Product test: Solid Gear Safety Boots

Product test: Solid Gear Safety Boots

Roger Bisby takes a pair of Solid Gear 80005 Polar GTX Safety Boots out on site.

If you have ever suffered from cold, wet feet out on site in the winter and doubted the wisdom of your career choice then this pair of winter boots will interest you. They say there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing, and if there is a pinnacle in the design of winter work boots then this pair of Solid Gear Polar GTX thermally lined boots must be right up there.

It is difficult to see how they can be improved. They remind me very much of snow board boots with their BOA ratchet closure system using steel wire where laces would have been. One push of the button and you can close them up notch by notch to fit snugly around your ankle and lower leg. And one pull of the centre button opens them fully so you can kick them off without touching them. The mechanism is obviously designed to allow you to remove them without having to take your gloves off and the wire won’t stretch or become ice-bound in the way that laces will. You can also slip them on and wear them like riggers if you just want to walk from the site hut to your van.

The boots have a synthetic wool lining and a thin interlayer of Gortex to keep out the wind and the wet. The outside is nubuck leather and Cordura and there is a Vibram sole, usually found in walking and mountaineering boots. This gives slip resistance in the wet and grease. Is this all a bit overkill for a workboot? Some might think so but when you consider that your average winter hill walker or mountaineer is only out for a few hours at the weekend then the argument could be turned on its head. The good news is that safety boots with toe protection are zero rated for VAT. There is no tax on toes.

Socks that rock
If you are going to have a hi-tech pair of boots, you might as well treat your feet with a good pair of socks. Socks have not always been Snickers strongest line but the Ruff Work Cordura stretch socks are in a completely different league to some of the earlier versions. The hard wear panels at the heel and toe are Cordura and the rest is made up with a mixture of merino wool and man made fibres. They come in packs of two pairs.

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