My boot size hasn't changed in many years, though I still measure them for most purchases. The boots fit good. The Irish Setters were defective to start with I beleive and the warranty was quickly honored at Gander Mountain. The Ghost have just started to have the stitching on the tops of the toes come undone, so I'm sure Gander will stand behind them as well. I'm disapointed as I felt the research I had done would give me satisfactory results with the Danners.
My boots definately get used. I've hunted 34 days this pheasant season so far, generally all day long in a variety of grasses and cover. Wet spots are not my target area, but 1-2 times per pair that was the case and several more where the grasses were extremely wet. When not hunting, I train dogs for several hours a day, though no where near the miles I put on them hunting and not nearly as mean of cover.
I guess my next pair will probably be all leather to the soles as they have seemed to hold up the best for me. The Red Wings defiantely held up the longest, but I don't believe they are being manufactured the same or perhaps even in this county anymore like the pair I got in 2001.
Money isn't the issue if they will hold up to the rugged abuse marching though endless switchgrass fields, native prairies and often damp or wet conditions I put on my hunting boots. Nothing worse than cold wet feet.
Thanks in advance for any advise.