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American COP Sep/Oct 2011 Digital Edition - Page 36
Practical Footwear Warriors Need F ootwear for law enforcement has come a very long way. By and large, those highly-polished black oxfords are now reserved for court appearances and parades. For long hours we need footwear to provide good support and traction, withstand the elements and be comfortable. If an entire shift was nothing more than sitting on our butts we’d probably get by with flip-flops — tactical, of course. But real cops put in time beating the bricks, negotiating uneven terrain, running and occasionally fighting. Throughout my time in patrol, I experienced all four seasons here in the Northeast — rain, snow, mud and sauna. Creature comfort is a priority and when I’m cold and wet, it’s kind of tough to keep focused on the task at hand. When my inferior issued footwear didn’t make the cut, I spent my own hard-earned money to remedy the problem. Over the past few months, I’ve been evaluating footwear from various companies. Each pair was put through the “paces,” consisting of several days of wear around the house and through my daily activities. They were also subjected to 5-mile hikes and a day at the range. 2 faces. Comfort was enhanced by an Ortho-Lite foot bed, which is quick drying and breathable, and the DriLex lining I first encountered in the Desert Ops boots. The Light Assault boots are available in black or coyote brown and they’re a sound choice for tactical operations. In the very subjective area of comfort, I still prefer the Desert Ops boots. The Light Assault boots were fairly snug and you might consider going up a half size. 1 1 BLACKHAWK! I was anxious to try the Light Assault boots having been a fan of the Desert Ops boots. The upper is an abrasion-resistant, quick-drying synthetic material mated to a lightweight, breathable nylon mesh. A Vibram “Trail Run” oil-resistant sole proved flexible and provided good traction on wet sur36 2 Converse Converse is usually associated with athletic shoes, but rest assured they have an extensive line of footwear especially well suited for law enforcement. I received two different pairs of boots; first up are the C8875 boots, featuring a smooth leather and Codura upper with a Tailex lining. The outsole is a Sure Grip Plus Trail Outsole, and the boots come with an F2 FootForce Insole (removable) to help with foot comfort and alleviate back pain. A side zipper makes for easy on/off. Initially, these boots were very comfortable. Unfortunately, WWW.AMERICANCOPMAGAZINE.COM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011