07 Jan 2022 0 Comments
I hate shopping for footwear, which explains buying TEN identical pairs of Hiking Work Boots from Hardland over the past six or so years to wear as yard shoes. I just buy what has fit before, no big decisions involved. But, I needed a boot for work that wouldn't fly off in a fight. I have a couple of pairs of heavy duty loafers (Vietnam made) that were tough (no longer available), but they come off too easy. I didn't like the price or reviews of current boots, so I figured, what the heck, cool name, reasonable price, good reviews, look decent, everything is made in Asia anyway, I will try these new quasi-military lace-up boots out. Came today. Size is accurate; I'm a narrow ten and a half/eleven and eleven seems to fit fine on the kitchen floor. For brand new, they seem comfortable enough, but only time will tell. Durability is a tale for another edit. I have one HUGE beef that may be a discriminator for some buyers, especially those with wider feet as these boots are close fitting, ankle length, and hard to grasp if you are getting on in years, adding a few pounds, or have trouble bending over: they really really really need durable heel/ankle pull straps to help getting them on. It would have been easier to return them rather than type all this blather out, but I do like the boots and fit once they are on. I just didn't appreciate the death struggle required to get them on to begin with. I can see where the ankle backs might crush down before the tops loosen up, which will just make things worse. But, I'm stubborn and will just get ready for work a few minutes earlier. Edit already after a day's wear: All Five Star now. These boots feel like moccasins in only one day. VERY Comfy. No break-in for me. I solved the issue of being hard to pull on by unlacing the first eyelet, the same field-expedient solution I used with all my Army boots. Now they go on as easy as a pair of boondockers. This also gives enough lacing to actually tie. The ideal solution would be to add pull-on straps AND provide longer laces so the tops can be opened more fully. I hate buying footwear, but these boots saved me a bunch of hassle. Note: these are not safety boots; the material is high quality and thick enough for daily use, but the toe is still a normal boot toe. That's why they feel like moccasins. EDIT a year later: these boots have held up well under casual work wear, no crushing down in back or rapid sole abrasion. Because they are suede, they are not suitable for wet environments as they soak up water quickly. I found that out the hard way slogging through rain puddles in our outside patio bar. I lace them up now a couple of eyelets down now and they slip on fine. These boots are a good choice if you need tactical style footwear but want to avoid weight and clunkiness. They are roomy enough for both cushion cotton socks and a reasonable thickness cushion insole insert. I work as a nightclub bouncer and did not want steel toe boots as they are not looked upon well in the legal system. I just wanted lightweight sturdy footwear, not the perception of a weapon. These Free Soldier boots fit the bill.
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