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#6155105 - 02/10/12 02:31 AM Re: danners or irish setters [Re: Oldelkhunter]
JohnDog Offline

Registered: 02/15/04
Posts: 166
Loc: Falcon, CO

I've got the 8" uninsulated version - great boots. I like the bob sole - pretty quiet if your doing your part. And great foot and ankle support with the lace to the toes feature.

Get some Sno-Seal and coat them up and then set them out in the sun (less labor intensive than a hair-dryer). Repeat 2 or 3 times more times and you're good to go.


RV 728 BP
#6155874 - 02/10/12 07:30 AM Re: danners or irish setters [Re: JohnDog]
toddm Offline

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 90
Loc: NV
This applies to all boots, but one thing to check before even trying them on is the insoles. This is my #1 annoyance with just about every boot made these days from $50-$500 they almost all come with thin junk insoles.

On the face it seems like no big deal, you go spend $20-40 for a good insole, but it's a double whammy. In most of these boots the included insoles are very thin with no support, cushion, or heel pocket. So the boots have a lot more volume than they will once you replace the insole with something of quality. So not only does the factory insole suck, but you have to keep replacing it with another crappy thin insole in order for the boot to still fit properly, or deal with a boot that is now too tight front of the foot, and possibly too tall in the heel changing how your heel fits into the boots heel pocket. Plus, it's actually hard to find replacement thin insoles.

That's the real problem, boot companies design the fit/cut/width of their boots for those thin crappy insoles so when you replace them with something of quality, you've completely changed the fit of the boot both in the volume and heel position.

I learned this the hard way with a pair of Meindl Alaskan boots, great boots but the factory "air" insole is worthless. If it's not bad enough that a $300+ boot comes with a $0.25 insole, once I put a real insole in them that had support and cushion it took up way too much room in the boot so the boot was not wide enough up front, and it lifted my heel enough that heel blisters resulted. Only option was to continue using crappy thin insoles with poor cushion and support.

I understand companies do it to save money, but at least put a cheap insole in there that has some thickness to it so that when you replace it the volume and foot position stays approximately the same. Frankly companies like meindl, lowa, scarpa etc. should be ASHAMED they are putting these insoles in boots costing hundreds of dollars. Add $15 to the price of the boot and include a good insole to begin with! A good insole can take a mediocre boot and turn it into a great all day boot, you'd think companies would want that for their customers.

In fact I've had high end lowa, la sportiva, meindl, danner, merrell, scarpa, etc. boots and the only pair so far that came with an insole thick enough so it was similar fit to a good replacement insole was my Danner combat hikers. It was still not a good supportive insole but at least it was similar in size so the boot fit the same when it was replaced.

Take along a good cushion/support insole with you when trying on hunting/hiking boots along with a good pair of medium cushion socks, or whatever sock you plan to wear. Even if it's just a cheaper insole that's 3/16" thick or so to mimic what a quality superfeet, sorbothane, sol, etc. insole will. You'll also be amazed what a good supporting insole can do for the support and hiking stability of a hunting pac boot like the Schnee's as well.

Don't be surprised if once you start putting a good insole in boots before trying them on that they don't have enough room in them, in most boots with a good insole even normal width feet have to go to a wide size.

The best procedure I've found when trying boots on is this. First take the insoles out then put your bare feet in them without socks on. This really lets you feel how the last or flat base of the boot fits the shape of your feet because the insole can mask how the shape of the boot last really fits your foot. Then put the insole in and do it again. It's so much easier to tell if it's going to rub your toes, too narrow, not enough/too much arch, heel way too big not big enough or a heel pocket that doesn't fit without the sock on especially a thicker hiking sock. Then do the same thing with your hiking socks on, see if any areas got too tight when you added the sock. A good general rule is if you slide your sock foot all the way forward in the boot unlaced you should just get your index finger between your heel and the heel pocket of the boot. If that all still feels good lace them up and wander around for 10-15 minutes in them, stairs or an incline board will tell you very quickly if they are going to give you heel blisters, but just walking on flat ground will tell you almost nothing about blister issues. Then kick the toe into the floor repeatedly to see if you can make your toes hit the front of the boots at all, which you don't want as you'll end up with black and blue toenails on long downhill sections especially with a pack on. It's also not a bad idea if you are going to be carrying a heavy pack to simulate that, the extra weight will flatten your foot out making it longer than without a pack on, especially if you have high arches. If they pass all that you are doing really well and the rest you won't find out till you get a lot of miles on them. Many boots won't make it past the bare foot test right off. It's a lot of work, but boots are too expensive these days to go buying them without doing as much as you can to ensure they really fit well.

