Just as a house depends on a solid foundation for years of stability, so do you count on a quality pair of boots to provide the comfort and protection needed for a long day on your feet. The Propper Series 100 boots were designed from the sole up to meet jus this goal. But have they achieved it? Let’s find out.
Propper has put a great deal of thought into the design of the new Series 100 boot, focusing on producing a pair of quality footwear that will meet the day to day demands of the beat officer. Each of the design and construction features were selected with this one goal in mind:
- Leather and 1000D Cordura Upper – matches rugged full grain cowhide leather with lightweight, flexible Cordura for day long comfort and life extending protection
- Triple Density Rubber Foundation – combines rugged sole design in a grease and oil resistant material to ensure safety from a long list of natural and manmade environmental obstacles
- Fast Rope Compatible Arch– this deeper-than-normal arch is also constructed of an extremely durable material designed to withstand the rigors of even the most demanding tasks. Even if you never find yourself depending on it to control your descent from a helicopter, you will still find it useful when scaling fences or similar obstacles
- Easy Speed Lace System – by combining 550 paracord laces with a smooth running NATO style speed lace system you will find tying takes only a blink of the eye but provides the fit and stability needed for long shifts
- Side Zipper – The large YKK side zipper allows easy on/off while maintaining the fit and comfort you desire
- Mesh Foam Inner Sole – the open air, mesh insole serves double duty by providing a comfortable foot bed while also allowing full air circulation for extended comfort during all weather conditions. Due to its anti-microbial construction, it will also reduce odor and increase the overall life of the boot
- Optional Fit Inserts– each pair of boots comes with an optional second set of inserts, which can be placed under the insole to adjust the overall fit. This is particularly useful if you are in-between sizes or have one foot slightly larger than the other
- Patented Design – every boot is constructed around a new, patented form
So, did Propper achieve what they set out to do? Sure, they talked a good game but also set some lofty goals and the only way to find out if they were successful was to wear them. Here is what I found out.
As I removed the boots from the box, I agreed that the design was different. No, it was not so different that it looked like a space age design that would detract from a clean uniform appearance, but it did have a slightly different look to it. The sole is thick, partially to provide a stable foundation and partly to accommodate the deep arch. The toe box is also wider, squarer than most of its competitors. Otherwise, the Series 100 is like any standard uniform boot.
The construction and attention to detail prove that Propper was committed to providing a quality made boot. The leather and Cordura uppers provide strength and stability where needed and flexibility where you want it. If you prefer to shine your duty boots, I see no reason this leather will not take polish with the best of them. I usually select boots that use stitching to attach the sole to uppers; unfortunately, the Series 100 does not have this stitching. The welding appears to be of a heavy duty design and the same quality as the other components, but glue is always less reliable than stitching. Only time will tell if it is capable of remaining in place for the long haul. Of course, this also means that you will not have the option of resoling the boots should the sole wear out before the uppers.
The speed lace system is similar to the NATO design utilized in many military models, with a combination of large eyelets and speed hoops. The design works well, and the provided 550 paracord laces move smoothly through the lacing system with only the slightest of pressure. The side zipper is a YKK, heavy duty plastic design with extra-large teeth and a handle – something which I found especially nice when wearing gloves. The zipper was a bit hard to manipulate at first, but soon broke in and became much easier to use – plus I found the large leather guard nice as it prevented the zipper from becoming caught on my pant leg. Overall, I found both the speed laces and the side zipper to function as advertised and expected. The only question I had was why have both on the same pair of boots? If you are using a side zipper, the addition of speed laces seems redundant, as the laces themselves will rarely be used after the initial adjustment, but this does not affect the performance of either system or the boots.
Of course construction and durability mean nothing if the boots are not comfortable and I found the Series 100 boots I tested to be very comfortable. As I was preparing for the test, I read several online reviews from both Propper and third party websites, and each appeared to include negative comments concerning the square toe box. Some wearers complained that the toe box does not provide a comfortable fit and others stated the boots slipped more than other brands they had tried. I did not experience either of these problems. I found the square design to be a welcomed feature as I have wider than average feet and often have a difficult time finding boots which do not pinch or bind in the toes or top of my arch. For this reason, I was also concerned about the deep fast rope arch, fearing it would result in a hard spot being felt in my arch during wear. Again, my worries were unfounded, and the arch did not appear to have any adverse impact on the feel or comfort level.
Overall I found the Proper Series 100 6” Side-Zip Boot to be a comfortable, well-constructed piece of footwear. I will certainly consider a pair during my next hunt for duty boots, and I will make the same recommendation to you without reservation.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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