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SHOT Show 2012: Footwear.

25/01/2012

The evolution in tactical footwear was never more evident than at SHOT 2012. Danner’s impressive booth featured this beautiful U.S. made, Berry compliant boot for 2012 called the Rivot TFX.

In our first round of SHOT Show 2012 coverage for MILTECHREV.com we look at new footwear innovations and some proven styles shown at the SHOT show in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 17-20th, 2012 at the Sands Convention Center. 

Military footwear has undergone a much needed evolution in the last decade with changes in tactical requirements and the introduction of new manufacturing processes borrowed from the athletic and recreational outdoor markets. These influences have evolved tactical footwear into new mission specific designs that provide the operator with comfort, maneuverability, stealth, performance and durability never available in military footwear.
 
One of the leaders in outdoor and tactical footwear, Danner, showed a number of new designs that borrowed from their 75-year heritage while also showcasing new technologies in sole design, light weight and visual stealth. Danner has done an exceptional job of building modern mission specific footwear tailored to the individual operator’s mission while combining many traditional material and construction techniques.
 

Danner's new DFA is an update to the tactical boot harkening back to the original Adidas GSG-9 but in a more durable platform with fast-rope specific features and a stealth sole.

 
Danner’s new DFA tactical boot reminded us of the original Adidas GSG-9 special operations boot made famous by the German Federal Police Special Operations unit, Grenzschutzgruppe 9- but much better. The DFA is a tremendous evolution of early lightweight tactical boots with a full nubuc leather upper built over a Gore-Tex sock liner. The unique sole features a medial reinforcement of Vibram V-4 rubber for use during fast rope insertions. This fast rope specific feature called “Danner VIA” is patent-pending and makes rope descents smoother and braking easier even with a load. The outsole compound and low lug tread pattern optimizes audible stealth and traction on all floor surfaces, even when wet. An additional padded section on the medial ankle help protect the operator during fast rope insertions, dynamic entries and vehicle ingress/egress. 
 
The boot is impressively light weight and flexible due to the Pebax midsole plate and proprietary molding of outsole/midsole and upper. The Danner DFA is a strong option for police tactical units, Homeland Security, private security and other law enforcement and military units that require a long wearing, silent soled boot with fast rope and dynamic entry features.
 

Danner's new ICH tactical mountaineering boot in two colors with a full Gore-Tex sock liner.

 
Danner showed the new U.S. made, Berry compliant ICH boot. The ICH brings high altitude mountaineering design to tactical footwear. Danner used the Vibram Bifida outsole to maintain support, flexibility and comfort across a wide range of temperatures including extreme cold. The ICH uses a full Gore-Tex sock liner for weather protection. This will likely be a relatively flexible mountaineering boot compared to crampon-specific technical  mountaineering boots. You will be able to hump heavy loads on mountain terrain for long hours in relative comfort with the ICH.  Missing from the Danner ICH boot is any type of outsole/heel or toe groove for use with crampons, snowshoes or ski bindings. This may be because of its more flexible outsole/midsole for walking that does not translate well to crampon/snowshoe/ski use. The Mountain Assault Boot is a true soldier’s boot nicely configured for specialty mountain units, long range surveillance units and any application that includes high altitude, long distances and load carrying. There are two colors in the ICH, olive and tan.
 

We got spy shots of prototype Danner boots in the new A-TACS FG woodland pattern. Note that this prototype boot has a new A-TACS FG color upper but the previous A-TACS (non-FG) sole.

 
Danner is releasing a similar high altitude boot to the ICH in July 2012 called the Mountain Assault Boot. The Mountain Assault Boot will use a Pebax framework and Danner’s Dynamic Response System riding on the Vibram Tsavo outsole. The Mountain Assault Boot does have a molded in horizontal heel recess for crampons, snowshoes and ski bindings. The Mountain Assault Boot is to be sold in canteen color, a darkish brown. It is similar in appearance to the ICH but will provide a stiffer ride. 
 
