Converse “Da Beast” 8 Inch Waterproof Desert Tan Tatical Military Boots
Back in the spring, I was looking for a pair of tan boots to meet my team’s uniform requirements. My everyday boot is a paid of Danner Fort Lewis boots ($370 MSRP!), so I have no issue paying money to keep my feet cozy. I should explain that, while I’m 6’4” (losing one to age! Curses!), I only wear a size 8.5 or 9, in an EE, due to some very high arches and hammer toes. Let’s just that I once caused a women to fall out her chair laughing upon seeing my feet. Boots always fit me better, so I’ve worn a lot over the years. So, yeah, I’m not only tough on boots, I’m picky about them.
A teammate encouraged me to check out the Converse tactical boots. They were certainly cheaper, which was appealing, but I worried about them fitting my crazy feet. I found that they do make wide versions. I tried on a pair of side zip at a local retailer and found that the last (that basis for the shoe that the manufacturer uses) seemed good on my feet. Unfortunately, they weren’t waterproof, which is something I really like out of a boot. Wet feet make me grouchy, so I went online and found that they made Da Beast in a waterproof version. The best price at the time was from www.dutybootshop.com , so I ordered a pair in 8.5 W and waited.
Turns out I should have ordered the 9W, but I contacted William at dutybootshop.com and arranged to return them. It couldn’t be easier, he actually placed the new boots in the mail before my returns ever got to him, not waiting to see if they were scuffed or worn. He’d also sent me extra laces (I’d ordered some for another pair of boots), above my order, and I have nothing but great things to say about the customer service. When I next need boots, I’ll shop there first.
Anyway, to the boots. Honestly, most boots are pretty similar, but I did find a few unique features. First, the soles come up pretty high, which, when combined with no visible stitching, reduces the likelihood of leaking from mud and shallow puddles. Next, the cut down back of the boot top prevents creation of creases and sagging that can lead to wear on the back of the ankle. I also find it helps in overall mobility, all be it at a slight loss of ankle support. Finally, they’re quite light in comparison to many of the boots I’ve worn in the past, and while not quite the “running shoe” feel I have heard about, they’re very comfy, even after a long day of playing.
But how would they really feel and wear? Only a lot of time would tell. Donning the boots was pretty standard, with laces long enough to be wrapped around the top one time for support. The cut down back makes this a little tricky, but there’s a crease that actually acts as a good rest for the laces, putting them slightly lower on the front of the boot. I also found that the low cut does make blousing your pant legs a bit of a challenge, but not impossible. General feel is very comfortable, and after a few hours of breaking them in in general wear, I felt ready to take on a day full of airsoft.
I’ve now worn these boots for hours and hours of gaming, at least 40 hours. I’ve found them very please with the wear and feel internally, and found them to be waterproof in most every situation. In fact, at one game we needed to do water crossings, something I will never wear waterproof boots for again as I spent the rest of the day walking in puddles. outside of that extreme, they have kept me dry in mud, rain, and snow. While there is a very small amount of insulation they have not proven too warm, even on very hot days. In my experience it is the socks that will make the boot, and this is true here. On cold days they have enough space for thicker socks, while warm days find them fitting fine with a thinner wicking sock and not losing comfort.
As with any suede boot, especially one in tan, keeping them clean is an issue. Stains occur and are hard to get out, especially with dark mud. In the future, I may opt for a darker color of find something in my team’s preferred camo pattern, Multi-Cam, to make this less of an issue. That said, I have washed and brushed them with fair success. I recently purchased a boot cleaning kit from Tactical Distributors which went a long way to bringing them back to life. Of course, I don’t worry about inspection and my team hasn’t given me trouble over boots that look lived in, so it hasn’t proven problematic.
Every foot is different, but I’ve found these boots fit my feet well. I really only wear them for airsoft, so I suspect they will last for quite some time to come, keeping my feet dry and comfy. And for around $100 investment, what more can you ask?
– Oddball Out!