On a recent trip to SHOT show 2015, I was excited as always about the new products that would be on display that week. To some it was the guns or fishing equipment or even the “gun bunnies”. For us it was the gear. One of the products I was particularly interested in was the new “military style” boot from Salomon.
Known worldwide for excellent running shoes, they began a line of military style shoes and I was hoping they would be just as reliable and comfortable as their running line.
After paying off the ferryman, we were granted access to the “Salomon Room” at SHOT. As I had hoped the styling, materials, and weight were right on par. It was time to put in an order and take them for a spin in the warrior laboratory!
Our friends at Ray Allen (www.rayallen.com) were kind enough to furnish a pair of black Quest 4D Forces for us to try on duty. We knew that countless hours on our feet, open area searches, foot chases, and challenging weather conditions would be the perfect arena to evaluate these in.
First thing we noticed was the craftsmanship. The nubuck leather is soft and pliable. The “anti-debris” mesh, in concert with the rubber toe and heel make the boot not only durable, but a damn good looking boot. We were a little concerned about the rubber toe at first. At our agency, we have to have a polish able toe for duty. After looking in the automotive section of our local Wal-mart, we found out that Armor-all works great on “polishing” the toe. The nubuck leather shines up enough to pass inspection, but about ten minutes after getting my K9 partner out of the patrol car they are back to “Handler condition”.
The sole is made of an aggressive, non-marking, Contagrip. Contagrip is Salomon’s design. It is based on density, compound, and geometry. Salomon goes as far as breaking the geometry down to grip, durability, and self-cleaning outsoles. The Quest falls into their “mountain” grip category. We found that the lugs were spaced properly and provided a quick cleaning with just a few quick stomps of the foot to get the mud out from K9 tracks in snow and mud.
After three weeks on patrol and then an extra four day, ten miles a day, tour of Washington DC, we were still in love with the Quests. My legs gave out way before my feet did while in these boots.
The Gore-tex lining in the boot were able to keep me dry in the rain. Warm in the snow (up to five hours at time), but provided me with dry feet even in warm climates.
The Quest 4D that I tested weighted in at approximately 1 lb. 10 oz. each. Compared to an Oakley SI, weighting in at approximately 1 lb. 8 oz. (both size 11 US)
In the four months we had the boots, we threw everything at them we could, both on duty and off. They were great hiking, being dragged through a mall, at the range, on patrol, tracking, running, and even lounging. I had several positive comments on how they looked and I always followed it up with telling them how well they felt.
So all in all they are as advertised. They are SALOMON. And we are very glad they jumped into the Military/Law Enforcement market.
Are they worth your hard earned money? If you are in the market for durable boots that are made by people that know feet? Then YES! For years I have been a diehard Oakley SI boot wearer. After trying the Forces, I’m torn. Time will tell.
There are only a few vendors out there selling the “Forces”. Shop around, but please check out our friends at www.rayallen.com for a wide range of styles and sizes of Salomon shoes. Choose from Black or Navajo (tan).
WARRIOR TESTED. WARRIOR APPROVED!