In the early 1800's most items purchased by Americans were imported, made in the home, or produced in small shops. However, by 1860, American factories and technologies had become the envy of their international rivals. New machines, better sources of power, and revolutionary ways of organizing work transformed the United States from an agricultural nation to an industrial powerhouse (www.si.edu).
It was in this spirit that in 1883 a young visionary named G.A. Krause took advantage of all America had to offer. He was believed to have said, "There is some opportunity here." The company that would become Wolverine World Wide (WWW) was born.
After first organizing the Rogue River Electric Light and Power Company and bringing electricity to the citizens of Rockford, Michigan, G.A. and his sons built a shoe factory. Quality craftsmen made 300 pairs of tough, dependable work shoes each day. The legendary Wolverine name began to take hold and became synonymous with exceptional quality. Krause began what is now a tradition of excellence in footwear.
For over 120 years, Wolverine has made a lot of good boots and shoes for a lot of good men and women. We've proudly equipped them for the hard work they do every day in America. And in return, America has polished our name.
The distinctive Wolverine spirit is closely linked to the adventurous can-do spirit of the American pioneers – the very same spirit that opened the American west, built skyscrapers across the landscapes of our storied cities, and pushed mankind itself to new frontiers as men landed on the moon. It is a vigorously positive spirit that welcomes challenge and rejects frivolity.
In the never-ending pursuit of quality, our craftsmen use only the finest materials and leathers to make superior products. Wolverine is also the industry leader in comfort technology. With our innovative technology introductions, we revolutionized the footwear industry and showed the American worker that they did not have to sacrifice comfort for dependability. Our footwear will satisfy from the very first step.
Wolverine boots and shoes speak clearly with an authentic voice. It is a voice that rings proud with all the commitment, grit and hope of the American men and women we serve. The footwear reflects the values of the craftsmen whose pride in their work has made Wolverine the gold standard for performance, durability and comfort. Wolverine boots and shoes are among the finest to be found anywhere in the world, with advanced technologies that add unparalleled safety, durability, and especially comfort. Wolverine will handle the toughest days and keep coming back for more. They are relentless by nature.
1883 - G.A. Krause founded the company that would become Wolverine World Wide. He is believed to have said, "There is some opportunity here."
1903 - Krause and his sons built a shoe factory in Rockford, Michigan. It made 300 pairs of shoes each day.
1908 - Next, the Wolverine tannery was built and began supplying their shoe factory with tough, durable horsehide.
1919 - Wolverine began national advertising: Wolverine work shoes were sold by one of the earliest national sales forces, and became very popular.
1921 - Flush with success, the Hirth-Krause Company changed its name to Wolverine Shoe and Tanning Corporation and began to grow ever more quickly.
1931 - The Great Depression came, and although sales were down, factory lines were kept running and shoes were warehoused for better times.
1941 - During World War II the Wolverine Shoe & Tanning Company went to work for the U.S. Navy, developing pigskin gloves.
1946 - By the end of the war, Wolverine engineers had created a type of new leather: pigskin suede, and built a factory to produce it.
1952 - With horses disappearing from the American landscape Wolverine searched for new ways to use pigskin suede. G.A. Krause's son, Victor led the race.
1964 - The company chose a more fitting name, and Wolverine Shoe & Tanning Company became Wolverine World Wide, Inc.
1965 - Wolverine stock went up on the "Big Board" and was traded on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time.
1976 - Wolverine World Wide began laying the foundations of its brand family and leading technologies.
1986 - Wolverine funded the Biomechanical Engineering Laboratory at Michigan State University, and formed the International Design Center in Montecatini, Italy.
1991 - Wolverine introduced DuraShocks, the first true comfort system for workboots. Wolverine DuraShocks created a revolution with lighter, longer-lasting products.
1994 - Wolverine introduced an enhanced DuraShocks technology in boots and shoes. With a rich past, and a family of global brands, Wolverine World Wide leads the world in casual, work and outdoor footwear for men, women and children.
1994 - Wolverine introduced an enhanced DuraShocks technology that features slip resistant soles. The advanced tread of the shoe allows American workers extra protection against slips and falls on the job.
1996 - Wolverine continued progress in innovation and launched another comfort technology labeled Wolverine DuraShocks Fusion, which created a tougher, stronger boot.
1997 - Wolverine acquired the global license for Coleman footwear.
1998 - Wolverine began making and selling Harley-Davidson boots and shoes. With a rich past, and a family of global brands, Wolverine World Wide leads the world in casual, work and outdoor footwear for men, women and children.
2001 - Wolverine Compressor Technology was introduced. Wolverine Compressor adds comfort, flexibility and a cool and dry foot.
2004 - The newest comfort technology that Wolverine has to offer, Wolverine Multishox, was launched. Wolverine continues to work on innovative ways to make their products more comfortable.