4 New Boots You Need To Know About

Brands are releasing new boot styles just in time for fall. Loaded with ground-breaking technologies and lightweight innovations, these styles are ones you won’t want to miss. Four new styles immediately stand out. One of these could be your new go-to pair.

4. 5.11 Skyweight

New from 5.11, the Skyweight boots were built with two goals in mind–less weight, more mobility. A durable outsole features arch lugs, self-cleaning forefront lugs and a rear heel break. The outsole, along with an integrated nylon shank, adds aggressiveness without weighing the boot down. To top it off, the 8-mm heel-to-toe drop allows maximum acceleration and responsiveness.

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3. Reebok Dauntless Ultra Light

Equal parts combat boot and athletic shoe, the Reebok Dauntless Ultra Light can take on whatever obstacles that next mission throws your way. In addition to its aggressive all-terrain tread, the Dauntless Ultra Light features an injected EVA midsole that maximizes comfort and minimizes the overall weight of the boot. Its removable insole absorbs shock and moisture while the Aegis antimicrobial, moisture-wicking lining keeps feet dry. And with the 8-inch boot weighing only 15.9 ounces., strapping into the Dauntless Ultra Light feels like wearing nothing at all.

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2. Original SWAT Hawk

Hawk boots are built with the resilience you’ve come to expect from Original SWAT but are engineered with reduced weight in mind. Known for ultra-protective, aggressive styles, this is the brand’s first foray into the lightweight boot market. Hawk stands for High Agility Weight Kinetics. Like its name implies, the boot is designed to increase agility, speed and safety all while weighing in at a mere 15.5 ounces per boot.

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Original SWAT gives us a breakdown of the Hawk:

1. Under Armour Valsetz RTS

The Valsetz RTS, an update to the popular Valsetz tactical boot, snags our top spot. RTS stands for “Redesigned Tactical Shoe,” and true to its name, the boot has been redesigned top to bottom. The tread is upgraded with smaller, more aggressive lugs and a new instep for fast rope and ladder operations. Under Armour replaced the upper stitching with a welded reinforcement for added durability. The top of the boot features Under Armour’s patented ClutchFit technology for optimized support and stability. These upgrades don’t weigh the boot down though. The new Valsetz RTS actually weighs 2 ounces lighter than the previous model.

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Which pair would you wear? Let us know in the comment section below.

Staff Pick: Genuine Gear Lightweight Tactical Pants

At TacticalGear.com, we’ve seen, studied and worn just about every type of tactical pants on the market. (Have you seen our Tactical Pants Guide?) Not only that, but we also carry so many brands and styles.

Which ones do we wear on the regular? Our lead designer, Corey Schaaf, has deemed Genuine Gear Lightweight Tactical Pants the best of the bunch.

Staff member: Corey Schaaf

Job Title: Senior Designer

His Pick: Genuine Gear Lightweight Tactical Pants

Our Price: $24.99

Colors: Black, Khaki, LAPD Navy, Olive

“I’ve tried on a lot of tactical pants, and these are by far the best value,” Schaaf says. “As the lead designer, I learn a lot about the products we market. For the features and the price, I couldn’t resist.”

Genuine Gear is the discount brand of military apparel powerhouse Propper International. Its tactical pants even mimic the fit and pocket configuration of Propper tactical pants. These tear-resistant trousers are built into a straight-fit, mid-rise construction. The main difference is the fabric. They’re made from a 40% polyester / 60% cotton instead of a 65% polyester /35% cotton fabric blend. Yet despite the more affordable fabric, a ripstop weave adds durability to the material.

“I’ve been wearing Genuine Gear for the past three years,” Schaaf says. “They were so comfortable and durable I bought several pairs.”

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His favorite thing about these tactical trousers? The massive amount of pockets. “In a zombie apocalypse, you can never have too many pockets,” Schaaf says.

Genuine Gear Lightweight Tactical Pants boast a 10-pocket design that includes slash, open-top and back pockets along with a coin pocket and a cell pocket. In other words, plenty of room for all your equipment.

Our overall consensus? These are some of the most affordable, value-packed tactical pants on the market.

What tactical pants do you wear? Let us know in the comment section below. 

