In Greek mythology, Atlas was a Titan who was condemned by Zeus to hold up the celestial heavens for eternity. The new 5.11 Tactical A.T.L.A.S. (All Terrain Load Assistance System) footwear collection was designed for professional end-users who carry considerable loads while on duty. Two years in the making, 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. footwear, which was introduced at the 2020 SHOT Show, is designed to enhance agility and stability, while also adding cushion support for heavy ‘work weight.’
5.11 Tactical A.T.L.A.S. Footwear
5.11 A.T.L.A.S. footwear is available in three styles: an eight-inch Boot, Mid (mid-height) Boot and a Trainer.
The 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. boots feature 5.11’s new proprietary Echo Foam™ (high-rebound/energy-return) and Force Foam™ (high-impact cushioning) PU (polyurethane) foam midsole with the 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. dual-density polypropylene Support Plate for turning and stability control, while carrying additional weight.
The 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. boots also feature a new Ortholite® Comfort Foam foot bed, ASTM slip and oil resistant high-traction outsoles, and highly breathable high-abrasion-resistant nylon mesh uppers for maximum comfort. The mesh uppers feature welded support for structure. Other features include 3D molded TPR (thermoplastic rubber) toe and heel protection.
The 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. boots have large pull tabs on the heel (and also on the tongue of the eight-inch boot). They help when putting on the boots, especially when wearing gloves.
5.11 Tactical didn’t skimp on padding. The 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. boots haves 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 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.
5.11 also offers a low-cut A.T.L.A.S. Trainer. The 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. Trainer features similar construction to the boots, except that it has a high-rebound EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) outsole designed for cross-training workouts and it lacks the A.T.L.A.S. Support Plate. It’s compatible with the A.T.L.A.S. Support Plate, which can be added as option, for same structure (increased stability) as the 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. boots.
The 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. boots are available in black and Dark Coyote. The 5.11 A.T.L.A S. Trainer comes in black only. I went with the 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. Mid Boot in Dark Coyote, since I was need of some new hiking boots to replace my worn out hiking boots.
Tips for Selection & 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.
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.
How They Perform
Although I only recently received the 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. Mid Boots, I have worn them on several long hikes in the Arizona desert over some fairly demanding terrain, with uneven ground, steep and oftentimes slippery inclines, as well as countless sharp rocks that would put any boots to the test.
The boots were exceptionally comfortable out of the box. They didn’t need a break-in period, although I do recommend that all boots be broken-in before using them out in the field. Also, keep in mind that everybody’s feet are different. A boot that works for me might not work for you.
The boots provide excellent support, stability and agility. The A.T.L.A.S. support system definitely makes a big difference, especially when carrying a heavy load. I haven’t experienced any chafing or blisters either.
The other key features of the boots are likewise impressive. The aggressive proprietary lug pattern on the soles provides superior traction on both dry terrain and on smooth wet surfaces. Although not designed as a hot weather boot, the mesh uppers and wicking nylon lining do a good job in allowing the foot to breath.
The boots are surprisingly lightweight, considering the level of support and stability they provide. This is a testament to their design. Weight or the lack thereof becomes very noticeable during a long hike or after a long day. The features that make them great boots for backcountry hiking or backpacking / rucking, also make them great for duty.
Except for an eyelet on the top, the inlet on the 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. Mid Boot utilizes webbing to attach the laces. Webbing causes less chafing on the laces and is easier to adjust than eyelets. Although it’s slightly more durable than D-rings, it’s more failure prone than eyelets and lace hooks. It’s a trade off.
Although I haven’t had the boots a sufficient amount of time to judge durability, the overall construction and workmanship appears first rate.
5.11 Tactical has a real winner in its new A.T.L.A.S. footwear collection. MSRP for the Mid Boot is $139.99. MSRP for the eight-inch Boot is $149.99. The Trainer has a MSRP of $119.99. They’re imported.
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.
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