I’m sure a lot of our readers have heard this muttered, “if I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” Well, I can certainly relate to that phrase. When I was younger – much younger – I was totally indestructible, nothing could stand in my way – except for life itself. I will readily admit that, before I became a born again Christian, I didn’t lead the most honorable life – it was actually pretty wild in a lot of ways. Roger Simon, a newspaper reporter in Chicago, Illinois, once wrote a couple articles about me. I was quoted in one of those articles as saying: “I do the things that others dream of.” I’m not exactly sure if I said that or not at this point, but Simon was pretty dead-on when he included that in the article.
I once ran an organization called “Rescue One” and we had offices in the USA, Athens, Greece and Cape Town, South Africa. We were listed with INTERPOL, as a private intelligence organization. And at the time we had the only one in the world. The International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO-INTERPOL) actually came to us, wanting to know what we were all about. And we were soon listed is as a private intel agency. We really did do the things that others only dreamed about. At one point, we were all set to rescue some nuns held behind the Iron Curtain, who were being held in one of the Soviet Bloc countries.
I hold Black Belt rank in five different martial arts, with the highest rank being a 6th Degree Black Belt – not bragging in the least – just trying to lay some ground work. I’m listed in the Third Edition of Who’s Who In American Martial Arts, right in there with the likes of Chuck Norris, so you know I’ve been around the block a few times, and it has taken its toll on my body as I approach yet another birthday shortly.
With one medical issue after another, it has caused me to be more careful and selective when it comes to a lot of things. Osteoarthritis is but one medical issue I must deal with on a daily basis, and some days, it is a real chore to get out of bed to face another day in pain – I live in pain, no days off. So, with that said, I choose things differently than a lot of people do. I stopped teaching firearms classes some years back, because of a bad hip – it has since been replaced – if only the rest of my body worked like my new hip does, I’d be happy. I couldn’t stand long enough to teach firearms classes all day. And, even with the new hip, my time is limited when it comes to standing because of arthritis in the lower back. A word of advice: “Don’t ever get old.”
One thing that is an absolute must, is proper footwear. And I don’t mean big box store $10 shoes or boots, or from some cheap national shoe source outlets. I learned a long, long time ago, to be extremely picky, when it comes to footwear. I don’t even own a pair of dress shoes these days. My footwear consists of either hiking shoes or boots – period, end of story! Now, with that out of the way, I also only wear lightweight footwear these days. And I must note: not cheaply made footwear, but quality footwear that is lightweight.
Some years ago, a local bargain grocery store in our area, had some brand-new in the box genuine US military boots for sale – they get close outs on all kinds of things – not just food stuff. I picked up a pair of new US Army desert boots. How could I go wrong, for $11 per pair? Got a pair for my wife and oldest daughter, too – youngest daughter was in the US Army so had her own boots – which, by the way, we purchased for her, from Blackhawk Products because we wanted her to have the best. Back to the steal-of-a-deal military boots I got: they are tough – and heavy! So heavy that I don’t want to wear them. I hadn’t give that any thought when I purchased them – I just knew that they were a bargain. So they now sit in my closet, waiting for someone who can wear them. I just can’t wear these heavy boots all day long. They take a toll on me.
The Too Light Box
Blackhawk Products sent me a pair of their new 6-inch Trident Ultralite boots for testing, and I thought, I really did – that Blackhawk had sent me an empty box, or the wrong product until I opened it up. Sure enough, the Trident Ultralite boots were in the box, and they were light weight, to say the least About 18-ounces is all they weigh. Needless to say, I figured they were “cheap” as in constructed cheaply. But I was wrong.
From Blackhawk’s web site: “The 6-inch Trident Ultralite Boot is constructed of rugged 600 denier ballistic Nylon with leather reinforcements for a secure breathable fit. The mid-shaft design wraps around the ankle, while a phylon midsole and aggressive outsole provides an unparalleled cushioning and traction. The Trident Ultrallte Boot – find out what feather-light toughness feels like.” This is a great description, but is it advertising hype or the truth?
First of all, the 600 denier ballistic Nylon material resists tears while allowing your foot to breath as well. I know some footwear – boots in particular – have 1,000 denier ballistic Nylon – and its super-tough stuff, but it is also heavier and thicker and it doesn’t move with your foot as easily as the 600 denier stuff does. I didn’t take a knife to the 600 denier ballistic Nylon, but I played around with it long enough to know, this material simply isn’t going to tear easily.
There is also an antimicrobial lining in the boot, and this helps mitigate foot and shoe odor. I’ve been down that road with some folks, who have terrible foot odor, and their footwear needed to be placed outside the door – because it smelled “that” bad.
I like the NATO speed lace system on the Ultralite Boot. It saves time when you have to put your boots on in a hurry. You simply pull the laces tight, and then run the remaining laces through the speed lace system, and give a good pull and tighten the laces, and you are good to go.
There is an Ortholite insole in these boots, that adds comfort and is removable and washable. However, I wear prescription insoles, and I have to use them in all my footwear. You wouldn’t believe the difference it makes. If I don’t have these prescription insoles in my footwear, I know it in short order, my feet really hurt. This because I have high arches, unlike many folks my age, who have fallen arches.
My sample boots came in coyote tan, but they can also be had in all-black. I like the coyote tan, since it goes with all my cargo pants colors. I love the tread pattern on the soles of these boots, gives great traction, and it doesn’t allow small rocks and pebbles to get caught in the tread. We have nothing but gravel covered logging roads around us, and in short order, your boots will get some rocks caught in the soles of some boots – and you have to stop to remove them. So, I appreciate this sole pattern on these boots.
My Hiking Tests
I don’t get out nearly enough these days, to just enjoy nature any more – I’m always busy testing products or doing some other form of work…I’m glad that I’m “semi-retired” these days. I couldn’t stand to work this hard if I were still working full-time…LOL! However, whenever I get some footwear to test for an article, I really put them to the test, and that means lots of walking on the paved roads in my area, as well as the logging roads, as well as through vegetation. So my Ultralite Boots received a real world work out and they still look brand-new. I did spray them – heavily – with some water repellent spray, to help keep them clean and give them some form or water proofing because we get a lot of rain in my area, roughly eight months out of the year.
I don’t have anything really negative to say about these boots, other than, they are a little difficult to get my feet into them, first thing in the mornings. Not that the boots are smallish – they aren’t – just the way my feet are at times. Once the boots are on, and laced-up properly, you forget you have them on. They are more than comfortable and lightweight on the feet.
I have no doubts that these boots will give me many years of outstanding service, in any activity I might engage in. With the boots being so light in weight, it is only an added attraction for me. I don’t want to wear heavy boots on my feet or uncomfortable boots. And these boots needed no break-in period at all, and I like that. I only wish that Blackhawk offered them in a total waterproof version. Then again, I don’t plan on doing much standing in several inches of water all day long.
Quality never comes cheap, and the Blackhawk 6-inch Trident Ultralite Boot retails for $129.99. That may sound spendy to many folks, but you get what you pay for. These boots will last for years, and your poor aching feet – well, maybe, just maybe, your dogs won’t be barking after wearing these boots all day long.