Army’s New Camouflage Pattern Leaked

Want real-time updates on this development? Check out our comprehensive Scorpion ACU page for photos, news updates and extensive links to learn more.

The Army might have finally reached the end of its extensive quest to select a new standard-issue camouflage pattern for combat uniforms. More than four years ago, it began an intensive research and testing process in order to replace the highly criticized Universal Camouflage Pattern. Late this May, Military.com broke the news that the Army has selected the Scorpion pattern.

Currently, there is no official statement confirming the selection. As a result, there is no timeline available yet that confirms when this change will roll out.  As more and more rumors surface, we’re dedicated to providing the most up-to-date and accurate information. Stay in the loop by checking out our rumor roundup, where we regularly compile every development, announcement and resource regarding Scorpion ACUs.

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What do you think of the Scorpion pattern? Let us know in the comment section below.

Boot Breakdown: The NIKE SFB and NIKE SFB Field

Footwear is where NIKE excels, and its tactical line is no exception. The brand made its debut into the market with the Safety Field Boot (SFB). Then in early 2014, it released the SFB Field. Both boots have a similar handsome cut and are built for the same purpose. However, there are some key differences that set these two styles apart.

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The Nike SFB was designed with speed in mind, and the result is the lightest, highest-mobility tactical boot the brand has ever made. Fast-drying, flexible and featherweight, NIKE SFBs feel more like a pair of athletic shoes than a boot. Even though they weigh in at just 16.1 ounces , they don’t skimp on durability. These boots boast a scuff-resistant exterior and specially designed tread. The outsole boasts eight small laterally divided valleys NIKE calls flex zones, which work together to create an agile sole.

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NIKE SFB Field

Due to the SFB’s wide-spread popularity, NIKE developed and launched the updated SFB Field. The company took customer feedback and changed some key aspects of the boot. Just like the SFB, the SFB field is lightweight and quick-drying. However, it boasts an all-new tread design that adds a little bit of weight to the shoe. It features an internal rock shield that not only adds aggressiveness and stability, but protects the shoe from abrasion and puncture. To top off the extraordinary tread innovations, a textured arch design allows for better grip when climbing ropes and ladders.

NIKE SFB on the left, SFB Field on the right.

NIKE SFB on the left, SFB Field on the right.

Even though the SFB Field is slightly heavier at 16.7 oz., the boot offers optimized breathability. Mesh areas have been extended towards the toe of the foot, where heat typically gets trapped. Leather lace loops and reinforced cloth ankle support reduces hotspots on those high-stress areas of the foot.

NIKESFBFIELDWhat do you think of the SFB and the SFB Field? Let us know in the comment section below.

What the New AR 670-1 Means for Your Boots

This page last updated: July 2, 2014

Say goodbye to mesh uppers on military boots. The long-awaited Army Regulation 670-1 went into effect at the end of March and has changed the way soldiers lace up. Although the biggest changes were to implement stricter tattoo, hair and appearance rules, the  AR 670-1 also includes rules on which type of military boots are considered acceptable.

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Previously, soldier were wearing military boots with synthetic uppers, which increased the breathability and reduced weight. The regulation requires all-leather styles without zippers. Specifically, it requires the boots meet all of these standards:

      • 8 to 10 inches in height
      • Made of tan flesh-side out cattle hide leather
      • Plain toe
      • Rubber and polyurethane sole that matches the upper in color
      • No mesh fabric

Major footwear manufacturers have started to update their styles to accommodate the new all-leather rule. Whether they’re adjusting the material on their current models or creating new styles completely, we’ve got the lowdown on what you can expect from top boot brands.

Here’s a list of top styles that currently meet regulation:

For an complete list of what styles are currently compliant, consult our Army Authorized Boots page.

Some brands are still in the process of updating certain styles with all-leather materials. Here’s an outline of each brands plans (list current as of 7/2/2014):

Some brands are going so far as to introduce new boots in order to meet the regulation. Instead of updating its current SFB and SFB Field boots, NIKE is taking a different route in order to comply with the new regulation. The brand is launching an all-new boot. The SFB Leather is scheduled to be released in September 2014. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, Magnum, Ridge, Rothco and Under Armour have no plans to update their boots as of yet, so you won’t be seeing those brands on the battlefield.

