At this year’s shooting hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas, Garmont showcased its line of duty boots for law enforcement. It was the company’s formal launch into the American police market.
While many in the American law enforcement community may not know about Garmont, it is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of hiking and mountaineering footwear. Garmont tactical boots have also been popular with individual members of the U.S. military since 2012. The company sells more than 150,000 boots to U.S. military personnel annually, says Kyle Ferdyn, sales manager for Garmont International North America Inc. As Ferdyn explains, Garmont is an Italian company, and it does not have a U.S. government contract because its products are made overseas. That means its military sales are driven by word-of-mouth marketing.
Ferdyn believes that the same attributes of comfort and durability that made Garmont’s boots a hit with the troops will also make them popular with law enforcement officers and agencies. The company’s first entries in the police market are the T8 LE 2.0, an 8-inch duty boot; and the T4 Groove G-Dry, a 4-inch duty shoe.
Law Enforcement customers told Garmont they wanted an 8-inch boot with a polishable full-grain leather upper. So the company adapted its military duty boot to police wear and the T8 LE 2.0 was the result.
One of the key features of the T8 LE is its proprietary outsole. Ferdyn says the boot’s midsole is injected to make it lighter than other police boots. “Many boots on the market use multiple different layers of rubber with different stiffness and density.” In contrast Garmont uses a single layer of injection-molded material for its midsole construction. One of the benefits of Garmont’s proprietary design is reduced weight, Ferdyn explains.
The single layer injection-molded midsole is also more durable than other designs, according to Ferdyn. Some midsoles are made of polyurethane, Ferdyn explains. “They can break down prematurely. This design eliminates the problem where the shoe becomes uncomfortable from a lack of support.”
Garmont’s efforts to make the T8 LE more comfortable even included addressing the feel of the zipper rubbing against the wearer’s foot. “By using a synthetic liner on the zipper, we eliminated the pressure points. It’s like you are wearing a normal boot without a zipper,” Ferdyn says.
Garmont’s other new law enforcement boot is the T4 Groove G-Dry, a 4-inch boot with a suede leather upper that features the company’s proprietary waterproof membrane. The T4 Groove G-Dry is adapted from one of Garmont’s hiking boots and was developed for agencies that are switching away from traditional boots. “Some agencies are going to a more versatile duty shoe,” Ferdyn explains. “Their officers are not required to wear an 8-inch duty boot unless they are in dress attire.”
Ferdyn says one major difference between the T4 Groove G-Dry law enforcement model and the hiking version is the eyelet design. The hiking version has open eyelets—hooks. The tactical version has standard closed eyelets. “Open eyelets can easily get snagged on something in police work,” Ferdyn explains. He adds that the replacement of the open eyelets was one of the suggestions Garmont received during police wear-testing of the T4 Groove G-Dry. “We had officers test the hiking version to see if it was suitable for duty wear,” he says.
Both the T8 LE 2.0 and the T4 Groove G-Dry are now available. The T8 LE 2.0 has an MSRP of $150, while the T4 Groove G-Dry with its waterproof membrane lists for $165.