- Created: Friday, 28 August 2009 08:02
OTB has been making a good name for themselves making specialized tactical boots. Starting off with water based boots for SEALS, they now offer many primo land variants. One such example I have here is the Bushmaster which is greatly based on the Abyss design.
The foundation is a high traction non-squeak Vibram outsole and midsole unit. This provides a solid combination of traction and cushioning. Sometimes it is described by OTB as "sticky", but as you can guess that just means it has a good grip and doesn't collect filth. Inside is a composite shank for support then a dual density Ortholite cushioned footbed with Drill-lex looped wool lining for increased wicking and foot comfort. Starting with a Euro style outsole, the rest was adapted to create a warm weather tactical boot. The majority of the upper portion of the boot is a large mesh quarter panel with leather reinforcements for cooling. This tan version uses stain resistant cow suede for the leather areas. I haven't been in 120 degree heat or anything, but so far I find the Bushmasters to be quite breathable on hot days. In the spirit of climbing and general operator rough housing, the toe and heel areas have been reinforced with rubber material for durability and grip.
The height of the boot is considered mid-size which is a good balance of flexibility and support. You have more protection than low cut jogging shoes, but you can really get active in these due to how flexible all the materials are. The top 3 lace loops are reinforced with a plastic material to make them highly reliable and one less thing to worry about downrange. The laces themselves have a "sausage" shape design which makes them much less likely to untie on their own. For another nice touch, a generous sized heel pull is on the back to make taking the boots on and off easier. I appreciate that I can put my finger through the loop easily which can be an issue on other designs.
So far the Bushmasters have been great for my urban adventures. It can get pretty hot, around 107 F, at my shop in San Jose so tis the season for a desert type boot for sure. The flexibility and comfort makes them not feel boot-like at all while the durability has been outstanding as they show almost no signs of wear. The tan might be a little bright to some people, but I'm pretty sure was done to match regulation Army boots in color. Despite not having a lace loop offset in the notch where leg meets foot, I have not had any circulation issues. I hope to try these out on some more adventurous terrain, until then they make great daily wear. Currently available in Tan and Black. Check out my shotshow vid for bonus footage: