Thorogood, a division of the Weinbrenner Shoe Company, recently selected three law enforcement agencies to participate in a monthlong wear-test of its footwear and share their thoughts.
Fort Pierce (FL) Police Department wear testers were chosen because they are assigned to various duties including road patrol, K-9, street crimes, marine unit, and administrative tasks. Because the wear tests took place in Florida, the footwear was subjected to all environmental extremes, and was tested for waterproof and breathability features.
The Jefferson County (AL) Sheriff’s Department is in an area characterized by hot weather, rain, and uneven terrain. Thorogood said the company wanted to test its footwear's performance in wet, humid environments. Special details at the agency include the Air Support Unit and Tactical Flight Unit.
Located in Weston, WI, the Everest (WI) Metro Police Department is in the area where Thorogood is based and the company already had a relationship with them. The department has a SWAT team and a new K-9 unit.
Each officer chose one pair of boots to wear-test from among three different series of Thorogood boots. These included the Crosstrex Series BBP Waterproof Oxford Hiker, BBP Waterproof Mid Hiker and Side Zip BBP Waterproof 6" Hiker; and the Gen-Flex2 Series Waterproof 8" Tactical Side Zip.
Participants had the chance to wear the footwear for 30 days and provided their feedback on categories including comfort, durability, and performance. Here's what they had to share.
The Gen-Flex2 boot is waterproof, durable, lightweight, and flexible. One wear tester who works 12-hour patrol shifts was extremely happy with Thorogood's Gen-Flex2 Series Waterproof 8" Tactical Side Zip. "Great boots! They have all the features I am looking for: side zipper, waterproof, and lug sole that has great traction." Sharing specifics about the sole, he said he really appreciated the traction the boots provided in wet conditions, while running, and while walking on uneven ground. He also said the boots were durable and comfortable.
Officers working different details also had good things to say about the Gen-Flex2. One who works light duty found it comfortable from the get-go and said it provided ample support, was comfortable after a long period of wear, and held up well over time.
A wear tester working 10-hour shifts instructing officers in the training unit gave the boot high marks for support, ease of driving in them, and comfort after standing for 30-plus minutes. He called them a "Great boot so far. Really comfortable." He found that he just needed time for the footwear to get comfortable, saying, "After a month of wear, the boot is just getting broken in. I wish I had a little more wear time before evaluation."
Another wear tester who works 12-hour road patrol shifts liked the Gen-Flex2 but commented that he felt the boot was better suited to cold weather use.
The Crosstrex Series of boots from Thorogood are lightweight, waterproof hikers. One officer wearing his boots for an average of 12 hours per shift working road patrol loved the Crosstrex Side Zip BBP Waterproof 6" Hiker he tested, rating every aspect of the boot "excellent" except for enough time in the boot. The only suggestion he had was, "Boots could use slightly more padding for better comfort." He found the boots comfortable "out of the box" and said he would recommend them to other law enforcement officers.
A member of his agency's marine unit found the Crosstrex series' waterproofness and other attributes especially well suited to his detail, which includes manning the police boat and other specialty vehicles. "The boots provided excellent traction and stability in all conditions. They were second to none," he said. He added that he was glad he chose to wear test the Crosstrex boots because they didn't make his feet too warm in the hot, humid weather he experiences in Florida.
Overall, wear testers liked Thorogood's boots and their performance on the job, giving especially high marks for traction and stability across the board.
For more information about Thorogood footwear, visit https://www.thorogoodusa.com.
The Thorogood Footwear Tested
Here's a closer look at the Thorogood boots officers wear tested.
Thorogood's Crosstrex Series lightweight, waterproof hikers are designed to provide the comfort of an athletic shoe and the grip of a quality uniform boot. They feature a leather and mesh upper, blood-borne pathogen waterproof lining, removable single-density polyurethane footbed, composite shank, Crosstrex 360 outsole, and cement construction.
BBP Waterproof Oxford Hiker (834-6293)
BBP Waterproof Mid Hiker (834-6294)
Side Zip BBP Waterproof 6" Hiker (834-6295)
The Gen-Flex2 boot is waterproof, durable, lightweight, and flexible. Its dual-density rubber outsole with multi-directional traction lugs provides enhanced grip and resistance to oil and slick surfaces. A BBP X-Stream Waterproof lining protects against dangerous fluids, while the Impact 300 gel heel insert cushions feet. The upper is made of full-grain leather and nylon. Goodyear storm welt construction and a heavy-duty YKK zipper with Velcro closure help these side-zip boots withstand daily wear.
Waterproof 8" Tactical Side Zip (834-7991)