Monday, 10 June 2013

Bates Boots

Bates Boots are probably the biggest rival to Magnum boots (probably even more so in the USA than in the UK) offering a wide range of lightweight urban police boots at reasonable prices.  The major difference between bates boots and Magnum boots is the fact that Bates do not certify their boots for the European Market.  Now whilst this is probably not an issue for most individual users/purchasers, anyone from a corporate or public sector organisation who is issuing footwear will want to issue a certified much as to cover themselves against lawsuits should someone claim the footwear was to blame as to ensure the boots are fit for purpose.  (I am in no way implying that Bates boots are not fit for purpose!)

The recent surge in the popularity of Bates boots is in part due to their high profile use of the Bates Falcon by the highly elite and secretive British Special Boat Service.  The unique tread pattern on the sole of the Bates Falcon boot meant that the boot offered exceptional grip on wet metal surfaces, like the decks of ships or airplane wings etc.  They are often also used by the Royal Marines Visibility Team and RM PTIs as they are lightweight and flexible as well as offering good grip.  However the popularity of this Bates boot with elite forces has lead to its adoption by regular police officers, PCSOs and security patrol officers when it perhaps is not the most suitable choice.  The very characteristics that make the Bates Falcon a fantastic specific response boot means it offers very little cushioning or protection.

There are other Bates boots which are much more suitable for standard police foot patrol like the Tactical Sport Side Zip, the Gore-Tex Lined waterproof GX8 and the Delta-8 Side zip.

The Bates Tactical Sport Side Zip can be found online for about £60 and offers a mix of full grain and action leather with nylon panels in the upper and a shock absorbent EVA footbed and rubber outsole.  The boot is from the "Ultra-light" series and as the name suggest is is a lightweight unit which has proved to be exceptionally comfortable and hard wearing.

The Bates GX8 boot is an enhanced version of the Tactical Sport boasting a more aggressive design, an EVA midsole (rather than just footbed), 1680 ballistic nylon panels and full grain leather upper complete with a Gore-Tex waterproof, breathable membrane.  As you can imagine the Bates GX8 comes in at around £90 rather than £60.

The Delta 8 Bates Boot is similar to the GX8 however it is not a waterproof boot, but it does have a unique adjustable comfort system which allows the wearer to adjust the angle and sponginess of the footbed.