Saturday, June 11, 2011

Durango Flirt: Where lifestyle meets real life

One of the quirks of being a blogger is that sometimes you get free stuff that seems utterly irrelevant to your blog. These boots are a prime example.

Or at least they seem like one.

Here's how I got them: I was at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas last January, and I stopped by the Rocky Boots booth because one of my online huntress pals had told me how much she liked their stuff.

I was dutifully checking out the camo hunting boots when the company reps told me they didn't have any of those models in women's sizes. So what did they do? They steered me to their girlie cowboy boots display.

Now, normally, this could really piss me off. When I'm looking for functional hunting clothing for women and someone shows me a fine selection of camo bikinis, I take offense. But...

I kinda have a thing for flames, and orange is my favorite color, so these orange Durango Flirts stuck out like a vixen in church.

"Ohhhhhhhhh, those are cute!" I said.

On cue, the rep said, "We'll send you a pair."

Well, hot diggity. They had nothing to do with hunting, so I didn't see how I could possibly review them for the blog. But they were cute, and the price was right.

I finally got them in the mail earlier this month, and I love them as much as I thought. The only downside is that they have precious little arch support, which stands out because I usually wear ultra-comfortable Danskos everywhere I go. But I popped in a pair of SuperFeet inserts, and they became perfect.

Yeah, I know: Blah blah blah, cute boots, who cares, right?

That's what I thought until I was sitting on my floor doing stretches the other day and caught the boots at just the right angle to see that the flames aren't just flames.

Do you see it?

It's a DOVE. (Landing, facing left, wings up, tail fanned down.)

What timing! I've been totally obsessed with doves lately. I saw tons of white-winged doves when I met up with Hank last week in Austin (it was a stop on his "Hunt, Gather, Cook" book tour). Doves have been flocking to our front yard to feast on wildflower seeds. And dove season is less than three months away!

Suddenly I saw my new boots in a whole new light: Oh, hell yes. I'm going dove hunting in these! I know they're just "lifestyle wear," but I'm gonna be dove hunting in style, baby.

OK, here's the sad part: Rocky also sent me a pair of awesome new hunting boots. But they're men's boots, and while I have such big feet I can get away with wearing men's sizes, these didn't quite feel right when I put them through the rigors of my lake walk. Because of that, I don't feel comfortable recommending them for women, even though it's obvious they're well-made.

That said, Rocky does have some women's boots on its women and kids page, so it's not like there are no options for us.

But hey, it's summer. Hunting boots sound so ... so winter. I'm just gonna kick back and enjoy my dove hunting boots for a while.

© Holly A. Heyser 2011


Jules said...

Oh? I didn't even realize Rocky made cowboy boots, which I adore. I shall have to check and see if they offer them in wide widths pronto!

Please tell em you're joining Hank on the Half Moon Bay trip, I hope to meet you in person!

Anonymous said...

When I went to the 2004 Shot Show, I stopped by the Rocky Boots booth. I thought they made some really nice looking hunting boots. So I asked them if they made boots for women. The rep smirked and said "No, we don't make boots for women because you are too small a demographic and women take too good care of the boots they do buy.

Okay, he had a point, but he's still an arrogant prick. To this day I don't think I would buy Rocky boots if they made something that fit me.

I am glad you got a freebee that you like, and I do hope you enjoy them.


Deus Ex Machina said...

Isn't it funny how we are just so oblivious at times and then ... smack ... it hits us. I am always amazed by these little surprises (like the doves on your nes boot).

Anonymous said...

Hey, FREE Boots with "Hot Wings Flaming Doves" that you CAN go Dove Hunting in (as well as hanging out at the local Cantina).

WHO could complain about that?!!

Enjoy 'em!

(Can hardly wait to read about your Texas White Wing hunt coming up in the future! Something tells me.)

Bill C.-Orygun

NorCal Cazadora said...

Jules: Yes, I'll be there! I should be joining Hank on all of his West Coast stops this summer.

Jean: He was definitely right (and he failed to mention that women spend less on hunting gear than men), but still a total dumbass to say that.

DEM: I love little surprises - they feel like a secret gift (until I blab about them on the Internet).

Bill: Oh, I wish. I'm pretty sure I won't be hunting white-winged dove in Texas with Hank - the season opener is the first week of classes, and it would be really, really bad to take time off to go hunting then. I'll be hunting doves much closer to home.

Richard Mellott said...

The importance of a good fitting hunting boot, including wearing enough socks to keep from shifting around, can't be emphasized enough. I know, since I have some very sturdy Danner hitops, which, when properly stuffed, fit like a glove. However, on long slogs, I have to tighten them. I got a sprained foot hauling my pig up the hill at Tejon Ranch, because of not tightening my boots enough during the feat. So, keep on posting about proper footwear, it's very important...and it hurts if you don't. Been hobbling for two weeks now, but slowly healing.