The above might sound like a rant and too much work, but I have notoriously hard to fit feet (wide front foot and narrow heel) and I've gone through a ridiculous amount of boots to find a couple that fit well, but the above now lets me eliminate 90% that won't right off the bat.

As an aside if you have a boot that fits well but just gives you heel blisters take a look at the Engo patches, they are similar to a teflon like sticker that adheres to the heel of your boot allowing your heel to slip without blister causing friction. I've used them in a couple boots I liked but could never remedy heel blisters with by any other means. The only downside to them is once you use them you have to keep using them, you can't remove them without leaving sticky residue on the inside of the boot, for me they last about a year of frequent hiking and are pretty cheap. They've saved a couple pairs of boots from being worthless for me in the past, but I think of them kind of a last resort.

#6156014 - 02/10/12 11:50 AM Re: danners or irish setters [Re: JohnDog]
30338 Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 7150
Loc: Denver
John, Sounds good. I'll coat them up when they come in.

Todd, Interesting points on the insoles. I think I have probably pounded my Schnees inserts into oblivion and will replace those. The Schnees have the volume in them to allow me to do that with no worries. I'll be interested to see what the Cabelas show up with for inserts.

#6157159 - 02/10/12 05:17 PM Re: danners or irish setters [Re: 30338]
Godogs57 Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 2028
Loc: Georgia
Boots are an individual thing of course. That being said, I have never seen a Danner boot that felt or held up as well as my Irish Setter 869's...ever. I used to love Schenes but the "LL Bean" style boot, while rugged, is just plain not comfortable at all and heavy as lead. And it is an ordeal to get on and off too.
I don't elk hunt because I like it, I elk hunt because I can't live without it.

#6158132 - 02/10/12 09:18 PM Re: danners or irish setters [Re: kunas]
elkhunter130 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 472
Loc: Grants Pass, Oregon
They both will leak eventually but the Danners take longer. When doing a lot of late season hunting I use two sets of boots and a good boot dryer. Danner boots like the Rain Forest have a stitch down sole that will last longer as far as water proofing goes but what I have learned is that you are going to get wet it is just how fast you can dry out that is the issue.
"A .358 Norma Mag is not for everyone but then again Bear hunting isn't either."

Unknown Bear guide on the Kodiak coast

#6161332 - 02/11/12 05:07 PM Re: danners or irish setters [Re: elkhunter130]
2Below Offline
New Member

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Colorado
I have had decent luck with a pair of the Irish Setters (#878). They were really good until their third year, this fall, when they started to leak after two days of rain and wet grass. I like the fit and support. And they have held up well other than the leaking. I used them in archery season in Colorado.

#6161534 - 02/11/12 05:54 PM Re: danners or irish setters [Re: 2Below]
Blackheart Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 12/14/10
Posts: 4975
I've got a pair of Irish setter's {forget the model but it had "whitetail" in the name} and a pair of Danner pronghorns right now. The Irish setters have been far superior in every way. Both have been worn for about 5 seasons now. The Pronghorns haven't been waterproof since the middle of the second season. The Irish Setters still are, plus they've always been more comfortable. The bob sole on the Setters provide far better traction than the hard compound soles on the Pronghorns too. You have to be careful about stepping on wet rocks or logs with those damned Pronghorns or you'll break your neck. About the best thing I can say about the Pronghorns is that they're lighter than the Setters.

#6161835 - 02/11/12 07:10 PM Re: danners or irish setters [Re: Blackheart]
GF1 Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 2687
Of the Danners, get those made in USA. They are the ones significantly higher priced, rebuildable. I like the Danner Hood Winter Lights and Canadians.

Here's a link to the Canadians. They are well made, good support, feel great on my feet.

#6163699 - 02/12/12 03:21 AM Re: danners or irish setters [Re: GF1]
Jaguar Offline

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 144
Loc: WY

That is some of the best boot fitting advice I have ever seen written! Guys reading this should take heed. There is real experience talking here. The insole thing is very real and sure can affect fit a lot. I have inserts, so have to try anything on with those. They are not paper thin and the fit sure does change with those in the boot.

Toddm - what boots are you wearing now? I am desperate to find some wide-friendly boots, and am almost barefoot because what I have now are disintegrating. Need both light duty hikers and hard duty elk country boots, but prefer not too high 7-8" height due to calf size. Any recommendations?


#6163887 - 02/12/12 03:55 AM Re: danners or irish setters [Re: Diyelker]
WyoXJ Offline

Registered: 01/06/05
Posts: 123
Loc: SE Wyoming
I bought a pair of Elk trackers this past year in 600mg, wore them Deer season. Liked them so much I bought a second set in 1000mg for Elk season. Elk to Antelope these are far the best boots i have used.

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