New changes from LALO! We did a great boot write-up because we liked the product, short-term tested it, and know that Jay the CEO is a great guy to work with. The company actually listens to feedback from various communities, support many good veteran events, (such as fallen family members of Extortion 17), and has done much to support/connect communities. Let’s see what they’re up to.

LALO is aware of the changes they need to make. Feedback coming in from the field by end-users clearly shows certain aspects of the boot need to be improved.

These are LALO’s boot updates and goal. They clearly want to improve overall construction and assembly of the Shadow Boot line by using better materials. The midsole and outsole will use a new compound from Dupont to increase the boot’s outsole and lug’s ability to grip even on wet surfaces. The boot will also get a buff to the midsole and outsole so a better mechanical bond with the glue will occur. Getting two or more different materials to bond isn’t always very easy. Manufacturers, back when they were simple shoe-cobblers, used stitching to pin the upper leather of a shoe or boot to the lower portion (outsole). The old Chuck Taylor basketball shoes had fabric that was stitched to the outsole because no simple way of melding them at the time was in play. New materials are changing what can be done with footwear. LALO is trying to take advantage of that fact.

  1. Quality of materials to be upgraded
  2.  Durability of product to get better
  3. QC process in place and monitored


5” and 8” boots (ALL MODELS)

  1. Outsole / Midsole
    1. Upgraded to a new compound from DuPont to increase durability and grip on wet surfaces
      1. Lab testing done and it bears out better slip tests
    2. Adhesion from outsole to midsole and midsole to upper
      1. QC plan in place to remove the “skin” from the molding process that comes on the Blown Rubber bottom unit and the

EVA (Foam) midsole ii. Factory to buff both materials to help create a mechanical bond with the glue

  • Glue to be used to be heat-resistant
  1. Pull test standard is 3.5KG per square cm for industrial footwear. LALO standard is 5KG per square cm as a minimum
  2. Pull tests to be performed on samples before production and 1 in every 200 pair during production.

Their old plate is black, the new one is desert colored. The old plate was fragile while the new one is more flexible and durable.


Some of the changes to take a look at are a tougher eyelet so the boot laces don’t tear through the eyelet material. The composite plate, inserted to protect the foot, has more nylon added to it. It will allow the boot to be flexible while also allow it to undulate to propel a walker’s midfoot. I think one of the good features they’ll improve is in making the collar softer and still keeping it hydrophobic. A higher collar would be useful too.

  1. New Plate
    1. Composite plate has more nylon added so it is more flexible and therefore break resistant while still offering the level of propulsion needed
  1. Perforated and or slotted footboard
    1. Upgraded from existing boot board to be a water proof and slotted for all production on the AA-047 tooling. (Amphibious or not so its convertible)
  1. Eye Stay Backer
    1. Super Tough eyelet backer material to be added to eliminate any wear through
  2. Remove 5th eyelet
    1. 8” boot ahs 4 eyelets instead of 5
    2. makes the boot easier to get on an off without a zipper
  3. Increase size of gasket to above flex notch
    1. Keeps out debris and on both cuff heights of boots the gasket is not high enough
  4. Collar foam
    1. Softer and still hydrophobic
    2. Better fit and feel for end-user and helps keep the weight down
  5. Thread
    1. Increase to a #10 thread on the toe cap (thicker)
    2. #30 thread on the rest of the boot
    3. All thread to fire retardant coated
  6. Toe Stitch
    1. Adding a physical stitch on the toe cap along the indicated stitch line that is on the boots now
  7. Leather
    1. Upgraded from a PU leather to a Pigment Leather increasing durability and strength and able to handle water born application
  8. Stitching Margins
    1. On the upper to be increased to prevent tearing around the toe cap and upper
  9. Super Fabric
    1. De-bossing on stitch areas to allow the needle to penetrate more cleanly
  10. Swim fin clip
    1. Eliminate and add an IR glint tape sleeve (possible)
    2. For Non US orders add in a textured material and or a slot for branding the boots and or for the end users logo…
  11. Samples
    1. All samples to be made for wear testing capabilities unless otherwise specified. Meaning they need to be made to be abused…

Sum of the parts. Jay pulled these apart with his bare hands. Multiple failures of the material preparation and the glue between the outsole, midsole and the upper. This has all been addressed for the next round of the product, and for the general stock the will carry at LALO.


LALO is altering the outsole molds to accommodate a stitch line in the toe cap of the boot. It’s imperative to do this, they state, to get a mechanical bond between the toe cap and the outsole. Stitching will run up the sides of the boots too. This, along with a larger seam allowance, should save them on any construction issues.


Let’s see if we can get our hands on a pair and do a comparison. Stay tuned.

By Michael Kurcina

Mike credits his early military training as the one thing that kept him disciplined through the many years. He currently provides his expertise as an adviser for an agency within the DoD. Michael Kurcina subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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