Rick, I have two pair and I would have to say that no, they are not worth the current price. They are decent boots, but at 3-4 times the price of similar ones, they just don't measure up as value. If you cannot find an off-the-shelf boot that fits, that's another story.
If you can afford them, and you get a good fit, yes they are worth it. You'll piss the money away on some other item that will wear out, anyway. If cost is a consideration, then the Redwing or other national brands will serve you well. In the long run, you'll probably outlive the boots if you only use them for bird hunting. Wear them to work and the Russell's will wear out just like the Redwings.
But, you'll always look and feel better in the Russell's while they're wearing out
I bird hunt about 6 months a year. I alternate among several pair of of boots. My usual rotation is among a pair of Russell, Danner and Browning Kangaroo. They all have different features such as soles, insullation, waterproofing, etc.. I try to match the boots to the conditions.
A word about fit. When I received my Russells, I noticed that the tag on the inside of the tongue showed size 8 1/2 for the right boot and 9 for the left. It seems that over the years I have lost some of the arch on my left foot making it a halfm size bigger. Althopughh I did not know this at the time, the tracing of my foot picked that up.
All that being said, the Russell boots are my going away favorites. They provide a wide base for stability and are extremely comfortable. They have worn very well and have always kept me warm and dry.
When I ordered them, I had them made with speed lacing which did not work at all. The reason is that the Russell design has the eyelettes too close together so that the laces cannot easily slip through the speed lacing loops. I sent them back to have the loops replaced with hooks which Russell did at no charge.
I keep my boots clean and "dress" them often. If you take care of them, they will all look and work like new. And, "YES" the Russells are worth it.
I have a pair of Russell mocassins and I like them. Have had Gokeys and Russells are lighter and more comfortable. Russels are also about twice the price. I would consider their boots, however I have a pair of 6 year old Irish Setters that may last forever.
I have different sized feet and had always wanted a pair of Russell boots. Sent them measurements and ordered two pair of boots. Nowhere close to fitting, sent them back and they remade them, fit was worse. Russell re measurd me at The Southern Side x Side. More boots, more returns, more delays. After two years of this they agreed to refund my money. One pair of shoes they made I was able to wear, they are OK but not worth the cost.
THANKS GUYS- BEEN WEARING REDWINGS AND IRISH SETTERS FOR YEARS WITH NO COMPLAINTS-GOT HOLD OF A CATALOG AND WAS INTRIGUED. WILL PROBABLY PASS ON THE RUSSELLS. BHY THE WAY- WAS IN SEATTLE AND BOUGHT A PAIR OF THEIR BOOTS. NOT MADE BY THEM BUT ARE MADE IN THE USA. TIME WILL TELL, HOPE THEY ARE WORTH THE $400 I PAID FOR THEM
I ordered a pair of Russell boots after hearing so many great things about them. I measured and did everything they asked me to do. 10 months later the boots arrived and didnt even come close to fitting right. I sent them back and waited another 3 months. They fit better but was not the boot I was expecting. I dont recall the model I ordered off the top of my head. It was some upland bird hunting boot. I had them made with all the options. The heel counters for extra support for walking side hills. Some kind of materail was added to the sole for extra cushion. They ended up being about $500. After a couple of days of hunting my feet and legs were so tired I could hardly walk. They had no arch support what so ever. I called them and they told me they were a moccasin style boot and they dont put arch supports in them. Your feet are not designed to have arch supports they said. Bottom line is they are the worst pair of boots I have ever owned. I recentley purchased a pair of Mendihal ( not sure of spelling) from Cabelas. Best fitting boots I have had in a long time. If you have your heart set of Russell, I would ask them about a trial period or a money back gaurantee. Good Luck
If you are unsure about ordering a pair, go to their website where they have a sale page. These boots are generally returns. I have ordered several pairs that way. They aren't "custom" made for me, but I order in my size and the fit is spot on. Plus, they are priced below list and no wait. They have a Munson last on a couple models that give more room in the toe area, which is what I need. It's a crap shoot as to what they have but the savings can be substantial. Very comfortable boots.