By: Jim and Mary Clary
There are probably as many brands of boots on the market, name and no name, as there are calibers of rifles. Add in the fact that almost every sporting goods, big box, and little box store in the country carry boots of all sizes, shapes, and description. The question and problem facing all of us is: Which boot should we consider for our ventures into the "wild"?
It is not as difficult as one might think. First of all, look for a boot that meets U.S. Army MILSPECS. They are the toughest standards in the world, and with that in mind, you can eliminate over 95% of all the boots you see.
And why MILSPECS? Well, if you or a friend have ever served in the military, you know that as a general rule, their equipment was the best in the world... and that included the boots. With that in mind, what are the basic MILSPECS for desert combat army boots? We selected the desert combat specifications as they seemed to fit just about every big game hunting condition that a person may encounter.
The detailed MILSPECS are outlined in AR 670-1 Boot Compliance are so specific and detailed that many previous boots that were authorized (including Jim's Nam jungle boots) are no longer compliant. The new specs, as they apply to outdoorsmen, are:
Must be constructed of all leather or combination of leather and non-mesh fabric;
Synthetic leather mesh materials are prohibited;
Rough side out cattle-hide leather upper and nylon non-mesh upper (if used);
Upper must consist of a weatherproof, breathable membrane with limited flame and conduction heat resistance;
Close loop speed lace system with drainage eyelets;
Side-zip and velcro inserts are prohibited (any inserts must be removable);
Sewn-in or laced-in zipper or hook-and-loops not authorized;
The sole cannot extend past the back of, or over the top of, the toe; and
The only authorized outsole materials are rubber and polyether polyurethane*.
*Rubber or pure polyether polyurethane soles are the only outsole authorized for durability and traction on surfaces in multiple environments and temperatures. Other materials may be lighter in weight but may have significant problems in these areas.
The specifications for the sole material alone eliminates the majority of boots sold in the U.S., but remember, many years of testing went into developing that requirement.... so it is worth paying attention to.
And the requirement for non-mesh fabric.... well, all I can say is, "it's about time." I can't tell you how many sticks and cactus spines that I've had go through boot mesh. With all of the above said, we now come to the Magnum Stealth Force 8.0 boot. Needless to say, it meets all of the MILSPECS outlined above as well as those which we did not list. The only question is: Are they that good?
Yes, they are! Mary has been wearing these boots continuously for three weeks. One of the features she noticed immediately was... no break-in required. They fit comfortably from day one.
If you have back problems, you know that a good pair of boots is essential to preventing unnecessary pain. If you have boots that "roll" or "turn" when you are going uphill or downhill, you have a major problem. These do not!
If you happen to be diabetic, you already know that blisters on the feet can lead to some really nasty complications, all the way up to amputation. In all of the weeks that Mary has used these boots, not blister one.
As for traction, she hasn't had a bit of difficulty in navigating over gravel, rocks, sand, and plain old dirt. The Stealth Force 8.0 has become Mary's new pair of hunting boots.
With an original MSRP $104.99, and now discounted to $94.99, they are an incredible bargain. And, they come with a 1-year warranty and a 60-day comfort guarantee... that you can't find anywhere else in the industry.