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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2009
First of all this criteria needed to be met for my Fire Cadet program(Kind of like an apprenticeship for fire fighting)
1.) Needed to be about 8"
2.) Needed to be polishable
3.) Needed to look professional
4.) Needed Side Zippers
5.) Be comfortable for 13 hour shifts

And these boots easily met all of these criteria. I've been using them for about 3 months and I expect to keep using them for 6 more. I did put some Dr. Scholls in them because they are absolutely amazing, and now they're even more comfortable than my sneakers.

Pros:
1.) Look incredibly sharp and professional.
2.) Zipper has been working great so far.
3.) Incredibly comfortable and provides great support.
4.) Very durable.
5.) Very light.

Cons:
1.) Made in China, but, I haven't had any problems with that. (I'd rather it be $90-$100 than $180)
2.) Although the sole is "oil resistant" and has worked well so far I would have preferred a Vibram one.

In conclusion, if you're in need of a black boot and you don't feel like spending $150+ on a pair get these. To avoid getting a "lemon" buy it from a retail store and check it out before you buy. I also suggest buying some Dr. Scholls for work boots, they are a God Send. Great buy, highly highly recommended. 9.6/10
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2012
This is my second pair. The first lasted me two years and I still have them....nothing wrong with them really except for pretty worn down tread. I just wanted to get a new fresh pair with new tread. I work for the Border Patrol and I walk in the desert alot and in rocky terrain. I love how comfortable and light these boots are. It sucks trying to run someone down wearing boots that are too heavy. These boots do just the trick being as light as they are. I would definitely recommend these boots.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2012
I bought an identical (I thought) pair of boots to a pair I bought two years ago. I loved my Bates boots and wear them almost every day which is why I need to replace them. The old pair was made in China as is the new pair. The difference is in the quality of the boots. The old pair has a full length liner protecting you ankle and socks from the zipper snagging. The new boots have a thin strip of leather(?) trying to do the same. The liner quality is also lower than in the new boots. I doubt these boots would last a year of regular wear. The Chinese built a pretty good boot when they were taking the industry away from US companies. Now that they have the business they don't care about the product quality anymore. I guess its time to start researching US boot manufacturers, if there are any, to replace my Bates boots.
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2008
These fit great and work very well. I plan to buy more, BUT...

The good news:

I wear mine all day every day, walking or hiking about 4 miles a day, plus ridiculous amounts of desk work, as well as rugged beach rock/cliff climbing exercise. They work and feel great!

The neutral news:

They aren't great "running" shoes. However, they are not being billed as "running" shoes, so I am NOT taking off points for this! It's just a warning that these may not be the best choice for your running style training. When I used these for running I began to have some shin splint issues. Another person might not have the same problem. However they are great for walking, hiking, rugged terrain (!), all-day wear, and sure, some occasional running.

The bad news:

(1) They're made in China! (sigh!!) So of course the last pair I got had about a 2-inch section of stitching next to the lower laces that missed the mark, leaving a completely un-sewn gap big enough to slip a finger through, and making it impossible to tighten the laces without ripping open even more of the seam. For me (!) this particular issue was not a problem, as I was able make repairs myself (one of my hobbies is making my own clothing). But this is exactly the sort of lack-of-quality issue that seems to come so very often from trade with Communist China (good move, Bates!).

(2) The tread on these is a little unusual and wears unusually fast in some places. Much of the tread is in the shape of little cylinders about 15mm across. This seems to make the sole a little more flexible than soles with other treads, but the individual cylinders wear down very quickly. This combination allows the pressure points of the foot to push a select few of these cylinders down against the ground harder than others, causing a strange wear pattern where five or six cylinders are worn down completely (!), but right next to them they are surrounded by other cylinders that appear almost new. This results in accelerated wear in some spots, forcing you to replace while the rest of the shoe is still in great condition (planned obsolescence maybe?).

