Police patrol boots continue to be the most popular purchase for our customers, since the vast majority of Forces do not issue work footwear as standard kit. Choosing footwear, especially online, can be a bit of a minefield with so much choice and so many points to consider, so hopefully my longer-than-average blog is worth the reading! There seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to choosing footwear for patrol – either to opt for a less expensive, more basic boot, possibly with a view to replacing them more often, or to go for an ‘investment in comfort’ and choose one of the higher specification boots which tend to offer a higher level of comfort for the wearer, and in some cases a longer lifespan.
Grafters and Taskforce boots are good examples of what could be described as ‘budget’ patrol boots, although to be honest feedback shows that these boots last every bit as long as some of their more expensive branded counterparts. We have a large contingent of officers who swear by these brands for comfort and durability, as well as value for money, and where Council and Security heads are looking to issue their teams with smart and reliable footwear within a specified budget, they find you really can’t go wrong with either of these ranges. Cadets love the Taskforce boot – where else can you buy a brand new, rugged and durable fully waterproof patrol boot for under £50? Where the price differences between boots tend to become more evident is in the internal comfort features of the footwear – something that becomes more noticeable for those on their feet all day every day, and especially in specialist roles or in tactical situations. Magnum boots are probably the most well known of the patrol boot brands amongst Police officers, and most newbie officers mention the Magnum Classic as being the boot that was recommended to them when they joined. Whilst the Classic continues to be a popular choice, there is a whole raft of new and more technologically advanced alternatives now within the Magnum range, from the super-lightweight Stealth range (with a variety for all applications) right up to the flagship Elite Force 8” WPI boot complete with self-moulding footbeds, Vibram soles and groundbreaking breathable water repelling Ion Mask technology.
At the top of the tree, in terms of sheer luxury, are the specialist boot ranges – Lowa, 5.11 Tactical, the Adidas GSG9.2 and Danner. These ranges offer new niche features, superb comfort technology and a generally more tailored fit by offering half sizes and width fittings (in some cases). Historically well represented within the Military, Lowa boots are now extremely popular with Police officers for their tough and rugged good looks, as well as their unparalleled foot comfort and support. For those with weak ankles, fallen arches or similar podiatric issues you really can’t beat Lowa for comfort. Not surprising then, that the Armed Forces continue to issue their guys with these boots to rectify foot problems caused by inferior footwear.The Adidas GSG9.2 boot is the polar opposite of Lowa in terms of its styling, for whilst Lowas are sturdy and solid, the GSG9.2 is light as a feather, supple and immediately fits like a glove – basically like your most comfortable pair of trainers! No wonder considering the GSG9.2 is made like a running shoe, and not like any other pair of patrol boots. Driving, as well as running (and rope climbing, if that’s your thing) is a breeze in a pair of GSG9’s! Danner boots are possibly the most specialised of all, with a price tag to match. Unbelievably in this day and age, the Danner Recon and Danner Acadia are still made in the US, as they have been for eons. Hand craftsmanship still goes into these boots, and specialist Firearms Teams across the country continue to rely on Danner for the comfort and reliability that this brand commands. From Grafters to Danner boots, your choice will ultimately depend on budget, personal style preference and operational requirements.