NorCal Cazadora said...

I think the hunting boots Rocky sent me were super sturdy in that respect; the problem I had with them was that they rubbed up against my heels somewhat painfully when I climbed steep hills. My guess is that this may have something to do with heel fit - women have much narrower heels with men, and the heel is where we often have the most problems with men's shoes.

When I checked out the women's page on Rocky's site (and oh, how I wish we weren't lumped in with children), they had some snake boots that I totally coveted. Looked like they went up to the knees. Totally hot, LOL.

Josh said...

You can't beat that price, for sure.

Sadly, I don't buy Rocky because they moved their production lines to China (and kept their prices the same)...

As for hunting boots, my vote goes to Danner Acadias: American made, men's and women's sizes, re-soleable, lightweight.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Oooh, bad move! If you're going to move production off-shore, you should at least share the savings with the customers.

The boot I've heard the best reviews for is the Kennetrek. And at $300 a pair, you probably won't see any on my feet anytime soon.

Phillip said...

Nifty. I wore the Durango harness boots for quite some time before switching to Ariats for daily wear.

I finally wore out my pair of Rocky Cornstalkers. They're great boots, but they don't fit my feet very well. I've got to have the perfect socks, or they can get really uncomfortable across the tops of my feet.

I also just bought my first pair of Danner Pronghorns last month. I was just going to replace my LL Bean Maine Hunting Shoes (still my favorite, extremely economical, but not for everyone boot), but didn't have time to wait for mail order.

Oh, and Kat does like the Durango Flirts.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Heh heh - I had a feeling she would!

SimplyOutdoors said...

Not exactly my style of boot, Holly, but the dove on them does look pretty cool.

You will be hunting in style!

Hil said...

When Rocky debuted their Western "work boots" line a few years ago they sent me a pair that is similar in style to yours, but more plain. I love them, very comfortable (as are my Rocky snake boots) but they've developed a squeak in the sole that's annoying and embarrassing. I'm working on a fix for it because they're great boots.

I too hear great things about the Kenetreks, but balk at the price tag. Kirstie Pike just talked me into a pair of Zamberlan's for my upcoming Africa hunt, so we'll see how those work out for me. I figure if they're good enough for a mountain-goat of a woman like Kirstie, they should be more than adequate for little old me.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Kirstie is the one I was talking about when I mentioned Kenetreks! As for squeak: I noticed that in mine yesterday, BUT, it may be the SuperFeet insert. Having the same problem with my Irish Setter hunting boots, and haven't determined whether it's the insert, because I can't find the original insole to pop it back in. Fortunately, squeaking is irrelevant in dove hunting.

Hil said...

My Rocky squeakers are the boots I wear to the clays course, the shooting range and to any "professional" events where I'm likely to be outside on ground that's too uneven for my regular cowboy boots. So the squeak is a problem...I'm going to dump a mess of baby powder in there and see if it helps. Got that suggestion from a random stranger on facebook.

My Irish Setters are my favorite hunting boots by far. Have always wanted to try the LL Bean Maine Hunting Shoe that Phillip mentioned but haven't gotten around to it yet!

NorCal Cazadora said...

Was I the random stranger? Because that's what I did with my Irish Setters. It's a good temporary fix, but only temporary at best (and not helpful in the scent control department).

Hil said...

lol I don't think you were the random stranger because I actually remember your name. Definitely going to try it, but I'm disappointed to hear it's just a temporary fix.

Remi said...


If you do ever make it down to Texas for dove hunting, give me a ring. Winston and I just got set-up outside San Antonio.

And let me tell you, the racket the doves make is amazing! (Not just the one or two pairs cooing back and forth to each other. I'm talking about HUNDREDS of doves cooing!!)


NorCal Cazadora said...

OK, Remi, I looked at your profile pic to see if you were the same Remi I've met (before I got to signature) and was quite surprised to see a grandma!

I wish I could get to Texas for dove season, but I'd have to be independently wealthy (i.e., able to quit my teaching job). When the taxpayers pay you to work just 32 weeks a year, they really expect you to show up during that time. I have heard horror stories about colleagues who don't - one bailed two weeks early this spring; another ended his class a month early last fall - but I really don't want to be like them. So, California mourning doves it is!

inchirieri apartamente cluj said...

Who would have thought of a pair of dove hunting boots? Surely, i didn't so this thing really surprised me but not as much as they surprised you, this event has turned out pretty well after all. Cool:)