My love of guns and shooting roots came from hunting the backwoods of Missouri. You’ve heard me drone on about my grandfather’s .22 rifle, my first shotgun and how I “killed the shed,” and possibly even remember how much I love “the mystical flight of the arrow” as Uncle Ted would say. I’ve also made very clear that I love gear and toys and gadgets to play with and that make me feel more prepared and kitted up for the task at hand. I love flashlights, I love backpacks and holsters, hats, and I love “tactile” clothing and gear. Including footwear.
Well stop the press because I’m in love. I’ve tried Rocky boots, Danner boots, even Cabelas brand Thinsulate (is that copyrighted?) boots, Bates, cheapo boots and too many others to count. Up until I received my pair of Magnum Sidewinder HPi multicam boots I had never slid a boot on my foot that’s been so comfortable, forgiving and easy on my legs, knees and back. Here is a list of features that have blown my mind since day 1:
Vibram V4® rubber fast rope insert – heat and flame resistant
- SuperFabric® archpanel uses epoxy guard plates to reduce damage and heat ingress
- Helcor Tec Tuff™ toe bumper – specially treated leather, which is 100 times more abrasion-resistant than standard leather
- Authentic Crye Precision MultiCam® pattern and fabric
- Locking lace cleat provides optimum tension and heel fit ion-mask™ protection technology – repels liquids, resists blood borne pathogens, stays breathable
- OrthoLite® footbed developed specifically for military combat use, exclusive to Magnum, and gives long lasting comfort and support
- Articulated heel flex zone – optimum ankle comfort whether walking, crawling, or kneeling
- Breathe Right™ – perforated foam lining ensures maximum breathability and comfort, while keeping the boots lightweight
- Eyelets will not shine or glint when scratched
- Polyurethane midsole won’t squish in the heat
- Durable Vibram® outsole – unique to Magnum, this is Vibram’s® latest and toughest mountain combat outsole
- 550 paracord laces – each boot has 3′ of this essential survival tool
- Certified to the rigid EN 20347:2004 standard for occupational footwear
- Insole board is rigid enough to withstand walking over sharp, uneven terrain for days, yet flexible enough to reduce foot fatigue 2.2mm suede for durable protection
- 1200 denier nylon panel for breathability
- Magnum style #5379
All of the above… in one boot. Honestly I was a bit skeptical. I’ve been wearing boots for a long time for just about any purpose imaginable. With various types of Haus of Guns projects including hiking and hunting I’m on my feet a lot for long periods of time. Sometimes it’s running and jogging, or lots and lots of walking, and sometimes it’s even just ridiculous amounts of standing and waiting. Other boots yielded a typical result – longer break in periods. I could plan on a soft break-in, wearing them for a couple of hours here and there or just gritting my teeth and dealing with the blisters in an all or nothing approach.
The Magnum Sidewinders required little to no break-in (depending on your definition of the phrase “break-in”). The first time I ever wore them I spent all day running, crawling and standing in a long range rifle/combat pistol course which lasted the better part of 10 hours on rough and rocky terrain. My feet were in the Magnums non stop without a hitch. All I had to show for it was a measly red mark on my right heal which was more likely a result of my walk with a hitch than anything else (lingering basketball injuries). Here’s the kicker: typically after spending those kinds of hours in a brand new pair of boots just walking the next day would be a pain in the butt, but not with the Sidewinder HPi’s. The next day I couldn’t even tell I spent the entire day before in new shoes… boots no less! I’m not saying no break-in at all, BUT the break-in margin appears to be substantially less than all other boots I’ve worn.
Another thing the Magnum Sidewinder HPi boots boast is durability and stay-put-ed-ness (just made that up). I’ve done my best to beat the snot out of my boots from the beginning and with over 22 miles in them at this point they still almost look like they just came out of the box. The soles are barely worn (even with high desert terrain ranging from sand and sage, to mountain rocks, to river bottoms), the crazy comfy Ortholite insoles have not crushed, and the Helcor Tec Tuff toe and heel bumper have kept their shape and these “large lightweight” boots 100% in tact. And thanks to the locking lace cleat, my foot stays put against the heel and so do the 3 feet of paracord 550 laces in each boot.
Take everything above into consideration, a laundry list of features all found in one pair of boots, and probably the coolest thing about these boots is how unbelievably sick they look. The multicam pattern is perfect over the entire shoe and sole and they stay that way regardless of the abuse you dish out. In 3 gun matches, a USPSA steel challenge and the rifle/pistol shoot I attended each one yielded one or two guys who were current SWAT or former military that actually asked me on the side about my boots. It’s like they knew, they could see or had this innate ability to pick out a legit pair of combat creepers. I like that, “BOOTS FOR GUYS WHO KNOW BOOTS” kept creeping into the back of my mind. These are obviously hard charging boots for people who are willing to pay a little extra to not have to worry about their feet on hard charging missions (whatever your missions are).
This summer and fall I’ll continue beating the tar out of my Magnum Sidewinder HPi boots while I trek across the plains chasing pronghorn antelope and hit the sand dunes of Nebraska trying to bag an even bigger muley than last year. I wonder if the animals who fall to my hand will notice how awesome my boots are before their dying breath?
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