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…

How to measure glove size

We sell a big old range of different types of police gloves, and one of the most common question we get asked is “What size do I need?” 

FACT: Most people have one slightly bigger hand, this is usually the one that determines if you are right or left handed. To measure for your glove size, place the tape measure in between your thumb and index finger as per the diagram shown and place it  around the widest part of your hand. Then allow your hand to form a loose fist, it is advisable to go up to the nearest inch rather than down.The manufacturer tends to base the sizing on to a standard hand. This is a little more complicated then it sounds as very few people have standard size hands and no pair of hands is exactly the same. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when buying leather gloves. If a glove is made of a soft leather it will offer a little more stretch. If you are in between sizes a smaller size sometimes is a better fit. This also applies to people with shorter fingers. Tougher and firmer gloves have less stretch and will be uncomfortable if too tight as they are usually manufactured to protect the hands from being penetrated by needles, glass or sharp weapons.

Most retailers are aware that it can be difficult to get it right and are happy to advise you. Contact us on 01843 825 757 or, we are always happy to help.

Tactical Jack Gel Ear Inserts – Small but perfectly formed…

Who’d have thought that such a small and inexpensive upgrade could make such a difference?!  Tactical Jack Gel Ear Inserts are an optional accessory to the talk and listen police earpieces that we stock, and have proved extremely popular over the standard earpiece tips for a couple of key reasons.

Gel-InsertWhilst the standard ‘bung’ type tips plug up your ear and can often become dislodged, especially when running, the moulded gel ear inserts have an open ‘skeleton’ construction which fits neatly inside the curves of the ear.  The advantages of this type of earpiece tip is that the natural curves of the ear themselves prevent the insert from falling out during use, whilst the soft open gel construction of the tip allows for superior comfort and improved hearing of those around you.Officers report back to us that once you’ve worked out how to fit them in your ear (thank goodness for the small diagram that comes with the product!), the inserts are that comfortable that you really do forget you’re wearing them.  Available in small, medium or large, and for either ear, the gel ear inserts are an easy upgrade with a good deal of benefit!

(Read our previous post about Tactical Jack police radio earpieces)

Why you should buy from CopShopUK!

I recently had a whole load of grief with an online retailer just trying to purchase a jacket for my nephew. It made me think how important it is to look after your customers.To be honest we do pretty well, this is possible because we genuinely care about all you good people out there. For instance all our emails are dealt with on a personal level and even if you receive an automated response to a return or exchange we follow it up with a proper reply.The most annoying thing for most of us, customer and client alike, is ordering an item that someone has just beat you to the last one and is out of stock. Often the retailer is at the mercy of a distributor who keeps changing the dates. That is as frustrating for us as it is for you. Fast and efficient service is essential and most orders go the same day.Another bone of contention is the subject of faulty goods, often irate customers don’t realise that we do not manufacture the goods ourselves and have to adhere to some sort of fair and reasonable “Rules”. You would not believe how ill mannered people can be, but we will bend over backwards to offer the best resolve to most things. However, often the manufacturer is involved and we have to follow the guidelines we are given.We are very fortunate that our company is run by family and friends so we all go the extra mile, we are old school I guess in the way we look after our customers but many companies are just out to make money fast. I’m proud to say we are different and won’t compromise. You can come in and see us at our trade counter or phone us just for that bit of advice that you can’t find on the net.We don’t expect a sale following each bit of advice we give and if something isn’t suitable we are honest enough to say so. At the end of the day that is what we’re here for. If you like the more traditional approach to customer services, 01843 825757……….. give us a call.

Lowa Boots – Solid, Reliable, …Fantastic!

Following on from my previous post regarding police boots, thought I’d add my personal choice. Let’s get this one off my chest … I LOVE Lowa boots!  As a biker and a walker, and long before my involvement with CopShopUK, I remember seeing a friend wearing these ex army boots with their distinctive styling, and wondering what they were.  I instantly went out and bought a pair, and have been wearing the same boots for riding and hiking ever since.  That was six years ago!

Lowa-CombatMy particular boot of choice is the Lowa Combat GTX, historically a military boot, but these days a favourite with Army and Police alike.  I’ve ridden through some pretty appalling weather (an ill fated weekend ride from Ramsgate to Ireland and back springs to mind), and got soaked to the skin, but my feet have always stayed reassuringly warm and dry.If you’re used to wearing Magnums or similar, Lowa boots can take a bit of getting used to simply because they initially feel so solid – some people prefer a boot to be a second skin, me personally I like the feeling (and knowledge) that my feet and ankles are protected and supported, and that my boots have the build quality, durability and technology behind them to take on whatever I can throw at them …  As a company Lowa is awe inspiring, I urge you to Google the history some time … 90 years of boot building, European quality and craftsmanship that seems to be a bit of a dying breed these days … well let’s hope they’re around for another 90 years!

