As promised, here is the review of the new EMS Duty Boots that I was given to try out.
First of all, if you didnít catch why I am writing a post about EMS and Fire work boots, you should read the post here: ďWelcome to hell, FeetĒ
A while ago, I was contacted by Magnum Boot company to review their new Magnum Elite Force 8.0 WPI boots. The deal was, theyíd send me free boots and Iíd wear them and tell the devoted readers of my ďPopular EMS blogĒ (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 Moneyís 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 isnít 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 letís 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 donít have the nylon filler stuff on the sides that I donít like the look of, and while theyíre not exactly what Iíd consider to be leather, theyíre made of some stuff that looks and feels great. Theyíre also not even close to what Iím 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 didnít for this post. Theyíre also taller than I usually wear by about three inches.
They took some getting used to, but I didnít want to review them before I broke them in. So, the first thing I did was put them on and mow my lawn. I donít 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 shouldnít have. I didnít get any blisters though and within a day or two they broke in quite nicely. Now theyíre comfier boots than Iíve 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 Iíd like. Iíve got the hang of it now, but theyíre 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, Iíve got the hang of it nowÖ but Iíd suggest that they add a pull-loop at the back to help in getting them on more quickly. This isnít an issue if youíre working a shift where you donít 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 nobodyís business in damp grass. They donít quite feel like Iím wearing tennis shoes, but theyíre 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 didnít slip a bit on the wet leaves and didnít have a drop of water get in. Iíve purposely walked in puddles and sprayed them with the hose and my feet stay dry. They have something called ďIon Mask TechnologyĒ (which is something scientific involving bonding individual threads with something sciency.. I think. It means ďliquid-proofĒ) 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 ďMale Subject Crushed By an Engine In a SiloĒ 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 sheriffís deputy directed me to a small, dark ladder on the side of the 100 year old silo that lead up to the top. The ďrungsĒ 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 survivedÖ 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 werenít wet. It was like my feet hadnít 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 doesnít happen. Iím really shocked about that.
After two weeks of hell on my feet, the boots donít show any signs of wear other than being broken in. Iíll 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