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Original SWAT Footwear  Original SWAT duty boots and shoes
ORIGINAL S.W.A.T. FOOTWEAR 

Three years ago when Original Footwear Company started out, they tried to build a "better boot." Better meant, more comfortable than any other; and it also meant the highest level of performance under "combat" conditions.

They did their homework. They used their lengthy experience; tested and perfected; and did everything they knew to build a better boot. But, until they had tens of thousands of satisfied wearers, the jury was out.

The verdict is in:

Original SWAT® is a BETTER BOOT! 
And
50,000 wearers have voted with their feet.

"A better boot will only be the best boot for a limited time, but it will always be a "better boot." Terry Mackness, President.

The Cornerstones of Comfort & Performance

In creating the Original SWAT® brand, comfort and performance were the twin objectives. To squeeze as much out of each area without compromise is the boot maker's art.

"Achieving a balance of the key characteristics without compromise is what has to be done." Kevin Cole, Vice President of Product Sourcing.

Here's the key elements of comfort:
  • The Last
  • The Materials
  • Shock Absorption Capacity
  • Support
  • Lightweight
  • Outsole Design & Construction
  • Closure Systems

The Last:
Simply, the last determines the shape of the boot and therefore the fit. Each manufacturer has their own last, the older the Company the more traditional (ex. Military) the last is likely to be. We developed our own last using a C.A.D. system that has an athletic heritage, combined with some "Euro comforte" features. There is a slight curve - familiar to runners and a roomy toe box to give the toes wiggle and expansion room and to promote air circulation.

The Materials:
The quality of materials and components makes a difference in performance & durability. High performance linings are important as they have to wick significant amounts of moisture (approx. 1 pint every 3 hrs) away from the foot. The appropriate use of 1000 nylon and breathable full grain leather facilitate this process. The heat formed heel counter is the most important component, ensuring the stability of the foot, and preventing slippage laterally and length wise. Lack of stability is the major cause of fatigue and injury.

Shock Absorption Capacity:
In a standing position, 50% of our weight is on the heel, this is increased by a factor of 3 or 4 when walking or running is undertaken. Shock absorbing materials can therefore play a big part in preventing fatigue and injury. We believe that almost an inch of closed cell foam-injected under pressure - is the most effective and durable material (referred to as injection molded EVA).

The use of air chambers is popular now that NIKE's patent has expired. However, there are a number of drawbacks: matching pressures left and right is impossible to control, extreme temperatures will affect and change the air pressure as will altitude. Lastly, the lack of any inherent pressure under impact causes a bounce like instability. Air is at best a gimmick.

Support:
Support comes from a riveted sandwich lasting board that contains a steel shank, providing both torsion and arch support which are important where foot strike angles are uneven and extra weight is being carried. A removable contour molded innersole complete the support process, ensuring that the smaller muscles of the foot do no have to work excessively under extreme performance conditions.

The Key Elements of Performance:

  • Lightweight
  • Outsole Design & Construction
  • Closure Systems
  • Overall Strength

Lightweight:
Being obsessive about weight will generally lead to a reduction in durability. The art is to maximize strength to a point that it adds no extra weight. Simultaneously to create a balance between all components that will enable them to wear at approximately the same rate as excessive durability will cause an increase in weight.

"To improve performance in the athletic sphere, footwear needs to be as light as possible, without sacrificing its functional integrity." Sebatian Coe, Olympic Gold Medalist

Outsole Design & Construction:
There are two (2) basic outsole designs in use at Original SWAT ®. They are not mutually exclusive, but they are primarily either indoor or outdoor.

  • The outdoor pattern is non-loading, being designed to shed debris, stones and mud, and has multi-directional lug patterns to provide lateral and longitudinal grip.
  • The indoor pattern is designed to increase grip on water slick surfaces, by maximizing the contact area.
  • Both outsoles are made with fairly similar rubber compounds that balance performance and durability.

The main characteristics that can be achieved by adjusting the compounds are increased slip resistance and resistance to petro chemical substances.

Closure Systems:

  • Laces, metal hardware and zippers
  • Functionally, the lacing system provides the last step in ensuring the foot is correctly seated and stable.
  • Flat laces are not quite as convenient as round, but are far superior in regard to performance - particularly slippage.
  • "Speed lace" metal hardware is most useful in the top 4 or 5 eyelets, after the bottom eyelets have been cinched in place using a "locking" eyelet.
  • 5mm (tooth size) zippers from YKK more than meet the burst strength requirement, and have good flexibility. The 10mm tooth is less flexible and prone to snapping under pressure.

A LAST WORD ON STRENGTH AND DURABILITY

"A boot is essentially the some total of the quality of the components used, good quality components will produce a strong boot." Richard Vandernoot, Component Supplier.