The review of the Under Armour Valsetz RTS is a fruit of cooperation with SoleLabz.com, website reviewing top rated hiking shoes, boots and sandals.
UA is a company that Hiking Forward already knows well and trust the craftsmanship, design and quality of their products. So, when we got the call to try out a pair of their tactical line of boots, we jumped at the chance. While you may be looking at these boots and thinking... Hey! Wait a second those are hiking boots. Touche' my friend. But neither are Five Fingers, Crocs or Chacos, but how many people you see on the trail in them?
Having used to work in a arena where tactical clothing such as 5.11 pants and tactical boots were the norm, I figured I was somewhat uniquely prepared to merge the worlds of tactical requirements and run the boot through the outdoor paces as well.
As mentioned before there is not much from UA that has not met the quality test for me. I have wore these boots a lot. At first, I didn't think I would but the ease of putting them on and just sheer comfort kept me coming back day after day. So, after extensive use during wet, cold, snow, trail and normal use there are no present defects, stitch popping or noticeable issues that would give this boot a low mark in quality.
As mentioned before this boot is not your traditional hiking boot. It's design is geared toward the tactical community. A community that needs comfort. Long hours usually on your feet. So, as you guess the boot is extremely comfortable. I may not be a hiking boot, but folks you can shoot hoops in these bad boys. And, yes I have. (Sorry no photos of that).
From a tactical perspective it would be a great boot for daily wear. It's much lighter then all the other tactical boots I have worn. This is a benefit and liability depending on the duty. It's light because the boot doesn't have a steel toe or a steel shank running along the bottom to protect the wearer from punctures. If this is meant for daily were and not true potential tactical situations then its the perfect fit.
For those who may be used to this style of boot (i.e. law enforcement, fire or military) and normal hiking boots just look weird to you, this is the perfect cross-over from you heavy boots to hit the trails in. One of the things I really enjoyed about these boots is the quick lace capability. These boots don't require a lot of time to lace up. Even fully laced you can slide your foot in and just simply pull on the laces and begin the tie. This obviously is a need for people in the tactical arena, but a huge benefit to the outdoor community who wants to git and go in the morning too.
Light, comfortable and easy to wear is how I would frame up these boots. In addition, as mentioned they were worn extensively through the winter. Given how light the boots are, I was surprised by how warm they kept my feet with a normal sock.
What can I say, it's a boot meant for tactical situations and a daily wear. So far so good in this area. It's a solid boot, yet not a brick like what would think it would have to be for a durable tactical boot.
So, to sum this up. Great boot for the money especially if you have the need to wear a boot for work and like to hit the trails too... You can finally get one boot to do two things really well you for and in comfort.
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