And I don’t mean my balls. After much consternation, reading, and more reading of reviews I settled on two pairs of boots to try. Both are AR-670-1 compliant boots. Being AR 670 compliant was not a requirement for me, just worked out that way. I need that 8 inch ankle support and have not found a civilian variant that offers the same as a mil pair.
The first pair I tried was the Garmont T8 Bifida with a price that is good and listed at $140. The boots fit really well like tennis shoes but the funky eyelets on the boot cut into the sides and tops of my feet. All I can say is the eyelets were just weird. I even tried to not lace the set of eyelets that were cutting into me the most with no noticeable change in the fit across the tops of my feet .
I liked the heel pull tab on the back of each boot, pretty hard core soles, with good stitching throughout.
The Garmont Bifida’s felt really cushy walking around the house but I just couldn’t see myself wearing them for very long with those funky eyelets. The laces are a flat type.
The manufacturer is from an Italian company and made in Vietnam. I requested a RMA from U.S. Patriot Tactical.com and sent them back.
The second pair I purchased was the Rocky S2V Whoa! is all I can say. Not a sexy looking pair, fit well, cushy, no pinches, and made in the USA from the Rocky Boot company out of Ohio.
Hardcore stitching all around, aggressive tread design, speed laces, partial cordura uppers, and the boots breath pretty well.
Two cons that I have, they are heavy boots and there is no heal pull loop to help you slide your foot in the boot. Minor gripes really.
The price was a bit more than other boots I looked at and tried on. This pair came in at at $190. Just over $200 with shipping.
So far I have hiked a little over 30 miles in these boots. I use the 2 mile rule. If I get a hot spot or blister in that first 2 miles I have a shitty pair of boots on my feet. So far I have had not one blister, which is pretty amazing. I started to get a couple hots spots during a 8 mile ruck. It was my own fault for not powdering my feet before stepping off and not changing socks during my “walk”.
I have had a lot of shitty boots on my feet over the years. Oh those lovely steel toed flight boots I lived in for 17 years! I remember begging the Riggers to order me new boots when the heels were falling off and separated from the rest of the boot. Shesh! Nothing like a nail sticking you in the heel every time you walked across the tarmac to remind you why you hated the Para Riggers.
U.S. Patriot Tactical.com was great with shipping and the returns. Both sets of boots I received 2nd day, with the Rocky’s shipping direct from the factory.
Remember, boots like any other piece of gear are end user dependant. What is good for me is not necessarily good for you.