Red Wing and Irish Setter are the two most commonly known shoes. Chances are, if you are looking for a boot then you will end up choosing between these two. Despite being similar, they are made for two different purposes in mind.
Background of Red Wings and Irish Setter
Red Wings and Irish Setter both have their distinctive differences. They are made with a different purpose in mind.
Red Wing Shoes
The Red Wing shoes are best known for their heritage shoes that focus on the true bookmaking technique to make their shoes. They are made in America with high quality in mind.
Even though they do not use the new cutting-edge technology to make their shoes, they do not compromise on the quality. Later in order to capture the hunting and working parts of the shoe market, they launched a new brand in the name of Irish Setter.
The Irish Setter is relatively younger compared to the Red Wings. Irish setter has started its journey in 1950 but Red Wings started in 1905. Red Wings launched Irish Setter as a brand for their hunting shoe.
Even though the Irish Setter is relatively newer, it has taken its place in the market through the quality of its shoes.
The Irish Setter’s main focus today is casual daily usages work or hunting shoes. It started as a hunting shoe in 1950 and was adopted as a working shoe by American workers around 1960. Unlike the Red Wing, they use the newer technology to make their shoes.
Comparison Between Red Wing and Irish Setter
In terms of materials, both of them use the same kind of materials. Both of the shoes use S.B. foot tanning leather. Sometimes, the Irish Setter uses full-grain leather and the Red Wing uses oil-tanned leathers too.
The Red Wing shoes are made inside the USA. But the Irish Setters are not made inside the USA. It is actually made in China and bought in the USA. So if you want a shoe that is made in the USA then Red Wing shoes are the one to go for.
The Red Wing and Irish Setter are very different in terms of weight. The Red Wing about 2.5lbs while the Irish Setter only weighs about 1.9lbs. The weight difference comes down to the purpose that the shoe is made for.
Since the Irish setter is made for hunting and working environment, it is better to have a light shoe. Thus this shoe weighs much less than the other one. So if you need a shoe that weighs less, the Irish Setter is the best choice.
Safety Toe Option
The safety toe option can be found on the Irish Setter since it is made for the work environment where safety is a big factor. But Red Wing does not have this feature since it is more of a casual type shoe that doesn’t really need a heavy safety feature.
Insole makes a huge difference when comes to shoes. The Irish Setter insole is made of a PU footbed which is a kind of foam. It is removable. So, if you don’t want to use it then you can just remove it and keep it somewhere.
But Red Wing uses a leather footbed. It is not removable but it molds to your feet. After using a few months it molds onto the shape of your feet and gets more comfortable to wear.
The Red Wing costs more than the Irish setter. Mainly because Red Wing shoes are heritage shoes that require more labor to make but the Irish Setter is work shoes that are mainly used causally daily.
But Irish setters are significantly cheaper than the Red Wing. So, depending on your budget you can buy the Irish Setter or the Red Wing.
Red Wing shoes are re-craftable which means they can be fixed or resoled for longer usage. The Irish Setter does not have this feature so if the shoe gets damaged you just have to buy a new one. The recrafting cost can vary for what you are trying to do.
Which Is the Better One for Me?
Both the Irish Setter and the Red Wing shoes are a great option. But as of writing the article, the Irish Setter costs almost a hundred dollars less than the Red Wing. So, if you don’t have enough budget then the Irish Setter is the best one for you.
Irish Setter Better for Work
If you have the budget for both but not sure which one to buy, then you have to consider what purpose you are going to use it for. If you need a boot for hunting fishing or working purpose, then an Irish Setter would be better since it has a safety option and is made for working purposes in mind.
But if you are using it extensively then it is likely to fall apart sooner. These boots need to dry after every usage. So make sure your shoe is getting good maintenance and it should last at least five or more years.
Red Wing Better for Normal Usage and Longevity
But if you want a shoe that is not going to be for everyday work use, then the Red Wing shoes would be the better choice. Another thing the Red Wing shoes have that the Irish setter doesn’t is that they are re-craftable.
So you can get your shoes to the store and fix them while you have to completely change them if you are using an Irish Setter. So even if you are paying more to buy Red Wing you will get better value for your money.
Q: How long should Red Wing boots last?
Ans: Red Wing boots last 5 to 25 years depending on the usage. They can be re-soled up to five times.
Q: Are Red Wing boots guaranteed for life?
Ans: No, they are covered for 6 months. Then for the next 6 months, 50% to 100% credit can be issued.
Q: Are these shoes waterproof?
Ans: Both the Red Wing and Irish Setter shoes are waterproof. Irish setters are temperature and oil proof too for use in the work environment.
Q: How much does it cost to resole Red Wings?
Ans: They can cost from 25 to 100 bucks depending on what kinda resoling you do.
Ans: Fortunately, yes.
Both the Irish Setter and the Red Wings are fantastic shoes. You can buy either of them and be satisfied with the result. Red Wing is mainly focused on the heritage shoes while the Irish Setter on the work. So if you want a work shoe then an Irish setter would be better. But these days, both of them can be used for both purposes.