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Red Wing Irish Setter

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Red Wing Irish Setter backpacking boot

I have used Irish Setter boots for most of my 53-year life as an avid big game hunter. I learned of Irish Setter in my early years from my Dad and Grandpa who strongly recommended them. In all those years we had only one problem. I contacted the company and they were exactly as my dad said.... a company you can rely on...Problem solved.

When you have to trust in your pair of boots ... you should never have to think about them.


  • Unbelievably comfortable for long hunts
  • Strength of construction for side hill walking
  • Easy on and off
  • Last forever...seriously
  • Company is truly behind their product
  • I love them more than my dog.....Sorry, Rex.


  • They only could improve if they were free :)
  • My wife will only allow one pair every 3 years.

With these boots I am extremely familiar. I have purchased dozens over the years of many makes and models for myself and my three boys as well as the multitude from my Dad and Granpa.

My son says there are many newer companies around that have very good boots and that I should check them out...AND I HAVE, WHENEVER I AM IN THE HUNTING STORE...

BE AWARE.... Before any one buys a pair of hunting boots I  would strongly advise them to try on a pair of Irish Setter and you will feel the difference. NO JOKING...ABSOLUTELY THE BEST BOOTS AROUND.

The fit is very comfortable and can be noticed in extremely harsh and rugged conditions and you will not lose your footing. Take a look at the tread pattern (very aggressive really good on slippery mud).

Their very best boots are obviously more expensive, but well worth it if you have to rely on them.

I am a very analytical guy and can tell you I can find no faults in these boots. Are they perfect? I think so.

Check them out and you will see.

Ps: They are so comfortable I wear them whenever I can in the city...Except church, my wife says NO.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 85-350 dollars

Great boots, tough soles and very comfortable, especially given the price!


  • Comfortable
  • Breathable
  • Durable


  • 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.

Highly recommended!

Source: received it as a personal gift

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.

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

My Red Wings are disappointing everyday work shoes because the soles are inferrior. For light duty to occasional duty they are fine.

I'm sure the older construction was better. I'm done with cheaply made Red Wing products.


  • Good looks
  • Non lug type soles that trap mud


  • Soles do not last

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 10 years when this pair finally wears out!

Materials: Leather
Use: Rough trail/Rocky
Break-in Period: None
Price Paid: $90

Version reviewed: Model #804 Trekker

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.

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.

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?

Materials: leather
Use: climbing/long distance backpacing
Break-in Period: zero
Weight: 3 lbs pr
Price Paid: $200

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.

Price Paid: less than 100

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Price Current Retail: $259.99
Historic Range: $154.99-$259.99
Reviewers Paid: $90.00-$200.00
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