Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

Tru-Spec Side Zip and Redhead Boots – The all-season outdoor combo

Tru-Spec Side Zip and Redhead Boots – The all-season outdoor combo

Howdy, guys and gals! I’m Kyle Broderick;
welcome to the Social Regressive and Wardrobe Wednesday, which is going to be
a rare look at clothing. Anybody that knows me knows that clothing and I have
a bit of antipathy going on. I’d be a nudist if it wasn’t for other nudists…
and the fact that there’s winter. What we’re gonna take a look at today are
boots. These two boots take care of everything that I need throughout the
year. We’re going to have a cold weather pair over here with a little bit of
insulation and then over here we have warm weather boots. I live in Oklahoma,
where temperatures are not stable – they can actually drop 50 degrees in one hour.
We call that a blue norther coming down from Canada, just kind of sweeps over the
plain, and yeah, it can drop everything pretty drastically and very quickly. But
for the most part we do have a very large spread of temperature
differences. We have up into the hundred degrees plus Fahrenheit during
summer – and that can hover up there for a good long while – and then on the cold
side we’re definitely a little colder than Texas at least, so you know we can
get down definitely below freezing for certain periods. We all lose our minds
when it gets down to about zero or negative those very rare occasions, but
these two boots are going to take care of everything that I need in that range.
So we’re going to take a close look at both of these. Let’s start with the
summer boot. This is the Tru Spec side-zip boot; I’ll annotate the actual
name model and I’ll put a link down in the description below to where you can
actually buy these. These have proven to be excellent over the year that I’ve
been testing them. You can see that they do have a bit of wear on them. I have
taken them out in all kinds of conditions and I’ve been very shocked at
their performance. I’m used to Tru Spec working very well, but these actually
performed a bit better than advertised. Right here you can see that they
have a very chunky grip to them. You can see that there are big notches through
here for walking on mud, sand, all kinds of things. You’re going to be able to get
plenty of traction. One of the things that I’ve been
very unhappy about with certain boots that I’ve gotten is I’ll have a maybe a
hiking boot that fits really really well and has great traction so it seems in
the dry and then when the going gets wet for some reason whatever material that
these are made out of will slip on wet rocks and then some of these will
perform very well in those conditions and I just have to kind of find out
after the fact which boots are which and these are definitely ones that grip very
well whatever this material is it seems to grip excellently on all surfaces I’ve
taken these out hunting I’ve taken them out hiking and yeah so far I have yet to
find a surface that it does not like I prefer a boot that fits mostly like a
sneaker I want it to be able to snow down around my foot pretty tightly so
that I don’t get a lot of movement and pick up a lot of blisters that way and I
like it to have just a certain amount of rigidity in here and a certain amount of
flexibility who knows how you can quantify that but yeah this is
definitely hitting that that sweet spot that I like this has an Eevee a midsole
running through here for comfort so you get some a little bit of squish when
you’re stepping down it’s not like you’re walking directly on rocks or
whatever there is a shank running through here as well I’m not sure what
that shank is made of but it provides just that little extra bit of support so
when you’re especially dealing with heavy weight or whatever this boot is
not going to be really floppy like a lot of the sneakers that you have it’s going
to provide a bit more support and rigidity throughout the whole structure
but then it also has enough flexibility that again it’s not like you’re walking
around with a big thick piece of rubber strapped to your foot this is very
comfortable and yeah that evie a midsole does provide that little bit of squish
the fast laced system that you see right here seems to do a pretty good job of
holding whatever tension you want on various parts of your foot a lot of time
I like to put a little bit of extra tension at various points in order to
get that best fit for example I like to usually put a little bit extra right
here that it kind of pulls my foot down and
pulls my heel down into the bottom here so I don’t get a lot of play and maybe
I’ll loosen things up a little bit here maybe loosen things up a little bit here
and these laces do seem to stay put pretty well and once you do get this
lock down the way that you want it then all you have to do is just use the side
zip in the future and this zipper seems to be very well built I’ve been testing
these boots for about a year now I’ve never had this YKK zipper come off the
rails or anything even when I’m tugging on this pretty good it seems to stay put
very well I’ve been extremely pleased with that and then to protect the zipper
when it’s in its uppermost position you do have this little velcro tab you can
pull across here it’s going to help support the zipper maybe keep it from
bursting under extreme loads or whatever and it’s also going to kind of protect
this and keep it from knocking around so it doesn’t make any noise a very very
well thought out so that just pops off with velcro on the inside we have a
pretty interesting kind of mesh material here on the inside it seems to breathe
very well it’s going to wick away the moisture that’s what we’re all looking
for and it’s going to dry very quickly if you do get these wet down at the
bottom you can see the inner sole right there and that is it dip provides that
just a little bit of extra comfort down there and these do pop out quite easily
if you need to dry them or swap them over to something else
now the boot overall I would say compared to some of the other ones that
I’ve had in the past some of my hikers or these Redheads over here these are a
little bit vacuous on the inside especially around the toes right here
you can see that I have these pulled in pretty tightly right now these are just
about maxed out not quite but there is quite a bit of wiggle room if I’m using
a thinner sock like this one and that’s going to be good I guess for keeping
things dry but this is one where there’s a little bit too much play it
I want to be able to backpack or whatever so I might choose a bit of a
thicker sock like these I believe these are Redheads right here these are wool I
think these are a merino wool blend and these have worked out really well with
these it just kind of fills up that interior a little bit and keeps my toes
from moving around too much if you have kind of a larger foot little puffier
foot I think these boots are gonna do really
well for you if you have maybe a slimmer foot you might want to go for a little
bit thicker sock one facet of these boots that surprised me is their
waterproofness this boot is not even listed as being waterproof at all yet it
seems to do a very good job of deflecting water like say if you have a
lot of dew on the grass sometimes boots even like this one will be very
susceptible to that kind of direct splashing water on the fabric and it’ll
still make it through these they seem to do a very good job of deflecting water
even like through kind of low puddles I was expecting water to just rush into
these and rush out like you want from a good summer boot or at least I do in
general if it’s warm here in Oklahoma I don’t want to be wandering around in a
