Author Archives: Petra

Magnum Boots – The updated 2016 (almost) definitive guide to fit

My definitive guide to the fit on the Magnum range has proved to be one of our most popular blog posts and clearly helpful for you guys, so I’ll continue to update it.  Since 2014 when I last posted the Magnum range continues to change year on year, so here’s our feedback on the fit for Magnum’s latest offerings, based upon our experience here in Cop Shop UK offices, and the ‘feet on’ experiences of our local Kent officers.

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As ever, the Magnum range continues to evolve and develop with new technologies, and as ever foot shape can have a big impact on the comfort of a boot, even if you have picked the top-of-the-range Magnum with luxury footbeds and memory foam. For those lucky enough to be able to visit us at our warehouses in Ramsgate, come on down, there’s never a better alternative to trying a few different styles on!  For everyone else, I hope this helps you out …

First of all we can’t create a boot blog without mentioning the Panther (8″ lace and side zip versions).  This boot continues to be a best seller, for value for money as well as for comfort, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.  The Panther offers a regular fit suitable for most feet and similar width-wise to the Classic, although for those with narrower feet I’d urge you to move to the next paragraph :)

The Viper range continues to be popular, and is a fantastic mid range Magnum with a smooth full grain leather upper and M-pact footbed technology for comfort.  A good step up from the entry level Panther boots, and super lightweight in the leather and nylon versions … One thing of note since the Viper was introduced – this boot is a total hit with the ladies.  It has a style and regular to slimness of fit that seems to suit the female foot (or the narrower man’s foot) well in most cases.

For those looking for a regular to wider fit in a mid range Magnum, the new Lynx range has proved popular.  Again, a better quality of leather and the M-pact footbed and superior internal padding is standard with the Lynx.  The addition of a 6″ ankle version is also a bonus, since lightweight modern ankle styles seem to be thin on the ground!

Shortly to be added to the range, and probably the most exciting thing Magnum have done in a while to be honest, is the all new Strike Force boot.  Due Aug/Sept time the Strike Force will be a top of the range fully waterproof boot with new Michelin grip soles and some super cool styling.  Having seen the samples, this is a really nice looking boot!  There is also the introduction of a revolutionary material Armourgel, a self regenerative impact/energy absorbing gel added to the ankle areas to protect the wearer from injury.  Equally importantly this boot looks to be a similarly generous width fitting as the old non-safety Stealth range, and so should be an attractive option to many more Magnum fans.

For those that need safety (steel or composite toe cap) boots, there’s also some good news – the introduction of the Sitemaster and Roadmaster styles has made Magnum comfort a far more affordable option, and they’ve been a total hit for this reason alone.  Both Sitemaster and Roadmaster feature composite toe cap and sole protection meeting European safety standards, and taped seams to offer good waterproofing as well, and from £49.99 this is truly a bargain …

So there we have it, bang up to date and into 2016, and although never a guarantee of success with mail order purchasing, I hope this information continues to offer a helping hand in picking a boot that’s right for you!

LED Lenser torches are brilliant, but which one should I choose …

LED Lenser torches are now pretty well established as the torch of choice for security and law enforcement officers, certainly one of our local Forces has bitten the ‘we need a decent torch’ bullet and issued a chunk of their officers with the P7.2, so it seemed like a good time to pen one of my popular overview guides to the brand, in a bid to help our customers make the right choice.

LED Lenser

The LED Lenser range is now pretty big, and specification, price and style ranges significantly.  What all LED Lenser torches have in common, and one of the reasons they are so popular with our customer base, is that they take AAA batteries.  Seems like a minor point?  Not if you’re replacing costly Lithium batteries at up to £5 per battery every month it’s not.  AAA batteries and their rechargeable counterparts are cheaper and more easily accessible, reducing running costs considerably.  The second thing all LED Lenser torches have in common is build quality – LED Lenser are so sure of the quality of their torch components that they offer a lifetime parts/manufacturing warranty on all flashlights (determined as a ‘reasonable lifetime’ to be 5 years from purchase).  To be honest, in 10+ years of selling LED Lenser we’ve seen 4 torches returned faulty, so our experience of the brand certainly echoes that confidence!

