The story behind Wolverine World Wide starts in quiet Grand Rapids, Michigan. This is where in 1883 an uncle and nephew sold shoes along with leather and shoe accessories. Years later the business plan shifted to focus on the shoemaking and leather tanning industries. However, Wolverine didn't receive any mainstream success until 1958. That's when Hush Puppies put it on the map. The comfort-focused casual shoes created to keep your "dogs from barking" were inspired by a Southern fried snack used to silence actual barking dogs. After its first commercial zenith, Wolverine has continued to grow and diversify. Now niche brands such as Bates, Caterpillar and Merrell all fall under the Wolverine name—creating one giant footwear family.