If you don’t wear a suit to work, odds are you wear a pair of boots. Working as a CBP Officer I have some basic requirements when it comes to my foot wear. Despite on my work location (which will change the type of uniform I need to wear), there are some pretty standard footwear rules I need to follow; boots need to be black, plain toe, etc (I won’t bore you with all of it). This these types of regulations are pretty standard more the majority of Law Enforcement organizations. Similar to the Army, CBP provides us with uniform credits where we can access a certain website and order gear, clothes, etc. Although this is a great perk, more often than not the prices of items on this site are wildly inflated, and you end up spending your year’s budget on a single uniform and one pair of boots.

So, when I am faced with purchasing my own gear, I always start with my boots. I’d rather have to pay for my boots and have them be high quality, then free and fall apart after a month. As I have mentioned in other articles (here), I tend to run a bit hot in the foot department and I need to take this into consideration when selecting a pari of boots. This usually means I forego waterproof boots, even when environmental conditions suggest I shouldn’t. This changed for me recently when I was given a pair of Maelstrom Tac Force 8” boots to test out.

Maelstrom Tac Force 8" Boots
High-quality laces, and lace ports

Maelstrom makes a variety of boots, and apparel with Law Enforcement in mind. If you haven’t checked out their line up, you can (here). After having the Tac Force 8” boots for a couple of months now I have to say I am impressed. These boots are 8” tall (as the name states), polishable (if your department/organization requires this), breathable, lightweight, stable, comfortable (even after 10+ hour shifts on my feet), and have zipper access (ankle side) for easy on/off.

Specifications (According to maelstromtactical.com)

  • Polishable leather and nylon upper
  • Proprietary waterproof linning with a full bootie construction
  • Bloodborne pathogen resistant
  • High performance removable cushion insert
  • Lightweight, shock-absorbing molded midsole
  • Slip, oil-resistant rubber outsole
  • Padded collar and tongue for extra comfort
  • YKK side zipper with closure for easy on/off

So far I have used these boots in indoor (Airport), and outdoor (Seaport) environments. While outdoor they have been subjected to rain, wind, and general Fall/Winter Seattle weather. They performed well, my feet stayed dry, and comfortable throughout my entire shift. Although indoor environments are seemingly less harsh, they still performed well. Even in hot conditions, these boots breathed well and kept ventilation to my feet. One of the things which stood out to me was how stable these boots feel.

Maelstrom Tac Force 8" Boots
Slip resistant rubber outsoles

Quality has always been a problem for me. As you can see in the picture below; the Maelstrom boots zipper construction is clearly better. On the right is a pair of boots ordered through work. After just two months usage the zipper broke off these boots making them useless to me.

Maelstrom Tac Force 8" Boots
Both boots used for approximately 2-3 months (left) Maelstrom Tac Force 8″ Boots (right) work provided 8″ boot

As I mentioned, I have used these boots in rainy environments no problem, but I hadn’t completely tested the waterproof lining with full bootie construction. I walked through low-level puddles without a problem, but I really wanted to test the full waterproof capabilities of these boots. I took a bucket, filled it with water, and slowly placed the boot into increasingly deeper amounts of water.

Maelstrom Tac Force 8" Boots
The waterproof testing sequence

There were no surprises during this test this test. After the water exceeded the height of the internal liner, the zipper was the point of compromise. As well as water is kept out to this point, it is equally well-kept inside the boot after compromise. In short, if you exceed the liner you will need to take these boots off and dump the water out. This being said, the compromise point wasn’t until approximately 5″ which is generally deeper than most of us will find ourselves during our day-to-day work.