Saturday, June 14, 2014

In Which Ben Gives a Review of Blauer Boots

I was recently contacted by Blauer.com asking me to review a pair of their boots. I was given the choice between the Black 6" or Black 8" versions with variations of dry weather or waterproof designs. I chose to review the 8" waterproof (Blitz) model.

Naturally the waterproof boots run about a 1/2 size big to give your foot a little more breathing room in case you want to wear a thicker sock in cold weather. I however am not a fan of thicker socks so I ordered size 11 instead of my normal size of 11.5. They fit perfectly.

Breaking them in took a little longer than my dry weather boots because the tongue is sewn in and has to fold differently but that was expected. It took about 2 full days of wearing them before my foot really began to feel comfortable. Once that was taken care of I really started to notice the way they felt snug around my ankle and cupped my heel and arch like they were practically painted on while leaving a bit of wiggle room around the toes so I could keep the blood flowing freely without my foot sliding around.

The support and padding are amazing. The boots design naturally allows forward movement of the ankle with only slight resistance to backward motion while providing heavy resistance to any side to side movements. It gives you a stable stance with support in just the right places around the outside of the foot for long periods on your feet. The way it cups your ankle and lower calf is also nice for long periods of driving. My feet and ankles didn't get tired or restless while driving a car where you're seated lower to the floorboards or in my family van where you have taller seats.

As far as breath-ability goes it was much better than your average waterproof type boot. I'm not sure how they do it but my feet weren't all clammy like they usually get with other waterproof boots.

The BOA lacing system was very handy because of how quickly it could cinch up without having to re-loop any laces then tuck the laces in the sides because they would be in the way otherwise. The cables in the lacing system adjusted as I walked or flexed so I didn't feel any excess pressure on my feet and I have to admit I tightened them down and released them probably 12 times before the excitement wore off. At first I was worried they didn't criss-cross over the tongue enough to be stable, but I didn't have any problems with it.

I went out to the lake to test it for waterproof/resistance, and it did pretty well. I went and stood the water up to my ankles without any problems until the wind picked up and got some waves going deeper than ankle high which is the limit for water resistance. Even then it took a lot for the water to get to my socks.

The only things I wasn't really happy about is the toe turns up just slightly making me feel a little off balance if I'm stand still for long periods but if I was walking or seated I didn't notice the difference.

The other down side was the color. I was only offered the black ones which are useful and all, but I just happened to be in the military and would have used the desert tan ones almost daily. I can only use the black boots on my days off which means they'll probably last me a good 20 plus years. It was great to get the chance to review them though.

I highly encourage anyone to try these out especially if you are the type that needs to have a reliable boot that you can get on and off quickly.