An all-around outdoorsman, Steve has his feet planted in many worlds. "I'm like most sportsmen, hunting is a lifestyle, a year-round passion." As the corporate accounts manager for the Irish Setter Hunt team, he maintains that same search for excellence. "I insist that everyone on our core team be a hunter," he says. "If you’re not, you can't appreciate the details that result in a great boot, from rigorously-tested materials and technologies like ExoFlex and RPM, to smart features like an instep guard for tree steps or ATV pegs, a reinforced toe guard or even our speed-lacing system. I call these details 'tangible technologies' critical to the avid hunter."
Steve knows the difference between simply making a sale, and gaining a customer for life. "One of our goals is to remain true to our consumer, while building the best, most innovative product out there, a boot that's going to take the punishment and perform. We have loyal, smart customers for a reason…and we take that loyalty very seriously."
Charley's twin passions are bowhunting for whitetail deer and pheasant hunting. "I'll walk 10 miles behind my labs to flush a rooster," he laughs. "I take more pleasure in watching them work a bird than actually bagging it." Born and raised in the scenic hills not far from Red Wing, Charley enjoys hunts close to home and around the country.
His passion for bowhunting played heavily in the development of Irish Setter's popular Rutmaster boot. "The basic style had obviously been around a while, but we didn't want to just copy that. We wanted to produce something new, different, and better. Bowhunters are really discriminating about gear and we knew any boot we made had to live up to the Irish Setter name."
The answer was the Rutmaster 2.0, the second generation of an already-popular boot. "The Rumaster 2.0 utilizes our RPM technology for a better sole, a better quality neoprene and other materials, and an even easier entry/exit system. Plus, it's lighter weight. And since all prototypes are built in size 9, which is my size, I got to wear and field test the boot before anyone else!"
As a native of northwestern Wisconsin, Jason forged a passion for hunting early in life. "I was tagging along with my dad, brother and grandpa before I was legally old enough to hunt. When I turned 12, I started with small game, turkey, whitetails, and grouse. But when I was 14, my brother introduced me to bowhunting, which changed me forever. I continue to hunt here in Wisconsin, but also take trips to Canada and the West to pursue my passion for big game hunting."
Armed with a degree in technical design, Jason married his skill at footwear design with his love for hunting. "Having the mindset and knowledge of a hunter is critical when designing great hunting footwear. The challenge is always how to make our boots perform better and last longer, while still making them light and comfortable. So it's an exciting time for someone like me, as new materials and manufacturing processes have allowed us to be creative and innovative in ways that were impossible before. The RPM technology is a perfect example; because of it, we're able to make light, strong, big game hunting boots with a great look and unique performance such as the VaprTrek and Rutmaster 2.0."
Nick is a Red Wing native who still resides there with his wife and three children. “I grew up in the outdoors,” he says. “My dad would take me out pheasant hunting before I was old enough to even shoot a gun. I’m an avid fisherman, turkey hunter, and bowhunter. My family owns 40 acres of hunting land outside Red Wing. That’s my sanctuary.”
Nick brings years of knowledge and skill to the design team. “I actually learned shoemaking by working as an operator on a welted shoe line in the factory,” he says. “I then worked in the Shoe Repair Shop and learned every bit and piece of shoemaking. I began working in product development a year and a half ago, and was able to bring my knowledge of shoe making into the development process.”
Now an integral part of the design team for the Irish Setter brand, Nick is eager to bring his expertise to the table. “There are so many new and innovative materials to work with now,” he says. “I look forward to using premium components, unique leathers and realistic camo patterns to enhance the Irish Setter line.”