by John Russel Jones

OK, somewhere there must be a joke about “a wolverine and Rip Van Winkle walk into a bar,” but we can’t find it, so we’ll just sip some bourbon and go take a nap for 20 years or so and get back to you. Meanwhile, American bootmaker Wolverine and heritage bourbon brand Old Rip Van Winkle have unveiled their third limited-edition collaboration boot. The Wolverine 1000 Mile x Old Rip Van Winkle Cap-Toe Batch III boot celebrates American craftsmanship by bringing together bourbon and handmade boots in harmony. One hundred percent of net proceeds from the special-edition boot will be donated to the mikeroweWORKS Foundation (funding training for a career in the skilled trades) and the National FFA Organization (organizes training opportunities in the world of agriculture and agricultural science), ultimately supporting the next generation of skilled trades and agricultural science workers.

The American-made boot draws inspiration from the intricate process and labor that goes into making fine bourbon: Designed with a dark grey leather upper, reminiscent of the char on the inside of the oak barrels the bourbon rests in for at least a decade, the limited-edition boots also feature a custom-cut piece of bourbon barrel wood that is layered into the heel stack – the same wood that once held Old Rip Van Winkle bourbon. Each boot is individually numbered with Old Rip Van Winkle tags on the tongue, making each pair one-of-a-kind. [Editor’s note: we got a preview of the boot at a recent bourbon-tasting in Manhattan, and these are definitely serious boot collection-worthy.]

“Our partnership with Old Rip Van Winkle continues to be a perfect fit as we celebrate and honor our joint dedication to American craftsmanship,” says Scott Schoessel, VP of Global Marketing at Wolverine. “Through merging our two like-minded heritage brands, we’ve created a unique and high-quality boot while simultaneously supporting the industries and workers who are the fabric of America.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Wolverine once again to celebrate everything that goes into crafting the finest bourbons, a process our family has been perfecting since the 1800s,” says Preston Van Winkle, fourth-generation business owner of Old Rip Van Winkle. “This year’s collaboration is unique as we will not only be giving back to the skilled trades, but also the agricultural industries that play such a pivotal role in the elements we use to create our bourbons.”

The Wolverine 1000 Mile x Old Rip Van Winkle Cap-Toe Batch III Boot will be available on October 25th for $415 exclusively on Wolverine.com.