What do you think of the AR-670-1? Let us know in the comment section below.

New Prizm Technology from Oakley

Need to update your optics? There is no better time to upgrade to a pair of high-performance Oakleys. The brand just released its newest eyewear innovation, Prizm technology.

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What sets Prizm lenses apart from others on the market? It’s all about the visual separation, which as a result increases target acquisition. Typically, shooting glasses use a spectrum of gray tints to reduce light. Prizm technology works differently. The red lenses amplify contrast by blocking specific color wavelengths.

They’re designed to function in an array of lighting situations, making steel targets and props stand out clearly while blocking irrelevant background objects. All you have to do is slip them on, and the difference is clear. By magnifying the definition of your target, the Prizm reduces eye fatigue dramatically.

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Like all Oakley sunglasses, Prizm glasses are engineered for maximum comfort and durability. The lenses are treated with anti-fog and scratch-resistant coatings, and the frames are ergonomically designed for a secure fit.

What do you think of the Oakley Prizm? Let us know in the comment section.

5 Reasons You Need One of Vertx’s New Bags

If you followed our SHOT Show coverage, you’ve already heard a little bit about Vertx’s maiden voyage into the world of tactical bags. What makes them stand out from other tactical packs on the market is the ability to customize your carry. For the organizationally challenged, storing your gun, magazines and equipment has never been easier. Read our top 5 reasons why you need at least one of these badass bags.

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5. Ballistic-plate compatible

Need a little extra protection? Search every Vertx bag, and you’ll find a specialized compartment designed specifically to hold ballistic plates (sold separately). The premium zippers and Cordura nylon material amplify the durability and security of these low profile yet functional bags.

4. Shield function

The EDC Commuter Sling bag goes above and beyond our expectations as an everyday carry. Our favorite feature of this bag is what we like to call the “Captain America” function. Like we said, every Vertx bag has a ballistic plate compartment. When carrying the EDC Commuter Sling bag with a ballistic insert, the bag doubles as a shield. Similar to Captain America, you can quickly sling the one-strap bag around for added protection.

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3. Ammo trays

Calling all shooting enthusiasts! You better take note of the A-Range Bag. The function-focused design makes it more convenient than ever to frequent the range. Its biggest benefit? Definitely the removable ammo trays. Unlike other range bags, Vertx’s comes with drawstring ammo holders. Purposefully placed mesh on the bottom of the ammo-holders allows you to shake out dirt and debris without spilling the contents.

2. Adaptor Panels

One of the most compelling features of these bags is the optional accessories. You can purchase them separately, and they’re compatible with all styles. Each accessory attaches to a loop-panel lining located on the interior of every Vertx bag. The adaptor panel accessories specifically make intelligent storage simple, which is why they steal our No. 2 spot.

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The Vertx MOLLE Adaptor Panel (MAP) comes in single, double and quad sizes and attaches securely to the lining. It allows you to customize the location and direction of any gear you attach to the accessory. The Belt Adaptor Panel (BAP) accessory works similarly but is designed to work with standard holsters and MOLLE accessories specifically.

1. Velcro Magazine Holders and Holsters

The MOLLE and BAP accessories already made the list, but the holster and magazine holders step it up one more notch to snatch our No. 1 spot. Also sold separately, the adjustable holder and holsters flex and fold to fit your weapon and equipment.

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Vertx Designer Jesse Thompson refers to the system as “tactical origami” because of the way specialized straps mold to secure your shooting accessories no matter their size. Because of this uni que system, the holsters can fit virtually ANY weapon, even uncommon models.

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Like other Vertx bag accessories, these are made from Velcro One-Wrap and attach securely to the soft lining of Vertx bags. The holsters come in a small size that fits sub-compact handguns and a larger version built to accommodate any pistol size. The magazine holders come in a mini-mag as well as a large-mag version.

 

What do you think of the new Vertx bags? Let us know in the comment section below.

Sneak Peek at Bates’ Lightest Boot Ever

Scheduled to be released in May, the Code 6 is the lightest, most breathable boot Bates has ever made. For decades now, the brand has been well-known for incorporating new technology into uniform footwear for military and law enforcement. This boot is Bates’ latest step toward innovation.

