The 5.11® A/T 8” HD is a new high-performance men’s tactical boot from 5.11 Tactical designed to offer all of the features professionals demand with some added high-tech touches few boots offer.

The A/T 8” HD is EN (European Standards) ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 20347:2012 (Personal Protective Footwear Standard) OB (slip resistance) FO (fuel oil resistant outsole) HRO (outsole resistant to hot contact) SRA (slip resistance tested on ceramic surface with ‘soap’) certified.

The A/T 8” HD features a polishable 8” genuine full-grain cattle-hide leather upper. The upper is made of a new infrared (IR) reflecting leather that, according to 5.11, drops surface temperature by 14.5ºF (8ºC) to keep your feet significantly cooler. The leather employs a special IR reflecting pigment to accomplish this. The boot has a perforated tongue and two side vents that add breathability and air flow.

The 5.11 A/T 8 HD is a new duty boot that joins the 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. Technology line. It is ISO 20347:2012 OB FO HRO SRA certified. A perforated tongue adds breathability. A heat-reflective strobel sock reflects heat from pavement and concrete away while a new, infrared refracting leather drops surface temperature.

The A/T 8” HD also features a special heat-reflective injected lining incorporated into the patented strobel sock lining that greatly reduces the amount of IR heat that makes it through to your feet from sunlight and radiant heat sources like pavement, providing heat deflection for the upper and sole of the boot.

The A/T 8” HD has all of the features of the 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. (All Terrain Load System) Technology system. These include a Dual-Density PU (polyurethane) foam midsole with 5.11’s proprietary Echo Foam™ (high-rebound/energy-return) in the forefoot and Force Foam™ (high-impact cushioning) in the heel, a removable A.T.L.A.S. dual-density polypropylene Support Plate for turning and stability control while carrying heavier loads, an Ortholite® Achilles pad for better heel hold. Other features include an Ortholite Comfort Foam foot bed and ASTM slip and oil resistant high-traction rubber outsole with multi-direction lugs,

The A/T 8” HD has a large pull tab/strap on the back of the boot and also on the tongue. They help when putting on the boots, especially when your hands are cold or when wearing gloves. The boot features traditional metal eyelet/grommet lace-up. The boot comes pre-laced.

The A/T 8” HD has ample internal tongue and ankle padding, which is essential for comfort and to prevent chafing. The tongue padding is relatively stiff to prevent discomfort from tight laces. The heel cups are well-molded, another essential feature. The features combine for a secure fit around the heel and ankle to minimize movement. They promote agility and help keep feet securely planted.

5.11 Cupron OTC Sock

Good socks are important for both comfort and foot heath. 5.11 provided me with its 5.11 Cupron® OTC Sock along with the A/T 8” HD for wear during my evaluation. The 5.11 Cupron® OTC Sock is a high-performance moisture-wicking anti-microbial sock made of a polyester blend consisting of 82% polyester/16% Cupron® / 2% spandex.

Cupron is a patented copper-based antimicrobial technology that has earned multiple, unique public health claims from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Made with Cupron enhanced fibers prevent the growth of 99.9% of T. mentagrophytes and other athlete’s foot fungi. The fibers will inhibit the growth of athlete’s foot fungi after just 12 hours of wearing the OTC sock. This has been validated by independent testing.

The 5.11 A/T 8″ HD features a ASTM slip and oil resistant high-traction rubber outsole with multi-direction lugs. The boot is available in Coffee Black (shown) and Black colorways,

Tips for Selection and Fit

Boots need to be selected based on the terrain, environmental conditions and loads you will be carrying. Added weight on your feet take a toll in terms of energy expenditure, so go with the lightest boots that you can get away with that provide the needed support and stability. The most important thing in buying boots is to get a good fit. Comfort depends on fit.

When trying on boots, you should try them on at the end of the day, when your feet are their largest. Wear the socks and any insoles/inserts that you would normally use with the boots. Very rarely are both feet identical in size. Size boots to the largest foot.

Before buying, walk around for at least 15 minutes and if possible, walk up and down an incline to check for heel slippage and any toe jamming. There should be a little wiggle room for the toes, and they shouldn’t jam into the toe box.

Women should generally consider footwear built on a women’s last instead of sized-down men’s models, although the latter may work well for some women.

Although break-in is important with any boots (most blisters come from poorly broken-in boots), boots should feel like they fit initially. Don’t rely on them breaking in. If they don’t fit initially, they won’t fit later on.

It is always best to try before you buy. When buying online, consider a brand that you’ve worn before as most brands are consistent in sizing. Two different brands in the same numerical foot size may not be comparable in fit.

My Thoughts

The 5,11 A/T 8” HD is an excellent boot both for patrol and tactical applications. It checks all the boxes for a duty boot. It is well-designed, well-made and ruggedly built using the highest quality materials.

I have found the A/T 8” HD to be very comfortable to wear over long periods and to provide excellent traction and support, all of which are absolutely essential in a duty / tactical boot. The 8” height of the boot provides the extra support and protection needed in a duty boot. In order to pass muster in the U.S. military, boots need to have a height of 8 to 10 inches. Eight to 10” boots provide added support and protection but at the tradeoff of being more restrictive.

The 5.11 Cupron OTC Sock is a moisture-wicking polyester sock w/ Cupron copper thread. The Cupron enhanced fibers will inhibit the growth of athlete’s foot fungus after just 12 hours of wear.

The A/T 8” HD was exceptionally comfortable out of the box. I wore the boots on a long ruck over some very demanding and varied terrain to judge their performance. Temperatures have been extremely hot this summer where I am located, with highs near record triple digits F (over 38ºC).

The A/T 8” HD did an excellent job of keeping feet cool and comfortable, especially considering that it has an all-leather upper. The slip-resistant multi-direction lug outsoles provided excellent traction on both dry terrain and on smooth-surface slick surfaces.

The 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. Technology did an outstanding job of cushioning the feet under a heavy load. This is not my first rodeo with the 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. Technology. The 5.11 A/T Mid Boot is one of my favorite hiking/backpacking boots.

At days end, although my feet were understandably tired, there weren’t any blisters or chafing. The boots didn’t create discomfort on any toes and there was adequate wiggle room for them. That being said, everyone’s feet are different. What works for me may not work for you.

Weight is a definite consideration in purchasing a boot. The A/T 8” HDt is comparable to boots of similar construction. I would give the boot a moderate weight rating. Not overly heavy, but they are not lightweight either.

The A/T 8” HD Boot is available in Coffee Black and Black colorways. It is available in Regular U.S. shoe sizes 4, 5, 6-12, 13, 14, 15 and Wide US. Shoes sizes 7-12, 13, 14. MSRP is $195.00.

The 3-pack of the 5.11 Cupron OTC Sock has a MSRP of $28.00. The come in black. They are available in sizes S/M and L/XL. The 5.11 Cupron OTC Sock is a perfect pairing for the 5.11 A/T 8” HD Boot.

All 5.11 products are available directly from 5.11or at authorized 5.11 dealers



Material Disclosure

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

By Eugene Nielsen

Eugene Nielsen owns and operates a private intelligence and security consulting firm. He has a BA degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Political Science. His byline has appeared on over 1,500 articles published in major national and international journals and magazines. He was on Contributing Staff of SWAT Magazine for over 20 years.

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