Just for info, LED Lenser sub-divide their ranges with a letter for each sector, so ‘M’ prefixes the ‘micro-processor’ torch line-up, which usually have an element of gadgetry or several different functions about them.  ‘P’ stands for ‘professional’ range, and is aimed/styled at this market.  ‘T’ stands for ‘tactical’ range, aimed/styled primarily at the Police and security market, although there is a significant cross-over/similarity between many in the ranges.  ‘H’ stands for headtorch, and should be obvious

LED Lenser T7.2Now on to the torches …. the P7.2 and T7.2 models still hold the crown for being the most popular torches in the current line-up, mainly due to their all round suitability for most applications.  For the money, you get an amazingly bright torch with a spot to flood focusing head.  The torch feels solid and well constructed, sits nicely in the palm for search purposes, and three brightness settings allow for a degree of economy during use.  No need to buy a separate pouch, these torches come with a high quality nylon belt pouch and lanyard.  For the gadget/tech minded officers the T7M micro-processor torch comes with a raft of other functions built in, including strobe, pulse and SOS, whilst the P7QC Quattro has four colour settings for night vision, hunting and forensics/Police work.

Inevitably some will want a cheaper torch under the reassuring LED Lenser name, and the L7 lightweight torch is LED Lenser’s nod to this market.  Made from a strong polymer material the L7 offers fabulous value for money at £19.99 and still has the spot to flood features of its bigger brothers, albeit without some of the bells and whistles (no pouch or lanyard).  Others will want the brightest that technology can offer, and LED Lenser has covered this too … Enter the mighty atom that is the F1R. A tiny torch (some may say too tiny) that recharges via USB and kicks out a wopping 1000 lumens of light.  Whilst I’m on this subject watch this space for USB rechargeables, it seems to be the new thing and has vastly reduced the price (and pack size) on rechargeable flashlights over the past year. For those demanding the brightest on the market, at a price there is the unbelievable X21.2 range at up to 3200 lumens output.

Completing the range is the various keyring and slightly smaller sized torches that appeal for their compact nature.  The M3R is a gem, just 10cm in length, so perfect to pop in a pocket, but fully rechargeable via USB and brighter than your average duty torch!

So there we have it, a whistle stop tour of the LED Lenser line up for 2016 and hopefully some food for thought.

Magnum’s New Clothing Range

magnumlogoWe’ve been selling Magnum boots for nearly a decade now, and over the years Magnum have dabbled with a tactical or patrol clothing range to run alongside their ever popular patrol footwear, but this is the first time we’ve really seen what could be described as a comprehensive quality range of garments from Magnum – it will be interesting to gauge our officer’s reaction to the range, but here are a few of the early front runners for us …

Magnum Base Pack (3 pack of socks) – Bound to be a winner with a footwear range as popular as Magnums – these Base Packs are reasonably priced, subtly branded, and have already proved to be a no-brainer when thrown in the shopping basket with a new pair of boots.

Magnum Dragon Waterproof Breathable Jacket – compared to the alternatives we currently sell in the tactical market, I have to say that at £53.99 the Magnum Dragon is an absolute steal.  A perfect jacket to keep in your patrol bag as a smart uniform layer in bad conditions.  Very impressed with this one.

Magnum Polaris Windproof Fleece – again, at £42.98 this one represents really good value when compared to the alternative tactical fleeces around.  It’s a stylish uniform fleece, where attention to small details (edges, zippers etc.) and the smooth feel of the fabric make this feel like a garment at least twice this price .. and fully lined it’s windproof credentials aren’t too shabby either ..

Magnum Jupiter and Saturn (Thermal Base Layers – tops and bottoms) – the word is that these are decent quality thermal layers with job-appropriate styling for a uniform look. They seem to have been a little too popular though as, after the recent cold weather, replacement stock has been a little thin on the ground.

These are our top four to watch so far, but we’ll keep you posted on how things change!

Magnum Boots – The brand new (almost) definitive guide to fit

It’s been almost three years since I posted my definitive guide to the fit on the Magnum range, and it proved to be one of our most popular blog posts.  Since 2011 the Magnum range has changed drastically, so I thought it high time to re-visit this theme and give my opinion on the fit for the new wave of Magnums, based upon our experience here in Cop Shop UK offices, and the ‘feet on’ experiences of our local Kent officers.

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As ever, the Magnum range continues to evolve and develop with new technologies, and as ever foot shape can have a big impact on the comfort of a boot, even if you have picked the top-of-the-range Magnum with luxury footbeds and memory foam. For those lucky enough to be able to visit us at our warehouses in Ramsgate, come on down, there’s never a better alternative to trying a few different styles on!  For everyone else, I hope this helps you out …

The Stealth Force range which was widely loved by those with a wider foot has now been discontinued in all but the styles with safety toe-caps, and so our wide footed non-safety seeking regulars are looking for an alternative in the range.  The best of the bunch at the moment is probably the new Viper range – either the Viper 8″, Viper 8″ Side Zip or Viper 8″ full leather for those that want the waterproof version.  Whilst not quite as wide as the old Stealth range, there is a decent similarity in terms of fit, style and lightness.  For the ladies, the Cobra 6″ Womens boot replaces the Stealth Liberty, and is proving a popular successor – made specifically for women with a trademark daintier and narrower foot shape. For those looking for a decent lightweight trainer-like replacement for their Magnum Spider Elites or Spider Urbans, the new Mach range should sort you out – these super super lightweight micro-fibre patrol boots are likely to best suit a regular to narrow foot shape.  There’s a slightly more wallet-friendly version in the Mach I – the same boot with the same fit, but in traditional leather and nylon.

