Red Wing Irish Setter
Source: received it as a personal gift
Great boots, tough soles and very comfortable, especially given the price!
- Mesh lower limits waterproofing
I've had my Irish Setters since about 2008, and have put them through hundreds of miles of abuse. From Idaho backcountry 13-mile days, Utah 10 milers and countless miles of East Coast mud, streams, and sticks these boots haven't let me down yet.
Mine are mid-calf with a mix of leather and mesh lowers, which does hurt the waterproofing. While they are GoreTex lined, I have admittedly not cared for them properly with regards to re-applying proofing sprays. The soles are starting to wear significantly but do not suffer from a lack of traction or comfort. The insoles have lost much of their cush under my big toe and after significant downhills the ball of my foot is tired.
Fit is spot-on and very little break-in was required.
Support is also excellent. I have a weak ankle and while it will roll some in these boots, I have yet to exert it to the point of discomfort.
Price Paid: less than 100
Bought mine in 1978. Still wearing them today. Had to have the Vibram soles reattached in 1990.
They are as good as new, very comfortable, still do not leak and I wore them quail hunting last week.
Materials: Oil tanned leather
Use: Caving and wet weather day hiking
Break-in Period: One month of light hiking.
Weight: 4 pounds for the pair
Price Paid: $150
There have been more than one Irish Setter boots sold by Red Wing. The pair I owned were purchased in the 1970s, and were built like high topped US Army military boots, but were made with oil tanned leather, Norwegian welts and Vibram soles. They were originally intended as hunting boots.
I wore them as caving boots in muddy, wet caves in the eastern US. They survived four years of monthly abuse and kept going until I finally blew them out.
So far as I know Red Wing still sells these boots. The boots to buy do not have cloth or Gore-Tex uppers, and are higher than standard hiking boots.
Use: Rough trail/Rocky
Break-in Period: None
Price Paid: $90
These boots are outstanding. On my father's advice, he wore them all of his life in geological field work, I purchased a pair for hiking and outdoor recreational use. No break-in period whatsoever. With a polypro sock and wool your feet will stay completely toasty. The sole is a heavy-duty vibram which looks as good today as it did when I bought them 11 years ago. Toe gets scuffed a bit and I have to pay special attention to keeping that clean and conditioned. I will definitely buy another pair...in 10 years when this pair finally wears out!
Materials: Full-grain leather w/Gore-Tex
Use: Rugged Terrain (Philmont) with 40lb. pack
Break-in Period: 2 months-walking around school-cutting lawns
Weight: 3.5 lbs
Price Paid: $90 on sale, $160 is reg.
As my first hiking boot, I didn't know what to get, but I found this pair on sale for $90 and figured I didn't have much to lose. After putting on a 100 miles @ Philmont, I have no complaints--no leaks, blisters--the toe box is very hard leather, but scuffs easily. I coated them with aquaseal (voids the warranty against leaks), but they have kept me dry thus far. Note--Redwing is the same company that makes Vasque boots.
Use: climbing/long distance backpacing
Break-in Period: zero
Weight: 3 lbs pr
Price Paid: $200
Well, what can I say? They have gotten me to the top of Mount Rainier and to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I used them on my through hike of the 2650 Pacific Crest Trail. They are good for at least 2000 miles of trail. I have even done 5.8 pitches in them. No break in required and never a blister. Last forever, comfortable, multi use. Who could ask for anything more?
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