Reviewed by Gear Torturer – Jason A
Our friends over at Magnum boots were kind enough to send us a few pair of boots to wear test. We have had them for several months now and took longer than normal to test in order to make sure that we got the best test that we could. Of the boots that were sent were the Magnum Spider 8.1 SZ Urban, and the Precision Ultra Lite-WPI.
These were definitely developed with first responders and tactical teams such as SWAT and Hostage Rescue in mind.
The combination of leather and 1640 denier nylon give the SPIDER a rugged, tactical “ready for action” appearance. It fits in nicely for day to day activities in the field as well as a nice presentation look for those times when you need to dress for a duty inspection.
After wearing the SPIDERs for the past few months, I found them to be lightweight, Comfortable, easy to put on and remove due to the side zip feature. The insole and inner lining of the boot provides a comfortable platform for either walking a beat, chasing someone down or driving a patrol for extended periods.
The inside of the boot also contains OrthoLite .13, which offers optimum levels of breathability, moisture transport, and anti-microbial function to create a cooler, drier, and healthier environment inside the boot. In other words, when you take your boots off, the sole (which delivers a comfortable feel) will also help fight that sweaty boot smell that many of us are quite familiar with.
The inner sole can best be described as a three piece system consisting of a soft toe and heel section separated by a rigid, molded rubber “fast rope system”. For those of you not familiar with the fast rope system it is:
Fast-roping, sometimes known as Fast Rope Insertion Extraction System (FRIES), is a technique
for descending a thick rope. It is useful for deploying troops from a helicopter in places where the helicopter itself cannot touch down. First developed by the British with UK rope manufacturer Marlow Ropes, its first combat use was during the Falklands War. The original rope was a thick nylon that could be used in a manner akin to a Fire pole. The special ropes used today are braided (plaited), which results in pattern on the outer circumference that is not smooth and so is easier to grip. (Taken from Wikipedia.com).
For those who prefer a higher arch support the SPIDER 8.1 SZ URBAN are ideal, consequently others may find that they take some getting used to.
Overall, the sole is created using Vibram rubber soles, which are targeted to outdoor pursuits. Vibram soles are always produced with three objectives: to guarantee the best performance, the maximum level of comfort and long lasting quality. The comfort can definitely be felt.
During my initial inspection of the SPIDERs, I was skeptical of the durability of these boots in less than ideal conditions due to the fact the outer sole is glued to the upper rather than stitched however; through rain, snow, mud and daily wear, all seams have remained intact and my feet have stayed dry and comfortable.
The black rubber outer soles are non-marking. oil resistant and provide excellent traction in wet and unstable environments.
The combination of leather and 1640 denier nylon provide a lightweight, breathable upper with strong foot and ankle support without giving the boot a “bulky” feeling.
During daily wear these boots have endured being exposed to water as well as scraping on concrete, stone and other hazardous environments. Other than minor scuffing they have exceeded expectations.
Some of the reason for such durability is the ion-mask coating that is given to these boots.
(Taken from the Magnum Boots Web Site): Originally developed for military clothing and designed to combat chemical agents, ion-mask technology by P2i is an award winning ultra protective surface enhancement pioneered by Magnum that offers truly groundbreaking benefits.
This breakthrough in surface enhancement works at a molecular (nano) level. Applied inside a plasma chamber, the ion-mask ™ treatment binds invisibly to a product material’s surface and fibres, without affecting the look, feel or ‘breathability’ of the boot.
The ion-mask also provides the following added benefits:
- Hydrophobic (open weave fibres material become repellent and less absorbent)
- Chemical Resistant
- Pathogen Resistant
- Stay Cleaner
- Environmentally Friendly
- Metal detector friendly with non-metallic TPU shank and composite hardware.
- Lace storage system on tongue
- M-PACT comfortable contoured sock liner
The only recommendation that I could provide for this boot is to have the rubber sole continue up over the toe to provide protection from scraping and damaging the leather. Other than that, these boots are perfect.