For those with regular to narrow feet, you will be pleased to hear that the ever popular Magnum Classic and the Magnum Panther are still very much alive and kicking in the range – firm favourites for a good few years now.  However if you’re after a fully waterproof Magnum with a regular to narrow fit, then you may want to look at the Cobra 8″ WP or Cobra 8″ Side Zip WP, introduced last year and an absolute bargain at the minute, particularly for the terrible damp winter we’re suffering at the moment.

So there we have it, bang up to date and by no means a cast iron guarantee of success, but I hope this information assists in picking a boot that’s right for you!

Is there something missing in the Magnum range?

We’re getting a lot of faithful Magnum customers asking for recently discontinued styles, such as the much loved Magnum Stealth Force boot range (Stealth 8″ side zip, Stealth 8″ leather and nylon) and the Magnum Spider boots.

Unfortunately all but a few unpopular sizes are now gone forever, although Magnum have retained the Stealth range in its 4 safety styles – Magnum Stealth 8″ and 6″ CT CP and Zip CT Wpi. For those not wanting a safety toe cap though, it’s either the Magnum Panther or Classic, which are competitively priced but do come in slightly under the spec of the defunct Stealth and Spider ranges, or the new Magnum Cobra range, which are fully waterproof and on par or above spec and priced around the £80-£90 mark.

Viper-Pro-8.0-M800640---pairWhat’s most exciting (as far as I’m concerned) though, is a cracking new style shortly to launch in August of this year, called the Magnum Viper. This is much nearer to the Magnum Stealth in looks, and will be competitively priced at £65-£80, and so fits neatly into the gap between the Panther and the Cobra in the range. As to whether the fit and comfort will be the same as the Stealth …. I guess we’ll have to wait until the new stocks arrive in late August. Watch this space!

UPDATE: The Vipers are now in and we are currently giving away a free T-shirt with every pair (while stocks last of course), the Viper Pro can be found here, and the side-zip version here.

Zippy Patrol Pouches from Tactical Jack …. a pouch less ordinary!

If you’re a seasoned officer you’ll know that nylon patrol pouches traditionally come in three or four generic shapes and styles, with a basic velcro flap securing the contents. It’s a tried and tested formula, and works well, but they are pretty basic and I’ve often wondered why some of the military and outdoors brands seem to come up with such better designs and gadgetry …

Now I’m pleased to say that a Police and Security brand has finally come up with something a bit different – with a few extra internal features, and with the peace of mind and added security of a double YKK zip opener, Tactical Jack now offer a ‘military style’ solution for our urban officers.

TJZP3-whiteThe Tactical Jack Smart Utility Pouch and Officer Utility Pouch are double zip belt pouches, and both feature modular webbing to the front, which apart from setting them aside from the rest, offers a multitude of attachment options. The Smart Utility Pouch has internal ‘soft pockets’ for Smart phones and glasses – anything you’d rather not scratch – and the Officer Utility Pouch is a fantastic mini-organiser, with internal stretch divider pocket and elastic pen/torch sleeves. Functional, durable and pretty damn cool …

After 5 years away and by popular demand … they’re back! Turtleskin gloves and why you need a pair

Turtleskin Search GlovesGood needle/puncture resistant search gloves are hard to come by – by that I mean gloves that have been tested and certified, and that have a decent level of wearer comfort and fit in the fingers.  By its nature, hypodermic needle resistant fabric tends to be dense and ‘cardboardy’ to be finely woven enough to stop a sharp, and so finding a duty glove that offers an officer dexterity as well as protection is an art form.  After all it’s all very well having a ‘suit of armour’ on both hands, you’ll certainly be protected, but if you’re searching someone you need to be able to feel through the gloves to be effective.  The Turtleskin Alpha, Bravo and Duty gloves all offer this close fitting resistance to the threat of sharps.

Longstanding CopShopUK customers will remember that Turtleskin gloves were our first choice for needle resistance, precisely because they’ve been experts in designing these types of gloves for so long.  With the introduction of a few cheaper offerings onto the market in the past few years, Turtleskin gloves are by no means the cheapest on the market, but their value is in the fit and comfort, as well as the good levels of certified protection that they offer.  The names may have changed (the ‘second skin’ Workwear Plus glove is now the Turtleskin Duty glove, and the ultra high protection Utility glove is now the Turtleskin Search glove), but the fit is still as good as ever.  In some things, and particularly where your health could be at risk, I think you do get what you pay for.

