The new OPUS Assault Tactical boot from MAGNUM was unveiled at IDEX in the UAE and although C&S was unable to test it we were allowed to take one outside the expo to photograph it in detail in natural light.
There were quite a few footwear manufacturers displaying at the IDEX military expo held in Abu Dhabi in February but, with the exception of a handful of worldwide brands, as unfortunately these companies mostly only sell direct to government agencies and as their boots were primarily aimed at Arab and Asian markets, few if any will make it into the European / UK / US shops. The OPUS Assault Tactical from MAGNUM, however, is one boot that will as pre-orders are already being accepted.
Although primarily intended as a black training and patrol boot, display samples produced in other colours were on show at the expo and it was the Sage Green version that caught my eye. European military forces are gradually moving away from black combat boots to brown, but elsewhere in the world green boots are sometimes deemed more appropriate, particularly where sage is a major colour in the uniform camouflage. The US Air Force, which is almost four times the size of the British Army, also authorises the wearing of sage green boots with ‘Tiger Stripe’ ABU and most of the US military boot manufacturers have made footwear in this colour.
Ignoring the eye-catching colourway, which on this factory fresh display sample is possible a little too green, the OPUS Assault Tactical has a couple of very interesting other features, not least of which is the construction. According to publicity blurb, the uppers are constructed by heat pressing and bonding polyurethane with a substrate (in material technology, a covering that is applied to the surface of an object) material. We can confirm the resultant innovative high performance Kurim Protection upper is indeed super lightweight, and the manufacturer claims the breathable net mesh construction offers high abrasion resistance and has limited water retention. Magnum also say that the innovative construction ensures the boot remains lightweight and flexible, while offering maximum upper durability.
As for the sole, which has a very interesting tread pattern which we think should work well on smooth wet surfaces, this incorporates proprietary Magnum RECOIL midsole technology for cushioning and good rebound and the decoupled outsole heel is said to isolate the initial strike zone during walking to improve shock absorption. Of the outsole, which is made from durable carbon rubber, the company claims the multi-directional lugs deliver superior traction, grip and support on slippery terrain. Of course we have not yet had an opportunity to wear these ultra-new boots, so we cannot verify the company claims.
In my mind, however, the most interesting thing about these boots is the use of the BOA closure system, which in recent years has become very popular on ski boots and is now creeping into the sports shoe market. This patented system, which gives the boot a very close fit, uses a steel lace, nylon guides and a mechanical ratchet reel. My only concern would be, is it squaddie-proof and easy to fix in the field?
This article with detail images of the boots was first published in the
May 2017 issue of COMBAT & SURVIVAL Magazine.
Images © Bob Morrison