The BLACK EAGLE TACTICAL 2.0 from HAIX of Germany is a mid-height leather combat boot in UK MoD Brown, a colour increasingly being adopted by other NATO / European armies instead of the formerly commonplace, but less operationally tactical, highly polished polished black.
German boot makers HAIX, as regular readers will now realise, confusingly use the same BLACK EAGLE product name for four distinct ranges of boot; namely Adventure, Athletic, Safety and Tactical, adding the suffix 2.0 to denote 2nd Generation. To further complicate matters, both a high leg coyote tan desert boot and a mid height black patrol boot model can be designated BLACK EAGLE ATHLETIC.
Some might therefore think from the official BLACK EAGLE TACTICAL 2.0 designation (which I have deliberately dropped onto the second line to avoid confusion) that we have covered this mid-height MoD Brown leather boot before, but although in many ways constructionally similar to other Black Eagles it is actually quite different in composition as a very high percentage of the uppers are leather and this particular model does not feature a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane. While many soldiers like a boot with a waterproof membrane, others prefer to have a non-membrane boot as these can be easier to dry out if they have become filled with water and saturated from the inside due to prolonged or repeated immersion. Choice of which type to opt for really is a matter of personal taste.
When on assignments for C&S it is unusual for me not to carry a spare pair of boots, partly to give my feet a change if on the go for 16 to 18 hours a day for several days but also just in case a boot fails. Some may consider this to be a bit ‘belt & braces’, but during SILVER ARROW 17 in Latvia boot failure happened one evening to a Swiss journalist covering the exercise and he was forced to turn up on the training area next day in just a very fashionable pair of hipster-style town shoes as these were all he had in his suitcase. Had this happened to me, I could have slipped on my HAIX Black Eagle Athletic 2.0 Mid Black GTX boot (see July issue) which I took as my back-ups.
Back to the BLACK EAGLE TACTICAL 2.0 MID/BROWN boot. The majority of the uppers are lasted from 1.6 to 1.8 mm thick waterproof and breathable hydrophobic leather with the only fabric section being above and behind the ankles. There is a breathable inner lining and the durable polyester and breathable polyurethane foam cushioned comfort insole is moisture wicking and washable.
The company-made outsole, which has HAIX’s own tread design, is oil, petrol, temperature, slip and abrasion resistant, intended to provide excellent grip in temperate and cold conditions (it works) and is moulded from a rubber compound blended to ensure durability. The lightweight mid-sole is elastic two-layer polyurethane giving good cushioning and foot stabilisation.
Finally, the non-metallic lacing system is fast adjustment with a speedy lace lock tab and a lace pocket under the tongue. I really like this boot, which I wore all week straight out the box.
Comment: Usually I try to photograph boots before field testing them but as these samples arrived during the short window I was back home between SWIFT RESPONSE and SILVER ARROW this pair got worn first so are not pristine in the accompanying images.
This article with detail images of the boots was first published in the
January 2018 issue of COMBAT & SURVIVAL Magazine.
Images © Bob Morrison