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Bates Tactical Boots


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After many years of wearing tall motorcycle boots, I decided to try shorties. I have problems with lymphedema in my lower legs, due to too many instances of cellulitis, and the aforementioned type of boot doesn't work for me anymore.


My main wants:


1. Waterproof


2. Dirt-style buckles or anti-friction lace loops instead of conventional lace eyelets.


After investigating shorty motorcycle boots, I could only find a couple that were waterproof, and those that were didn’t fit me around my big ankles. On to non-motorcycle boots...


I ordered a pair of Bates Delta-6 (6”) Goretex tactical boots from Amazon. (It should be mentioned that Bates boots are made by Wolverine, and are not related to Bates Leathers, who also make boots)




These boots have the required anti-friction loops, and a side zipper that makes the boots extremely easy to put on. The zipper is installed in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with the waterproofing. The lacing system makes it very easy to get the right tension on the laces.


They also have a feature they call “iCS Midsole Adjustable Comfort Technology.” I didn’t really understand this feature when I ordered the boots, as it’s not explained very well on Amazon. This video does a much better job:



I was delighted when I realized how the disk worked. I have rather severe “over- pronation.” My ankles point inward, and when I stand, it puts pressure on the outside of the ankles. I’ve been wearing inserts for quite a few years to correct this, and with these boots, the inserts are not needed.


One main and valid concern of wearing non-motorcycle boots is less protection. The Delta Goretex series does have generous padding on the outside of the ankle that their other models don’t have. Overall ankle rigidity, as with any shorties, is a little less than you will have with taller boots. Of course, shin protection on short boots is non-existent. (insert “everything in life is a trade off” comment here)


I’ve not yet taken any long trips in them, but am confident that I’ll like them. The last couple of weeks, I’ve been wearing them like shoes, all day long. I’ve tried them with an assortment of socks, thick, thin, with and without liners. I’m able to get a good fit with any combination. I was expecting a break-in period, but they didn’t seem to need one. They are, quite simply, the most comfortable boots I’ve ever worn.


Delta 6 Gore tex side zip


A few more notes:


Also available in 9"


Bates sells a non-Goretex Delta that's slightly different than this model.


On the Bate website, retail is $189.95. On Amazon, I paid about $135.00.





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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
Joe Frickin' Friday

Funny, I just got a pair of Bates boots for work (I call 'em my "tactical sh!tkickers" :grin:). Very similar to yours (mine are here), including the side zipper for easing slip-on, although mine are a good bit taller:




Good for walking, and lots of ankle support; the first time I tried driving with them I had some trouble working the clutch pedal. :grin:


Mine are hard-toed boots, as I assume yours are. That makes the toe pretty tall. I haven't tried riding with these yet, but I've ridden before with other steel-toed boots, so they'll probably be alright.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I where the non waterproof version of the RX-8 all the time. Pick 'em up at sears for $85ish on sale. I put aerostich boot covers on when it's pouring. I am a motorcyle safety instructor, these were recommend to me as 'range boots.' I tried them for that, and now where them all the time, on and off the bike. I only get one season, but that's because I wear down the soles spending all the time teaching on asphalt. I use custom orthotics, they + these boots = all the time comfort and function.

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I have been wearing Bates tacticals with composite toes for years now. They are a good day in and out boot. I have rode with them at times. I may ride more often with them now that I need to wear a blue rocker brace everyday. They are somewhat waterproof but as they age, that does get compromised. Last pair bought a few months ago went for $120. I get an $85.00 reimbursment from my employer which is sweet too.

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