Product Review: Altai Tactical Boots
By Daisy Luther
I hate shopping for shoes.
I’m not much of a shopper anyway, but shoes are the absolute worst. I guess I have weird feet, because it takes forever to find a pair of shoes that doesn’t feel like it’s going to rub blisters or that doesn’t have some weird scratchy spot. My kids roll their eyes and sigh deeply whenever we go into the shoe section and the ordeal begins.
So when Altai contacted me to review their new tactical boots, I thought grimly, well, I’ll try to be positive, and if I can’t say something nice, I’ll just decline to do the review.
ALTAI Tactical Boots are designed for military and law enforcement professionals. However, they carry a far lower price tag than most tactical boots, at only $129. Compared to other boots that offer similar benefits, they are substantially less expensive. (Here’s an example of a similar boot for $180.) They are carefully engineered for optimum performance and boast of the following features:
There are multiple attributes that make up the benefits provided by ALTAI™ tactical boots. Their superiority is not due to one, single component, it is the precise combination of all aspects, working together, that create the highly sought after traits. These efficient tactical boots have specific focuses for each function, from the top shaft, to the midsole, outsole, tread, even the laces, every aspect has been specifically accounted for and designed, which results in an unmatched tactical boot that outperforms the rest.
ALTAI™ Boot Upper
The upper section of the boot has many features. The ALTAI™ tactical boot’s upper extends past the ankle, this design helps support and protect from the elements. The material that makes up the upper section is SuperFabric®, which is a uniquely designed material that has both cloth and armor plates, for a protective yet comfortable makeup.
The scientific design behind this material is used in a variety of rigorous applications and is already found in military apparel, to add strength and resist abrasion for the elbow and knee areas due to the high amount of contact with outdoor and other elements. SuperFabric® is used in motorcycle apparel because it offers protection, as well as a breathable design and weather resistance. Among others who have benefit from this technologically advanced material, one more name stands out…. Ferrari. Yes! You will find SuperFabric® in the Ferrari 599 GTB!
Benefits of SuperFabric®:
- Abrasion Resistant
- Stain Resistant
- Rapid Dry
ALTAI™ Boot Sole
The Midsole serves as comfort, to cushion and ease impact of the weight bearing down. The design of the ALTAI™ tactical boots has been created to be utilized on a full, day to day basis. The midsole of this tactical boot is made from Ethylene-vinyl acetate, also known as EVA. This material is found in running and sport shoes because of its outstanding contact and stress resistant capabilities. This aspect of the ALTAI™ tactical boot ensures you see no fatigue, due to the harsh environments you are traveling through.
Benefits of EVA:
- Shock Absorbent
- Protects From Sharp Objects
The Outsole is the outer part of the shoe that actually touches the environment you are in. The ALTAI™ tactical boot features a top preforming rubber sole material and technology known as VIBRAM®. VIBRAM® prides themselves on quality, long lasting materials that are suited for the most extreme activities to everyday life. The tread found on the bottom of these tactical boots is anti-clogging, which means a reduced buildup of mud, dirt or other debris on the outsoles.
Benefits of VIBRAM® Soles:
- Field Tested
- Resistant to Industrial Substances
- Oil Resistant
- Slip Resistant
- Durable Rubber Soles
ALTAI™ Boot Laces
Practicality is important, especially in a working environment; this reason is why we have designed the ALTAI™ tactical boots to have an efficient, speed lacing system. This feature quickens the time it takes to ‘boot up’ and allows for a more sturdy and tight pull when tying the tactical boot. It also secures the laces for a continuous hold, without any loosening, when being worn all day. The design permits the wearer to quickly tie using a figure-eight method. The eyelets are a rustproof, black metal and are yet another strong but lightweight feature adding to the durability and superiority of this, already well equipped, tactical boot.
