Irish Setter has a variety of work and hiking boots. They’re usually leather with laces and large outsole. The 860 Elk is one of their most popular hunting boots. Although it’s not the fanciest hunting boot I’ve ever seen, there are also plenty of classic features which make it worthy of a closer look:
What We Like
This boot is designed from the ground up for hunting. It features a tough and durable exterior along with a comfortable and odor-free interior. You can trek through rough terrain without alerting game or hurting your feet.
They’re made from 100% leather which gently conforms over time to your unique foot shape. A Brown Worn Saddle leather upper provides an extra layer of protection. Plus, the Premium Leather Flex Welt construction allows for easy flexibility so you can move with stealth and grace across uneven terrain.
I also liked the excellent traction and grip. The shoe has a Bulls-Eye Air Bob Aggressive outsole with carbon rubber, a sticky rubber broadhead, and multi-directional traction lugs. I had no problem staying steady even when walking across thick mud, wet ground and slick rocks.
These boots are quiet – really quiet. I walked across my wooden kitchen floor in them and barely heard a squeak.
Of course, the exterior is just one part of a hunting boot. Fortunately, there’s a lot to like about the interior, too. The 860 has a waterproof GORE-TEX lining which blocks moisture from entering but still allows for plenty of airflow. Sweat and heat are wicked away to keep your feet dry and cool.
A layer of 3M Thinsulate Ultra Insulation adds additional warmth and comfort to the boot. This ultra-thin material acts as a barrier against water and snow.
Key areas have extra protection. A kittie overlay at the toebox protects your toes from rocks and thick underbrush. Logo plaques at the shaft help protect your ankle from twisting.
Another feature I liked was the unique ScentBan technology. It’s a smell control process added to the footbed, lining, and leather. The ScentBan tech prevents bacteria from building up, which keeps the shoes smelling fresh even after heavy use.
Finally, I liked the classic style of these boots. With dark brown leather and corded laces, they have a timeless sophistication.
Plus, the laces allow for precise fitting. They lace up about a third of the way up your calf, providing comfortable support for your leg, heel, and ankle.
- Leather construction is flexible and durable
- GORE-TEX lining wicks away moisture
- 3M Thinsulate keeps feet warm and comfy
- ScentBan system masks human scent from game
What We Wish was Different
While the Thinsulate provides great insulation, there are some drawbacks. It can wrinkle inside the shoe, which takes up space. Plus, if the Thinsulate does bunch up, air flow is restricted. Once air can’t flow properly, the inside of the shoe becomes hot and uncomfortable.
Also, the boots lost their looks rather quickly. After just a few short trips into the woods, the toe and heel developed a worn, scuffed appearance. To be clear, the actual construction of the boots is solid. Only the appearance seems to be affected.
All hiking and hunting boots are going to get dirty. It’s just a bit disappointing to see it happen so quickly. But it’s still a minor complaint. Plus, I found that most dirt and debris can be wiped off with a cloth.
I also wish the instep support was less rigid. Maybe it’s due to the shape of my foot, but when I first put the boots on a ridge inside pressed against my foot near the heel. After about a day, the cushion conformed to my foot and was no longer an issue. But it was pretty painful at first.
Finally, the boots are great if you’re walking slowly and silently through the woods. But the limited flexibility of the ankle and overall large footprint make them pretty awkward when climbing up anything steep. I had difficulty walking up the stairs in my house – and while that’s not relevant to hunting, any similarly shaped rock outcropping might be tough to navigate.
- Thinsulate insulation can bunch up
- Boots scuff easily
- Interior support ridge is uncomfortable
What Other Customers Say
Customers frequently mentioned how large and durable these boots are. Ryan W. said they fit well on his wide, flat feet. The sides are snug without being painful.
Sean B. also commented on the large side. He said the boots were “BIG” and added about two inches to his height. He also said the boots provided substantial ankle support.
The most common complaints involved the Thinsulate insulate. As long as it stays in place, it works great at keeping feet comfortably warm. But many people said it moved around inside the boot.
Jeff D. said the insulation wrinkled and bunched up around the toe area, which blocked the flow of air throughout the boot. He even bought a second, larger pair of boots and the same problem still occurred. Once the insulation shifts out of position, the boots lose most of their ability to keep you warm.
So, are these Irish Setters a good fit for your dogs? In some cases, yes. They’re a good choice if you’re looking for a big, durable, all-season boot.
They’re not going to protect you very well from sub-zero temps. And they won’t keep your feet 100% dry if you step into a puddle. But they’re a solid, safe choice in a hunting boot.
The ScentBan technology helps you stay hidden from game no matter how you approach. Plus, the Air-Bob outsole helps keep the boots deadly quiet even when walking through dry brush and other brittle fauna.
That’s probably the best part of these boots: They’re hunting boots. While not packed with the best individual features, the Men’s 860 Elk Trackers are a recommended choice for hunting game in practically all locations and weather conditions.
- GORE-TEX® fabric lining.
- Brown Worn Saddle leather upper.
- Moisture wicking nylon lining.
- Removable lacing in a leather kilty, which keeps brush from being caught in the laces.
- 1000g Thinsulate™ Ultra insulation. Comfort Cork footbed with memory foam and ScentBan™ odor inhibitor. Steel shank. Cork PU midsole. Bulls-Eye® Air Bob Aggressive outsole: Carbon rubber outsole with an aggressive tread design and sticky rubber broadhead, multi-directional traction lugs. Premium Leather Flex Welt construction. Weight: 4 lb. 1 oz. Weight of footwear is based on single item, not the pair.