• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Video: Looking for an attractive casual shoe/boot? Check out the Irish Setter Fifty review!

450 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

Sometimes, the best footwear is a casual slip-on boot, for those times when you’re done working and just want to relax. You may be looking for a pair of Irish Setter, Setter Fiftys.

by Leon Pantenburg

After a long shift, hard hike or tough day on the job, you may just want to get kick back, unwind and put on some casual shoes/boots. You might be looking for a shoe to wear around camp, slip on to go to the store or to head out for dinner.  The Setter Fiftys are slip-on boots that resemble the wildly-popular Red Wings that have been a staple for working people and sportspeople for decades.  Based in Red Wing, Minnesota, Irish Setter is a division of  the Red Wing Shoe Company, which produces a full line of performance hunting boots and rugged outdoor work footwear.

My dad was a carpenter for some 40 years and he wore Red Wing shoes exclusively. In his early 20s during World War II, Dad was an Army infantryman in Patton’s Third Army in the European theater and he knew footwear. In his later years, Dad was a carpenter for the Iowa State University residence halls, population 20,000+ students, and he walked several miles every day. Dad never bothered to shop around for other shoes. When his Red Wings wore out, he bought another pair. That kind of brand loyalty has to be earned.

The Setter Fifty is a comfortable, good-looking shoe that fits in well in casual and business casual settings.

Red Wing and Irish Setter are generally associated with quality footwear for  working people. But the boots are also a fashion item in some areas.  Red Wing and Irish Setter boots are prestigious American brands loved by Japanese consumers since 1970. (FYI: The long-time, top-seller style is the Red Wing #8875 Oro Russet Leather Classic Moc.)  Check out the celebrities who wear this style of boots.
Here are the Setter Fifty specs:
    • Pull Loop for easy on/off
    • Stretch Nylon Collar for ankle comfort
    • Cushin® comfort tongue
    • Six-inch height
    • Extralight® lightweight outsole compound
    • Sustainable outsole made from 51% recycled content
    • Goodyear Welt Construction is durable and long-lasting
    • Pinched Moc Stitching
    • Full Grain Leather sustainably sourced
    • Last H1013D
    • Lining – Unlined
    • Globally Sourced

I put on the Fiftys right out of the box and went to the grocery store. Initially, the leather was a little stiff, but it broke in quickly. I wore them around the house instead of slippers, and they were comfortable from Day One. Now, after a couple weeks of casual wear, the Fiftys are as comfortable as a pair of slippers.

Here is the good stuff:

Easy on and off: A casual boot/shoe for me has to be easy to put on and to take off. I leave such boots near the back door and in the garage. If I need to take out the trash, go to the hardware store or run out to the mail box, I’m not going to fool around lacing up boots.  The pull loop on the back makes it easy to don and remove the Fiftys. Never underestimate convenience in choosing your footwear!

Pinched Moc Stitching: I’ve been a fan of moc-stitched toes for many years. I just like the look. Combine the Fiftys with my every day attire of jeans, Tee shirt and flannel shirt, and I have the universal, iconic American fashion statement. FYI – If you’re looking to blend in with a crowd during a disaster as a “grey man”, the Fiftys will help your image. Chances are, there will be a lot of similar-looking boots in the disaster refugees packs.

Soles are very quiet: I can pad around the house in these boots after my wife has gone to bed and never wake her up. This is a major selling point for me, since I tend to stay up late, or get up early to work on my computer. I can’t work with boots that clomp.

The soles are quiet, durable and easy to clean.

Six-inch height: I have footwear ranging from flip-flops to chest waders. But for my money, a uninsulated, six-inch high boot, with no moisture barrier, is the Number One contender for best all-around footwear. I’ve worn this style of boot for decades in a variety of places and climates and have been very satisfied with them.

Goodyear welt: I love the Goodyear Welt system. In addition to looking sharp, the welt means the boot can be re-soled easily. The welt helps seal the interior of the shoe from moisture and the welt protects the seam between sole and upper.

Quality leather: One of Red Wing’s signature strong points is quality, full-grain leather. It is sourced from tanneries with Gold Standard sustainability practices. The cliche’ “Tough as a boot” probably comes from this or similar leather.

Nylon Collar: The stretch nylon collar helps the boot breathe well and adds to the comfort during hot weather.

Tongue: The CuShin™ comfort tongue reduces pressure on the top of the foot.

Know this:

Not hiking boots: As comfortable as these Fiftys are, I wouldn’t wear them hiking.  I also wouldn’t hike in Cowboy boots, Wellingtons, Ropers, Romeos or any type of slip-on boot that wasn’t adjustable. No matter how well the slip-on boots are fitted, there is inevitably going to be some slip in the heel and toe areas.

No ankle support: Slip-ons don’t have ankle support, and their lateral stability is poor. You know this going in.

Can’t tighten or loosen: Maybe. It appears to me that the laces could be replaced, and that they would function like regular boot laces. BUT! That defeats the purpose of a slip-on shoe. If you really want to lace your boots,  get some regular Irish Setter Ashbys.

The black specks in the cream-colored sole may be a cosmetic problem for some buyers.


NOTE: This is included so you know I’m not writing ad copy! I applaud the concept of a sustainable outsole made from 51% recycled content. I am glad to see a large company like Red Wing is concerned about sustainability. But the black specs in the cream-colored soles make them look like they need a good wiping. My wife commented on this. This isn’t deal-breaker for me, but know this.

Do you need a pair of Fiftys?

Everyone needs some quality work boots, IMO, but these Fiftys would not be your best choice for a work/hiking boot. Get some designated, hardcore boots like a construction worker might wear. These will be the boots you work in, wear hiking  and leave in the trunk as part of your Get-Home or Bugout Bag. These will be the boots you put on to work.

But nobody should labor all the time. Then you probably need some quality casual boots to kick back and relax in. These Fiftys will fit in a casual or business-casual situation. They are a fashion accessory that works well with your jeans,  tee shirt and Carhartt jacket . The boots are comfortable, durable and look good when you head out to the pub or go to a concert or a movie.

Because the Fiftys are so easy to put on and take off, they will be handy and convenient. That means they will be worn a lot, and these are the boots that are donned to run out to the grocery store, ACE Hardware or Lowe’s. Check out the Fiftys – you’ll probably decide you need a pair.

For more information

Please click here to check out and subscribe to the SurvivalCommonSense.com YouTube channel – thanks!





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.