Original SWAT Public Order boots are back in stock. If you're training or deploying a mobile field force team, there is no other footwear specifically designed for the threats present in a riot environment.
What these are: The perfect footwear designed specifically for mobile field force deployment to protect your feet from the unconventional threats present in a crowd control situation.
What these are not: Every day, all-day patrol boots, and they shouldn't be thought of that way. There is no one boot that does everything; just like pants, shirts, and all other gear you have. These are meant to protect your feet from fire, striking, punctures, and liquids; not for running a PT test.
There are a lot of PPE options for mobile field force teams out there. Damascus, Safariland, United Shield, and others offer great setups for protection from improvised melee weapons. Heads, faces, hands, arms, legs, and torsos are covered at this point. But one of the most vulnerable points left are your feet.
Many agencies don't require special footwear for MFF duty, and athletic-style duty boots such as the Under Armour Valsetz are being used in situations where they don't belong.
Athletic-style footwear is built to be lightweight and comfortable, not protective or durable. When these types of boots and shoes are worn in an MFF deployment, the wearer is exposed to numerous hazards that aren't normally present in patrol situations.
While there is always the risk of stepping on sharp objects, most footwear does an OK job of protecting the sole of the foot from things like broken glass, thorns, and the typical everyday stuff. But what about nails or items designed or deployed specifically to injure feet in ways that normal footwear doesn't protect against? The Original SWAT Public Order boot has you covered. Its LENZI® non-metallic anti-penetration board keeps your feet safe from puncture dangers with pre-treated ceramic and high tenacity fibers, protecting your feet from pretty much anything on the ground.
Not very many people are wearing toe cap footwear simply because it's inconvenient to wear on a daily basis if you're not in an environment where heavy things can fall on your feet with potential severity or regularity. But people will don a hard hat when they enter a construction site. You should think of your feet the same way. You might not need a composite or steel toe boot every day. But once you're deploying to a face-to-face situation where the risk of foot injuries are substantially greater, you'll want to be protected. If your footwear makes it abundantly obvious that you're unprotected when every other part of your body is covered, it's fairly reasonable to expect that a suspect may attempt to attack the one part of your body you've left uncovered.
Whether it's an intentional stomp, strike, or something thrown through the air that lands on your foot doesn't much matter once you're out of the fight. Cinder blocks and rubber soles can both do a lot of damage to an unprotected foot.
And it's not just your toes. The entire top of your foot is also vulnerable. The Original SWAT Public Order Boot protects the foot metatarsal as well. But they didn't stop there. They also integrated PORON XRDMA into the lateral ankle area for added protection.
Think you're covered with steel toe? Think again. Metals aren't just great conductors of electricity. They're also great conductors of heat. A steel toe boot will heat rapidly when exposed to flame. Both of these problems get solved with composite toe construction, which is why it's the way it's done by most manufacturers these days.
This is a big one that a lot of people forget about. You can wear Nomex and NyCo uniforms, gaiters, balaclavas, and gloves to ensure you're not having synthetic fabrics melt and drip against your skin if a fire flashes up next to (or on) you, but your synthetic boots made of plastic will melt and drip. The rest of your protection won't keep you in the fight if your boots melt to your skin.
Yes, Original SWAT thought of this. Even the laces on these boots are made of Nomex and the stitching is fire-resistant para-aramid. The outsole has been tested to 300 degrees Celsius, the Salamander Skin toe cap resists abrasion, fire, and liquid fuels, and the leather is 2.2-2.4mm fire-resistent leather.
A lot of people don't bother to wear waterproof boots. They do tend to be hotter and they are obviously less breathable, even with Goretex or similar waterproof/breathable fabrics. In the desert, we usually don't need these until monsoon season.
So it's understandable that you may find yourself wearing non-waterproof footwear if you haven't geared up for your mobile field force duty to include specific footwear.
So why is waterproof important here? It's more than just water. A waterproof membrane and hydrophobic coating does more than keep your feet from getting a little wet. It can help stop liquid fuels and blood-borne pathogens from coming in contact with your feet. A breathable boot that lets air in will also let liquid fuels in. The combination isn't ideal, especially in the face of improvised incendiary devices. The effect is compounded when you're wearing synthetic athletic footwear that is flammable by itself.
The Original SWAT Public Order Boot combines a waterproof membrane with 3M™ Defender fluorochemical finish to assist with fluid run off.
The United States doesn't yet have a nationwide standard for mobile field force deployment and equipment, and we haven't standardized our gear to accommodate the new threats present in crowd control situations where unconventional objects become weapons. But the British have.
The Original SWAT Public Order Boot is certified to British Standards BS 7971 2016 Part 5 Footwear for protective clothing and equipment for use in violent situations. And here's what else:
Meets EN ISO 20345:2011 for safety boots
Composite protective toe cap (Requirements of EN 20345:2011)
2.2-2.4mm fire resistant full grain leather
Waterproof membrane for water, liquid & blood borne pathogen resistance
LENZI® non-metallic anti-penetration board keeps your feet safe from puncture dangers with pre-treated ceramic and high tenacity fibers (Requirements of EN 20345:2011)
6mm Poron® XRDMA internal metatarsal protector (Requirements of BS 7971 Part 5:2016)
3M™ Defender fluorochemical finish to assist with fluid run off
Nomex® flame and heat resistant laces
Additional PORON® XRDMA in lateral ankle area for additional protection
Fire and slip resistant rubber outsole tested to 300ºC
Salamander Skin™ toe cap resists abrasion, fire, and liquid fuel
Fire resistant para-aramid thread
Anti-static protection to EN ISP 20345: 2011
If you're still wearing your regular duty boots when you deploy for mobile field force duty, remember that you and your agency have put the time and expense into PPE to protect your body. Why wouldn't you protect your feet from the very same threats?