Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Magnum Stealth Force 8.0 Boots

The Magnum Stealth Force 8.0 boot comes in a few different variations. The "original" Leather and Nylon 8" version, a lower cut 6" version, Water Proof Ion Mask treated, side zip, all leather, composite safety toe and plate and even a womens specific stealth libery mid  variant.

The stealth force all leather composite toe and plate boot is a very popular safety boot.  Fully certified to EN standards for both the composite safety toe protection and slip resistant outsole the Magnum CT CP Stealth force packs a full safety boot into a comfortable light weight unit that is equally suited to industrial usage as it is to tactical situations. The composite toe in this Magnum Stealth force is a grey area for both police and security wearers as causing someone an injury whilst wearing a composite toe can leave you liable for accusations of assault with a weapon. Even police officers who are wearing toe caps (steels) may wind up in trouble if they have not been issued them for public order or special duties.  If you are looking for some size 9 Magnums I would highly recommend these.

The standard Magnum Stealth Force WPI version has been discussed earlier in this blog here, but there are other versions also available with the ion mask technology like the all singing all dancing Stealth Force CT CP SZ an eight inch boot featuring a composite toe, a composite shank to reduce puncture risks and a YKK side Zip.

The Stealth Liberty mid is one of Magnum Boots most popular products as it is the only womens specific police boot on a special narrower last (footbed) with a lower cut ankle to reduce pressure on the Achilles tendon insertion point.  This boot also has a slightly lighter composition and a more stylized design to appeal more to the female wearer making it quite distinct from a simple six inch stealth boot which is a lower but version of the mens eight inch boot.

Monday, 21 November 2011

1000 Mile socks

The name concept of 1000 mile socks is pretty simple, if you get a blister in your first 1000 miles of wear and you get your money back!  Pretty confident claim eh, but having spoken candidly with one of their reps, they honestly get very few claims on their claim.

The construction of 1000 mile sock is what makes them so blister resistant (if that is even a real term).  The outer is not unlike many other performance hiking socks with a material blend designed to provide padding, insulation, moisture wicking and heat management but the real difference is the integrated Tactel inner sock.  The Tactel lining sock, available from 1000 mile as a stand alone product, is designed to grip tight to the foot surface and wicks moisture whilst providing a protective layer between the outer and the skin on the foot allowing the outer to rub on the inside of the boot and against the Tactel layer whilst the foot stays friction free.

The range of 1000 mile socks designed for the tactical market sector covers the more basic combat sock (in black or green), the more advanced fusion services sock (in black or desert sand) the Tactel lining sock as discussed earlier and a few other products which offer great performance for police or military users, the 1000 mile compression and support socks designed to aid rehab and recovery from intense training.  It is also worth noting that the fusion services socks are available in specific sizes for both men and women.

I personally have a pair of the fusion services sock in desert and they have become my long distance winter sock of choice, replacing the Magnum MX3 socks as the weather cools.  Now I have not racked up nearly 1000 miles since putting them on but I have given them a thorough run out across the downs for a day in my Lowa boots (which were very comfortable to start with) and I have been more impressed with these than any other socks I have tried.  A Police special colleague is also trailing the black version of the 1000 mile fusion services sock for urban foot patrol and he is also singing their praises in his Magnum boots.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Peli Versabrite Light

You will see a Peli Versabrite on the chest of most police officers in the UK these days, it is an indispensable little gadget that gives bright, clear reliable hands free illumination at the flip of a lid.  Some people might be put off at first by the price of a Peli Versabrite, (RRP £24.99 but you can get it for £17.99 from PatrolStore.com) and there are cheaper alternatives on the market for a more sensible looking £10 price point. HOWEVER the Peli comes with a life time guarantee and it really is a no quibble guarantee, run it over, drown it in the rain, have your dog chew it, or simply let the battery run out, send it back to Peli and they will repair or replace your versabrite for absolutely no charge!

