Friday, April 27, 2012

Oetzi3300 Troop Police Boot Review

On the Internet Kennyo is a blogger and Barefoot shoe reviewer, but in the real world I work as a Police officer in the biggest city in the province.

Whenever I wear shoes, I wear a minimal or Barefoot shoe, but the 48 hours a week while I was at work I would wear a very stiff and restrictive boot. I have been constantly on the look out for a minimalistic or Barefoot work boot that would be suitable for a Police Officer. I know I'm not the only person out there looking because when I posted a earlier post I had emails from fellow officers asking about the boots.

A Couple months I came across The Oetzi3300 Troop Boot online and starting the ball in motion to get a pair. The thing that intrigued me about the Troop boot was it's familiar look, looking very much like a military or Police boot, yet was still minimal in design.

About Oetzi3300:

When I was speaking with Ludo Malmoux ( The Creator of Oetzi) he wanted to pass the following message to me, It is important that you understand that all our shoes are designed around the shape of your feet and hence have a very natural toe down look. Also all our shoes have a CORKfootbed inside that provide a very natural experience, Cork has anti microbial properties and the footbeds have arch support as well as heel stabilizer... the cork naturally compresses over time and ends up forming to the shape of your feet to become extremely comfortable.
Oetzi3300 is named after the oldest man ever discovered and he had been named Oetzi and they dated him back to 3300 B.C. When they discovered Oetzi is was frozen in ice that preserved his shoes. As you can guess Qetzi was wearing a very minimal shoe not fancy pair of Nike's.
Ludo Malmoux was inspired by Oetzi's minimal shoes and launched his company Oetzi3300 a shoe company Oetzi would have been proud to wear.

I will talk more about the make up of the shoes in my review, but one thing that is pretty neat is that the foot bed of the shoes are made from Cork which over time form to the shape of your foot and help them fit better and feel more comfortable, you can read more about the Cork Technology here.

The Boot:
 
The Troop boot is designed to look like a military boot, but truly is designed more as a fashion boot versus a working boot. I got the boot to test it as a working boot but will touch on all aspects. So when I say it may be lacking in some area as a Police boot please remember it was not designed to be one, but I'm hoping it will work.
The Sole:

The Sole on the Oetzi Troop boot is a Zero Drop heel which is one of the main things I like to see in a barefoot shoe. Most boots have a large heel that will cause you issues if you're on your feet for a 12 hour shift. The sole is 5mm thick in total but gets bigger if you count the cork foot bed. ( I removed the cork foot bed for the review as it had a raised heel.) The Sole on the Troop boot doesn't offer a lot of grip, it's ample in dry weather but causes some issues on wet surfaces, I tried them in the snow and truly weren't that bad. As I mentioned earlier this boot wasn't designed as a working boot and shows it here.
The Toe Box:

With a barefoot shoe you look to have a large toe box that allows your toes to naturally splay when pressure is applied to the foot. The Toe Box in the Troop Boot is large enough for your toes to move naturally and I would consider it as on of the better designed ones. My Co-workers poked fun at me calling my boots clown shoes because of the wide toe box.

The Upper:

The Upper on the Troop boot is made from leather and is designed so that the boot stays dry when wet. I have worn them in the snow and in light rain and found no issues with the boot. I like how the toe section of the upper is all one piece of leather. The Upper is very light weight and seems like it will be durable.
The Inner:

The Inner of the Oetzi boot has a built in liner. There is also a Lycra Sock Membrane that is 2mm thick but this is compressed under your body weight to almost nothing. The Lycra Sock Membrane has a hydra-guard layer and is sewn into the boot and helps to keep your foot dry and warm while adding a bit of cushioning to the shoe. I was asked if I found the Sock Membrane to be warm in nicer weather. I haven't find any issues yet, but we aren't in the hottest weather yet. I think the Troop boot will be fine and comparable to other boots.

Cork Foot bed:

The Troop boot comes with a Cork Foot bed that is designed to mold to your foot as your wear it over time ( 2 weeks, based on normal use) creating a better fit. When I was corresponding back and forth with Ludo Maloux he suggested that I'd most likely remove the cork foot bed due to the raised heel. Ludo was right, I couldn't get used to the raised heel but if they came out with a zero drop version I would be pumped to try it.

As a Police Boot:
As I stated before I got the Oetzi Troop boot to review and use it as a Police Boot. The first thing I'll say is that in the Police world you need to have thick skin, on the job with your "clients" and with your co-workers. My Co-workers give me a hard time about the boots because with the Zero Drop and large toe box they say they look like clown shoes or slippers. I just tell them they provide a tactical edge as the "bad guys" will be distracted by them.

Working 12 hour shifts I found with other boots my feet would be sore at the end of the night but with the Troop boot I found they provided great comfort.

As a Police officer your end upp in all types of weather conditions. I have worn the Troop boot in snow and rain and my feet stayed dry and warm. With the wet weather you'll find you lose alittle grip.

The boot is designed to look like a military boot which to the glancing eye makes it blend in with all other Police boots.

One thing that I would change with the Troop boot would be to add something to the sole to provide a little protection to your foot from punctures. If the cork foot bed was zero drop I think it would do fine.

What I Would Change about the Boot:

If I was talking about this as a casual boot I would change nothing about it. But since I mainly review this as a possible Police boot I'd change a few things.
  • I'd add something to add alittle protection from things puncturing the sole. I understand that would take away alittle from the flexibility
  • I'd add a little more grip to the bottom of the sole.
  • I would add some hooks for quick lacing.
  • I would make the cork foot bed zero drop, because as it is it ruins the zero drop sole. That would also add some protection.
  • I'd have the sole wrap up the heel and toe alittle for durability.
  • And because I'm designing the boot I'd have a secret compartment for a cuff key.

Conclusion:

As you can tell from the review I really enjoy the Oetzi3300 Troop boot and would recommend it to everyone. The Boot hits all the key aspects of a barefoot shoe, Flexible sole, Zero Drop (without cork foot bed ) , large toe box, lightweight and functional. The Troop boot is great in all weather, but lacking a little grip.

The Troop Boot is a stylish boot that you can wear in all conditions, and is a awesome barefoot boot, one of the best out there.

As a Police Boot I would say read through my review and weigh the pros and cons and choose for yourself, but I will tell you that I'll continue to wear it as my Police Boot.