Benefits of Speed Lacing:
- Stronger Lace Pull
- Steadier Lace Hold
- Shortened Tying Time
ALTAI™ Boot Last
If you are familiar with shoes, you are familiar with the term ‘last’. The last of a shoe, in this case a tactical boot, is the shape that is formed on the inside of the shoe, where your foot goes. Many in the shoe industry say ‘the last comes first’, which is true, no one will wear a shoe for an extended period of time without a comfortable and somewhat giving space for their feet. Breaking in a shoe is a common result of a poor formed last. ALTAI™ boots need no ‘breaking in’, they are as comfortable from the first day you wear them to the last (if you see such a time).
Benefits of Last:
- Instant Comfort
- Perfect Fit and Feel
- Custom Shape
- Innovative Design
Waterproof & Breathable Tactical Boots
Many boots claim to be waterproof. Usually their waterproof trait is due to a process of treating the materials with waterproofing chemicals. The treatment is only located on the surface and will lose its effectiveness rather quickly. ALTAI™ tactical boots have materials, construction and inner liners that provide as a robust waterproof solution, to the core. Each and every material used in this tactical boot repels, withstands and offers breath-ability, for a truly waterproof solution, that is not just sprayed on. (Source: ALTAI website)
At this time, they only offer men’s boots. The manufacturer recommends that women go down one full size, so I did that. Unfortunately, they didn’t fit my narrow feet. The customer service was great and the exchange was rapid and easy. Altai was very quick to replace them with another pair in a smaller size. For me, dropping two sizes provided the best fit. I generally wear a size 9 in ladies’ shoes, and in the Altai boots, I wore a size 7.
I received the boots a couple of months ago, but we moved, chaos erupted in the form of umpteen million boxes, and I didn’t dig the boots back out until last week.
On Saturday, I pulled on the boots to go for a hike. When lacing up, I had to pull the laces extremely tight – as I mentioned above, these are cut for men, so I had to work at it to get them snug enough on my narrow feet so that they wouldn’t slide too much. I headed out for a hike with my daughter/foot photographer, Rosie. Knowing my cranky feet, my daughter recommended I throw a comfy pair of shoes in my backpack. Although I’d like to think her motivation was selfless concern for my comfort, it was most likely so she wouldn’t have to listen to me complain if I had to limp my way back down the trail with uncomfortable boots on.
Much to my astonishment, these boots were perfectly comfortable right out of the box. There was no miserable “breaking in” period at all. No blisters, no scratchy spots, no stiffness. Seriously – not one bit of “new shoe” discomfort.
We went about 3 miles on varied terrain. The traction was good, the flexibility was excellent, and the ankle support was strong, but not confining. Our hike featured a steep climb and descent, some dry rocky areas that tested the traction, and a boggy, squishy area in which my feet stayed completely dry. It was a 94 degree afternoon, and I was concerned that the high boots would be unbearably hot, but the light “Superfabric” was pleasantly airy and breathable. I was also impressed with the traction provided by the Vibram outsole, since on particularly steep part of the trail was loosely packed pebbles.
I read some reviews from other people about these boots and noticed all of the reviewers were men. They all commented on the lightness of the boots. Maybe it’s the difference between men’s shoes and ladies’ shoes, but I didn’t find them to be exceptionally light. They weren’t heavy enough that I’d complain, but I do differ with the opinion that they’re exceptionally light. Please note that I can’t compare these to other tactical boots, since these are the only ones I’ve ever worn.
My only complaint is that the boots are too wide. To fit snugly, I needed to wear two pairs of socks and lace them basically as tight as they would go. It’s important to note that this is not a design flaw – it’s just what happens when women wear shoes designed for men. The manufacturer said that new designs are in the works, and if a ladies’ boot is one of them, I’ll absolutely purchase pairs for myself and for each of my daughters. I was very impressed. If you don’t have narrow feet, I suspect that the width would be fine with the boots are laced tightly.
Despite the width issue, they were still extremely comfortable and very functional. Every one of the claims put forth by ALTAI turned out to be true. If you’re looking for high quality gear with a very reasonable $129 price tag, I highly recommend these sturdy boots.
About the Author
Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.