At first glance the new MAGNUM Strike Force 8.0 SideZip WaterProof uniform boot, from the company’s Special Forces range, looks pretty unremarkable… but first appearances can be deceptive.
Look closer and you will spot the MICHELIN logo on both the side of the heel and on the middle of the outsole plus there is an ARMOURGEL logo on the honeycomb-like outer ankle protection pad. These boots are anything but run-of-the-mill and demand close scrutiny to comprehend precisely what is going on.
C&S first spotted and photographed pre-production examples of the new Strike Force 8.0 boot, as those who keep a close eye on combatandsurvival.com will be aware, out in Amman earlier in the year when the MAGNUM team were exhibiting their wares at SOFEX ’16, the Special Operations Forces Expo. We were also given a briefing by the Netherlands-based Head Office team on how both Michelin had collaborated with them to bring automobile tyre tread technology to police and blue light services footwear and Armourgel had helped them with the design of revolutionary technology ankle protection pads.Looking first at the basic boot specification: the uppers are constructed of durable, waterproof leather and hard-wearing breathable mesh fabric panels with a padded collar for additional comfort; the inner bootie is manufactured from a waterproof (i.e. WP) and breathable membrane to keep the feet dry; a removable M-PACT Response insole is fitted for maximum comfort and shock absorption; a compression-moulded RECOIL midsole absorbs impact and provides all-day support and comfort; and the high-traction, slip- and oil-resistant Michelin outsole offers maximum grip. In addition to a conventional lacing eyelet configuration, the boot has a YKK side zip (SZ) for speedy fitting and removal (ideal for those emergency services personnel waiting around on standby for long periods of even longer on-call shifts) and the eyelets themselves are non-metallic and therefore rustproof as well as not tripping metal detectors each time the wearer passes through.
However even though the Michelin tyre tread appears to work exceptionally well on most urban terrain, including in the wet on usually tricky granolithic flooring surfaces, it is those Armourgel pads that really steal the show. Being a coward at heart, I did not have the courage to smack a hammer against my ankle bone to prove to myself just how well this combination material, designed by a British boffin at Imperial College, would work but I did undertake a similar test on my left wrist (I drink beer and eat pies with my right hand, so I was not being unduly adventurous).
By way of comparison, I first gently tapped my wrist bone with the striking face of my claw hammer through the padded leather and fabric tongue section of the boot… and it ruddy hurt. I then turned the boot around until the Armourgel pad was over the bone and gave it a really good clout… only a dull thump was felt. Armourgel definitely works!
Our MAGNUM Strike Force 8.0 SZ WP boot test samples were secured for us, direct from the factory on the other side of the world, by Lukas at Military1st. Stocks are now available direct from the military1st.co.uk warehouse.
This article with detail images of the boots was first published in the
Images © Bob Morrison