It was a hot summer day, the sun shining, cars speeding by and me melting as I prayed for a breeze to cool my last bead of sweat. Standing on hot pavement at the scene of the latest chaos often made me wonder if the soles of my boots would melt. Then it happened.
My boots felt a little weird on the heels, almost as if they were dragging even though I was picking up my feet. I may be a rookie on the beat, but I had worn combat boots for years in the service. The brand, BATES. I wore out a pair in a year easily, but they lasted through 15 mile hikes, climbed waterfalls and ridge lines, jumped out of perfectly good helicopters and KC130's to land on solid ground, and even stepped into chemicals and fluids mankind should never be exposed to. The point? They lasted.
A month ago I had to replace and old pair that lasted approximately 18 months. Nine months worth of training and another nine on the job. They were Magnums, a brand of BATES. Good boots. So I hit Sears as it was the only place open in my dire need of replacement boots. I was happy to see they had BATES though only in men's, I found a pair that fit.
It's been hot out. Upwards of 110 heat index and easily 95 degrees on a cloudy day. The rain, the heat, and on the job treks through God-only-knows what chemicals and fluids apparently got the best of the new boots. They failed me today. After only a month of breaking them in too!
I was thankful I had packed a pair of black Sketchers in my duty bag. They didn't hold up to what I needed on the job so I made a detour later to the Army Navy Supply store and found a pair of 511s. Let's see if they hold up to the hype...and my expectations!