The 5.11 A/T Mid-Boot- Stylish and Performance Oriented Duty Footwear
It is no secret that I’ve long been a fan of 5.11 as a company of their many excellent products. For the last 15 years, I’ve worn many examples of their footwear, outerwear and headgear in the United States, Eastern Europe, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Additionally, as a company, 5.11 has been extremely receptive to the feedback that its plethora of end-users provide, and their 5.11 A/T Mid-Boot is the latest offering in a long line of outstanding footwear and other tactical gear.
It’s autumn 2021, and I needed to update my professional footwear. I’m a retired cop & a full-time law enforcement firearms instructor. Additionally, I also conduct commercial firearms training on some weekends, therefore I’m a person who spends 50-60 hours per week on indoor and outdoor ranges. Even with a rotation of footwear, the fact that I treat my footwear like a lawnmower (I wear them and store them in my garage when not in use) with virtually zero cleaning or preventative maintenance serve to provide context to the reader that I’m not the type who will wear an article of clothing or footwear a few times to the neighborhood tearoom for chamomile and scones and call it fit for service.
Perusing 5.11’s 2021 catalogue, a set of new footwear caught my eye- the 5.11 A/T Mid-Boot. Contact was made with 5.11 for a sample pair, and they quickly filled the request, and within ten days, my boots arrived in the mail. Unlike some other footwear companies, the 5.11 A/T Mid-Boots arrived well packaged in a robust cardboard box. Other companies toss their boots into a plastic mailing sleeve and leave their product to the tender mercy of the postal service, which sometimes results in your new footwear arriving damaged. There’s no such worry with 5.11.
5.11 A/T Mid-Boot is available in a triumvirate of color schemes, which include the Dark Coyote/Ranger Green (my selection), Black and Dark Coyote. Any of these color selections are perfectly suited for the utilitarian end user, such as law-enforcement, military or anyone who wants color schemes that are appropriate in virtually any social setting. Upon arrival, I found my 5.11 A/T Mid-Boots to be perfectly representative of the colors shown on the website, which is nothing new from 5.11. Rest assured that the colors you order will be what arrives.
These boots are advertised in Regular (D) and Wide (E) size options. I have large feet and took a chance on the size 13 Regular. Right out of the box, they fit my large feet like a glove. I’d taken a chance on the sizing, as my feet fall into that weird gray zone between regular and wide. If your feet are on the slightly wider side, you might be okay with the Regular sizing option. As these boots are advertised as mid height, they wear slightly higher than athletic shoes but lower than conventional and clunky boots. To me, this is the perfect medium for performance duty footwear.
Upon taking the boots out of the box, you’ll be pleased to note that they come pre-laced. This seems like a trivial matter, but I like plug & play footwear, and generally hate lacing boots (or shoes). The laces themselves are of robust construction, and when tying the boot, I’ve yet to look down and find my boots unlaced throughout the day, even while employing a single knot. Originally, I contemplated complaining that the laces are just a tad too short, however, in the few weeks that I’ve had the boots, have come to the realization that perhaps my preference for longer, looping laces could be a causal factor in my footwear coming untied. At any rate, the laces are the perfect length for me. The lace eyelets are not metal construction, rather they are loops that are reinforced with subtle, yet well thought out and executed stitching. This serves to prevent the lace loops from separating from the boot body, something that I’ve encountered in the past with other brands of footwear. Well done, 5.11.
The upper portion of the boot is a welded mesh upper, which is lightweight and extremely breathable. At the end of a long day on the range, I’ve yet to encounter the dreaded “sweaty feet” syndrome with the A/T Mid-Boot. These boots also advertise 5.11’s A.T.L.A.S. All Terrain Load Assistance System-this feature lends itself to weight distribution as well as shock absorption. In my opinion, these boots don’t wear or feel like boots, but rather performance athletic footwear. The innards of the boot, such as the sole, are, per 5.11’s description, the Echo Foam high rebound/energy return PU and Force Foam lightweight PU impact cushioning. Walking and short distance sprinting in these boots is easily doable and can be performed in comfort. I walked for 5 miles recently with my daughter while wearing these boots with zero-foot pain or soreness.
Something that I’ve never encountered with any type of out of the box footwear is a well thought out orthotic insert. For about a year now, I’ve been wearing prescription orthotic inserts in my shoes, with good effect, and I’ve needed them in my work shoes. The 5.11 A/T Mid-Boot Ortholite® footbed- for me, this subtle feature was warmly received. The Ortholite inserts that are included with the 5.11 A/T Mid-Boots are every bit as good as their prescription analogue, in my view. I’ve been wearing these boots for several weeks and I’ve encountered zero-foot pain or general discomfort. For those of you who need increased arch support, the A/T really delivers in this regard.
These boots also feature the 3D molded TPR toe and heel protection- in particular, this is a very well thought out feature. The toe and heel areas are afforded a generous amount of a hard synthetic substance that aids in protecting the toe and heel areas from bumps and impact injuries. A must have feature if you’re in an environment where “kicking rocks” is more of a reality than an edgy phrase. While not as robust as steel inserts, these synthetic buffers on the heel & toe will protect those portions of your feet from dropping mags on your toes while on the range. Additionally, 5.11 has blended both the sole of the boot and the toe & heel buffers into a cleanly manufactured and aesthetic envelope.
The soles of the 5.11 A/T Mid-Boots offer excellent purchase on wet and slippery surfaces, given their well-engineered and grippy design, and are of the appropriate thickness. Some tactical boots have soles that are too thick, in my opinion, and can inhibit peak athletic performance by being too stiff and non-pliable. The soles on these boots saw me through a torrential rainstorm, where I went from pouring rain to the inside of a department store, with standing water on the floor. At no time did I feel like I was going to slip or otherwise lose my footing. This is an essential consideration if you’re looking for a performance or duty boot that won’t leave you on your backside because of slipping due to poor traction. Another well thought out feature from 5.11.
In conclusion, the 5.11 A/T Mid-Boot is the latest offering from 5.11 that blends the best attributes that we’ve come to expect from modern tactical footwear with state-of-the-art manufacturing and modern aesthetics. The 5.11 A/T Mid-Boot is at home on the range, on deployment, on a law-enforcement beat or in a restaurant on date night. I can recommend this boot without reservations of any kind.
At the end of the day, here’s how I rate the 5.11 A/T Mid-Boot.
PRICE $149.99 5/5 Not inexpensive, but the price is commensurate with the level of quality that you get and for the amount of workmanship exhibited in the manufacture of this boot. Since I’m in a profession where I’m on my feet for a range of around 50 hours per week, I feel that my comfort and distinct lack of aching joints/bones is worth the price. YMMV, of course.
FUNCTIONALITY 5/5 I feel that the 5.11 A/T Mid-Boots serve their intended role very well
WEIGHT 5/5 This is going to be one of those subjective areas, but the 5.11 A/T Mid-Boots feel very lightweight, and wear more like sports shoes than traditional tactical boots. At the end of a day of training my feet do not feel fatigued because of wearing them all day.
DURABILITY Unsure at this point. Need more time to test. I have had them for about one month, but I do not see any unusual wear patterns on the soles or other regions of the boot.
COMFORT 5/5 The boots were extremely comfortable, and no break in period was needed. The arch supports are the best that I’ve ever encountered in an off the shelf offering, as I wear prescription insole inserts, and have found them to be unneeded in the 5.11 A/T Mid-Boots.
Long story short- if you are looking for stylish, lightweight, and comfortable boots that will compliment any active lifestyle, the 5.11 A/T Mid-Boots are worthy of your consideration.
I was furnished with these boots 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 on my personal experience with the product.
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