Magnum Mach 2 8″ Boots Reviewed
Magnum Mach 2 8.0 SZ Boots; This was the first pair of Magnums I’ve used since 2007. I liked my old Magnum Hi-Tecs, though they were a little light for some of the work I had to do. Overall I like these as well, though with certain caveats.
Right out of the box, the boots were fairly stiff, particularly around the laces and the ankles. They do require a decent break-in period; a week and a half after getting them, and wearing them just about every day, there is still some stiffness across the top of the foot when first putting them on. However, use does tend to loosen them up to the point of comfort even before they are fully broken in. I did some PT in them while they were still giving me sore feet by the end of the day, and had no problems.
Note: I was asked by TacticalGear.com to do a review of the Magnum Mach 2 boots. I thought it prudent to send them to someone with more than an academic interest in their quality. Wearing boots all the day in the field is a lot different than in a patrol car or on the range, so I had them shipped to Peter Nealen (more on him below). This is his evaluation. David Reeder
They seem to fit a little small. I wear size 10s. While the pair I got fits, they are a little bit tight going on, particularly where the upper meets the lower. Not a huge issue, even less so as they loosen up, but if you’re in doubt, I’d consider ordering the next size up, especially if you think you might have to wear thicker socks.
The boots have two fastening systems—a zipper on the inside of the boot and laces on the front. The material around the zipper appears to be a little raw on the edges, particularly at the top of the boot, but the stitching looks fine and hasn’t shown any tendency to loosen. The sides of the upper are a stiff nylon with an elastic section along the back upper to help facilitate getting your foot in. There is also a nylon loop across the back to help pull them on. This loop works a lot better than some of the small, afterthought loops I’ve seen featured on other boots. The soles are Vibram and solidly attached. The tread is aggressive, but spaced well enough that it doesn’t pack in the mud too badly.
Overall, they are very light; each boot only weighs 16.5 ounces. Despite the light weight they are constructed of stiff enough materials to provide plenty of ankle support and there is a stiffener over the toe. It’s not a steel safety toe, but it is about the same stiffness as the toe of a standard combat boot.
I’ll say right off that I’m not a fan of the zipper. It didn’t loosen the boot enough for me to get it on and off, so I’ve left it since and just used the laces. The laces do loosen up enough without actually unlacing the boot.
These are lightweight boots, so some might find the sole a little too flexible if you’re planning on covering much rough ground carrying a load. Going up a steep, rocky slope with a ruck got a little uncomfortable a time or two; I tend to prefer a stiffer sole for heavy work. However, I know some people prefer the flexibility in order to better feel the terrain. While you won’t feel every rock, you’ll feel enough to know there’s some rough ground.
Like most light boots I’ve used, they stretch out as you use them, especially over distance with a load. Lace them up tight if you’re going to be working in them for a while, because I had one loosen up just from the material stretching out enough to start rubbing at the heel. It’s not bad; they still provide plenty of support and are plenty comfortable, it’s just something you have to be mindful of.
At one point I did wade through a creek, to see how they handle water. Anyone who’s going to be using these in the field knows that wet boots can make anything miserable. While the creek was only about ankle deep (not as high as the boot tops), I felt very little water get through. They’re not waterproof, and wading deeper or longer is going to get your feet wet, but for short durations, you shouldn’t worry. They were also dry within less than a half mile.
Overall the Magnum Mach 2s are a good, comfortable pair of light boots. They shouldn’t go to the field right out of the box; give them about a week and a half to two weeks of decent use to get broken in. Once they are broken in, though, they should be good for a long ways.
About the author: I’ve been trying to bring a wide mix of writers with different backgrounds to RECOILweb. Pete Nealen is a solid guy who brings a boots on the ground perspective from his time as a Reconnaissance Marine. He was in Iraq with 1ST Platoon, Bravo Company, 1ST Recon Battalion, then in Afghanistan with 4th Platoon, Force Reconnaissance Company, I MEF. Combat experience in both places along with an excellent training pedigree and a serious attention to detail contribute to both his non-fiction op-eds (like this on on “Operational ADHD“) and his military fiction novels (Task Force Desperate and Hunting in the Shadows). You can follow Pete on his personal blog, American Praetorians. David Reeder