Surviving in post-apocalyptic America is tough work. Just ask Joel Miller, the charming protagonist in HBO’s TV adaptation of Naughty Dog’s action-adventure video game, The Last of Us. Not only is Miller living in the wake of a mass infection (a Cordyceps fungal brain infection, to be exact), but the loss of his daughter, too — as well as the general trauma that comes with being chased around by fungus-covered zombies all the time. Plus, he’s nearly deaf in one ear, and worse for wear in one knee. He’s having a hell of a time.
But directors Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann have turned The Last of Us into one of the most enjoyable — and emotional — shows on television, which is a true feat for any video game adaptation. They’ve stayed true it while incorporating new characters and themes, as well as new gear — even if it’s all based on what Joel wore in the game.
His ensemble is simple but reasonably rugged: a Flint and Tinder Waxed Trucker Jacket, a denim shirt beneath, broken in blue jeans — and boots, we sleuthed, by Irish Setter, a sub-line by Red Wing that sells hard-wearing hunting and work boots. Admittedly, the boots — Irish Setter’s 10-inch Elk Tracker, Costume Director Cynthia Summers confirmed — were the hardest to identify. There are very few close ups of Miller’s feet — which, as The Shawshank Redemption once pointed out, kind of makes sense — and the parts of the boot that do show don’t reveal much.
Our team did, however, see a few Irish Setter signatures: a leather lip at the heel, a circular logo at the rear, a bulbous toe, a ridged outsole and especially spaced-out eyelets. Plus, based on how his jeans fit, we approximated the boots’s height, too: 10 inches. That narrowed our search down quite a bit, even if the newest model of the Irish Setter doesn’t have the circular logo anymore. Instead, it’s a debossed logo of an actual Irish Setter dog.
His are also a different color, too, and were hand-distressed for the show. Plus, it looks like he lost the included tongue cover. He’s been out on his own for two decades, folks.