Not sure if the Irish Setter boots you’re looking at will fit correctly?
Irish Setter is owned by Red Wing Shoe Company, a brand that is well known for building boots noticeably larger-sized than average.
In a poll of our 30,000+ YouTube channel subscribers, BootSpy found that more than 70% of Red Wing wearers bought boots a size or a half smaller than their sneaker size to get the right fit.
Do Irish Setters have the same problem, or is their fit more true-to-size?
The short answer is that most Irish Setter boots are the same fit as your sneaker (Brannock) size.
There’s a lot more detail and various models to take a closer look at, so keep reading if you want the full rundown on Irish Setter boot fit and sizing.
Irish Setter Boots Sizing Guide
The majority of Irish Setter boots fit true-to-size, but there are a few models that are built larger for a variety of reasons.
Let’s break it down by the brand’s most popular boot styles and models so you can understand why certain boots may be bigger and roomier:
The Ely is Irish Setter’s best-known work boot.
Like many modern work boots, the Ely is built for durability and all-day comfort Here’s some key sizing and fit information that you should know:
- A significant number of reviews (both positive and negative) claim that the boot is on the larger side.
- You can expect it to be either a true-to-size fit or a half-size bigger, depending on your foot size.
- The Ely comes in both soft toe and safety toe models, with plenty of room in the forefoot for your feet to expand and swell (a common problem when standing or walking all day). This makes them feel larger than a tighter fitting, less spacious boot.
The Ashby is Irish Setter’s wedge-sole factory work boot. Made with tough full grain waterproof-treated leather and a rubber wedge sole, it’s a boot that keeps you comfortable when walking around on hard concrete and smooth factory floors. Here’s some key sizing and fit information for the Ashby:
- The interior of the boots are plain leather with no added mesh or extra padding. This makes them lighter than the Elys, even with their thick wedge sole.
- The Ashby is available in both soft toe and safety toe, the latter being a bit larger and roomier in the forefoot to give your feet room to expand.
- Typically, the sizing of the safety toe model will run a half-size up, while the soft toe is true to size.
The Wingshooter is built as both a work boot and an outdoor boot. As I discovered in my full hands-on test and review, the Wingshooter is an excellent pair of upland hunting and off-trail hiking boots. You can check out that review for detailed information on how they fit, but here’s some quick info:
- Right out of the box, I found that the fit was very snug—almost to the point of being too tight.
- It took about two weeks to break them in properly
- After the break in period, they fit like a glove!
Elk Tracker Boots
The Elk Trackers are Irish Setter’s deep-forest hunting boots. They’re incredibly rugged, versatile, and capable of handling seriously rough terrain thanks to their aggressive tread and sturdy construction. Here’s some key information regarding fit and sizing:
- What makes the Elk Tracker boots so popular among hunters is that there’s virtually no break-in time required.
- The boots are comfortable—and, more importantly, fit accurately—right out of the box.
- While the length (size) is accurate, a few reviewers have complained that the Elk Trackers are very narrow (even with the extra-wide models).
Mesabi Logger Boots
The Mesabi is Irish Setter’s logger boot, built to be used for work, hiking, and hunting on rough terrain. They’re suitable for farming, ranching, lineman’s work, climbing mountain trails, and even riding a motorbike.
- Because loggers are built narrower and tighter out of necessity (a more secure grip on your feet so you don’t slide around as you walk), they end up being either true-to-size or a half-size too small.
- The fit might be a bit too snug, so you should consider buying a half-size up. That way, you can wear thicker, heavier-duty socks for use in cold outdoor environments without the fit being too tight.
- Some Mesabi models include a safety toe, and the addition of the toe cap (usually aluminum or composite) will add more volume to the toe which will make the boots fit even more tightly.
- You should definitely buy the safety toe models in a half-size or even a full-size larger than your sneaker size.
How to Get the Right Fit for Irish Setter Boots
Break Them in Properly
All leather boots need time to break in.
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Leather starts stiff and inflexible but gradually softens as the fibers relax with prolonged exposure to body heat, moisture, and repeated use.
Right out of the box, your Irish Setter boots may feel a bit too snug. This is intentional. The boots are built with a tighter fit because they will expand as they’re broken in.
Do not wear your leather boots all day long the day they arrive. Give your boots a week (or two) to be broken in. Try:
- Wearing thick woolen socks to protect your toes while you’re stretching out and softening the leather.
- Using a leather oil or conditioner to relax the fibers for faster break-in time.
- Using a shoe stretcher to expand the leather from within.
- Squeezing the heels and toes and bending the boots with your hand to manually soften up the leather.
Want more tips on how to break in your leather boots? We’ve got an article to help you out.
Assess Performance and Comfort
As you wear your boots around, pay attention to how they feel on your feet.
- Are they stable on uneven terrain?
- Do they offer good traction on smooth floors and surfaces?
- Do you feel any friction or hot spots that could turn into blisters?
- Do they fit your ankles and heels snugly enough, or do your feet slide around inside?
- Is there sufficient arch support and cushioning?
- Does the safety toe (if it has) push against your toes when you walk, bend, crouch, or kneel?
- Is there pressure on the sides of your feet?
- Does your heel rub against the back?
- Are the laces applying excessive pressure across the tops of your feet?
Asking yourself all of these questions as you wear your boots will help you assess how well your boots stand up to daily use and how comfortable they feel. If they’re just not up to snuff, consider switching out for a pair that meets all your needs.
Irish Setter has made a name for itself as being a reliable brand with a wide range of boots to suit all types of work and activity. My hands-on testing and vigorous research all seems to suggest that Irish Setter boots run true to size (and this was my own personal experience with the Wingshooter, too).
Different Irish Setter models will of course fit differently, and I’ve explained each point above. Consequently, this information should make it easy to find the right boots, with the right fit for your feet.
With luck, the boots you choose will be a pair you’ll keep forever.
Do Irish Setters run true to size?
Most Irish Setter boots run true to size. However, the Mesabi logger boots are a bit narrower and tighter, so you may want to order a half-size larger.
Who owns Irish Setter boots?
Irish Setter is a division of Red Wing Shoe Company. While Red Wing has a wide range of models—from heritage boots to work boots—Irish Setter focuses primarily on rugged hunting boots and outdoor work boots.
What does E2 mean in Irish setter boots?
E2, or sometimes EE, refers to the width of the boots. The regular width is D, with E being wide and E2 or EE being extra-wide.
Will Irish Setter boots stretch?
Absolutely! All leather boots will stretch. Cowhide fibers soften and relax over time and with repeated exposure to heat (like your body heat). When the fibers relax, pressure from your feet inside your boots will cause the leather to stretch.
It takes time and repeated wear to stretch leather, which is why it’s recommended you take 1-2 weeks (MINIMUM) to break in your boots fully. However, once they’re broken in, they will be the most comfortable and best-fitting boots you could ask for.