Blackhawk 6-inch Trident Ultralite Boots, by Pat Cascio

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.




25 Comments

  1. Pat, loved your boot review and will give them a try. Also loved your self-review! I sympathize as every week there’s a new ache/pain to deal with; getting old ain’t for sissies!

  2. Excellent review of the boots. A light weight boot is what’s needed for ordinary hiking and hunting activities. … The US Army is buying and switching to a light weight boot for the ‘professional hikers’ in our Military. = God Bless America. The experts in military hiking would say, “It’s about time!”

    Older styled boots are more suitable for construction work. I’ve found the very heavy soles, of quality construction boots to be very puncture resistant (most of the time~just good-enough). … But, the boots are >too heavy for hikingreal experiences in this world. The scoffing at learned Wisdom is loudest from Young People now days.

    1. A large part of my comment disappeared on posting. I also complimented the author for descriptions of what may occur as we age. The part about >learned Wisdom from experiences in life is what may be scoffed at now days; especially by young people.

      This was an excellent article about both hiking boots, and LIFE ITSELF as we age.

  3. Pat, when it comes to footwear I am very picky. For everyday wear I have/use Merrill hiking shoes and when in the woods hiking it’s Merrill hiking boots. I also have a couple of pair of Wolverine hunting boots when I hunt/fish. All of my everyday footwear is waterproof, and I make sure I wear new for a couple of weeks to break them in, especially my boots. I made that mistake once by not breaking them in, and I won’t be doing that again. When the time comes I will check out the Blackhawk brand and hopefully the company will come out with a waterproof version.

  4. Pat – Mud ? I have had some boots that pick up mud and hold on to it great, can’t wear any place dropping mud pieces on the floor would be an issues. How did these do in the mud ?
    I love lightweight boots, but my feet don’t but for pavement / smooth trails. If off on rocks or rough trails, I need a really thick sole with carbon fiber (for wt.) shank, no shank and they flex too much. I have found that I need to shop for “Expedition” boots to get the shank, but they are all heavy. I end up keeping both, would love to find a 6″ (not-quite-as-light) lightweight boot with a shank that I could use all the time.

  5. I didn’t have to work anywhere near as hard as Pat did to get bad feet. I sprained my ankle walking in our garden. $129 is a good price for shoes that support your feet. Good socks too. Nutrition plays a role, my aching feet are soothed by magnesium/potassium-rich foods. Shoo-Goo will extend the life of shoes coming apart between the uppers and sole.

  6. May have to try a pair. For years I bought Original SWAT boots without side zip in OD green but they have since discontinued this model. I bought the coyote Under Armor boots but the top mesh let in too much fine sand here in the desert and sanded my feet raw. The Under Armor boots also did not protect me from cactus. For work I wear Red Wings but they discontinued my favorite model (899’s) and half the Red Wing store is not American made anymore.

  7. I have most of the same issues as the rest of you. Plus size 14&1/2- 15 size or 49 European. Always looking for my next pair of boots. Merrills seem to fit and be the best I have found. They keep discontinuing whatever I like. Living in the desert I need shoes that keep the sand out and my feet cool. Will try the Blackhawks if they have my size.

  8. Great review Pat, as always. I always enjoy how you put your own spin on products and we seem to think alike. I have been through multiple pairs of the Magnum Response boot from when I was a cop and been happy with them but they only come in black, which doesn’t work for me anymore, too tacticool looking for the average Joe walking around and I normally wear earth tones. Will check these out.

  9. Good review Pat. I may have to give these a try. We are about the same age and I don’t live far from you as the crow flies so our weather is the same. (Cold rain as I write this and my osteo is letting me know about it.)

    Growing older isn’t for sissies.

  10. Blown out knee from my days in the military, so as I’ve gotten older, light has become very important. Now I work in the oil patch. 12 hour days, when you’re over 50, are not fun. Finding a safety toe/boot that meets all the certifications, including being 8″ is not the easiest. My go to for the last few years has been the 511 tacticals with side zip. They are light, easy to get on and off with the side zip, and they have a gel heel, which helps keep an old guy with a bad knee on his feet, and lets me keep up with the guys out here that are half my age.

    I’ll have to look into the Blackhawk’s now, to see if they have anything comparable. From the military to the oil patch, the one constant is: “Your feet are your life.”

  11. I used to sell therapeutic shoes and custom insoles and have seem all kinds of foot problems. Also other problems throughout the body resulting from foot issues, most notably ankle, knee, hip and back problems. I have even heard of cases TMJ being alleviated using custom insoles (it was published in a medical journal). Your feet are your bodies foundation, treat them right and you will know it. Don’t skimp on your feet. As for our aging bodies, my mom always said her golden years were rusty.

