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Irish Setter History Traditions Run Deep

Rooted in tradition, looking to the future

From "Red Mike" (our original mascot) to the gorgeous setter that marked our 50th anniversary celebration, Irish Setter’s history proves a continued quest to build on success.

1950s

1950: Style 854 is introduced

1950: Style 854 is introduced. The first of many boots known simply as "Irish Setter," the boot was designed specifically for hunting, and featured the distinctive Oro-Russet leather, the same color as an Irish Setter hunting dog. The leather was dyed using a bark extract from giant California redwoods.

1952: Style 877 is introduced.

1952: Style 877 is introduced. The "Cush-N-Crepe" wedge sole quickly became a favorite of upland bird hunters and helped establish Irish Setter as a premium hunting boot brand.

1952: The first Irish Setter logo is developed

1952: The first Irish Setter logo is developed. The inspiration for the logo was an actual Irish Setter dog named "Red Mike of Doxmoe." The hunting dog was owned by a local family.

1956: Style 898 is introduced

1956: Style 898 is introduced. It was the first model to feature insulation, which was much appreciated by hunters who spent long hours in cold conditions.

1960s

1960: Advertising for the Traction Tred sole appears

1960: Ads for Irish Setter appear in local and national publications. Later ads featured high steel workers building the country's skyscrapers and showed the double life of iconic style 877. Originally a sportsman's boot, it was quickly adopted by American workers.

1956: Finest in the Field

1960: The tagline "Finest in the Field" is first used on an Irish Setter sign. Signage and other advertising helped retailers promote the increasingly popular Irish Setter boots.

 1964: Style 888 is introduced

1963: Style 888 is introduced. The boot featured green kangaroo leather and was packaged in a vinyl-covered case. The boots were sold with a pair of socks and a can of leather conditioner.

 1968: Style 2488 is introduced.

1968: Style 2488 is introduced. The first Irish Setter boot to feature waterproof leather, this popular boot solidified Irish Setter’s reputation for innovation.

1970s

1973: Red Wing targets the work market

1973: Red Wing targets the work market with a series of ads aimed at America’s skilled craftsmen. One ad featured Chicago iron worker John Rukavina high atop the Sears Tower in his Irish Setter boots.

1978 : Irish Setter introduces the SuperSetter

1978 : Irish Setter introduces the "SuperSetter", which featured a unique zipper over a fully gusseted tongue. This design shaped the boot to the ankle and shin for a unique and comfortable fit.

1980s

1984: Irish Setter advertises Style 807 with the headline

1984: Irish Setter advertises Style 807 with the headline "Not Just For Hunting Anymore." The ad marks another conscious effort to address both the work and hunt markets with the line "Today's working men are wearing them every day on the job as well as out in the field."

 1986: Style 815 is introduced.

1986: Style 815 is introduced. Double-layered leather is used to make the boot waterproof. This cutting-edge construction was the first of its kind.

1990s

1997: Irish Setter becomes its own brand

1997: Irish Setter becomes its own brand, stepping out of the shadow of the Red Wing name. The Irish Setter hunting boot line was expanded to 14 styles, and a line of socks, outerwear and footwear care products was added.

2000s

 2000: Irish Setter celebrates its 50th anniversary

2000: Irish Setter celebrates its 50th anniversary. Red Mike was again proudly displayed on the logo to commemorate the milestone.

2004: As the Irish Setter hunt brand continues to grow

2004: As the Irish Setter hunt brand continues to grow, retailers request that the Red Wing name be used to endorse the Irish Setter mark. A new logo, featuring a leaner, more athletic Red Mike and adding the Red Wing endorsement, was introduced.

2006: Style 882 is introduced.

2006: Style 882 is introduced. Irish Setter's flagship big game boot, the 882 was built with full-grain leathers, GORE-TEX™ waterproofing, brass hardware, and leather welt construction. The 882 helped establish the Irish Setter brand for serious big game hunters in rugged backcountry terrain.

2010s

2010: Irish Setter introduces Exo-Flex™ technology

2010: Irish Setter introduces Exo-Flex™ technology, a ground-breaking combination of design and materials that revolutionized the rubber hunting boot market.

 2011: The Irish Setter brand expands to include Irish Setter work products

2011: The Irish Setter brand expands to include Irish Setter work products, featuring purpose-built work boots that combine the hunting DNA of Irish Setter with the legendary work boot experience of Red Wing Shoe Company.

2013: Irish Setter introduces RPM™ technology

2013: Irish Setter introduces RPM™ technology. The breakthrough composite material significantly reduces the weight of the boot, while adding extreme comfort and extreme durability.

2015: Irish Setter introduces Rutmaster 2.0 rubber hunting boots, with enhanced ExoFlex™ technology

2015: Irish Setter introduces Rutmaster 2.0 rubber hunting boots, with enhanced ExoFlex™ technology. The extended ExoFlex panel on the back of the boot provides easy entry/exit, while ensuring a snug, wrap-around fit.