Haix GSG9S Boots
By the time you are reading this another summer will be history. This means the cold fall rains and snows of winter will not be far behind. One thing that will ruin a shift is cold wet feet. To combat such a situation, a pair of waterproof/weatherproof boots is just what the doctor ordered. Haix has been offering boots for first responders for more than 65 years, and its newest pair delivers.
Haix is not known to rest on its laurels and continually improves its lines. A few years back (June 2007) POLICE Magazine reviewed the GSG9, which has been redesigned and is now the GSG9S. This is not simply a pair of boots with a new name; these boots are truly improved.
Haix GSG9S Boots
The most noticeable difference is the "S," which signifies a seven-inch height instead of eight. This reduces weight and allows uniform trousers to lay better for a more professional look without sacrificing support.
Other differences include adding a flame retardant tongue and outer shaft; this too reduces weight and improves the breathability of the boot. If you have the original boot, you will notice the locking lace loops have been replaced with cloth loops, one lace lock on the ankle, and two traditional eye loops; this makes the boots easier to lace and unlace. The interior arch wrap is made of abrasion-resistant leather to protect the boots when fast roping, a feature found on very few duty boots. The last exterior change is the toe cap which is now one piece instead of a wrap. This al lows you to get a high polish on the boot.
For first responders the most significant change to the boot may be the moisture barrier. Instead of the original GSG9's Gore-Tex, the GSG9S uses Crosstech, which is bloodborne pathogen-proof as well as waterproof. This is an important safety upgrade to greatly reduce the odds of your being exposed to any blood- or liquidborne pathogen.
One thing Haix didn't need to upgrade was the fit and comfort of the GSG9S. It retains the Haix MSL System, a special heel spring and toe to make your gait easier and more comfortable. And the boot's PU nonmarking sole is conveniently oil-, chemical-, and slip resistant. Both the MSL System and the PU outsole also insulate you against the heat and cold.
With all these changes I had to see if the "S" was as good as the original. I soaked a boot for a couple of hours in the wash tub and the tissue inside remained dry. By virtue of my highly "scientific" study I deemed the boot waterproof. Still, I hope not to be standing in several inches of water for hours at a time.
Comfort- and fitwise, the "S" was good to go out of the box. And at the time I was wearing them I was recovering from knee replacement surgery. I would assume if they didn't make me ache anymore than I did, they will make my fellow officers' feet and legs happy from day one. Haix's GSG9S are a true upgrade of a classic; you can't go wrong with them.
5.11 Tactical Taclite2 Gloves
5.11 Tactical has been offering quality gear for training and duty wear for many years. The one item it was lacking was gloves. This year 5.11 teamed up with Ironclad to rectify the situation and offer several pairs for uniform wear.
Because I am not a fan of heavy gloves I've worn GI flight gloves for most applications in the military and in law enforcement. But I have to say, 5.11's Taclite2 rivals my standard wear.
5.11 Tactical Taclite2 Gloves
Taclite2 gloves are made of Spandex and leather to fit like a second skin. This provides an amazingly tactile feel no matter what you are doing from writing a ticket, to shooting, to frisking a suspect, to simply keeping your hands warm on a cold fall morning. I found I could easily reach into a pocket with these gloves on to get my coffee money or check a suspect and the pocket shouldn't get pulled inside out unless you do it to ensure a suspect's pocket is empty.
These gloves pull on and secure with a Velcro wrist closure. The closure also has a sweat band to wipe your brow. This is a feature you will appreciate when spending time at the range on a hot day. Since we wear gloves a good portion of the year, it's a good idea to be able to operate your weapons and duty gear with them during the changing seasons.
5.11's Tactlite2 gloves are fine pieces of gear. They protect your hands, give you excellent dexterity, and are lightweight; just what a good pair of duty gloves should be. The other feature that sets the Taclite2 apart from its competition is the price: under $35. I think you'll find the other new 5.11/Ironclad duty gloves a good deal, too.
Scott Smith is a former federal police officer for the Department of Veteran's Affairs who currently serves as a reserve officer and is a contributing editor to POLICE.