Gear review: Smith and Wesson Breach Athletic Boots

This review was posted a ways back on kitup.military.com. I wasn’t going to post it here, but what the heck, maybe some readers are interested in boots. The Kitup editor changed it up a bit, but I like mine better so I’ve posted the original.
To write a fair and objective review of a pair of boots, you need to have done a few things first. You need to have marched many miles in them. You need to have worn them in freezing rain. You need to have climbed mountains in them. You need to know if they’re going to lose shape and look like clown shoes within weeks, as my boots from a very popular company did back in the 90’s. You need to know if they’re going to weigh a ton each, like those horrible speedlace boots I was issued in the Marine Corps in 89. You need to know if, like my Danners at Fort Lewis, they’re going to keep your feet all warm and toasty while your footsoaked, freezing, miserable friends mutter curses at you (I still have wet dreams about those boots). You need to know if the soles are going to be worn so smooth after less than six months in Afghanistan, like my issue “desert jungle boots”, that your French buddy asks, “Chrees, did you walk through ze acid in zose boots?”

Alas, the most stress I was able to put on my pair of Smith and Wesson SW53TZ “Breach” Desert boots was walking from the car to the office. I never even got caught in a warm summer shower in the parking lot. I marched no further than the length of our building’s hallway. But while I was unable to put the Smith and Wesson boots through a true test, I’m pretty sure I know how they would do compared to the boots I mentioned above.

First thing: right out of the box, these boots look pretty impressive. They certainly appear well-made, with no obvious weak points. The boots are solidly built, with much thicker material than any other military boot I’ve worn except for the Danners. The first time I put them on it felt like I had armored up my feet.

They’re also light. Real light. Like, tennis shoes light. I’ve been wearing heavy, clunky Army-issue Frankenstein boots for a long time. Putting these on made me feel like a stripper slipping on her favorite pair of 8 inch stiletto heels (just a figure of speech guys, I’ve never actually been a stripper or worn stiletto heels, I swear). They just felt much more comfortable than any pair of boots I’ve ever been issued.

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