Introducing Irish Setter Work Boots

Red Wing Shoe Company just announced a launch of Irish Setter Work Boots, a collection of job-ready safety footwear. This line incorporates more than 100 years of Red Wing work boot expertise with a 60-year legacy of the Irish Setter brand, resulting in boots that feature youthful styling, rich leathers and superior craftsmanship.

The new line of Irish Setter work boots comes in 29 styles crafted specifically with safety features that skilled tradesmen demand, including:

  • Soft toe, and steel or aluminum safety toe styles
  • Goodyear welt, direct attach or cement construction options
  • UltraDry waterproofing lining
  • Thinsulate insulation
  • CuShin Comfort Tongue padding
“Irish Setter Work footwear meets the needs of today’s Modern Craftsman,” said Maurice McClurg, Marketing Manager at Red Wing Shoe Company. “He’s a tradesman who uses his head and his hands, takes pride in his work and counts on his boots as much as his other tools and equipment. He wants performance and durability, as well as style and value.”


Check out the new styles at Irish Setter.


Will you try the Red Wing Shoe Company’s new line of Irish Setter work boots?

The Tradesmen: Making an Art of Work

Curiosity peaked after catching wind of a recently released documentary entitled, “The Tradesmen: Making an Art of Work.” So we watched. And now, we think you should, too.

This film, directed by Richard Yeagley, covers everything that most people working in the trades have faced–cultural prejudice, educational systems that don’t encourage vocations, a working class who fear their own children follow in their footsteps, and a widening skills gap in the face of aging workers.

It pays tribute to the tradesmen who have built so much of what we take advantage daily. From Baltimore, Maryland, we get a refreshingly honest look at the role these people play in our society and their thoughts on it. They admit it’s not always easy. But you’ll be impressed with the satisfaction they feel, and the beauty and art they find in their professions.

Most who watch the film would be surprised to find out that Yeagley is young, and without personal connection to the trade industries. Yet, he was drawn to the generational skills gap and felt this was an important issue to address. “As I reached my mid-twenties, I started to recognize the total absence of any manual competence I personally had. I started to be a bit ashamed by my lack of the carpentry skills and overall building capabilities that I watched my father display to me as kid. My father, who isn’t a trade worker, built the deck of my childhood home. I, on the other hand, buy IKEA products and struggle assembling them. The more I considered this reality, the more I noticed that this skills gap was being played out on a generational level. A large portion of my generation, Generation Y, had lost the skill sets that our ancestors had such a strong incentive to master.”

Dirty Job’s host Mike Rowe, an advocate for the trades, makes an appearance, as well as UCLA professor Mike Rose, Blue Collar and Proud of It author Joe Lamacchia, and sociologist Judith Lombardi. The documentary shows real people who work real jobs, the challenges they face, and the pride of their contributions.

A few memorable quotes:

“Many of the lawyer types and people like that, they kind of look down on us. But I just have to laugh, because they have no idea who I am.”

“Nowadays it seems like we’re farther away from people working with their hands… Fewer and fewer people seem to work with their hands or know how to repair things, or fix things, or make things.”

“We do what it takes. This is not work. It’s a labor of love for us. And it’s art, to a certain degree. This is our studio.”

“I think its getting to a point where it’s embarrassing that the ‘coat and ties’ don’t believe in the trades anymore. They think everything is just gonna come up out of the ground by itself. They have totally disregarded the building aspect and the industrial base of what goes on here in the United States. Fortunately, organizations like ours believe in it pretty hard, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure that people learn these skills. Without those basic skills, nothing’s gonna get built. No one’s prepared anymore. The education system has said we don’t need it somebody else will do it.”

If you’re a blue collar worker, if you know someone who works in the trades, or if you simply want to fully appreciate the labor that has created the cities we live in, watch this documentary. Share this documentary. Contribute to a much-needed attitude shift toward the workers who continue to build up this country.

Watch the film on Hulu.

What did you think of the film’s portrayal of blue collar?

LaCrosse Extreme Tough Collection

When you work in an environment that’s rough and tough, you need to make sure you have footwear that can stand up to the job. That’s where the LaCrosse Extreme Tough Collection comes in.

These boots have the durability to conquer any job. This collection is comprised of multiple styles,  providing workers with tons of options for finding the best boot to take on their workday.

Extreme Tough HD

The Extreme Tough is built with full grain leather with 360 degree Helcor to offer extreme abrasion resistance against chemicals, oils and gas. A few features of this boot includes Thinsulate Ultra insulation, a Green Diamond outsole for added traction, and a composite safety toe that meets EH standards.

Extreme Tough Romeo
The Romeo uses Hyper-Dri to create a waterproof barrier with the flexible 3″ upper for easy movement and ultimate protection.

Extreme Tough Lace-Up
The Lace-Up is available in a steel-toed version, with a 6″ upper and lace-up system for a tight fit.

Extreme Tough Wellington
These Wellingtons will keep you protected in style. They’re also available in a steel-toed version that meets EH regulations, with the same chemical resistance and extreme outsole traction of the other Extreme Tough boots.

Extreme Tough Logger
Made specifically for the heavy-duty logger, this boot uses a lace-up system on an 8″ upper with a special Logger aggressive outsole.

Where will you wear your Extreme Tough work boot?

Giveaway: Win Wolverine Northman Work Boots


Start your year off right–with a brand new pair of work boots! We’re teaming up with Wolverine to give away a pair of their premium, handcrafted Northman boots.

One lucky worker will win these awesome boots from Wolverine’s Made in the USA line. From a Michigan-based factory, craftsmen use time-tested methods and the best materials out there to create this spectacular boot that will get you through your workdays in ultimate comfort. The Northman incorporates the latest technologies, like Gore-Tex, rugged Vibram outsoles and Thinsulate insulation, to keep you performing at your best.

Wolverine Northman


  • Horween leather upper
  • Gore-Tex waterproof membrane lining
  • 400 grams of Thinsulate Ultra Insulation
  • PU insert with leather midsole
  • Vibram® 360° rubber lug outsole
  • Goodyear welt construction
  • Steel toe rated ASTM F2413-05 M I/75 C/75 EH.
How can you score this awesome pair of boots? To enter our contest, just leave a comment below that answers the question:

Where do you wear your work boots?

We bet our fans come from a wide range of trades, and we want to hear what they are! Whether its at a construction site, on a ranch, in an auto shop, let us know where you spend your days in work boots.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Entries will be closed on January 20 with a random winner announced on January 23. To stay informed on the latest work boot news, reviews and future giveaways, don’t forget to follow on Facebook and Twitter!

Contest Closed

Congratulations to Billy Wunstell Jr., who wrote: “Everyone likes to say how tough their job is and that is why they need these boots. Well I have a job that is just plain old tough on boots. I am a concrete pump operator and my boots have to hold up to wet and dry cycles on a daily basis along with mud and concrete which eats them up even faster. I have tried tons of different boots and I have found that the best boot for my money in Wolverine. You get a great boot for a reasonable price that goes the distance. I have been using them for about ten years or so and I am due for a new pair. ( Hint, HInt)”

So glad we could provide you with some great new boots, Billy!

The Construction of One World Trade Center

Imagine working on a project with the eyes of an entire nation on you. At the construction of One World Trade Center, the worker’s camaraderie and pride in their job is an example that should be followed among tradespeople everywhere.

After watching this video, we go to thinking: What does it take to build such a complex project? We took a look at some of the numbers associated with the redevelopment of this historic site. Tune in to the construction sites’s live webcams to see them in action.

  • Foundation was poured in November 2006 and the building is scheduled to be completed April  2013, totaling nearly 6 1/2 years of construction time.
  • The foundation of One World Trade Center is made up of 400 cubic yards of poured concrete, carried in by as many as 40 trucks. The tower’s concrete core uses nearly 520 cubic yards of concrete, and just over1,200 cubic yards of concrete were poured to form the street-level plaza.
  • By the tower’s completion, more than 200,000 cubic yards of concrete will have been poured (that’s more than three Empire State Buildings worth!). The strength of the concrete varies between 4,000 psi and 14,000 psi.
  • An estimated 50,000 short tons of steel are necessary for this project.
  • The largest column installed at the building is a steel beam weighing in at 70 short tons.
  • The public was invited to sign the 30-foot steel beam that later became the first beam to be welded onto the building’s base.

    (via New York Times)
  • Builders are working at a rate of one floor per week.
  • The total manpower of all of the trades involved is approximately 1,100 people.
  • The Port Authority coordinated 19 public agencies, 101 different construction contractors and subcontractors and 33 different designers, architects and consulting firms for this project.
  • The waterfalls in Memorial plaza pour 40,000 gallons of water per minute, which could fill an Olympic-sized pool in eight minutes
  • Memorial plaza will use bout 18,000 cubic yards of dirt – enough to fill five Olympic swimming pools. Approximately 128,000 square feet of stone, or two football fields’ worth, will be used for the plaza and paths.
  • Estimates put the cost of construction for  the completed building at $3 billion, or $1,150 per square foot.
View from the building’s 90th floor


Construction of 1 WTC, December 2011

What’s the biggest construction project you’ve ever worked on?

Useful Stocking Stuffers for Blue Collar Workers

Whatever their trade may be—construction, plumbing, electric, mechanics, etc.—let the workers on your list know that you appreciate all of their efforts. Forget the candy canes. Instead, consider stuffing that stocking with a gift that they’ll use every day. To get you inspired, we put together this stocking stuffer gift guide for the blue collar professional.

And on second thought, they’ll probably want that candy, too.

Suede Work Glove with Safety Cuff ($11.00) – Workers who spend the majority of their days outside will appreciate a pair of heavy-duty work gloves to keep them warm and protect their hands.

Blackhawk Medium Weight Boot Sock ($13.99) – These Blackhawk boot socks are made with soft Merino wool which helps protect against blisters, and the Elasthan bands help keep the sock from slipping or bunching in the boot. A great stuffer for those who are on their feet all day.

Pocket Floodlight (35.99) – No matter their line of work, anyone working in a trade needs a reliable pocket flashlight. This LED light is small but mighty.

O’Keefe’s Working Hands Lotion ($7.99) – This handy lotion for working hands can easily fit in any tool box, bag or glove compartment. This is something that your recipient might not think to grab for themselves at the store, but they sure will appreciate having it on hand!

The Griffin iPhone Survivor ($49.99) – This is the most durable iPhone case out there. Having your phone easily accessible is important while on the job, but in these work environments there are tons of ways a phone might be victim of an accident. This case is practically invincible (and if you don’t believe us, believe the guys who threw their phone through drywall without injury).

Switch Modular Pocket Knife ($59.99) – A jack-of-all-trades pocket knife makes a great gift that will not only be used on the job, but will be carried around every day. Get it engraved to add a personalized touch.

Pocket Laser Level ($25.00) – These laser levels are awesome, and their small size makes them great for quick measurements.

Master Lock Padlock ($23.99) – Someone who has valuable tools and expensive equipment can never have enough locks. Throw in a few high quality padlocks and rest assured they’ll immediately be put to great use.

Construction Master Calculator ($79.95) – Where there’s building to be done, there’s calculations to be computed. Give your worker the gift of number crunching.

What are some other useful stocking stuffers?

12 Hacked Road Work Signs

Updating your construction site’s road work signs might be a mundane task for you, but it has become a thrilling (and law-breaking) game for hackers.  While we don’t condone this illegal activity, we can’t dispute its entertainment factor. So, we compiled the most amusing road sign hacks out there.

Have a laugh… and then go double check that the signs on your watch are locked up and password-protected!

1. Now entering zombie territory

(via Fox News)

It’s best to have your getaway plan intact before driving this route.


2. An homage to Klaatu

(via Zug)

Referencing the 1951 sci-fi film The Day the Earth Stood Still, this sign assures us that robots won’t take over the world anytime soon.


3. The British are coming!

(via KCBD)

Paul Revere, 21st century-style.


4. Trapped in a sign factory

(via MIT)

Factory work can be is a dangerous profession.


5. Eat my shorts

(via POPFi)

We can only assume Bart Simpson was behind this sign hack.


6. Stop. Hammertime.

(via KPTV)

What better way to honor M.C. Hammer than taking control of a road work sign? These hackers proved him wrong–you can, in fact, touch this.


7. Not a hack, just a little magic

(via Lex 18)

This sign in Lexington was accompanied by another that read, “Muggles beware.” Sneaky hackers or dark wizard magic?


8. Potty mouth

(via KTRK)

You would think a person skilled enough to hack into a road work sign might encompass a fair bit of maturity. You would be wrong.


9. Tell it how it is

(via listicles)

We have to admire their honesty.


10. Party at Julia’s

(via Tech Crunch)

Hopefully she has enough chip and dip for everyone invited.


11. Watch for UFOs

(via Zug)

Ironically, this sign was found in Mt. Rainier, Washington, a town with a reputation for spotting UFOs.


12. Taunting sign

(via Funny and Jokes)

No use getting mad when you know it speaks the truth.


What would your hacked road construction sign read?

Choosing the Best Work Boot

Setting out to find the perfect pair of work boots can seem like a daunting task. With such a huge selection of styles and options available, these boots boast a number of features that can leave your head spinning. Fortunately for you, we’re here to help narrow down your options so that you can find boots that will get the job done.

The first order of business is to determine the work environment in which you’ll be sporting your new footwear. From there, find the features that are designed to best support those working conditions.

Do you spend most of your time outdoors?
You may want to consider a boot that includes insulation. We recommend at least 200 or 400-grams of insulation, though you might want to consider an even higher 600- or 800-gram boot for when temperatures really drop. Boots that incorporate Thinsulate technology provide warmth without adding bulk.

If your job requires splashing around in water, you may also want waterproof features in your work boot. Manufacturers use an array of waterproof techniques, from waterproof membranes to technologies such as Hyper-dri, which not only stops water from entering the boot, but also absorbs sweat and transfers it away from your foot. Some boot designs also include a waterproof leather upper, which creates an even great range of protection from wet environments.

Is heavy lifting your specialty?
When you spend much of your day working with heavy equipment and falling objects, you’ll want a work boot with reinforced toe protection. While some employers require boots with a steel toe cap, another protective footwear option is boots with a composite toe cap. Studies have shown that today’s composite toe boots carry equal protection to their steel-toed predecessor.

The material of construction can also play a large role in the durability and protection of a work boot. Boots made with full-grain leather offer a strong foundation and maintains the original hide’s texture, while oil tanned leather leaves a more pliable appearance. Opt for a soft leather construction above the ankle, which will offer support without compromising flexibility.

Find yourself navigating slippery work conditions?
The wet or oily surfaces that some industrial workers face can create potentially dangerous situations. To cut back on slippery accidents, find a boot with slip-resistance and traction control. Look for brands that offer an oil-resistant rubber or polyurethane outsole. Brands that use Vibram outsoles in their boots may offer additional protection against a larger number of terrains.

Do you dabble in electricity?
For jobs that come in close contact with electric currents, find a work boot with that is Electrical Hazard safe. EH soles provide a barrier that protects against open electrical currents up to 600 volts.

What’s your most valued feature in a work boot?

(image via Flickr)

9 Sweet Work Boot Treats

Work boots have never looked so delicious… Timberland tweeted this cookie creation early on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. This got us to thinking–there have to be more sweets inspired by hardworking men and women.

Construction Worker

This hardhat infused cake was made by Shannon’s Custom Cakes.

Laboring in Frosty Temps

It would seem these edible work boots are perfect for those laboring in colder temps. Possibly this cake was made for a ice road trucker? via

The Lumberjack

There’s no question who this cake was made for… It might not be a fancy pair of work kicks, but this plastic topper would make any tree feller happy. via Cake Central

Live Wires

This lucky groom has a very supportive wife. via Cake Central

Coal Miner’s Cake

Equipped with a mini sugar pick ax, this cake can take on even the deepest of hunger. via Sue’s Sweets

 The Chimney Sweep

Celebrating the chimney sweep father. via Cake Central

The Trash Man

Garbage duty is a smelly job but someone has got to do it… luckily this cake is sugar scented. via The Snowball Effect 

The Rodeo

Representing all the wranglers out there. via Cake Central

Can  you guess the Timberland style that inspired this sweet treat? 

Wolverine’s New Line of USA-Made Work Boots

For fall 2011, Wolverine is paying homage to its more than 125-year history with a new line of made in the USA work boots including the men’s Northman.

“Each boot is crafted by the hard working men and women in Wolverine’s Big Rapids, Michigan, factory and is built of genuine Horween leather–the gold standard of leather,” reads the Wolverine website. “Goodyear Welt construction offers time-tested durability and is complemented by performance technologies like GORE-TEX, Vibram and Thinsulate Ultra Insulation.”

Pictured above, the Northman has a classic, lace-to-toe design. Other traditional details include a stylish and supportive backstay and yellow-and-tan Taslan laces.

The Northman will be available in brown or black with an optional steel-toe, insulated or non-insulated.

How important is it that your work boots are made in the USA?