Viper Special Ops Boots Review
- Credit: Archant
The editor finds out if special ops kit suits airgunners
Throughout my hunting career I’ve often wondered about which bits of kit that the elite military units use might be useful for the airgunner. In truth, I’ve found most of the military-issue footwear and clothing to be crude and poorly made, so I’ve discounted it without a second thought. However, while speaking to time-served military men I’ve learned that they buy high-quality products to replace their issue stuff in the areas that matter most, and no area is more important than footwear. Imagine needing to spend 12 hours a day in badly made, poorly-fitting boots, and then being expected to be at your best to fight for Queen and country.
With many of today’s battles being fought in hot, dry environments it’s no great surprise that many of the boots on offer are lightweight models in pale camouflage patterns, and perhaps no design is more prevalent than Multicam. I’ve long wondered why camouflage boots have black soles when there’s little black in nature, apart from crows. Because of this I was glad to see that the Viper Special Ops boot is Multicam in the uppers and a light sandy colour on the sole. These colours soon darken when you apply an overall coating of good old British mud, and I believe that they then blend in better than a dark base colour.
What appealed to me most about this boot was the lightweight build. The sole unit is supple, like a strong trainer, and good stability is offered by the high-leg, and yet the boot gives a great feel of the ground beneath, helping stealthy stalking.
The sole unit has deeply-treaded cleats in a simple pattern that encourages mud to be squeezed out to the sides, allowing the lugs to dig in for the next step. Some summer boots have little grip, but these worked well in springtime mud. They’re not fully waterproof, but the water and muck slid off the 10,000 Cordura with little drama. You might be asking why they’re not waterproof and there’s a very good reason. Any material that keeps water out will keep water in and in the warmer months, sweaty feet can become very uncomfortable, so a highly breathable upper is your friend.
This boot features twin side zips, to allow them to go on and off in seconds with no need to keep readjusting the laces every time, and this was a feature I soon came to love. I find myself wearing this boot more and more as the weather gets warmer and drier, and I guess there’s no better endorsement than that.
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