Police boots – What to choose?

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 G-Force Boot

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.

The lovely Lowa Mountain

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.

The Magnum Panther Boot

I work in the customer services division of CopShopUK Ltd and speak to people all day long about footwear…………so………….. I figured it was about time that I’d get some “boots on” experience and chose some Magnum Boots to try. I basically wanted to see the sort of value for money you get from entry level boots and I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

Panther-8.0-55616---pairMy Magnum Panthers are about 7 months old now and have seen me through the worst of this winter. That is a statement in itself!! My feet have been warm and dry without thick socks. Although they don’t have the M-PACT footbed they were incredibly comfortable from day one. I wear these to work everyday and after 8 hours I’m fresh as a daisy. I love these boots!!!! Very low maintenance too, a wipe down with a damp cloth and a bit of Kiwi shoe polish and they look as good as new.  I’ve been wearing the standard Panther, but the Magnum Panther Side-Zip is also available for the same price. A  top bargain for £50 and I’m doing myself out of sales here for the more expensive styles, but it proves that if you have a limited budget you can still get quality  :-)

Police earpieces from Tactical Jack – It all becomes clearer!

The Tactical Jack Talk and Listen Police Earpiece is one of our best sellers, so it felt only right to pen a short blog on the subject to explain why.

Tactical-Jack-EarpiecePolice earpieces are one of those items which need to be right – officers rely so heavily on good communication that a quality earpiece can be key to an effective operation.  Customers tell us that standard issue earpieces often aren’t up to the task in hand for a number of reasons. – sound quality is often poor, comfort and wearability aren’t always the best, and many Force issue earpieces have a volume limiter set at a level too low for the average noisy roadside incident! Of course budget constraints and future aural health concerns account for these reported deficits, so many officers elect to upgrade their kit by purchasing a higher quality airwaves earpiece, such as the Tactical Jack earpiece, compatible with either their Sepura SRP2000 or Motorola MTH800 Police radios. At this point it’s worth issuing a ‘buyer beware’ warning – there are many earpieces out there on shops and auction sites, varying vastly in price and quality.  Naturally I can only vouch for those that we sell at CopShopUK, and can confidently tell you that volume levels and sound clarity on the Tactical Jack earpiece are excellent, as is the comfort factor.Being an acoustic semi-covert earpiece (i.e. with a clear, coiled acoustic tube to the ear) means that it fits lightly and discreetly, whilst allowing for comfortable movement during use.  Officers can elect to use the discreet PTT button to communicate, usually clipped discreetly to their load vest, or can continue to use the PTT on their airwaves radio – the choice is theirs.  Wiring is also long enough for the press-to-talk (PTT) switch and microphone to be fed down a sleeve for semi covert use.  The Tactical Jack earpieces come with two surgical grade ear buds (ear tips) as standard, designed to fit snugly into the ear. Tactical Jack also offer gel inserts as an optional extra, however, and many officers find these superior operationally.  This is because gel ear inserts are moulded to fit neatly in the inner contours of your ear, meaning that they’re highly unlikely to dislodge, even during pursuits, as well as being of an open construction (rather than a ‘bung’), meaning that officers can hear their colleague talking to them just as easily as they can hear through their earpiece.  Accessories are another blog though, and I digress ……

Adidas GSG9 Boots – The best boots are the ones you can forget you’re wearing!

Here at CopShopUK, we’ve been stocking and promoting the Adidas GSG9 boot for six years, and we still remember the classic GSG9 boot with fondness – with iconic ‘boxing boot’ styling and comfort to match, officers would stretch their budgets to buy a pair of these super comfortable ‘Gucci’ tactical boots.After the classic style was phased out, along came the massively popular Adidas GSG9.2 boot, with an improved specification and some radical design changes.  Love or loathe the updated styling, it’s here to stay, and new for 2011 Adidas have just released three new versions of the GSG 9 – a 6″ black uniform version (GSG9.4), plus 6″ and 8″ desert tan versions (GSG9.3) for desert or Military applications.

Adidas-GSG-9.2All of the Adidas tactical boots feature Adidas’ renowned comfort and performance technologies –  Traxion grip outsole with heel inserts for shock absorption, hydrophobic upper for superior waterproofing (for the urban versions), specialist insoles and midfoot saddle construction for optimum foot comfort and arch support, and so on…All of which come together in perfect harmony to produce a boot which offers the performance you need with the feeling that you’ve just put your favourite pair of trainers on!  After all, the GSG9.2 is made in the same way as a running shoe, and unlike virtually any other patrol boot on the market.  Whilst built for the Special Forces, with tactical operations in mind, Special Ops guys and front line officers alike will see the benefit of the GSG 9, whether descending from a helicopter on a rope, or getting that valuable edge in foot or road pursuits.We’re fans!