As promised, here is the review of the new EMS Duty Boots that I was given to try out.
First of all, if you didn’t catch why I am writing a post about EMS and Fire work boots, you should read the post here: “Welcome to hell, Feet”
A while ago, I was contacted by Magnum Boot company to review their new Magnum Elite Force 8.0 WPI boots. The deal was, they’d send me free boots and I’d wear them and tell the devoted readers of my “Popular EMS blog” (both of them) about my thoughts on the boots.
So I decided to put these boots, and my poor feet, through hell week. My thoughts were that you all were gonna get Magnum Boots Money’s worth and the fruits of my foot pounding in a post where I review these things that are on my feet as I type this.
I wear my boots a lot. If I am working, my boots are on my feet. Since I work anywhere from 70-110 hours every week I had quite the chance to try them out. Trust me, this post isn’t going to be boring. During my hell week for my feet I had one of the best rescues of my career. Sure, I did lawn work, and played tag and kickball with the kids, but I also free climbed a 70 foot 100 year old grain silo to treat a critical trauma patient and put in some pretty tough other calls too. So let’s dive in, shall we?
Magnum Boots sent me their Magnum Elite Force 8.0 WPI boots to try out. The first thing I noticed is that they look sharp. They don’t have the nylon filler stuff on the sides that I don’t like the look of, and while they’re not exactly what I’d consider to be leather, they’re made of some stuff that looks and feels great. They’re also not even close to what I’m used to. I have always worn steel toed boots in the past. I like them because of the things we get exposed to in the field and the dogs that sometimes think my hindquarters look tasty. I also like the side zip models and these are straight laces. I suppose that one could put in a front-zipper insert, but I didn’t for this post. They’re also taller than I usually wear by about three inches.
They took some getting used to, but I didn’t want to review them before I broke them in. So, the first thing I did was put them on and mow my lawn. I don’t usually do that in my duty boots in order to keep them looking nice, but I wanted to see how they felt. As expected, when new they rubbed in places that they shouldn’t have. I didn’t get any blisters though and within a day or two they broke in quite nicely. Now they’re comfier boots than I’ve had in years.
Another thing I notice is that when working 24hour shifts or working in a fire station where you must put them on and take them off quickly, the height and the laces impede me getting them on and off as fast as I’d like. I’ve got the hang of it now, but they’re not as fast getting on at night when getting up for a call than my zipper boots were. They also got sworn at once or twice when trying to slip them off and get into my fire boots. Again, I’ve got the hang of it now… but I’d suggest that they add a pull-loop at the back to help in getting them on more quickly. This isn’t an issue if you’re working a shift where you don’t sleep or straight EMS without turnout gear.
The next thing I noticed was how stable and light they are. I played tag for an hour with my 5yo boy and the neighbor boy and was able to juke them like nobody’s business in damp grass. They don’t quite feel like I’m wearing tennis shoes, but they’re close. I can run and jump and play with the kids in them and be quite comfortable. The first ambulance shift I worked in them it was raining hard, I didn’t slip a bit on the wet leaves and didn’t have a drop of water get in. I’ve purposely walked in puddles and sprayed them with the hose and my feet stay dry. They have something called “Ion Mask Technology” (which is something scientific involving bonding individual threads with something sciency.. I think. It means “liquid-proof”) which they bill as a new process to treat them, head to their website to check it out.
That first ambulance day was awesome, we got called as a single ambulance response to a very rural dairy farm for a “Male Subject Crushed By an Engine In a Silo” Going out there, the information was that he was 70 feet in the air. We arrived first after having dispatch tone out the volunteer fire department that covers that area. Right off the bat, I hopped off the ambulance into ankle deep cow poop that was covering the whole area around the silo. The sheriff’s deputy directed me to a small, dark ladder on the side of the 100 year old silo that lead up to the top. The “rungs” of the ladder were steel rebar and after all that time, they were very worse for wear. I climbed it and noticed (Yes, I was actually thinking about the boot review) how stable the boots were. Once I got to the top, the silo was full of corn silage (shredded corn stalks) and our patient was lying on top of them, gravely injured from having a 700 pound engine that powered the silage pump fall on and crush him. It took a 2 hour tech rescue on top of that pillowy, messy, unstable silage to get him out. He survived… and so did my feet.
All it took to clean the boots? A quick spray from a garden hose. My feet felt great. I even took off the boots that night for bed and noticed that my socks weren’t wet. It was like my feet hadn’t sweated at all. My old boots had big holes in them and my socks came out soaked with sweat even on a dry day, these boots breathe and that doesn’t happen. I’m really shocked about that.
After two weeks of hell on my feet, the boots don’t show any signs of wear other than being broken in. I’ll wear them from now on.
I recommend them without reservation other than the above caveats. Magnum Boots, your free boots passed my test. You can send me free stuff anytime J