Addidas GSG9 Boots
Now I'm not that old, a veritable spring chicken when compared to many archers I meet out and about, but I do remember a time before the world was flooded with named brands, people covered head to toe in designer gear and these days even bothering to leave the tags on so nobody is in any doubt about their fashion status or shopping ability. Back in those more simpler times we were happy with our lot and when it came to brand names and logos a simple Fred Perry crest was about most peoples limit. Then Hip Hop happened and before you knew it logos were every where and more significantly and relevant to this review, trainers were here to stay. As a 13 year old I lusted after a pair of Adidas as sported by my, at the time, favourite band Run DMC, months of begging and pleading with my parents resulted in me firing up the social ladder as I pranced around in a brand spanking new pair or Super Star 2's, gone were the Dunlop Greenflash and Gola Plimsoles, this was it, this my friends was the big time.
Imagine then my child like excitement when we here at Archers Review Towers get an email from an employee at Adidas telling us that the best archery boots he has ever used are Adidas GSG9. For those that don't know GSG9 is the counter terrorism and special weapons arm of the German Police force, so these are no ordinary boots, these dear reader are tactical assault boots. With almost as much pleading, begging but none of the crying as a 13 year old we begged Adidas to send us a pair to give them the full run down. It was all in fact rather a waste of effort as they were more than happy to send a pair over and as you would expect from a company with the size and reputation Adidas the boots were with us the next day.
The boots are exceptionally well made, as you expect both from Adidas and an assault boot with the uppers made of full grain leather. The sole is flexible but solid with Traxion outsole lugs to improve grip performance. There are plenty of other flash names for the various bits and bobs but at the end of the day what we are really interested in is are they comfortable, hard wearing and suitable for a day out in the woods. They have a high lace which personally I'm not that keen on, so I laced them half way up the ankle to give me some support but not so much they were restricting. As with any new boots getting them on was a little taxing at first so I decided that I would drive to the shoot I was going to test them at with the boots on, this of course was a mini test in itself as ideally what you want is a dual purpose boot, suitable for any occasion. They seemed fine so I set off to pick up Phil my shooting companion for the day and then the mid distance drive.
Zip forward to 12:00, I had arrived, set up and got 5 targets in before I had to bend down and pick up an arrow (for somebody else of course), it was then that I saw the boots and realised I should have been taking more notice of how they felt. However of course there can be no better praise in my opinion than to have been wearing the boot for half the day and they be so comfortable and wearable than I hadn't even noticed they were not my usual boots. This feeds in to something else, I tend to wear a very light boot so not to notice the GSG9 meant that they too were nice and light on the feet. It was then that I started to give them a good going over, placing my foot on rocks and damp trees and taking shots to make sure that they has as much traction as they were made out to have, they did not disappoint. It didn't matter what I did the boots were more than man enough for the job.
No boot test would be complete without a bit of water getting involved and as luck would have it this wood had both a stream and a very very boggy section. Like a little kid I was straight in to the mud and water but again the boots were excellent. My feet stayed dry all day and with a pair of gaiters were an excellent combination for a rainy or wet day.
When I was born I had a small defect in the lower leg which meant that my feet turn inwards, without proper fitting and supportive shoes I tend to get painful feet and pain in my ankles after a day in the woods. With the GSG9 I didn't have any problems as they were fully supportive of the foot and the ankle, this was further helped by the adiPRENE heal insert which made walking very comfortable. I think these are the only shoes I have ever worn "fresh" and not ended up with a blister or some other minor pain after the first time wearing them. They were genuinely near perfect in the comfort department which is really saying something for a boot built for toughness.
The guys at adidas said they would be ideal for field archery and I for one must agree with them, they offer everything I look for in a boot, supportive, good grip, waterproof and even a bit of kudos in the style department. They haven't asked for them back you, although the state they were in after a days shooting I'm not sure they would want them, so I will get to wear them for a while yet and do a longer term test. So next time you are looking for some new boots look a little further than the normal walking and hiking fair and hunt out a pair of GSG9.
Features & Design
More features than you can shake a stick at, adiPRENE this and Traxion that, they even have a special insert in the arch area for safer and extremely effective braking control during 'Fast Roping' assaults, RopeAssaultProtection (RAP).
Super comfort without compromise. I normally end up on the floor somewhere round a course but not with these on.
Value for Money
Not cheap but neither are hiking or serious walking boots. In fact in comparison to most boots of a similar quality they offer pretty good value, especially given you could wear them pretty much any time.
A really great boot, does pretty much anything you would want an archery boot to do. It must only be a matter of time before somebody comes up with a dedicated archery boot and this one really would fit the bill.