26 February 2024

The Irish Setter Fifty, a review


A few weeks ago I received a pair of Irish Setter Fifty boots from Irish Setter in exchange for an honest and candid review.

To quote the Irish Setter website: 

The 6-inch leather Setter Fifty boot is inspired by the original Irish Setter that became a top-seller in the 1950s. Fully updated for a new era, it features sustainably sourced full-grain leather, an outsole made from 51% post-industrial materials and Goodyear Welt construction that is both durable and resoleable. Its classic design features inspired details like the white wedge sole, pinched moc stitching detail and a familiar silhouette. For added comfort, it has a CuShin™ tongue that reduces pressure on the shin and a highly breathable stretch nylon collar. The pull loop also makes the boot very easy to put on and take off.

The boots arrived just as I was preparing to build a new three-bin composting system out of 2x6s. Although the Irish Setter Fifty boots are billed as a casual boot and not a work boot I thought I'd wear them to the lumber yard to pull and load around 25 2x6x12s. I went on to wear them to unload my lumber onto the driveway and since I was already in the zone, I kept them on as I set up my chop saw and then cut all that lumber into the sizes I needed for this project.

Compost bin

I have another pair of Irish Setter boots, the Ashby model, and I've worn them exclusively for all of my house and yard projects for the last two years. They are an excellent boot and after two years they feel as good now as they did when I first bought them. I keep those boots in my mud room and at any point I could have changed into them if the Fifties weren't up to the task at hand.

But the Fifty boots were so comfortable I just kept them on. They held up without a problem and as soon as I dustem them off they looked like they were brand new again.

The soles are what make these boots so remarkable. There's just enough spring to them that they remind me of how the sole of a running shoe feels. My other Irish Setter boots are a bit more stiff but the Fifty felt already broken in as soon as I put them on.

The Fifty has a fabric collar and this makes them fit really well. I can tighten the laces and not feel like I'm restricting the flexibility of my ankles. The boot's cushioned tongue keeps my ankles flexing as well. That fabric collar also makes the boots weight less, so wearing them all day doesn't leave me with tired legs. The Irish Setter Fifty is a great boot and I'll keep these for years. That they're resoleable makes that a guarentee.

Now that they sailed through a field trial as a light duty work boot, they're going to be used as they were intended -- as a casual boot. I can see myself wearing these as I would any other casual leather shoe. In fact, I wore them to lunch last weekend and the compliments just rolled in.

Good boots are never cheap and cheap boots are a waste of money. Irish Setter makes a very good boot at a very fair price. You can even buy them directly from their website.

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