Last winter I hunted the late muzzleloader season in Iowa where I experienced snow and wind chill factors in the minus teens. The boots that I wore on that hunt were only 600 gram Thinsulate Ultra. Fortunately I did not have any problem with my feet getting cold because I was able to hunt each area or stand with my Warm Bag. If I had to do a lot of scouting or stalking it would have been a miserable hunt. There is nothing worse on a hunt than having sore feet from ill-fitting boots or cold feet from boots that were not made for cold weather.
While pre-planning my fall calendar and scheduled hunts, I was working on my gear list I remembered that I needed to look at some other boot options. Needing a higher-gram, Thinsulate boot, I started researching options. I ran across the Irish Setter Ladyhawk line.
Irish Setter is pulling out ahead of the other boot companies when it comes to manufacturing a quality line of women’s hunting boots. Instead of taking a youth boot and making it bigger or a man’s boot and making it larger, Irish Setter has designed the boot from a last that is shaped and designed to provide superior support for women. Irish Setter has designed the Ladyhawk line with a lower heel cup, detailed arch support, a roomy toe box and more accommodating collar. All of the right attributes needed for top performance in a women’s hunting boot.
The Ladyhawk 2886 is a nine-inch tall boot with stitch-down construction that is 1,000 gram Thinsulate Ultra. This UltraDry boot will keep your foot dry and warm in even the harshest weather. The boot is imbedded with ScentBan – a silver-ion technology that kills odor-causing bacteria. The boots are available in women’s medium sizes 5 to 11. The MSRP for the Ladyhawk 2886 is $149.99. For every pair of Ladyhawk boots sold, Irish Setters donates two percent of the profits to the Breast Cancer Relief fund.
You can read more about the Ladyhawk 2886 and other styles in the Ladyhawk line.
Follow Nancy Jo Adams in the field this fall at her blog, Shenanigans From the Field.
Endorsement Disclosure: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, this product review is an endorsement and the writer may have been compensated by “in-kind” payment to review the product.
Jo, I’ve heard the same complaint from women with narrow feet. It seems the market only responds right now to what the average woman wears. We need more bodies in the marketplace before it will start to give us alternatives. It would be great if boot makers, camo companies, etc., would decide to “take one for the team,” and not turn a profit for a while, in the effort to push the women’s participation upward in the outdoor market. We’ll see. I doubt it will happen. So, in the meantime, we make do, find what we can and keep taking more and more women with us — outside!
Jo…another area that has not been expanded on is a snake boot or tall boot for women with large calves. Even women’s lace-up boots do not fit me properly. I am overweight but even when I was a size 8 I had very large muscular calves and had to have my English riding boots special ordered from England…custom fitted.
Women with smaller, more narrow feet can find relief with boots that are European made or designed such as Meindl and Kenetrek boots–and I hear Zamberlan, also. The heels are much narrower in these boots. I am plagued with large calves, a VERY narrow heel and a wide forefoot–the European boots fit me well.
One positive thing you have working for you with a women’s size 7.5-8 boot, you can easily fit into a men’s size 6.5-7 EE boot. Technically, there is not much difference from what I am told from two different boot companies when a women’s size wide moves into a men’s wide at the lower end of the men’s sizes in boots. However, if you go for a tall boot you are going to find that most men’s boots are 16 inches high versus a women’s 13 inches high. Which, for me is a big issue since I am only 5′ 4″ and only have 12″ of leg from my ankle bone to knee fold.
I have worn many different name brand boots and have been fortunate enough to field-test more than my share and each boot is very unique. I would suggest to anyone buying boots at a retail store to take whatever type socks you are going to wear hunting when trying on hunting boots. Wear them in the store shoe department for as long as it takes and remember, it takes a marginal break-in time for just about any good quality leather boot to form to your foot and feel like second nature.
Good luck to you this season, Jo and may you find the perfect hunting boot this season. Nancy Jo
Certainly a neat looking hunting boot.
When will someone make women’s wide and X-wide boots? I wear a 7.5 or 8 2E shoe. When I tell outdoor stores and boot manufacturers my shoe size they look at me like I’m an alien.