the skills gap. It has granted or helped facilitate the granting of more than $6 million in support of technical and vocational education.