January 16, 2022

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions

5.11® has launched a number of new products for summer 202, as well as updates to existing products. They include an expansion of 5.11’s very popular line of Norris Sneakers with the introduction of the new Norris Low. The Norris Low offers all of the same functionality and durability of the original high-top Norris Sneaker. Spotter Up has done several product review articles on the Norris Sneaker in the past, all of them very positive.


The Norris Sneaker Collection 

The Norris Low is currently available in two colorways Black/Gum and Dark Coyote. The high-top Norris Sneaker is also getting an update this season with new colorways – Coyote, Storm, Multicam®, Dark Navy, Black/Woodlands Camo, and Black/White.

The Norris Sneaker has a Vibram Marbrani outsole with XS TREK. It provides the optimal balance of traction and durability. It is echnical compound that allows great overall performance and responsiveness in unpredictable terrain. Its principle characteristics are flexibility and wet traction.

5.11 provided me with the Norris Low in Dark Coyote for evaluation. The actual sneakers that I received are darker in color than the Norris Low pictured on the 5.11 website. That is not a complaint, just something to be aware of. They are great looking sneakers.

5.11’s Norris Sneakers may look like ordinary casual sneakers but they are much more than that. The Norris Sneaker combines fashion-forward styling with special features that make them an ideal low-key tactical sneaker. It is definitely about more than just good looks.

Considerable thought went into the design of the Norris Sneaker to provide biodynamic efficiency, optimal comfort and safety. The sneaker exhibits top-notch construction.

The Norris Sneaker has a heavy duty nylon and suede leather upper with highly durable nylon stitching. It has a climbing-grade rubber toe bumper/cap for added protection and durability. There are two small reinforced ventilation holes on the side of each sneaker to allow your feet to breath better. The sneaker is not designed to be waterproof.

The Norris Sneaker has a slip-resistant Vibram® Marbrani outsole with XS TREK™. This was chosen by 5.11 for its optimal balance of traction, stability, comfort and durability. The Norris Sneaker provides outstanding traction on slick surfaces, such as wet floors or pavement.

Vibram XS TREK is a technical compound that allows great overall performance and responsiveness in unpredictable terrain. Its principle characteristics are flexibility and wet traction. It is very “grippy,” with a comparatively high coefficient of friction. It is oil-resistant and non-marking. These features make XS TREK a popular choice for the soles of high-end boat shoes.

The Norris Sneaker has a full-length Ortholite® comfort foam insole and upper cuff. The open-cell foam technology cushions your feet and provides support. The Ortholite upper cuff provides heel-hold to prevent slippage.

The Norris Sneaker features full length dual durometer Ortholite footbed that supports and cushions feet. An Ortholite uppercuff protects feet and provides heel hold. The Norris is ASTM F2413-11 PR: Puncture Resistant certified for added protection. Super strong Welmax Flex composite midsole withstands 1200 Newtons of penetrative force.

The Norris Sneaker is equipped with a state-of-the-art, super-strong puncture/penetration resistant Welmax Flex™ flexible composite plate midsole. It is ASTM F2413-11 PR Puncture Resistance certified. It guards your feet against up to 1,200 newtons of penetrative force. In plain English, this translates to roughly 300 lbs. of force.

The Norris Sneaker is the arch nemesis of the rusty nail and broken glass. This is a very important feature. Puncture wounds to the feet have all the makings of a potentially serious debilitating injury. And they are completely avoidable. The Norris Sneaker provides essential protection both on the job and off.

The Norris Sneaker is designed to be low-profile in appearance. The only visible logos are a discreet 5.11 logo on the tongue of the sneaker and on a cloth tag on one side of the upper. The tag can easily be cut off if desired, although I see no reason to do so. 5.11 products don’t scream tactical. They have become very popular with the general public due to their quality and practicality.

The Norris Low

One of the things that sold me on the original Norris Sneaker was its comfort. The same is true for the new Norris Low. I have found the Norris Low to be exceptionally comfortable, even after a long day on my feet. The Norris Low fits my feet perfectly. There is plenty of room in the toe box for my toes. The Norris Sneaker provides excellent support and stability.

It needs to be recognized that since the exact shape of a last differs from brand to brand and shoe to shoe, sizes and fit will inevitably vary a bit also. And, of course, everyone’s feet are different. What works for me may not work the same for you. That goes for all footwear. Also, just as with with all new shoes and boots, sneakers require a breaking-in period to adjust to the contours of your feet.

The Norris Low is more comparable in weight to a light hiking shoe than a typical sports sneaker, but you are getting protective/tactical features not found in ordinary sneakers. It is a necessary trade off.

The Norris Sneaker has a heavy duty nylon and suede leather upper. Stitched rubber toe cap provides added durability and protection

The Norris Low is noticeably lighter than the high-top Norris Sneaker. The low-top increases the range of motion of the feet and thus, at least in theory, allow one to be more agile/quicker/faster. The low-top does provide less ankle support but this may not be a bad thing, common wisdom aside.

There are many healthcare professionals that believe that high-top sneakers may actually result more injuries with prolonged use than low-top sneakers. The reasoning is high-tops inhibit the muscles from doing their job as dynamic supporters of the ankle and foot complex. Restricted ankle motion in a high top might predispose the ankle to injury and also lead to knee injuries. Muscles if not used, weaken and are unable to do the job that they were intended to do.

For most of us, it really comes down to simply personal preference. I have both the high-top Top Norris Sneaker and the Norris Low. They are both great sneakers.

The materials and workmanship are excellent. Although the Norris Low is new for 2021, the original high-top Norris Sneaker I received from 5.11 for evaluation held up well. There is no reason to expect that the Norris Low will be any different.

To Sum Up

5.11 Norris Low is an outstanding sneaker with a tactical difference, combining both style and function. It looks good, feels great on the feet and help to protect them. Its aesthetics make them a perfect fit in any casual urban environment. Pricing is quite reasonable considering what you get. MSRP for the Norris Low is $100.00. The high-top Norris Sneaker has an MSRP of $110.00. The Norris Low is available in US sizes 4 to 13, with some half sizes. It runs true to size. It comes in Regular (D) width only. If you have wide feet, you may want to go up a size.The Norris Low and all 5.11 products are available at authorized 5.11 dealers or directly from 5.11. It is imported. 5.11 offers free shipping on orders over $35.00 and free returns.



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.

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