We are rolling into the cooler months of fall as we usher in the month of September which means hunting, hiking, exploring the outdoors, and tidying up our properties outside before we are bombarded with snow. All of these activities might have us searching for better footwear (what closet did I put them in last year?) or possibly contemplating an upgrade of new boots this fall. So in this TFB Review, we take a look at one of 5.11 Tactical’s newest pieces of footwear with their APEX Wedge Boot that could be perfect for hunting, hiking, or your everyday hustle. Come along with us as we share a walk in my shoes to see how they stack up and if they could potentially be right for you.
SPECIFICATIONS: 5.11 Tactical APEX Wedge Boot
I have been acquainted with 5.11 Tactical’s products for around 4 years now. I own a lot of their pants which I like, and appreciate the thoughtful design built into them. When presented with the opportunity to test out the NEW Apex Wedge Boot I was definitely intrigued. Most everyone understands they make great pants, backpacks, neat T-shirts, and lots of accessories for law enforcement and EMT (emergency medical technician) staff. One thing I have sorely overlooked is that 5.11 Tactical also makes footwear. So although I am very familiar with 5.11 Tactical, this is my first time combing over and assessing one of their boots. The short, but concise specifications for the Apex Wedge Boot can be read below as presented by 5.11 Tactical:
- Vibram® Christy resoleable outsole using Vibram® Newflex
- Covert pocket
- D30® footbed for all-day cushioning & support
- Premium leather
- Partnership w/ NuShoe® for superior quality repairs & resoling
- Shoe Size: 7 – 14
- Width Options: Regular or Wide
These boots are offered in one color of “Rust” and you have your option of 13 different sizes from 7 – 14 (including 1/2 sizes between 7 – 12), and the choice of a Regular or Wide width. Upon real close inspection, these boots out of the box displayed crisp stitching, edges, and firmly-fashioned metalwork for weaving the laces back and forth. These were all positive signs from the start. Some further information is shared by 5.11 Tactical on their website in this remark about the NEW Apex Wedge Boot:
The Apex 6″ Wedge is built with a D30® support footbed for revolutionary shock absorption, all day comfort, and lasting heel and arch support. Its lightweight Vibram® Christy resoleable outsole gives all day stability and comfort. The outsole also features Vibram Newflex to maximize your grip and enhance your energy. The APEX wedge is ready to put some in serious miles in over all kinds of territory. Count on it.
Unboxing & FIRST IMPRESSIONS: 5.11 Tactical APEX Wedge Boot
Upon opening the box and handling the Apex Wedge Boot for the first time I had a few observations. This is a small one, but I appreciate the rust brown color that 5.11 Tactical chose to go with. Nobody is searching for a flamboyant work, hunting, or hiking boot and this will easily match any other clothes and attire I would wear doing those activities.
When I tried them on for the first time, I noticed that it is pretty spacious when you first insert your foot into the boot. This is a huge win for me because I own another pair of work boots that I almost fall over every time trying to put them on and break into a sweat because they are so tight. With the 5.11 Tactical Apex Wedge Boot, you can still tighten the laces well enough where there is no unnecessary movement around your foot.
My next immediate thought is that if I were to wear these outside during colder months of the year it would be no issue to wear two pairs of socks or a heavier pair of socks to stay warm. So whether I am wandering the Northern tundra of MN ice fishing, deer hunting, or doing other outdoor maintenance work, the reason why I call it a day will not be because my feet are cold.
Finally, the boot’s upper did feel a little stiff above your ankle, but that is to be expected with a brand new pair of boots. I expect that to break-in in a reasonable amount of time. All things considered, this seems like a legitimately nice boot, thus far. The only thing left to do is put it through a normal day’s work, which for me, entails checking on my family’s steers, taking inventory of our trail cameras leading in whitetail deer season, and assessing the fence and property line where our steers are held. Somewhat mundane tasks, but will absolutely test the merits of any boot.
Field TIME: 5.11 Tactical APEX Wedge Boot
Once I was out-standing in my field, I was immediately greeted by Tomahawk, New York, Ribeye, Chuck Eye, and Barney (you can guess which 1 of our 5 steers is less bright than the others). After their 30-second review, they too, approved of the Apex Wedge Boot by giving it a thorough licking and attempting to eat it. Those are the highest marks you can receive from them, I believe?…
While moving over jagged and unstable terrain such as creek crossings the boot provided good support for the ball and heel of your foot to maintain balance while maneuvering the terrain. I also quickly learned that these boots are pretty waterproof (to a certain extent; roughly 3-4″ up the boot) because there is a fun game we all play whenever we attempt to cross a river or stream called: “How stable is that rock in the middle I’m about to jump on?” You win some, you lose some, but in the end, the only negative is potentially getting your feet wet which did not happen to me with the 5.11 Tactical Apex Wedge Boot.
These boots ended up providing good support and cushion for a solid day’s work which honestly impressed me. Most of us have a pair of ol’ trusty boots that are admittedly too old, but you have worn them forever and like them. The problem with my ol’ trusty boots is by the end of the day your feet hurt; guaranteed. Not the case with the Apex Wedge Boot.
I spent a good week testing out these boots, and most days were cooler; roughly 50 to 60 degrees in Minnesota. With most days entailing about 6 hours of hard use my feet stayed plenty warm, were not too hot or sweaty, and never felt as though they were overheating. This is a great trait for where I live because some days I go hunting in the fall it can be a balmy 70 degrees or potentially -20 degrees. With the bi-polar attitude of Mother Nature you just never know yet have to be prepared.
FINAL THOUGHTS: 5.11 Tactical APEX Wedge Boot
So what are my final thoughts? Probably like you, I am not a savant of footwear, but I know things I like in a shoe (or boot) that will get me through a day of manual labor or adventure. With the 5.11 Tactical Apex Wedge Boot, nearly every appropriate box was checked. The boot was rigid enough to provide ample support yet flexible enough to keep up with my agile movements and work. That give-and-take is important because sometimes I am trying to stomp on the edge of a fence post with my boot while other times I am gingerly walking across a log trying to not fall in a river.
If there is any negative at all to this boot, I would say they are a little heavy. That is something you might notice when you pick them up, but once I started working that thought never entered my mind again. Conversely, the boot breathed well, kept my feet warm, were spacious enough for thicker socks, and simultaneously could be tightened down so my feet would not be swimming inside the boot.
All in all, I give my stamp of approval for the 5.11 Tactical Apex Wedge Boot. It does everything you could ask of it except maybe brew your morning coffee, and I will not hold that against 5.11 Tactical (might be watching for that in the year 2020 model though). Top-to-bottom, front-to-back, this is a great boot!
In closing, I want to say THANK YOU to 5.11 Tactical for allowing TFB and myself the opportunity to try out one of their newest tactical boots in the Apex Wedge Boot! That is greatly appreciated. Also, we would like to know what all of you guys and gals think? Do you believe that the 5.11 Tactical Apex Wedge Boot is something durable enough for your everyday demands yet equally agile to keep you constantly moving? Let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.
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