Photo: Danner

Photo: Danner

For most of us winter means cold, wet, and/or snowy shifts. Mother Nature has a habit of making days as an officer or first responder miserable. Fortunately, Danner can help tame the weather with its DFA boots.

The Danner Flight Assault (DFA) is built on the Terra Force last. This family of boots uses polyurethane in the midsole to reduce weight and reduce the shock to your body when you are running, walking, or landing after rappelling. The insole of the DFA is "co-molded" to give you support and give the boot more resistance to punctures.

What sets the DFA apart from other Terra Force boots is the Danner Descender Vibram outsole. This sole is wrapped around the arch to give you a "braking" surface when rappelling; it also reduces wear on the boots caused by rappelling. This is the Vertical Insertion Arrestor (VIA), and reports I have received say it works well; sorry, my titanium knees don't rappel. The outsole is multidirectional so you get a solid grip on most any slippery, oily, or icy surface-something many outsoles don't do.

The upper of the DFA consists of heavy denier nylon and rough-out leather. This upper will endure the harsh environments we see on patrol and clean up afterwards. The outsole is rolled over the toe cap to protect the most beat on portion of any duty boot. You will find keeping the toe cap from being torn apart will keep the boots suitable for patrol longer.

While the VIA technology makes this boot perfect for rappelling, it is the Gore-Tex bootie that makes this an ideal duty boot. In the nearly 30 years that I have worn Danners I've had only one boot leak, and Danner replaced the pair literally overnight so I would not be without my Acadia boots for my next shift. Danner's booties are tape seam sealed and every one is tested for leaks to ensure your feet stay dry.

Like other Terra Force boots, the DFA is built to make the end user's day better. These boots are comfortable for long shifts, will keep your feet dry in the worst rains, and will perform like an athletic shoe on steroids. The Danner Flight Assault should be on your short list if you are looking for new duty footwear.

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.