waterproof boot it’s going to feel terrible it’s like a little spa inside
the shoe it’s like a hot tub in there it just gets hot and moist and it just
feels terrible I want one that water can go in go out but these despite that you
know it actually it does get water out of there really well but it also seems
to prevent water from coming in again I that’s not something that they’re
advertising on this boot but it seems to work out anyway even here in the zipper
area where you get just this little kind of flap right here this little gusset
I’m not exactly sure what you would call this but yeah it seems like water
doesn’t really want to get into this boot all that much and I’ve been very
pleasantly surprised with it as you might expect from a duty boot these come
in tan and black and I opted for the tan for a couple different reasons first off
this is going to be a very nice camouflage whether I’m in the
or out in the sand or out in the woods these are going to blend in really well
and I won’t have to worry about black boots sticking out from under camouflage
everything else and then also we’re going to get a lot of light reflected
off of these instead of absorbed out here in Oklahoma we have a lot of direct
blistering sunlight and the feet can get very uncomfortable so yeah Tan was
definitely the best choice I’ve been very pleased with how these perform when
it gets really warm out in summer now let’s move over to the winter boot these
are the Redhead Voyager 2 so these are boots that you’re going to be able to
find at your local Bass Pro Shop and of course you can order online I’ll put
links down below I believe the Voyager 2 is still being
made we’ll let the check on that if not they’re going to have a model that’s
very very similar to this and speaking of similar models you’re going to find a
bunch of Bass Pro that look a lot like the boot that I’m showing you right here
they’re going to have kind of a full toe cap they’re going to have some kind of
waterproof material and these are really designed for hunting however there are
some differences between some of the different models I originally bought a
more expensive pair that had a true Gore-Tex liner in here and they had kind
of a terrible problem with the the inside right here the material that you
see right down in here is a nice kind of slick material so that the sock is going
to slide against this if there’s any play any kind of movement and it’s not
going to transfer that heat into your foot and make blisters the gore-tex
model on the other hand and I can’t remember the name of it it had a
material right here that would grab the sock almost like velcro and then your
sock would basically tear the skin off your foot
it was awful I had them for about a year I returned them thankfully Bass Pro is
pretty good about returns and they they gave me my money back pretty nice and I
got these instead and I have been very happy with them ever since I’ve had
these for about four or five years now I think this is actually going on my fifth
year and these have performed really well in all kinds of situations of
these are going to be great for your cold weather these are designed for
hunting so they have 600 grams of Thinsulate inside here that’s going to
be quite nice when you’re sitting out in the cold
this is not the thickest Thinsulate that you can get for many of their models
they have a 1200 gram I believe that’s going to be better if you have to sit
still for long periods of time in a tree stand and these are going to be more of
a compromise these will feel better when you’re taking a long hike out to your
deer or dragging that deer back and then maybe not quite so insulated when it
comes time to just sit and let the cold kind of creep in but these are ones that
I’ve actually taken out on some pretty long hikes even in warmer weather and
they have performed very well the waterproofing material like I said it’s
not gore-tex this is their kind of house brand bone-dry and whatever material
they found it seems to do a very good job yes maybe it’s not as breathable as
gore-tex this is going to hold in some of that moisture that your own foot
develops as you’re hiking around so it can get a little bit kind of steamy on
the inside and you have to watch for blisters that way but the boot itself it
does breathe and it wants to just by its very fit it wants to prevent any kind of
foot damage it’s just built overall for extreme comfort they did a great job
with this it fits my own foot very well so let’s take a look at some of the
other bits here we do have the grip here at the bottom this seems to be a very
durable and very grippy rubber you can see that we have large channels here
that are going to perform really well in mud I’ve taken these through mud through
deep water cold water warm all kinds of things I’ve had these on sand and in
every situation this has performed just flawlessly it’s just wonderful back here
at the back there used to be more material it was almost like these these
kind of feelers on the back that when you had stepped down you would get this
little bit of extra squish so that if you’re walking through the
woods you don’t get a big thunk when you step down on a rock or a log or anything
like that this would really kind of roll the heel very nicely and just press down
neatly into the grass to keep your step both smooth and quiet it’s comfortable
on the foot comfortable on the ears and it’s not gonna spook your game quite so
much you can see that we still have all kinds of mud in here from some past
excursions back here on the back this is wearing off you can see that it’s kind
of peeling out but like I say after four and going on five years now you really
can’t expect better performance in this these are doing really really well for
comfort you have an Eevee a midsole running right through here these this
does provide quite a lot of comfort and again this strikes a good balance
between the flexibility that you want just for overall comfort when walking
long distances and providing that extra bit of rigidity there there must be some
kind of shank running through here that’s a bit more rigid than the
tru-spec and this is one that I’ve taken out on some very long hikes backpacking
trips and I’ve been very very pleased with it with all this proven performance
in mind I heartily recommend either of these boots separately or if you want
that whole year system yeah these will work out really well in concert and
maybe as we get to the end of the lifecycle for these I can provide a
little bit more information out there if you are interested in the Redhead boots
the Voyager to go check out the Bass Pro catalogue go to the website I believe
that these are still being sold Bass Pro is a little bit slower to cycle out
older models and bring in the new ones I know that a lot of the time with like
the sneakers you know maybe Nike and Adidas or whatever you finally find a
shoe that you like it has a good fit and then by the time they’ve worn out
they’ve gone ahead and just thrown out everything and you can’t find anywhere
like that shoe anymore but I think the Voyager 2 is still for sale if not
they’re going to have one with a very similar construction and it’s probably
going to have a very similar feel make sure that you subscribe like hit the
notification bell we’re gonna new videos coming out in Wardrobe
Wednesday to discuss pants we’re gonna talk about shirts we’re gonna talk about
hats some that I’ve found to be very durable very comfortable very functional
especially out in the field and some of them that I just wear around everywhere
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Reader Comments

