One of my many faults is the fact I tend to wear shoes way longer than I should. After 4 years of hard use, I finally retired my 5.11 boots and decided to look at a new pair less Tacticool. I had a few different options in mind but after trying a pair of Viktos Duty Gloves for cold range sessions, I thought they may be worth looking at. After trying out the gloves, I decided to check out a grey pair of Viktos Johnny Combat Boots. After looking around I decided to go with the waterproof versions since it is rapidly becoming winter time here in Michigan.
One of the first things I noticed when putting my Viktos boots was the reinforced frame around the body of the boot. The frame or chassis on the boot helps with stability while keeping it lightweight. The toe box has a reinforced rubber piece to withstand forceful pressures caused by kicking. The tread pattern on the Johnny Combat boots is somewhat unique but effective with large deep tread channels on the ball section.
The arch support is great and the tread pattern turns into an asymmetrical pattern to help you get leverage when climbing. This tread pattern has been patented by Viktos and is known as the STRIFE warfighter bottom unit. The WP or waterproof version I decided to buy has a breathable liner that keeps your feet dry. Viktos has the Johnny Combat waterproof boots for sale on their website for $140.00 which seems affordable for the level of quality.
I’ve tried out my Viktos boots on a few different outings hiking the various sand dune trails in western Michigan. These trails are great to test gear as well as yourself because they offer just about every type of terrain you can imagine. The trails I often visit have a mix of wet muddy areas, streams, huge sand dunes to climb and overall rough terrain that will raise hell on your clothes and gear. It was starting to cool off already in late September when I started testing these boots but even after a couple hours of hiking, my feet were dry and I didn’t have fatigue like I sometimes felt after wearing other Danner and 5.11 boots.
At one point I had a bad foot placement on a large rock in the middle of a stream and slipped off into the water. I climbed back onto the rock and continued on my way without my feet feeling wet or uncomfortable. Viktos’s waterproof material worked surprisingly well despite being as lightweight as it is. Probably the most impressive thing about these boots is how the tread pattern helps you climb up steep slopes. I decided to climb one of the largest sand dunes in Michigan with the Johnny Combats to see if the STRIFE tread really made a difference.
The slope was about 300-400 yards straight up and usually its rough on boots. Three years ago I did a similar test with some Under Armour boots and the sole came detached from the boot about halfway up. These Viktos boots though worked like a dream and the asymmetrical patters really did help give just a little more leverage on the steep sections. I was still extremely tired but the climb felt noticeably smoother than when I’ve done it in other boots.
The main reason I bought new boots was for having added stability while still having a lightweight boot. I wanted to order some new boots for various shooting classes I plan on attending over the next couple of months. So far, the synthetic chassis is the best of both worlds from my experience. These boots are stiff by design and offer exceptional support in the ankle and higher foot area. I’ve had four lengthy range sessions with the Viktos Johnny Combats and so far they’ve been exceptional. The rigid synthetic frame is supportive and gives support when you have to push yourself during shooting drills. Spending the last few range sessions in the Viktos Johnny Combat WP Boots has been enjoyable and let me have a full day of movement without my feet feeling sore or fatigued by all the activity.
In my experience, I couldn’t be happier with how these boots have performed both on my hikes and at the range when running around doing drills either on my own or with police agencies. I think they offer some of the best ankle support I’ve seen in a boot for the guys who’ve blown out ankles in life. My favorite pair of boots I’ve ever tried was a pair of Crispi boots and those are typically about four or five times the price as these Johnny Combats.
I think these boots offer a great deal of value and comfort. I plan on continuing my test and if anything happens to them, I will be sure to write a follow up down the road. So far though the Viktos boots are a winner in my book. Let me know what your favorite pair of boots are in the comments below. If you have questions about the Viktos Johnny Combat boots or anything else be sure to send me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.
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