  12. I want to offer up some things to help on this aging journey. I have spent years working countless hours on my feet. It appears that I am going to experience the effects mostly in my ankles and feet. Several years back, I did partially tear a knee meniscus that had me limping up and down stairs. At the time, I complained to my doctor that I thought I was losing strength in my lower limbs. She prescribed a round of PT and it helped somewhat. What really helped was that I discovered the benefits of drinking Bone Broth. There are many different You-tube videos out there showing you how to make it, but basically it is a broth made from bones and other ingredients that is very slowly simmered on a low heat for hours. I used locally sourced grass fed beef bones for mine. Drink at least a mug full every day and you should see improvements in a few weeks, maybe sooner. This is also excellent for boosting immunity, and for this reason I have started back drinking broth this winter. There is a side note here. For some reason, I don’t really know why, it helps with insomnia but only if the mugful is consumed around mid afternoon. My next adventure with alternative therapies was mushroom capsules after stumbling on the work of Paul Stamets. He is an expert in Mushroom mycelium , written books, gives lectures, and is over all a fascinating read on this subject. His research has included certain breast cancer treatments, environmental cleanups, and honey bee collapse disorder, as well as governmental research. You can find him on Ted Talks and I encourage you to research on your own, and see if you want to try this. Taking Mushroom powders is old Chinese medicine, but I would caution you that if you do decide you want to try these, to avoid any coming from outside of the country, only because you don’t know which kinds of soils they have been grown in. There seems to be a mushroom for all kinds of ailments. Finally, this past fall, I decided it was time that I cleaned up my 45 plus years of poor eating habits that most of us have in the health care industry. I am not fanatical with most things that I try, and so if I change my diet and decide that on Christmas I am going to throw caution to the wind, I do so. Mostly what I did was do away with sugars, gluten in the forms of breads, etc, and tried to eat more healthy proteins, vegetables and fruits. Also, I tried to cut out as much processed foods as possible. I really wanted to stabilize my blood sugar levels. My ankles had increased in size over the last year or so, and I had thought that this would be a permanent condition. I was shocked when in one weeks time, they went back to their normal size. I am not sure when I noticed that my mobility had improved, but I have only been doing this for four months and I feel like I have dropped years. The last thing I wish to share with you is not my experience but my friends. She is very close to needing a total knee replacement. Over the last couple of weeks she had to take tub bath soaks using Epsom salts to treat a skin condition. She says after the first bath she could hardly climb out of the tub, but after the next couple or so, she is moving around with no pain in her knee. Now she is pain free for a week now. Are any of these permanent fixes? I have no idea. I just know what has helped me and I wish to share with you to try. Do your own research. Give them time to work before making the decision if they are to be permanent habits. I for one, will give up bread and sweets, just because I love the way I feel. We need to kick this aging can down the road for as long as we can. Blessings!

  13. Wish I could wear normal size boots. If you need extra wide like I do, check out the new trail runners from New Balance. I couldn’t believe how light they are, but have stood up well so far.

  14. I do a lot of back country bow bunting. I have had both a right knee replacement and a left ankle replacement. I like boots that are light, waterproof, supportive and tough. The last few years I have been wearing Red Wing VaprTrek. Could not be happier, even though my Danner Pronghorns are awesome too, just not as light.

  15. Like others here I have been wearing Merrill’s for a couple of years now. I have always been particular on the shoes/boots I wear. It took me a few months and a whole lot of shopping to figure out that the Merrill’s are the best in price range I can afford. I wish they made a high top version to provide more ankle support (old injury).

  16. I just ordered a pair that you recommended. I still have my original combat boots and “Jump Boots” from Jump School. They were heavy. I was on an “A TEAM” in the Special Forces 44 years and 80 lbs ago. I wear boots like this every day now and they are wearing out. I have 4 new pairs in the boxes. They are all heavy so I’m ready for some lighter weights for footwear.

    Good review, now let us test them on the ranch and trails of Tennessee.

  17. Im with you Pat, my wife and i only wear hiking boots period. She loves Asolo brand and im a Danner Man, hunter style boots. Years ago when we married she scoffed at paying 250 dollars for quality foot wear, now shes on her second pair in twenty years ! Thats called good economy. We rarely would allow our kids to wear those cheap thong sandles with no support. Look at what the hippsters are wearing around these days and you can see why we are plagged with back, knee and hip problems. I cant stand flip flops, except at the beach mabey. Thanks for the review Pat.

  18. Great info on the boots. All of us that have been around the horn know how important is is to take good care of our feet. One of the other comments talked about “Cactus” and I know what he is talking about. The new GI desert boots don’t have hard enough soles to stop the spines from going thru. I switched back to my old Special forces boots I have had for years. After 30 years in Alaska using them for hunting only I new they were tough enough to stand up to the any thing here in Utah. They did a good job but my feet and back took a beating. I couldn’t wear them they were to much for me. I wear “Lowa” hiking boot and they are great, but not water proof without spraying them down with “Kiwi” Camp Dry. They seem to do OK.

    Getting old is a bit-h. Us old guys had to work hard to make a living in the Oil Patch. In the old day’s the winter weather didn’t keep us indoors we worked when it was -80 below wind chill. Most all of us wore “Bunny boots” to keep our feet warm. It seems now we have a bunch of folks that say it to hard to work in that cold of weather. They sure didn’t pay us that good money to sit on our a** and complain. I won’t be around to many more years to see our country fall apart because nobody wants to “WORK HARD”. Pat thanks so much for the article and I’ll sure try a pair out.
    Gman

  19. As I close in on my “3 score and ten”, I have a couple of near-disabling health issues. Some are the “normal” afflictions of the old, others are a result of my lifestyle and risk taking. There is also the business of “I should have treated my body as a temple, instead, I treated it as a fraternity house or amusement park”….

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