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What makes this boot so cutting-edge? We’ve broken down its most inventive new features.

  • A ventilated tongue made of open-cell vapor mesh reduces hot spots on top of the foot.

  • V-fit lacing system opens toward the top of the foot, further increasing breathability and mobility.

  • Honeycomb TPU overlays give the boots a striking look while also increasing stability.

  • TPU shank adds comfort.

  • Phylon midsole reduces the weight without sacrificing durability

  • Neoprene hood covers the zipper instead of the typical, potentially inconvenient Velcro strap.

The launch of this shoe is a big deal for Bates as this is the lightest boot the brand has ever made. The contemporary upper materials and Phylon midsole cut out unnecessary weight making these boots a solid 15 percent lighter than any of the styles in Bates’ popular Ultra Lite line.

In addition to the featherweight factor, the optimized breathability paired with the impressive honeycomb look will make the Code 6 a go-to boot for spring and summer. We can’t wait for this style to hit our shelves. When Bates releases the boots at the beginning of May, the Code 6 will be available in 4-, 6- and 8-inch styles.

What do you think of the Code 6? Let us know in the comment section below.

March Staff Pick: 5.11 Taclite Pro Pants

Not only is 5.11 Tactical famous for its tactical pants, but also the company was built around this flagship product. Originally designed by mountaineer Liz Robbins for outdoor clothing company Royal Robbins, the pants known as “5.11s” were built for rock-climbing enthusiasts. The name refers to the most strenuous rock climbing difficulty. Dan Costa purchased the outdoor gear company and later sold it to found 5.11 Tactical. Costa identified that the 5.11 turned out to be the perfect pants for a number of high-pressure situations requiring serious mobility and began to market it toward FBI professionals.

Years later, and 5.11 is still a top brand in the tactical pants market. This month’s staff pick, the 5.11 Taclite Pro Pants, are modeled off the legendary original design but with a lightweight 65% Polyester / 35% Cotton Ripstop fabric, making them ideal for warmer weather.

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Staff Member: Jacob Grass

Job Title: Chief Technology Officer

His Pick: 5.11 Taclite Pro Pants

Our Price: $49.99

Colors: Battle Brown, Black, Charcoal, Coyote Brown, Dark Navy, Stone, Storm, TDU Green, TDU Khaki and Tundra.

Jacob Grass, our chief technology officer, is partial to these pants. Although significantly lighter than the original pants, the Taclite Pro boasts all the same features, including eight pockets and reinforced seat and knees.

“While I’m not a tactical guy in a tactical field, I do a fair amount of yard work and other outdoor projects,” Grass says. “These pants are perfect for that type of activity.  Plenty of pockets for any necessary tools, breathable so as not to melt in the heat of summer and sturdy enough to protect me from getting scratched up by thorns or branches.”

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A Teflon water-repellent protects against stains, spills and soils. The deep front and back pockets as well as the wide cargo pockets offer plenty of intelligent storage options. Smaller pockets on both thighs are the perfect dimensions to each fit either a magazine or cellphone. To ensure a long-lasting durability, each pair is sewn with triple-stitch reinforcements and extensive bartacking.

Whether you’re hunting, hiking, shooting, rock-climbing or on duty, Taclite Pro pants are well-equipped for whatever you throw at them.

What do you think of the Taclite Pro Pants? Let us know in the comment section below.

Which Mil-Spec Monkey patch would you rock?

“Monkey,” as he is known by his friends, says he has always had an interest in the military. However, instead of enlisting he went to college, where he developed a specialized skill-set in video game-art and design. Now the tactical aficionado is the man behind Mil-Spec Monkey, an established tactical gear brand.

The most famous Mil-Spec Monkey product line is its collection of morale patches, which are the favorites of military professionals, law enforcement officers and tactical enthusiasts nationwide. It all began in 2006 when Monkey became one of the first to put professional design effort into patches. These patches are famous for being funny and pretty inappropriate.

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We picked out a few of our top picks and want to know: Which Mil-Spec Monkey patch would you rock?