Friday, July 6, 2012

Review: HyTest Metatarsal Guard Boot

It's been a while since I've covered some purely hard-core survival gear, rather than militaristic or camping gear, so I have dug out my zombie-kickin' boots. I found these at a St Vincent's Second hand shop, by chance, and was immediately smitten. These hefty boots are made by the HyTest boot company, a division of Wolverine World Wide who specialise in safety footwear, for industry and trade. Their range covers mining, electrical, foundry and all manner of hard tasks for hard people. I had never seen them until coming across them in that thrift shop, but I'm dead impressed.

What makes them so special? well, they have a well shaped steel cap toe, which meets a variety of safety standards, which is pretty cool.   I've not been a frequent wearer of steel-caps, except the occasion I had to join a paleontology dig one summer, which gave me a taste for smashing chunks off the planet with sledgehammers (I avoided the jack-hammers).

A good steel-cap boot will save your toes from pillow sized rocks falling on them, but they wont protect the rest of your foot. Pity, because thats how your toes attach to your leg. That is where boots like these come in. On top pf the steel-cap, lies a hard polycarbonate metatarsal plate, extending all the way up to the top of the ankle. Bolted to the toe and looped through the top laces, this neoprene backed plate armours the top of your foot from all manner of crushing and penetrating risks.

I frequently employ these when I do a lot of wood chopping (having bounced an axe off my boots more than once) and also when I do any serious smashing. They also feature a very aggressive tread which is reported to be oil, water, abrasion, chemical and slip resistant. The outers themselves are waterproof, with sealed seams, and are electrical hazard protected. Perfect for live-wire house-clearing situations or zapping giant rat-Satan monster in flooded London.

These boons come at a cost though, each boot weighs 1150g (2 1/2 lbs) so you probably wont want to go swimming with them, and running a marathon wouldn't be fun. That said, they are very well padded, and comfortable to wear day-in and day-out. I am quite happy to swap them for my other day-to-day boots on occasion, when I feel the need for a change, and clean enough to take to work.

These are bad-assed boots, good for bug-stomping, door-kicking and smashing "anything that has more than two legs"

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