Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Bates Boots

Bates Boots are a popular police boot brand, a big rival to Magnum in the USA, though not such a big competitor in the UK market currently.

Magnum have dominated Bates due to their longer standing tradition of providing boots in the UK, although they have making boots since Andrew Jackson Bates founded the company in in 1885!  It was not until 1960 however that Bates focused their efforts on making specialist shoes for the US navy and shortly after that that they became a specialist tactical footwear manufacturer exclusively. Since the 60's Bates have expanded internationally and their boots can now be found on up to 70 elite military units around the world!

In terms of performance Bates Boots are made from high specification materials and will last for several years of serious duty use as a police or security officer.  Unfortunately the Bates focus on the US market does mean they have not got some of the necessary EU certifications like EN20347 which is the standard for professional occupational footwear or the SRA, B or C slip resistance.  That is not to say Bates boots would fail these tests as they are built to very exacting standards, however they are built for the US market where the EU standards are simply not relevant so they have not bothered to put the products through the testing process to get the certificates!

Most front line end users however would not really worry about these certifications if buying boots for themselves, however corporate buyers who are issuing boots to staff or employees should definitely consider the implications of issuing non certified boots.

One of the most well known Bates boots is the Falcon boot which was popularised by the British SBS because of their unique sole tread pattern which maximizes grip on wet metallic surfaces....ideal for ships and boats!!! This reputation as the boot of choice by one of the most elite special forces units in the word quickly made the Bates Falcon boot and the wider Bates brand a highly respected industry name!  However, the Falcon boot is a specialist piece of footwear that fulfils a niche role and I would not recommend it for standard foot patrol or duty use.

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