I'd gladly give these another star if they had more durable tread, or if they were at least made in the USA. Conversely, I plan to give an even lower review if my next pair also has any manufacturing errors (and possibly switch to another brand).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2012
These are my 2nd pair of Bates side-zip Ultra-Lites. My 1st pair are the black ones. Both are the same shoe except for color. However, the laces on these are thinner & barely long enough compared to the black ones. That's why 4 instead of 5 stars. These boots are comfortable, right out of the box. A lot of boots I get,I have to get Wide to fit but 10.5 M fits me fine. My black ones & these Sage ones both fit exactly the same.I wasn't sure exactly what color "Sage" was.I wanted these to wear camping. The black shows the dust so bad. I would describe these as sort of Gray with just a slight hint of tan. They look a lot closer to gray than the picture. I guess "Sage" IS pretty close. I live in the Mojave desert & they're close to the color of a lot of the brush around here.
You probably won't be able to put them on & off using just the zipper. I have to loosen the laces. but, rather than tie them, I just use a couple of those spring"Clippy" things like on jacket cords, Etc. Works great.
I'm not too sure on durability on these things. So far, so good on this pair. After about a year & a half, the left sole separated on my black pair. I glued it back with "Shoe-Goo" & it's doing fine. I was surprised that it was the LEFT one because I'm somewhat crippled & my right leg does most of the work.
I wear one or the other pair all the time because, with regular shoes, I need a brace. These give me enough support that I don't need it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2014
This has been my third pair in the last 6 years. I loved the first 2 pair and they lasted almost 3 years each pair. I paid around $130 six years ago. This last pair cost me around $80. Now I know why the price went down. Totally different product than it used to be. The tongue is no longer one continuous piece. The flap behind the zipper no longer exists. After 2 -12 hour days my calves and ankles hurt. I have blisters at my big toe joint. The "leather" even seems inferior. I have gone back to my old pair. Since my wife and I both have 10 years left in corrections, we will be spending a fair amount on boots in the future. Unfortunately for Bates Company they will not get our future business.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2012
I got my first pair senior year of high school for ROTC. They looked sharp, were comfortable, and were more than adequate for any outdoors activity I could come up with. They're sturdy, hold back moisture well, and provide great traction. After my first pair got ratty, I purchased a second. However, I still use both pairs depending on what I'm doing.

PROS:
Excellent traction.
Solid construction
Good ankle support
Cost-effective
Comfortable

Cons:
Weird tread pattern wears down quickly.
Doesn't seem to want to hold a shine.
Not waterproof.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2012
Light comfortable boots, my husband only wears this brand to work. Pounds pavement 8 hours a day in them and loves them. Last pair he wore out completely (I just realized they were about to fall apart...wore the tread off them completellly) Took 3 years to kill a pair of boots. With as much walking as he does, there is something to be said for these boots lasting so long. Sharp looking boots too. Polish up nice and have great tread on them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2014
The only thing I really didn't like about this boot was where the seam is for the zipper on the inside rubbed a raw spot on my legs. Otherwise seemed to be constructed very well. Only wore for one 24 hr shift and was very uncomfortable due to the seam of the zipper.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2015
I'm not too impressed with these boots. The best thing they have going for them is their light weight. They feel cheaply made, not at all what I was expecting for $88 boots. My right boot is driving me crazy as it pinches the right side of my ankle at the lace eyelet. I considered sending them back but since the left boot doesn't do it and I can't find anything obviously wrong with the way the right boot is made, I'm hoping it will break in. Plus, I didn't see any boots out there I liked for the same price range. Recently I laced the right boot up differently which helped out considerably as I couldn't walk down stairs without pain the first day of wearing them.

The soles are pretty soft so I can see where people complain about them wearing out so fast. The soles are thin and you can feel things underfoot I don't notice with other boots. I'm really surprised these boots gets such great reviews. Mine were made in Bangldesh so maybe they are worse than others? The laces and materials in the boot are quite thin. They are built like light weight trail hikers but look like a heavier, sturdier boot. Maybe my perception of what I was getting was skewed? in the pictures they look like sturdy work type boots.

Bottom line is I don't expect these boots to last more than a year and I don't see myself buying any other shoes made by Bates.
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