Being the hiking enthusiast that I am, I prefer to walk around on sturdy footwear pretty much all the time, even when I am out taking a walk. And I take a lot of walks, because it's not like I have the start of a hiking trail right next to my house. For walking, I want something with thick soles, so that they'll last me a good while. The trouble with sneakers is that they don't have the thickest of soles and you can wear them out quickly when walking on them. That's kind of a shame, because it's better to save your sneakers for jogging, instead. And that's why I wear either hiking or combat boots in my daily life as well.
It was the HAIX Combat Hero, that recently caught my eye and I instantly had a good feeling about them. They have the perfect camouflage color, a simple, yet elegant design, and are AR-670-1 approved, to boot! A purchased them last year, they weren't discounted. Currently, at the time of writing, they are discounted at $149, without even having to need a coupon code. That's what I consider to be an absolute steal for an army approved combat boot. Usually, you'll get sneakers for that price point. But with HAIX, it gets you combat boots.
Let's have a look at how the Combat Heroes are built, shall we?
First of all, on the outside we can see that the boot is made of a combination of textile and suede, which is both soft, flexible and durable. The HAIX climate system places vent holes in the boots, which gives it the ability to wick away all of its excess heat and moisture. Then there is the pull on loop, which makes it a real breeze to slip yourself into these babies.
Second, on the inside we can see a comfortable inner liner, that doesn't chafe your feet or irritates them in any way. There is extra support in the form of a midsole, which will help to support people with fallen arches, of which I am one. The stock insole is a good one for people who do not suffer from fallen arches, but I've replaced it with my trusty Tread Labs, like I always do in any footwear that I put on my feet. The extremely thick outer sole absorbs lots of impact and gives you walking comfort.
My contact person at HAIX, warned me up front that I'd needed to break these boots in for a month or two, before I'd get comfortable in them. I'm happy to report that's an absolute lie, because these boots made me feel like I was walking on air straight from the get-go. You don't often feel this level of comfort with any kind of footwear straight out of the box. I've experienced this before with my Brooks Adrenaline sneakers, but not so often with hiking and/or combat boots.
Not only are HAIX's Combat Heroes comfortable from day 1, they also made me a lot taller, because of their extremely thick soles, plus they are basically forcing me to stand up straight in a way that I've never experienced before. I am not over reacting when I say that wearing these has been a whole different experience from what I'm used to. I can confidently say that I am now a big fan of HAIX boots.
They are easy to put on. They can be laced any way you like the, because of the many lacing holes. You can adjust them near your foot and your calf, the way you see fit. They have clips that you can use to keep the laces in place sturdily. Very sturdily, because at first I had problems unclipping the laces from the clips. I have since learned that it's easy to do if you pull the laces straight up at a 90 degree angle. In the photo below you can see the clips, as well as all the ventilation holes, which go a long way in making them so comfortable.
I've been wearing them off and on for almost a year now (these aren't my only pair), and I must say that the soles are holding up quite well. They have only started to show a tiny little bit of wear, after almost a year of walking multiple miles per week in them. You can have a look at their soles and the excellent tread pattern on them, by having a look at the photos below. As you can see, the soles aren't shy about telling you they're flexible, durable, self cleaning and anti static, even!
All in all, I would say the HAIX Combat Heroes gives you a whole lot of bang for your buck. Especially at the discount that HAIX is currently running. I've walked on all sorts of shoes. Some of my sneakers will give me bloody nails after walking many miles per day. The Combat Heroes do no such thing. Their toe boxes are extremely sturdy. I can't press them in with my fingers alone. I'd need power tools for that. There is a lot of room for your toes. At the same time, the whole boot feels like a snug fit. It also doesn't matter whether the weather is warm or cold, because these boots always keep my feet at a comfortable temperature.
At first, they can be a bit of a challenge to take off. When you're new to lacing clips, you won't yet know how best to work them. You do need to learn this, as they won't come off unless you first unclip both clips on both sides. This becomes easy after a couple of attempts. Sometimes, large gravel gets stuck in the tread pattern. I hardly even notice this, because the tread pattern is pretty deep. You can walk around with grave lodged in there and notice nothing. But even if you do notice it, with the thread pattern being so spacey, it's easy to pop gravel out with a flick of the finger.
Other than these minor inconveniences, I have no complaints about my Combat Heroes.
I shall be buying more HAIX footwear in the future. Highly recommended, indeed!