These boots aren’t just made for walking. They were also made to raise money for a good cause – putting American’s back to work in the trades.
Mike Rowe Works, Wolverine and Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery have teamed up to raise awareness to the fact that it’s ok to get your hands dirty, that getting that expensive four-year degree with hopes of that corner office isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. That somehow belittling a profession where you get your hands dirty is so 19th Century. Mike Rowe has been teaching the world about dirty jobs for years. Now, with this new partnership Rowe is out trying to raise not just awareness but funds to send the next Bob the Builder or Joe the Plumber to vocational school.
Wolverine, the 137-year-old boot brand, has joined forces with Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery to create a collaboration 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 Rip Van Winkle bourbons. Wolverine 1000 Mile boots and Old Rip Van Winkle bourbons are both products of enduring American craftsmanship and are still made largely the same way they were more than a century ago.
“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,” said Preston Van Winkle, fourth generation business owner of Old Rip Van Winkle.
Two Historic Brands Create a Work Boot with an Old Rip Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel Heel
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The Wolverine 1000 Mile Old Rip Van Winkle boot will release this fall alongside Old Rip Van Winkle bourbons. The boots are perfect for collectors, fans, and anyone looking to give back to the American workforce. The limited-edition boot is a cap-toe 1000 Mile silhouette with a heel featuring a wooden layer that is crafted from American white oak bourbon barrels previously used in the aging of Old Rip Van Winkle bourbons. The boot is handcrafted in the U.S.A. with Horween Cavalier Squash leather and is hand-numbered, with gold hardware and a special edition metal tag.
“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,” said 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 skills gap is real and getting wide every year,” said Mike Rowe, founder of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. “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.”
We’ve got a PR problem. What’s the problem? We’ve made work the enemy.
America has become slowly but undeniably disconnected from the most fundamental elements of civilization—food, energy, education, and the very nature of work itself.
Over the last 30 years, America has convinced itself that the best path for the most people is an expensive, four-year degree. Pop culture has glorified the “corner office job” while unintentionally belittling the jobs that helped build the corner office. As a result, our society has devalued any other path to success and happiness. Community colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs are labeled as “alternative.” Millions of well-intended parents and guidance counselors see apprenticeships and on-the-job training opportunities as “vocational consolation prizes,” best suited for those not cut out for the brass ring: a four-year degree. The push for higher education has coincided with the removal of vocational arts from high schools nationwide. And the effects of this one-two punch have laid the foundation for a widening skills gap and massive student loan debt. ~ Mike Rowe.
The Wolverine 1000 Mile x Old Rip Van Winkle limited-edition boot is available for pre-order now. It can be purchased for $400 on the Wolverine websites special Old Rip Van Winkle page here. All proceeds from the boot will go towards the mikeroweWORKS Foundation Work Ethic Scholarship Program.
Chances are these boots will be as hard to get as a bottle of elusive 23 Year Old Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve.