While I managed to snag a pair of Red Wing Irish Setter branded boots through work for no cost, I did not have the same luck with the Altama Maritime OTB Assault shoes. I’ve had my eye on these for a while now mostly because Altama has them branded as an outdoor capable shoe.
I purchased two pairs of Maritime boots, the khaki-colored ones, and the elusive, special release greys, which I had to wait almost two months to get. I’ve had the khaki-colored pair for about a month now, and my initial impression of them is good.
These are probably the most comfortable shoes I think I’ve purchased. Most shoes, which contain any arch, cause problems for me because of having flat feet. The Altamas have a very small or next to no arch support.
Altama does not offer half sizes in these, so you have to jump up a size. I’m a 10.5 normally but went with the 11 after reading some initial reviews. The jump up in half size does not make the shoes feel like they are too big or loose.
Much like the Red Wing Irish Setters, these shoes will get worn throughout the next year, so I can report back on how they held up.
Every few years where I work, we have the option to get safety boots. The first time this happened, I made the mistake of getting some brand I wasn’t sure of. I never ended up wearing them because they were uncomfortable and rubbed against my feet in places. I also apparently didn’t get them seized correctly as I later found out. This led me to the Red Wing Irish Setters.
Fast forward a few years and the opportunity comes up again. This time though, my work decided to go exclusively through a local Red Wing dealer. I have had my eyes on some Red Wing brand boots for years but never went through with getting any. Mainly because the prices always scared me off, which was a mistake.
I knew what I was after this time. A comfortable boot that I could wear at work and out of work. Something that did not look like safety toed work boots. It had to hold up year-round in all conditions. It had to be comfortable to drive in. And it had to withstand the abuse of being outdoors on overland trips.
The Red Wing Boot Company has an offshoot brand called Irish Setter. Originally made with the same color leather as their namesake, these boots were designed for people who enjoyed being outdoors.
As their popularity grew, they became one of the go tos for work boots. The model I got, Ashby, has an aluminum safety toe, which makes the boots very lightweight in comparison to regular steel-toed safety boots. While I was at the Red Wing store, I picked up a Heritage version of the same boots and found that it was considerably heavier than what I was getting.
I’ve worn these boots for a full year now. No other shoe than the occasional dress shoe for work reasons. I’ve driven in them, walked distances in them, done yard work in them, and of course had them out on weekend overland trips. I love these boots. They have to be some of the best boots I’ve owned.
They’ve held up exceptionally well to the abuse they’ve gotten. There are some noticeable marks on the leather on the toes, but that’s to be expected. These boots are comfortable to wear all day without your feet and legs getting tired. The lightweight safety toe helps that out also. You probably wouldn’t even know there is a safety toe unless you knock on the shoe and find that it’s hard.
In terms of size, they are not overly large. The pair I have is a 6-inch, and Red Wing does offer an 8-inch if that’s what you want. The sole is large and provides a good amount of grip in dry conditions and snow. Mud, on the other hand, not so much, but it is mud, and not many shoes would provide a good grip on it anyway. I’m talking some pretty deep stuff though and not what you might find in your yard after a rainstorm.
These are also very easy to drive in. I’ve owned some other boots that ended up being difficult because they would jam against the pedals. Granted, I’m driving in a full-size SUV versus let’s say a hatchback so that pedal spacing could be different. But, I have had the chance to drive in our minivan as well as a mid-size SUV with no issues whatsoever. The boots are not overly rigid, especially once broken in and move and bend in the right places to make pedal management easy.
All in all, I like these boots. I haven’t been wearing them through the summer as much because of trying out some Altama OTB Maritimes. And for the price at $155 you can’t beat them for comfort and safety. When I’ve run the course on these, I will be getting another pair.
There comes a time in every man’s life, when he does something so stupid, he can’t help but laugh. This is not one of those times. This time, I cried. While out on the boat with family, I jumped into the lake with my phone in my pocket. My phone decided to swim to the bottom in 20′ deep water. So needless to say, I lose every picture of my build along with with a TON of other pictures and $2000 in cryptocurrency. Live and learn, I guess. Luckily, I had posted some on Facebook, so I was able to get enough to at least finish this series!
Anyways, back to the article!
So my tubing bender from Rogue Fab arrived. It took me a couple of days to put it together; then I started in on bending some of the tubing for my fenders. It took me a few (read: like 20) tries to get the right bends, but it was easy from there on out.
After getting the bends the way I wanted, I made a template for a mounting plate, converted it to CADD and had the backing plates laser cut. I then tack welded everything together and was able to test fit the fenders. I will be adding steps to them at a later date!
I took a break from the fenders and started fabbing up the racks for the top of the trailer. I made one larger one to hold the rooftop tent, and a smaller one to hold my axe and shovel. Originally I had planned to make plates and bolt the rack to the top, but I opted for welding the rack on, mostly just because it was easier and it allowed me to have a little wider footprint.
After the rack was done, I test fit my RoadShower 4s to make sure it would fit, and it fit near perfectly!
Next, with the help of my wife and mother-in-law, I fabbed a small awning for over top of the cooking area. It was pretty simple to make from some conduit, and in the end, my cost was about $50 for materials. I made it so the whole thing could roll up and store inside the trailer. It is a really simple design, and hopefully, I can draw up some plans for others to make it in the future.
I did a TON of grinding, welding, grinding, smoothing, seam sealing that I didn’t get pictures of. When I felt it was ready, I primed all the bare metal, any spots that I had ground down, and prepped the trail for Bedliner. I wore a full Tyvek suit, mask, gloves, etc. while I was sanding the trailer down. Guess the paint from the ’60s isn’t quite as healthy as the paint used today. After a few hours of mess, it was ready to be bedlined.
I bedlined the tongue box and fenders separate so I could make sure to get good coverage under and behind them. And technically the fenders weren’t done yet. In the next part of the series, I will begin the final assembly!