I had seen them advertised. Heard from a few people that they liked them. So, I decided that it was time to get my hands on them. These low-cut tactical shoes. The Altama Maritime Assault Low. I had a couple of questions and observations about them even prior to their arrival at my front door. Are they durable enough for the weight room? Would they be stable enough for lifting? Is this really a tactical boot as Altama classifies it? Well, they showed up and I’ve had them on my feet for long enough and in enough different environments now to have an opinion.
I wanted to look at two specific applications for this shoe. How do they rate for physical training use and how do they fit in as a discreet tactical shoe? At around $75.00 if they fit the bill as just ONE of these things, they could be a game changer. I went after the first question the day they arrived.
Before We Start…
I first want to talk about their construction. If a shoe belongs in the weight room, it first must be durable. The quarter panels of the Maritime Assaults are made of 1000D Cordura, the standard for fabric in construction of tactical gear. This means that these shoes can rub against rough stuff, get wet, banged around and they aren’t going to fray, rip or tear. A thick ABS sole ensures that this shoe has flexibility, with a full-length shank ensuring that it’s not too flexible.
As it’s designed for operations in wet environments, there is a drain port on the front part of the shoe that offers great breathability and air mesh linings to wick that moisture away. The insole provided is spongy, but non-water absorbent and it is GRIPPY. Almost to a fault. It just means that when you put on the shoe or remove it, you need to unlace the shoe more than you would most casual shoes or you will pull the insole, stuck to your sock, out with your foot.
In The Weight Room
With those details out of the way, let’s talk lifting. I love picking stuff up and putting it down. Dynamic and explosive lifts make humans that are durable and fit. The weightlifting shoe market has grown exponentially with the popularity of kettle bells and Crossfit on the rise. I could go on a tangent about why your feet are important in Olympic lifting, but for now, I’ll tame it to a couple of the big points.
1 – Using more of your foot in a lift activates more muscular fiber, this means more well-rounded musculature and stronger supporting tissue to yield less injury.
2 – Compound lifts with your legs as a target, deadlifts, squats, etc. beg that you drive with your heels and push through the floor. The more you can focus on these two aspects, the more force you can generate and weight you can lift.
Dawning the Maritime Assault Lows for the first time in the gym, I immediately recognized two things. They fit really well, I ordered a 12W and that’s exactly how they fit, and my whole foot was activated while walking in these. What I mean by that is that they are a pretty flat soled shoe. I like that feeling because it offers more stability in lifting compared to a running shoe.
Stepping back into the squat rack with weight on my traps and these shoes on my feet felt really good. I already explained why they feel stable, but they have a lot of traction too.
The shoe print and compound yield a grip that is functional over wet rocks or on the weight room floor. When deadlifting, I enjoyed the same stability and traction offered during my squat. The advantage offered of these as a low-cut shoe is that you have full mobility of the ankle when the shoe is cut just below the lateral malleolus (outer ankle bone). Meaning that you have full range of motion through your lifts.
With respect to lifting weights and some of the other dynamic exercises I enjoy (sled work, medicine ball work and box jumps) I believe there is a place for these shoes in the weight room, I enjoyed using them and will continue to do so. I would not recommend these for running. They are a bit on the heavy side (13 oz.) as compared to other shoes that are available. The interesting thing is that when you pick the shoe up off of the ground, you can immediately tell that all of that weight is in the sole.
Having spent some time doing plain clothes work as a cop, I was interested in how these could be applied in that arena. You can always spot the undercover cops. The guy with the beard, Oakleys, MagPul phone case and usually a boot or athletic shoe. I’m a Chuck Taylor fan. The throw back look has comfort and style wrapped into one. These shoes are like a window into an alternate reality where Chuck Taylor became a Navy SEAL instead of a basketball player.
I mentioned not running in these shoes (which is kind of important in the cop World) but I mean for sport. I wouldn’t lace these up and run a 5k in them. Having sprinted in them for short distances, I encountered no problems with them. This makes them viable as a shoe that is tactical yet discreet in nature. Especially because I don’t particularly like the look of a lot of the “tactical shoes” offered by some of the manufacturers out there. I legitimately like the ways these look with chinos or jeans and how I feel walking around in them.
So Many Uses!
The Altama Maritime Assault Low is intended to be used in the water. In its design, they ensured that you could fit a fin over it. I’m really excited to use these on my next backpack fishing trip as they offer a unique versatility in being capable of both traversing rough terrain and wicking water off of the foot. In Arizona, where I live, we had a freak snow storm in which I went out to my property with these Altamas. I experience zero traction issues, felt comfortable walking around, but it is noteworthy that the drainage ports on these shoes work both ways… My feet ended up cold and wet.
This testing period answered all of my questions. Is it viable as both an athletic shoe and a discreet tactical boot? A resounding YES! Proof of how much I like these shoes. I am already exploring the possibility of wearing the tan colored mid-length version of these boots for duty use. That’s just on the professional side, on the personal side, yesterday, my wife, baby and I attended a birthday party for our friends’ son. Guess which shoes I wore?
Let’s Rate Them!
Price – 5/5
Fit – 5/5
Durability – 5/5
Style – 5/5
Overall – 5/5
To see more from Altama, or buy the Maritime Lows, click HERE!
I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up 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.