The A.T.A.C. 8" shield boots

5.11 Tactical’s new design is solid & sure-footed

By: Dale Stockton

The New A.T.A.C. Shield Boot from 5.11 Tactical is designed to give law enforcement officers a reasonably priced tactical boot. The Shield portion of the name refers to the ANSI Z-41-level protective toe. I’m not a big fan of boots, having worn some pretty uncomfortable ones many years ago in the military, but the design of this A.T.A.C boot appealed to me, and I decided to give them a try.

The first thing I noticed about the boots was how light they felt, considering they included a protective toe and a large and rugged-looking sole. The boots feature a traditional lace-up but are equipped with a side zipper to simplify getting them on and off. While I like this feature, I know if it isn’t designed properly, it becomes a weak link in the boots’ longevity. However, after close examination, I’m confident the design will withstand quite a bit of abuse. A flap located at the top secures the zipper tab.

True to their first impression, the boots felt light on my feet and surprisingly flexible, considering their overall robust construction. 5.11 combined several technologies to provide support for high-impact activity yet feature excellent running characteristics. My feet didn’t feel hot, which I attribute to the company’s use of a waterproof but breathable membrane. Speaking of waterproof, my socks stayed dry even when I stepped in water about 4" deep.

The boot features an aggressive tread the company claims is slip-resistant. This caught my attention, because I vividly recall once taking a bad spill while running on smooth asphalt after a light rain. The weather cooperated during my evaluation of these boots, and I had an opportunity to make a series of abrupt starts, stops and quick turns right after a light rain. The pavement’s slight iridescent sheen (indicating the presence of oil) made for a slippery surface, but I just couldn’t get the boots to slide. Maybe I’ve slowed down, but the boots’ aggressive tread pattern seemed to do the job.

The A.T.A.C. boot features a hidden compartment that permits the wearer to carry a small item (about 1.5" x 2") in each boot. As long as you use some common sense with what you stash in these compartments, you’ll never even know the items are there. However, removing items without removing the boots proves challenging.

These boots cost approximately $149.

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