The Peli versabrite itself is a small plastic case with a sprung clip on the back which you can use to attach to a lapel, MOLLE webbing, baseball cap peak etc etc and on the front the "lid" contains two bright LEDs which light up when the lid is flipped up and turn off when closed.  The lid itself can be adjusted to any angle up to 180 Degrees making it a versatile little bit of kit. 

What a lot of police officers do with their peli versabrite is mount it on a Peter Jones Klickfast Doc which allows it to be mounted in any Peter Jones Klick Fast mounting, similar to those on the shoulders of most police vests.  This allows you to not only adjust the angle of the light up and down with the Peli lid itself but also rotate it through 360 deg in the doc.  If you are a police officer this combo is what most people use.

The Peli comes in a variety of colours, the most popular is black for professional use, or Hi-Viz for those who have to wear Hi-Viz for their duties, but you can buy them in red, blue, green, orange purple, etc etc if you want one for camping or similar.

Remember, although a Peli Versabrite is twice the price of the alternatives, if you break it once in its life time it will have paid for itself with the warranty!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Adidas GSG9 Boots

Now Adidas is not normally a brand you would associate with the world of tactical kit and equipment but that Adidas GSG9 Boots are renowned throughout the industry as a piece of tactical footwear.  There are two height options available, 6 and 8 inch and in two colours black and desert sand.  The lower cut 6 inch boot is referred to as the GSG 9.4 and the higher 8 inch boot is the 9.2 (both of these are second generation to the original GSG9 boots).

The boots retain the light weight performance of the original design (and the patented Adidas 3 stripe design) but also pack some innovative new features and technical specifications.   Whilst the boots are not waterproof they have a hydrophobic treatment that makes them highly water resistant whilst retaining maximum breathibility.  The Adidas GSG9 Range Fulfils anti-static Norm (DIN EN 344-1, 4.3.4)and also fulfils Oil and Gasoline resistant Norm (DIN EN ISO 20345, 20346, 20347).

Another neat feature is the fast roping system on the foot arch, similar to that on the Magnum Spider 8.1 and 5.1 boots.  This special section is highly abrasion resistant to prevent the boots shredding during roping.  This mid foot sadle also increases arch support to increase comfort and reduce fatigue.

So all in all the Adidas GSG 9 range is a far cry from the sports casual attire you might find in your local sports shop, it is a highly specc'd professional range of performance footwear that has become the first choice response boot of specialist police teams the world over. (Incredibly popular in Germany as Adidas is a German company.......Side note Adidas and Puma were founded by two brothers, Puma being a later spin off and rival after they fell out over business differences.)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


Legal debates aside, a multitool (with or without a locking blade) is a useful bit of kit to have on you more often than you think....not just for Combat or on the beat, a good Multi Tool can help with anything from  busting the lid off a jar, screwing the manifold cover back onto your decrepit Golf engine or cutting packing straps off a box.

I know a lot of police officers have debated the legality of carrying a bladed multitool...civilians might shrug it off as "Yeah it makes sense they probably need it for what they have to do!" but there in lies the rub, if it was considered essential equipment they would have been issued one!  Based on this argument a police officer has "legal authority" to carry a baton or CS gas which would be an offensive weapon if carried by a civilian so if they have not been issued their multi tool do they have legal authority to carry one?  The alternative argument is that a police officer has "reasonable excuse", this is the reason why a civilian can have a mutitool on his belt when he is out on a camping trip or on a building site but not when he is in the pub or at a football match.  Reasonable excuse is exactly what it sounds like, you have a reason for carrying your multiplier.  Of course being a bladed item they are restricted to over 18s as well.

Multitools are often referred to generically as a "Letherman" who were teh first brand to pioneer the idea that you could mount a variety of tools on a folding plier rather than on a "swiss army knife" style construction.  However technology has moved on and the old leatherman have been superseded (in my not so humble opinion any way) by Gerber Multitools.  Personally I rate the limited edition Bear Grylls Suspension Plier for its robust construction, excellent selection of devices, and the ergonomic sprung handle grips.