Irish Setter Ashby Soft Toe Wedge Boots Make Working on Hard Surfaces More Comfortable
So you’re ready to take the wedge boot challenge, eh? If you work on hard surfaces frequently, they’re a more comfortable way to go. There are plenty of choices out there and I’ve been wearing the Irish Setter Ashby Soft Toe Wedge Boots for a while. Here’s why I think you should give them a shot.
- Great look
- Comfortable, lightweight design
- Welted construction
- Fairly easy on your wallet
- True-to-size fit
- No major drawbacks
Editor’s Note: Check out our best work boots review article for our favorite products for all applications.
As a wedge boot, the outsole takes up the entire bottom without the gap you see in heeled work boots. Some people like the look, others not so much, but it has a direct effect on the comfort level.
What draws your eye more than the outsole style is the contrasting cream coloring rather than the black you usually find on standard brown work boots.
Thanks to the additional high-contrast stitching around the toe of the boot, it gives an overall impression of deck shoes when you wear jeans to hide the upper around your ankles. Personally, it’s a style I really like and prefer over my Wolverine wedges.
Irish Setter Ashby boots feature a welted construction–the strongest among it, cement (glue), and direct-attach. Triple stitching along with that high-contrast, thicker single stitching on the toe does most of the work to hold the boots together. Additional single stitching around the laces and double stitching for the pull loop on the back wrap up the job.
The leather is pretty soft out of the box and it doesn’t require much of a break-in period. Pairing the boots with quality boot socks, I’m not seeing a trend toward blisters at all.
Looking on the inside, reinforcement helps stabilize the heel area to help secure it.
One of the characteristics of wedge boots is a less aggressive tread pattern than heeled boots. Irish Setter’s have a pretty typical tread depth for this style, using their Rubber-EVA Traction Tread design.
If you’re familiar with Irish Setter or Red Wing, they use an internal rating system for their outsoles. Irish Setter Ashby boots earn a “Best” rating in each of the categories they rate:
- Abrasion resistance
- Chemical resistance
- Heat resistance
- Oil/Gas resistance
- Slip resistance
So far, the boots haven’t given me any reason to disagree with those ratings.
Keep in mind is that wedge boot outsoles wear faster than thicker heeled boot outsoles. It’s an expectation for this entire class and one you need to be aware of while you’re shopping.
I live in the wonderful world of men’s size 12-1/2 shoes—a size that no one makes in work boots. Following my experience with Irish Setter’s Crosby boots, I went with a size 13 again and it’s definitely the right call. There’s a little extra room from being a half size smaller than the boot, but not so much that a size 12 would be a better fit.
Stick with your normal size when you order these online.
Wedge boots tend to be more comfortable than heeled boots thanks to their outsoles having more contact with the ground. Irish Setter Ashby boots are no exception and they’re fantastic on hard surfaces like concrete and asphalt. It’s because your weight is spread out over a larger surface and takes some pressure away from the heel and toe.
The footbed is a removable polyurethane that you can easily swap out if you have orthopedics you prefer. The footbed definitely adds to the comfort level of the boot, but there are other ones out there that I find a bit more comfortable.
With the soft toe style that I’m wearing, it’s lighter weight and a more comfortable way to go when a safety toe isn’t as crucial. Each boot is just 29 ounces in size 13, making them the lightest boots in my current rotation.
- Meets ATSM standard for Electrical Hazards
- HRO soles are heat resistant to 475º F
- Trout Brook Leather uses only US raised
One of the great joys of wedge boots is their lower cost compared to heeled ones. Irish Setter Ashby boots in its 6″ soft toe style run $144.99. Other styles in the family only reach up as high as $159.99.
For a welted boot, that’s an excellent price and it’s a little less than some of the competition.
- Irish Setter Ashby Soft Toe: $129.93
- Keen Utility San Jose Soft Toe: $150
- Wolverine I-90 Durashocks Wedge: $155
Irish Setter Ashby Wedge Boots: The Bottom Line
Irish Setter Ashby boots are one of the most comfortable and the lightest weight in my current rotation. They have a great look thanks to some additional high-contrast stitching choices.
Keep in mind that wedge boot outsoles wear faster than heeled boots with their aggressive tread and tougher build. Aside from that, just take care of the leather and the Ashbys will take care of you when you’re working on hard surfaces.