on July 20, 2009
I rotated between these books and a pair of Oakleys for my tour in Iraq. I was outside the wire most everyday and these boots, while not as comfortable nor as light as the Oakleys wore better and held together much better. Where the Oakleys are showing wear and tear, including cracks in the leather, and broken strings and threads, the Blackhawks are still going strong. They also were my boot of choice in wet and muddy weather as they seemed to offer better wet weather protection and keep my feet warmer. The flip side is that durring the summer months they were too heavy and hot to wear without a very thin pair of socks, which wore on the soles of my feet a bit rougher than the thicker smart wool socks I prefer.
on April 22, 2010
I am on my second pair of these boots. I will echo what some of the other reviewers have said about these boots.
If you are constantly moving around, rucking, doing patrols and conducting tactical training, these boots perform very well. I've never lost my footing on uneven terrain while wearing these boots and in my gear. Foot fatigue is cut down significantly and your feet are not so sore the next day.
These boots would be so much better if they did not wear down so quickly. As someone else said, the inner lining of the boots, particularly around the heel area, have begun to form holes through the fabric and into the shell of the boot. This can become rather uncomfortable and will lead to "hot spots" forming on the heels. My current and as well as my last pair of boots have developed this problem.
Another thing I noticed is on the outside of the boot, around the toe. The toe is starting to separate from the boot itself. This is starting to happen with my current pair of boots and has happened on my last pair. However, I have a pair of the coyote tan BlackHawks and they do not display this problem.
Walking on we wood can be risky. I would take caution when doing this. But these things can plow through the mud, no worries there.
If you want a pair of "parade boots" to use for ceremonies and too look all spiffy in, these are not the boots. The longer you stand in one place with these boots on (such as at attention or parade rest) for an extended period of time, these boots become uncomfortable.
So who would I recommend these to?
Someone who wants a good pair of boots to train in, fight in, and move in. I brought this with me on my 15 month deployment to Iraq and was very pleased with them.
Who would I not recommend these to?
Anyone in a strictly garrison environment. If your idea of a long walk is simply walking a half-mile to work instead of rucking 10 or 15 miles, do not buy these boots. They are not meant for that, they are meant to be used and abused. You are better off purchasing a pair of boots which have more cushioning and a not so technical tread.
Will I buy another pair?
Yes, but not to wear in uniform. I am in a garrison environment now, so I plan to buy a different kind of boot. But, I will buy another pair once my coyote tan pair starts to exhibit signs of wear. I have hiked around Lake Tahoe in these boots, worn them in the snow, in the rain, in the mud and my feet were very comfortable and dry because that is the environment and situations these boots were designed for.
on January 16, 2012
I field test and review camping gear and have taken these boots out on a number of desert trips backpacking. These are one of the most comfortable pairs of boots I have ever owned. Lightweight and almost feel like you're wearing tennis shoes. They have also held up great and I purposely abuse them since I was testing them for my job. These were comfortable right out of the box. Day one I used them for a 12 mile hike in the desert and they felt great the entire hike. They also have great traction, most of the terrain where I hike is very loose gravel and ridges cut by water. Everything seems to give way under your feet out there. But these boots kept their grip. I did take them out to a wooded area with streams and noticed a few things. First the boots are very water resistant...but not water proof. Of course they also don't claim to be water proof. On this hike I was forced to cross a stream which was about 6 inches deep and the boots were soaked. At first they seemed to repel the water but after the third or fourth step they filled up. I took the boots off, wrung out the insole, my sock and the boot itself. After that the boot still performed well although very wet. On the trip back I had to cross a stream that was 10 inches deep. This time the boots flooded (since they are only 8" high) and were soaked. Now remember even Danners with Gortex will fill with water if it's deeper than the boot. The difference is my Danners will dry in about an hour. These boots were still wet 6 hours later. So the bottom line. Great comfortable boot to use in dry desert conditions. If you are going to be in an area where you may get wet or have to cross streams, don't bring these along. But of course they are desert boots and they work very well in the desert.
on July 4, 2011
I'm not sure about Ranger Rick's experience with Blackhawks Customer Service, or the quality of the boots he purchased.
I have had three pairs of these since I first found them on Amazon. I have an ankle with no cartilage left in it and my next surgery on it will be a full ankle replacement. I was looking for a comfortable boot with good support for my ankle to prolonge my need for the replacement surgery and these boots have been wonderful. I can't wear them to work due to the fact that our work attire is business casual, but by god I wear them relentlessly when not at work.
My first pair, just as Ranger Rick described, the pull strap tore off while I was putting them on. Not really a big deal, but it was a little harder to pull the boot on. After about two months of wearing them with the torn pull tab I decided to call Blackhawks Customer Service department to see what they would do about it. They asked no questions at all, such as how old where they, any self neglect on my part, nothing. They simply provided me with an ROA number and asked that I ship them back and I was told that upon their receipt of the boots, a decision to repair or replace would be made. The boots were still in great shape with only the damaged pull strap on one. About two weeks later, I received a brand new pair of boots, exactly like the ones I had returned.
After that experience, I bought another pair and put them on a shelf in my closet, just in case Blackhawk decided to change the style. I recommend these boots for anybody who does a lot of walking or working outdoors. I love them!
I've been shopping Amazon for years and this is the first review I have ever written, I only decided to write this one because I felt Ranger Rick had portrayed these Blackhawk boots and their customer service as something they are not!
on January 20, 2013
I've been in the military for 14 years now and I have to say, these are up there with one of the worst. I am very skeptical and picky when buying new boots, so I do research. I feel there are a lot of misleading reviews on these boots. Yes, they are very comfy and the soles are like tennis shoes....however:
1. There are no breathing holes. My feet sweat even during the winter because there is no air circulation, and then my feet are freezing.
