September 26, 2022

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions

There’s a lot to like about the Garmont brand. We were able to connect with them through writer Brook at the 2022 SHOT show. I’m always on the lookout for good footwear. Our readers tend to have military or law enforcement backgrounds, but who doesn’t like good footwear? I appreciate solidly manufactured shoes offered for a reasonable price.

The Garmont rep offered the Spotterup writers the opportunity to try out anything in their line-up. I settled on the T4 groove G-Dry high cut tactical shoes because they were designed for off-road trails and everyday wear. I spend a lot of time outdoors. I do a lot of hiking and running, and I am always looking for something that is waterproof, and comfortable when I hit the road. I prefer boots or shoes that I can run in. Let’s run through some of the top points about the shoe.

Asymmetrical cuff.  The ankle cuff is lower on the outside and taller on the inside for better edging, greater overall stability.

Comfort

Right out of the box the shoes they sent fit me well. They were very comfortable. Garmont is an Italian company, and many of their shoes have a European shape and narrow toe box. I wanted a pair in a wide size but they didn’t make them; no worries, they sent me the next size up which proved to be a winner. If you are a size 10, I recommend selecting the size 10.5.; your feet will thank you. Consider when buying footwear, that you choose the best socks to pair with them. Anytime I am trying out footwear I will use them for a minimum of 30 minutes every day.  However, I tend to put upwards of 8hrs a day in the boots and shoes that I field test. I live in a mixed-use community where I am able to trek over city streets, hills, grass, and different terrain at any time of the day. We get snow, rain, sleet, mud and ice here in Virginia.  I’ve done well in these shoes and enjoy how Garmont assembled them.

Excellent lacing system using eye-stays, metal and polyester eyelets, and flat lacing.

The shoes use an anatomical tongue.  The tongue matches the asymmetric shape of the top of your foot and ankle. It is thicker to the outside and progressively thinner toward the inside. This anatomic shape keeps the tongue in place resulting in better control, stability and comfort. One thing I instantly noticed about the tongue is the pull tab and the plushness of the tongue. The pull tab is useful for adjusting the tongue once you lace your shoes. Because we have blood vessels and a major tendon called the extensor hallucis longus in the area known as our instep, it is important to select footwear smartly. Lacing too tightly, or having boots without optimal laces can cause major discomfort. The tongue provides excellent padding, and Garmont uses flat lacing rather than round lacing, which I believe makes all the difference in comfort.

Padded collar for added comfort. 

Function

Garmont uses what they call the A.C.E. system with EVA bi-density midsole. EVA is an acronymn for Ethylene-vinyl acetate foam. EVA is a flexible, lightweight and soft foam. It is the material used for running shoes. Garmont mixes EVA with a firm heel to provide the foot with a mix of comfort, support and stability. The firm heel acts as a heel stabilizer/counter; it wraps around the heel of your foot, and holds the heel in position during the movements of running. Any internal support feature in the rear of the shoe should conform to the shape of your heel and have a stiff reinforcement. You will also notice there is a softness on the sole of the feet, but a certain stability as well. You want your footwear to offer comfort yet structure. You will feel confident when walking or running. One other point I should make; a stable heel ensures that the foot stays firmly inside the shoe. This prevents rubbing of the back of the foot and the formation of blisters.

EVA with a firm heel to provide the foot with a mix of comfort, support and stability.

Garmont created an interesting cut for the ankle of the shoe. They call it an asymmetrical cuff.  The ankle cuff is lower on the outside and taller on the inside for better edging, greater overall stability and comfort when traversing and scrambling. Also, the ankle of the shoe uses padding around the heel. This padding allows the heel to lock in place for a precise fit around the ankle bones for better stability and support.

Garmont also created the shoes with precision lacing. Look at the shoes and you will notice eye-stays at the bottom of the shoe by the vamp, and at the top near the collar. The eye-stays at the throat of the shoe are metal and secure the laces firmly to the collar. The eyelets are cut into a sturdy fabric so that a laces will not tear through the eyelets. The combination of eyelets, eye-stays, precision lacing, padded collar, and the asymmetrical cuff should guarantee you a good ride when using your shoes.

Asymmetrical lugs.

The toe box features a straighter shape to accommodate the natural position of the big toe. Garmont notes that this design your toes can provide better balance and propulsion. I have wide, and flat feet. I recommend that you go up one size if your feet tend to be wide. Garmont uses what they term a G-DRY membrane. The membrane guarantees a windproof barrier with up to 10,000 mm waterproof protection, while keeping the foot dry and comfortable even on the wettest days.; great for running in wet weather. I have used these to good effect. The upper of the shoes are of a  semi-structure; it is plyable but firm enough to keep your feet stable inside the shoes.

Heel tab for quick on and off action.

The toe box is flexible and the toe cap offers mild protection from debris. There is a nice pull tab on the back of the heel-counter which is great for getting your shoes on and off quickly. As shoes go, this one is a zero drop, as most tactical-style shoes are. A drop is the center of the heel and center of the forefoot; the midsole and outsole are included. Shoes with a smaller drop allow your heel and forefoot to touch the ground at the same time, and therefore make your push-off more responsive. Minimal shoes are generally “zero drop”. I like having as much rubber to the road as possible, and I don’t prefer an elevated posture.

RunningShoes

The outsole utilizes multidirectional lugs to give the shoe good traction. The outsole is the durable part of the boot that makes contact with the ground. The lugs provide incredible grip on both wet and dry surfaces, and also helps attenuate the landing shock and loading forces experienced by the body while running or walking. Garmont’s Anatomically Directed Design (a.d.d.®) enables your foot’s natural ability when walking. They are soft but if you like a bit more padding, purchase shoe inserts from your local running store.

Cost

The boots are priced at $165.00. I think this is a fair price for stylish yet functional shoes. I’ve reviewed dozens and dozens of boots and shoes over the last 5 years. I think this is a reasonable price for the value.

Overall thoughts. 

I really like this brand, and I can’t wait to test other products in their stable of footwear. I made a mistake when I ordered the first pair, because they fit to exact size. Garmont remedied this by sending me one size larger, and they seemed to fit perfect. There isn’t any break-in period. They are perfect right out of the box. I think you’ll like them. Yes, you can run short distances and walk in them. The shoes have reasonable protection for civilian and mil/LEO use. These can be used for tactical purposes. If you’re looking for something with more protection, please check out their other shoes and boots.

Comfort – 5/5 Excellent comfort.

Durability – 4/5 So far, so good. No complaints. They haven’t given me any issues, like some brands have. Shoes haven’t fallen apart in the 2 months I’ve been using them daily.

Functionality – 5/5 They do well in rain, mud, street, and mix terrain.

Weight – 5/5 With the use of lightweight materials I think you’ll be surprised at how light they feel.

Value – 5/5 A fair price, considering what is offered by similar products and companies out there.

Overall rating – 24/25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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