Lightweight boots with new camouflage schemes were shown in Danner’s booth with their new Melee line-up that includes camouflage models in Crye Multicam and A-TACS patterns along with solid canteen color, black and a very nice low quarter version in the canteen brown/green color. The Melee is a flexible fabric upper boot and shoe family available with either a waterproof Gore-Tex lining or a more breathable non-Gore lining. These new boots are packed with details like a convenient “lace garage” for tucking in your tied laces. Different models feature either waterproof full grain leather uppers (solid color boots) or a 1000 denier fabric upper on the A-TACS, Multicam and low quarter boots.
 

A new low-quarter version of Danner's Melee in Canteen color with a 1000 denier nylon upper makes for a lightweight, comfortable and durable everyday low profile shoe.

 One of the most impressive boots in Danner’s 2012 line-up is the Rivot TFX. Rivot TFX is designed for the U.S. Marine Corps as well as other military unit, law enforcement and tactical outdoor use. The Rivot TFX is U.S. made and features a full Gore-Tex sock liner. The upper is 1000 denier nylon with Space Frame Webbing reinforcement built-in that is reminiscent of traditional jungle boot design. The lower portion of the boot is waterpoof rough-out leather that is durable and non-reflective.

The Danner Rivot TFX is intended for the U.S. Marine Corps market along with other military end users.

 There is an additional non Gore-Tex version of the Danner Rivot TFX sold in men’s and women’s sizes. Both the Gore-Tex and non Gore-Tex boots are built on the successful Danner Terra Force-X platform in the midsole over a Vibram Rivot TFX outsole with a unique tread pattern that allows “increased pivotal movements”. The boot meets AR 670-1 uniform requirements for “Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia”

The welt construction, double reinforced toe, rough-out leather lower, drain holes (reminiscent of jungle boots) and Space Frame Webbing reinforcement on the Danner Rivot TFX.

 
Lowa’s successful Task Force line continued with expanded colors including Air Force Grey and black in their popular Zephyr GTX and GSG Revo black tactical boot. We’ve worn Lowa boots for five years with excellent comfort, performance and durability. As we walked the floor at the SHOT show in Las Vegas we were wearing Lowa Task Force boots.
 

Lowa's successful Task Force line has been expanded with more colors including an Air Force uniform color option.

  

The unusual looking Lowa Monowrap exterior frame design wraps the outsole onto the upper for added stability and shock reduction. Monowrap remains a proven design that will continue forward according to Lowa’s Marketing Director. The Monowrap is a Lowa-owned patent that has been used for several years by Lowa in both their military/LE  Task Force line and their civilian technical footwear. Lowa specifies their “Mid TF” boots are ideal for operators carrying up to 25 pounds of equipment. We’ve worn earlier versions of the Zephyr Mid Task Force boot with 40+ pound loads and excellent comfort and performance. A unique feature to the Zephyr Task Force boots is their seamless design to reduce hotspots. The company claims, and our experience confirms, the boots require no break in.
 
 

The new sage green Zephyr GTX Mid TF and the black high-top GSG Revo with Gore-Tex sock liner.

 
Magnum showed their successful Multicam boots including the Magnum Spider 5.1 HPi Multicam, an unusual low-quarter, light weight high mobility boot with a 1650D ballistic nylon upper and a grippy fast rope reinforcement. The Spider 5.1 HPi fits and feels like a very light hiker or a trail running shoe. While it may be a little low topped for uniform wear or bloused BDU pants it is a great option for when you have to move fast and light. It’s a joy to wear boots that are so light and maneuverable. The open vents in the forefoot make it a great hot weather choice.
 

The Magnum Spider 5.1 HPi Multicam boot is a low quarter, lightweight boot with plenty of ventilation and super maneuverable feel. We love this boot for non-garrison wear.

 
Magnum also showed Multicam trail running shoe called the Intrepid HPI (left photo above, background). The Intrepid HPI used a dual-density running shoe midsole and a unusual seamless upper to shed debris. The laces are anchored to an unusual clear polymer saddle frame. There is a breathable mesh tongue and a hefty toe reinforcement. We’ll be doing some trail runs in this shoe and will report our impressions.
 
There was so much new and interesting footwear at the SHOT show they could have had a separate tactical footwear  show. With so many new introductions and the ongoing evolution of tactical footwear it was one of the most interesting categories at the show. Our SHOT show coverage will continue here on MILTECHREV.com this week (1/24/2012).
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