2. The soles starte debonding within 2 months of being in Afghanistan. Your usual rocks, pavement and dirt, nothing out of the norm. And now more and more parts of the sole are slowly coming detached.
3. Yes, the soles do wear quickly. I will willing to accept it if that was the only problem, but $140 and all this, I think never again.
4. The worst part of all. I have wide feet. I bought the wides. Well, the boots wall next to "the ball of the foot" has collapsed on both boots. When I say collapsed, I mean no longer keeping its form, but hangs down. So add that, and the low profile sole and what do you get? Wet! Every time it rains, snows etc and I walk in it, my feet get soaked. And then stay soaked because they can't break to air out. Worst combination ever.
Never again. This is my story, 6 month old boots. best of luck if you buy them.
on August 30, 2012
I absolutely love these boots. They are extremely comfortable and my last pair lasted me three years. It hasn't ripped, but the tread just started getting low enough to slip on. You will never go back to another shoe. They aren't not enormously expensive(I could buy two of these for the price of one pair of Danners) and they are very rugged and sturdy. Oakleys are comfortable, but they have about a three month life. The boots from basic just plain suck. The Danners are excellent, but very expensive. 5.11s are not very comfortable and last as long as the ones from basic. I don't really recommend another brand. I've done a ton of research on these things because I am a research nut. I don't buy anything without a lot of research. These things are amazing!
on May 17, 2012
I bought my first pair of these boots at Airborne School, needing more appropriate boots for running in, as one does during the course. I found them to be extremely light (comparable in weight to Oakleys) and comfortable out of the box. You know how you used to have to break in your Bellvues or Altamas before even thinking about rucking with them? Not really a worry with these guys, as long as the fit is proper, you can complete a decent-length ruck march with little to no break-in. Also, they are somewhat water-resistant. Aside from those aspects, one more plus is that if you get the model with the rubberized toes and heels, its one less thing things to worry about scuffing up in garrison.
HOWEVER. Don't expect these boots to last more than a year under rough condition. They are made and China, after all, which in itself is a discredit to the item. If water DOES get inside them, they do not drain worth a DAMN. There are no drain holes, and I ended up drilling my own where the leather meets the rubber sole. I'm sure this hastened the deteriation of the boot, but it was better than getting trench foot. The laces wore out to the point of breaking (they are cheap 550 cord laces), but were easily replaced with free, Army-provided para cord.
Bottom line, these boots will probably hold up better in the desert, than say...the draws and streams of Camp McCall, NC. Even then, don't expect them to last over 8 months. But, they are damn comfortable, to their credit.
on July 8, 2011
First off this is my third pair since 2008 when these first came to my attention. 2008 Models had a rubber toe guard indead of a leather one its stated to fade from rubbing after 4 months of use. Well this pair died from a Chainsaw accident saved my foot tho SEPT 2009. I orderd a second pair in JAN 2010 this pair was leather all over was a bit lighter as well. The second pair lasted me till June 2011 where the sides mesh started splitting opening and the stiching was falling out. Now im on my third pair and the boots have improved so much the side mesh is off a tougher material the stiching is double in all place the boots fits better basiclly a new boot style all togather. So if you see reviews that are negatives its problbly from one of the older models. BlackHawk is always improving there stuff so try these boots out. they are the best when it comes confort and support in my book. I have worn Converses, Nikes, and Oakleys, but the BlackHawks are the best out of them. Ruck up to 12 miles with a 45pd sack. Hikes up the Smokie mountians all that and more trust me best boots for the buck.
on November 25, 2009
I've owned 2 pairs of these now, and I'll never own another Blackhawk boot. Although initially I thought these were good boots, time has proven otherwise. In less than 1 year of wear on each set, the inner lining comes loose in the heel area and makes them uncomfortable to wear. The soles are dangerously slippery on anything wet, like tile or cement. The soles de-laminate from the cushion part of the boot. The protective borders crack around the toe. One set started cracking by the laces about midway up the boot. One set had the stitching on the tab to help pull on the boot on tear loose. I called Blackhawk twice for service, no real help. Finally got hold of their Customer Service manager, he tried to make me feel like all the issues were my imagination, and had no value as feedback, even though I was pleasant and trying to give them good information. After 4 years as an Army Ranger, I know a thing or two about boots, so Blackhawk boots are poor quality, as is their service.
on August 10, 2012
I had four pairs of Blackhawk desert wear combat boots. Two used for the FOB two out on the convoys/fire base. The boots are great for garrison, light comfortable and you can run in them. There is a heel cup liner problem with these also but the liner wears out at about the 7 months of (14 months for two pairs changed every other day and limited wear on the weekends and DONSAs, 12hr-day) wear mark before the hard plastic heel cup is exposed making the boots unserviceable. The plastic toe shield once scratched by concertina wire, a brick or the metal edges in the MRAPs splits and exposes the inner liner of the toe of the boot that quickly tears and exposes your toes. A dab of shoe goo will hold about two months on the sidewalks in garrison or about 1 week in the desert. Another consideration that could be a problem is that the steel mesh shank that supports the arch has two rivets that hold the shank to the sole of the boot. The shank is too narrow to be protection from punji stakes. The rivets are inserted such that as you cycle your foot roll over the sole of the boot, the rivets loosen with edges that "peel" up to expose a ragged circular lip facing the bottom of your foot that has been cutting through the boot foot insole liner. Thankfully the toe box failure and the resultant failure of the boots as a whole came before the metal edges bit into the bottom of my foot. The metal edges stand up about 3mm and the insole of the boot probably collapses to 3.5mm with running or climbing stairs/ladders. Boots are really comfortable so if you have buckets of money and can change them every 3 months, OK. I would not recommend these as an investment for my junior enlisted who want someting that will last atleast a year.