The first thing that I always do to see if I have a good pair of boots or not, is too wear the heck out of them right out of the box. A good boot will require little to no break in period, lesser boots take some time to finally be comfortable to wear. I have had boots give me blisters within one day, found rub points on my toes and heals and signs of poor stitching that have wore holes into my socks. I wore these boots everyday for two weeks with no foot discomfort or any sign of stitches popping through. They broke in quickly and easily, I basically forgot I was wearing new boots as I went throughout my day. Now I have had other boots that broke in easily but toward the end of the first week and into the second they continued to break in resulting in a loose fit that made them steadily unwearable. I did not find this to be an issue with these boots, they kept their out of the box firm hold.
These Clash boots have a more tennis style sole that differed from my Rocky's that have more traditional flat and wide sole. I was initially concerned because the sole that Blauer selected can sometimes be awkward to stand on for hours at a time. I was pleased to find that this was not the case. This sole provided a good base of support, ware-ability, and nice flex. It had good traction on the street and in the fields. It held firm in the rain and had good traction on greasy floors. I was very pleased that when I had to go into the ER for an incident (dog bite if you must know) they did not squeak. I have had a number of boots issued to me that when I would walk those halls they were incredibility loud. The only way to stop that was to walk on my toes, not a good look for a uniformed police officer to be prancing through the halls of our local hospital. Driving the squad was no problem at all, which is nice having had boots in the past that made pushing the gas and break peddles a chore.
I wore these boots in temperatures ranging from 70 degrees to one day of 98 degrees. I was comfortable for the most part. My feet were never cold but on the high degree day I did take off soaking socks. These boots seem to be insulated to a moderate degree range so as to make them usable for most of the year. I will be updating this review when I wear the boots in winter but I was basically comfortable most of the time. I have to be fair in that I have never worn any type of footwear that at the high nineties my feet didn't sweat.
BOA Lacing System
Ok, this is my favorite thing about these boots. There is a dial that you turn to tighten the wires to tighten the fit of the boot and you pull the dial out if you want to release the bindings and remove the boot. I had this system on a pair of North Face boots and the boot itself wore out before this lacing system even showed any signs of wear. I loved the fact that I could adjust the fit of these boots any time I wanted and it took about a second to do it, boot removal was just as quick. If for no other reason it is worth getting the boots for this feature. As an example, I came in from the street sat down at our lunch table popped the dial let my feet breathe and dry a bit and when it was over a few twists and I was back out again. No other boot could do that in that amount of time.
Ok there is not much anyone can do here. If it had a radical look, or color or whatever it would not work with our uniform code and thus be unwearable. I could have done without the suede but it did not ruin anything.
As you probably guessed, I really enjoyed these boots. But they were not perfect. But then nothing is. A couple of issues. One, the sole stops just below the toe area. I noticed that I was scuffing the leather toe almost immediately, requiring some quick shinning each day. I have always preferred the sole to include a toe cap in order to protect my feet when I have to kick something and to protect the leather from scuffing. These boots have a heal/Achilles plate that serves this purpose for the back of the boot it just needs one for the front. Second, the knob of the BOA system gets hooked on your pants legs. I had to pull the cuff of my pant off the knob so that it fell to the bottom of the boot numerous times. A minor problem but after you have to do it a bunch of times it can get a little irritating.
This was an easy decision to recommend these boots. I could have written this review after the second day but waited and wore them for two weeks in case there was a material quality problem or they started to show early signs of wear, neither became an issue at all. I have already spoken with our quartermaster to see about making these standard issue at my department. The price point of a little over a hundred dollars makes them an excellent buy also. I have already put my old boots out to pasture.
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