  1. All I know is my outdoor thermometer says it's too cold to get out of bed and said stay indoors to stay warm! LOL

    Actually it says 32 degree but I hate cold weather and give me a 105 degree day to make me feel like I'm in heaven as 32 degrees is hell on earth for me LOL

    Looks like those tactical boots I got recently and they are warm but what I did not know I would like about them before I got them was that zipper on the side as an easy way to get them on and off again

    Had not noticed when I first got them but found i can just put the laces down into the boot zip up the zipper and I'm ready to go real fast without even tying the laces

    I got the black ones as I wanted to look like a jack booted thug while hunting LOL

    Nah actually that was all the had at the time was the black ones

    Have not tried them in summer heat yet but I will get that chance next summer taking some long hikes with them all over the back of the farm searching for Bigfoot signs again

  2. I've yet to find a boot that the sole doesn't freeze in winter. It's like walking on concrete with an ice pack attached. The closest I've had that was ok was the baffin ice bear rubber boot. To give you an idea I was at the outdoor range yesterday in -22c.

  3. Solid review!
    I used to use, and be disappointed with work and Tacti-cool boots. 3 years ago I invested in a pair of Solomon hiking boots. They are great for my long skinny foot and are super light. They don't last as long as a super burly pair of work boots but my feet are in much better shape after a weekend of use.

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