Wednesday, 28 March 2012

5.11 Boots Review

The only 5.11 Boots I have used are the 6 Inch HRT Advance Desert Boots with side zip to personally review, and as you can tell from my previous posts I am very much a 5.11 kit fan but I will give the unbiased feedback I have gathered from other users of the 5.11 HRT Advance boot and the 5.11 XPRT Police Boot as well.

From the off the HRT Advance boot were the most comfortable boots I have ever owned and they continued to be so until they were stolen from me at the gym :( .  I was so pleased with these 5.11 boots that they became my default footwear, looking fine with a pair of jeans at the weekend (once they were a bit scuffed and grubby) as well as for bombing about all over Egypt or South America.  The side zip made them a sinch to pull on and off and the temperature regulation from the coolmax and Drilex lining kept my feet dry and fresh in all but the worst situations.  At ~£100 from most online retailers I will be investing a new pair once I have a little bit more cash in my pocket for sure.

On a side note a friend used his desert 6inch HRT advance 5.11 boots in the snow in the UK and found them to be completely snow proof and fantastically grippy after spending spending several days trudging about in them!

The other 5.11 boots I have not tried myself but have heard extensive feedback on are the 5.11 XPRT (Extreme Performance for Rapid Tactics)Police Boots.  These are a a light weight response boot designed for the US market with an emphasis on speed! As a response boot they perform very well, highly grippy sole even on wet surfaces and excellent ankle support, without being restrictive to movement.

On the down side there are two flaws with these 5.11 boots.  First; they are not designed for, and subsequently will not last if used for, long periods of foot patrol.  The sole will wear down quickly (its soft composite provides better grip over durability) and the supple construction means the continued flexing may lead the boots to split along the creases.  The second gripe is the kick toe, great for a bit of extra protection and durability, not ideal for bulling and polishing for parade or even uniform wear if your skipper is a bit strict!

Check out these, and more 5.11 Boots at PatrolStore.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Bates Boots Review

Bates boots have been used much more prominently in the USA than in the UK for many years.  Comparable to Magnum Boots in the USA Bates Boots are not nearly as popular in the UK, but that doesn't mean that they should be ignored in your quest for a pair of high quality police boots.

The most popular of the Bates range is the Bates Falcon Boot.  The Faclon Boot from Bates is  used by SBS (Special Boat Service), the Royal Marines Visibility Team and special forces across the globe.  The Falcon Bates Boot is unique in its light weight design and specialist sole.  The sole is the key feature of this boot, providing the highest levels of traction available on slippery surfaces, like boat decks, or aircraft wings, even when wet. The downside being that the boots are a light weight response boot, ideal for quick in and out operations, not so good for longer patrols, be they urban or mountainous, jungle or desert!

A more suitable Bates boot for urban foot patrol, great for police users, is the bates tactical sport side zip.  The light weight leather and nylon construction with the easy access side zip and reasonable price point makes these the second most popular of the bates range.  Similar to the Tactical Sport Side Zip in design is the GX8 Bates Boot, the difference being it has no side zip, but does boast a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane.  The Gore-tex however does make the Bates GX8 quite a bit more expensive at circa £90.

Some of the newer Bates models boast an individual comfort system.  A unique dial in the heal of the boot which allows the user to adjust the camber of the footbed to suit the individual arch.  The downside of this being that you can adjust the arches to make the comfortable with an underlying foot problem you will actually accentuate the problem rather than correct it.

One point of note is that Bates Boots are not EN certified or SRA, B or C slip rated as they are built to US standards rather than UK or European Standards so bear that in mind if making a corporate purchase.