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#6155874 - 02/09/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: JohnDog]  
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toddm Offline
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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.

CMG 300 BP

#6156014 - 02/10/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: JohnDog]  
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30338 Offline
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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 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: 30338]  
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Godogs57 Offline
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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.


You only live once, but...if you do it right, once is enough.
#6158132 - 02/10/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: kunas]  
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elkhunter130 Offline
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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 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: elkhunter130]  
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2Below Offline
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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.

Alpha

#6161534 - 02/11/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: 2Below]  
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Blackheart Offline
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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 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: Blackheart]  
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GF1 Offline
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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.

http://www.danner.com/canadiantm-600g-hunting-boots.html?gclid=CPerrqfPlq4CFQNeTAodsVBJhQ

#6163699 - 02/11/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: GF1]  
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Jaguar Offline
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WY
toddm

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?

Thanks

#6163887 - 02/11/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: Diyelker]  
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WyoXJ Offline
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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.

#6167631 - 02/12/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: WyoXJ]  
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addicted Offline
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Kingwood, TX
Since Ron is my buddy I'll ask this question coupled with this one. How much insulation do you really need? We will be covering a lot of ground, hills and mountains. Just making sure we don't buy super HOT boots and pay the price later.

Thanks


Drink and be merry for soldiers die for your freedoms.

Semper Fidelis!
Bravo

#6176522 - 02/14/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: addicted]  
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Aviator Offline
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I have both Irish setter and danners,I just got a pair of the Cabelas lightweight hunters by Meindl they are by far the most comfy lightweight boots I have ever had on my feet !! even better than my Hanwag hikers !

#6176661 - 02/14/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: kunas]  
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RichardAustin Offline
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My Redwing (Redwing - the maker of IrishSetters) boots are falling apart and their customer service guy "Matt" told me I should just buy a new pair.
I paid twice as much to buy the American Made redwings and would have been much happier with two pair of imported boots for the same price. That said I am rather happy with my Danner boots, they're military style/type boots.


Be Polite , Be Professional , but have a plan to kill everybody you meet
-General James Mattis United States Marine Corps


Nothing is darker than a mau mau's moo moo.
#6177211 - 02/14/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: RichardAustin]  
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kcnboise Offline
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I've had several pairs of both Irish Setter and Danners, so I'd have to say neither. Meindl or Lowa is what I wear now; threw the Irish Setters and Danners out after the first trip in the Meindls and Lowas and haven't ever regretted it. In fact, I just keep liking them better. Wore the Meindls ice fishing a couple weeks ago in single digit weather, as we had about a mile and a half walk on the ice to the fishing spot. I took a pair of pack boots to change into, but never did - my feet didn't get cold on the ice all day, and they were the Meindl Alaska Hunters with only 200 grams of insulation. They're even quiet enough to stalk in while archery elk hunting.

#6177283 - 02/14/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: kcnboise]  
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Esox357 Offline
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I used Danners for work and the soles are so soft they wore down quickly from walking around which I didn't do a whole lot of, you can send them back to Danner to replace the soles but at the cost of it I was not impressed and wasn't planning on buying Danners again.

#6193926 - 02/19/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: Esox357]  
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GF1 Offline
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The Danner Bob tread pattern does wear very quickly in rocky terrain, but is superb traction and very quiet.

The more traditional Vibram pattern, such as that found on the Danner Hood Winter Light, is really tough and I've yet to wear out the soles in the western chukar canyon country.

#6193984 - 02/19/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: GF1]  
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Allen917 Offline
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I'm sold on the Irish Setter Elk Trackers w/ 200 grams of thinsulate. They are never too hot and if I need more insulation, I usually have a couple of pairs of socks in my day pack. The Elk Trackers open up nicely for the additional bulky socks, so my feet don't get cramped.

Danners on the other hand, have just never fit me well and didn't feel go with extra bulky socks, but I haven't bought any of then in at least 10 years and probably won't be in the market for boots again for another 10.


My biggest fear is when I die my wife will sell my guns for what I told her they cost....
#6195018 - 02/19/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: Allen917]  
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Alectoris Offline
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Central Oregon
My vote is for Danner. I currently own 2 pairs. A pair of Danner Light II for everyday wear/light hiking and a pair of Hood Winter Light for hunting. Used the Danner Light II for turkey, elk and birds this year and they held up really well. Bought the Hood's when I realized some extra insulation would be nice.

They are hands down the most comfortable shoes I have worn ever. At 6'2" and 250 I usually have the midsoles of lesser boots compacted within 6 months of wear which makes for very sore feet after any amount of walking. The Danner's are still going strong a year later.

The vibram soles are a bit soft and asphalt will wear them down faster than dirt but that is a true with most boots. If you want harder soles look at thier work boots. Same cost but harder soles and more abrasion resistant leather. Just be warned that in cold temps those harder soles will give you less traction as the rubber tends to get rather hard.

Whatever route you go make sure you get a good brand of leather conditioner (I use the Danner stuff) to aid break-in and keep the leather from cracking. Putting $300 towards quality boots is really stupid if you aren't going to take proper care of them.

Last edited by Alectoris; 02/19/12.
#6195790 - 02/19/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: Alectoris]  
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GF1 Offline
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The Danners (U.S. made) have always fit for me, and I'm lazy and wear only one sock (per foot of course).

Here is what I use to keep them going:

https://www.obenaufs.com/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=33

#6197921 - 02/20/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: GF1]  
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fredIII Offline
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Wa west 🇱🇷
i have a pair of danners that are three mounths old and the sole is coming off second pair in two years so im really starting to hate them

#6198050 - 02/20/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: fredIII]  
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GF1 Offline
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Originally Posted by fredIII
i have a pair of danners that are three mounths old and the sole is coming off second pair in two years so im really starting to hate them


Made where? Recommend call to Danner customer service, they will bend over backwards to help, in my experience.

#6346724 - 03/28/12 Re: danners or irish setters [Re: kunas]  
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darcytribe Offline
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I've never worn danners or Irish setters but I did a lot of research on boots prior to buying. I eneded up going with Lowas. I've never worn a more comfortable boot ever. My last elk hunt was in a wilderness area that involved 7 miles of hiking a day, some of it moderately steep. They were very supportive of my ankles. I couldn't recommend them more. I've worn them second season Colorado and they were warm enough, and gore-tex lined. The only issue I had was sweating in them... and getting them dry by the next AM. For this reason I had a second pair of boots as a back-up for those AM's when they weren't quite dry.

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