Magnum Boots – The (almost) definitive guide to fit

New post added for the 2014 Magnum boot range

Following on from my last post about all the different styles of Magnum boots available, I thought I’d post a quick run down of how they measure up, as not all Magnum boots have exactly the same fit and feel.

Magnum Logo

As the range has expanded over the years, new styles have been introduced which can vary
in terms of comfort and fit depending on your own foot shape.  Foot shape can have a big impact on the comfort of a boot, even if you have picked the top-of-the-range Magnum with luxury footbeds and memory foam!

In the absence of the ability to try these different styles on (except for those lucky enough to be able to visit us at our warehouses in Ramsgate), I’ve decided to impart my knowledge as regards the fit of the current Magnum boot range.

From experience I can say that the Magnum Classic and the Magnum Panther are a relatively narrow style of boot, which well suit the average to narrower foot shape.

The Stealth Force range of boots (unisex) generally come up wider, and we highly recommend these as a good fit for those with regular to wide feet.  Sometimes those with narrow or dainty feet will find that a Magnum Stealth will gape at the foot’s flex point, or the foot will slip up and down in the boot, causing discomfort.  Naturally the Stealth Liberty Mid Women’s boot is the exception to the rule in this particular range  – being made specifically for women, the foot shape is daintier and narrower all round!

Slap bang in the middle in terms of width fitting are the Patrol, Scorpion, Spider Urban series and Elite Force WPi.

Short and sweet and by no means a cast iron guarantee of success, but I hope this information assists in picking a boot that’s right for you!

Magnum Boots – The differences in layman’s terms

Anyone working within the Police or Security sector will most likely have heard of the name Magnum boots when it comes to patrol footwear, with many a pair of Magnum’s sold on recommendation from a work colleague.  It’s true to say that the Magnum brand continues to be the most well recognised brand of Police boot on the market.  Sometimes though, it can be difficult to see why one costs so much more than another – let me try to assist!

At the entry level point are the Magnum Classic, Magnum Patrol, Panther and duty shoe ranges – these boots offer all the EN certification an officer needs, together with an easy shine leather finish for parade use.

Magnum’s mid to top ranged product is the Stealth Force range.  You pay a bit extra for the comfort technology that goes into these boots.  Whereas the Classic has a basic footbed and construction, the Stealth range have contoured foam footbeds and superior padding around the ankle, as well as better shock absorption properties in the sole – something you’re likely to notice when running.  There are a wealth of options with the Stealth range as well, which push some of the styles into Magnum’s top tier – safety toecap options, side-zip options, fully waterproof options, take your pick!

… and finally, Magnum have a number of specialist boots sitting at the top of the tree, for one reason or another.  The Spider Urban range offer a trainer-like alternative to the regular patrol style, backed up with some serious performance technology when it comes to comfort, agility and speed of manoeuver.  The Shield Public Order boot – the clues in the name really, a specialist product for a specialist market. The Elite Force Wpi is Magnum’s flagship product – waterproof, breathable, blood pathogen resistant, heat and cold resistant, the list goes on.  The cost (or value) of an Elite Wpi is in it’s unique leather infused waterproofing technology, amongst other features, which may or may not be a benefit that you decide you need.  Either way, there should be a Magnum product to suit your particular operational need and, just as importantly, to suit your budget.

The much copied Tactical Jack Police Equipment bag!

Officer equipment bags are one of those bits of kit which aren’t strictly essential, but which don’t half make working life easier to organise.

TJ13AWhen it comes to choosing a kit bag, there are a fair few on the market, and to be honest the vast majority of them look pretty much the same.  But this is where looks can be deceptive – there are a raft of cheaper ‘copies’ on sale in the Police and security market, and in most cases you’d never be able to tell the difference from a website photograph.  Where cheaper bags let you down is in the quality of the fabric used, the quality of the zippers and the overall build quality and stitching.  A patrol bag needs to be user friendly and durable above all else, and so when your kit bag falls apart after three months of throwing it from your locker to the back of the patrol car and back again, you may be seeing that £20 Ebay bargain as a bit of a false economy! The medium Tactical Jack police bag is our best seller and has an excellent rep for all of the afore mentioned points – 1000d Cordura construction and YKK zippers for durability, double stitching in key stress areas, and enough pockets, dividers and internal space for the vast majority of kit applications.If you’re going to splash out on a kit bag, the best advice I can give is to do your research or ask a colleague, and buy by recommendation rather than by price…