Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bates E02264 5" Defender Tactical Boot Review

Bates E02264 5" Defender Tactical Boot Review

Last fall I needed a pair of new shoes for work. I, of course, wanted a pair that would lend themselves to motorcycle riding as well. I had several requisites in mind, including non skid, oil resistant, slightly above ankle, and of course, Leather for protection. I started looking around at stores for something that would fit the bill, or rather, my foot.

One of my sons kept bragging about a pair of BATES boots that he had purchased on a recommendation from a local LEO, (Law Enforcement Officer). He bragged about how comfortable they were, how well they gripped the floor, and most of all, how light they were. They were lighter than the tennis shoes he used to wear out every other month because they just would not hold up. The Bates Boots were very durable. He purchased his at Academy Sports & Outdoors in Grapevine, Texas.

So one day I found myself at Academy and made it to the shoe section to see what they had and possibly try on some boots. I soon found out they had at least four different styles of Bates to choose from. They had some like my sons, 5” lace ups. They had some steel toe versions, some zip up versions and some composite toe versions. I tried on a few and soon decided I liked the versions that also had the side zipper because it made them soooo much easier to take on and off. I kind of liked the idea of having some extra toe protection so I opted for the 5” Composite Safety Toe Side Zip E02264 and made my purchase.

Here is the description from the Bates website:

The composite safety toes in these hard working boots won’t set off electronic security but definitely will add vital protection to your toes. Made with all non-metallic components, from zippers to speed lace eyelets. Featuring a breathable mesh lining, an ergonomically supportive insole and slip-resistant Ultra-Lites outsole to help prevent on-the-job injuries, these boots are value priced to not hurt your budget either. ASTM F2413-05 Rated.


Gender: Mens
Type: Boots
Height: 5"
Color: Black
Uppers: Unknown
Outsole: Enforcer Series Ultra-Lites™
Construction: Cement Construction
Toe: Composite Toe
Waterproof: No
Stealth: Yes
Weight: 3.0 lbs. per pair

I will attest to the fact that these boots are very comfortable. It did take a little time to get used to the Composite Safety Toes because of how they felt against my toes. I was not used to having a hard toed boot. These boots are very light weight. My son always told me how he had a hard time getting used to walking in such a light boot, he always wanted to high step. I had the same feeling from time to time. Both the Defenders together weigh about as much as one of my HD Pecos Boots.

The side zippered boots did cost a little more than the ones without, but the convenience is definitely worth it. You can lace the boots up how you like them and just used the zipper to take them on and off. Every few weeks the laces will work a little loose and have to be laced up tighter again. The zipper is probably my favorite feature.

These boots have great traction. I work in an Automotive Service Department and some of the floors are polished and when they are wet it can be extremely treacherous. The slip-resistance of the Bates Tactical boots Ultru-Lites outsole is extremely good. They use cement construction to attach the sole. The lugged sole is very rugged looking and may not work for formal dressing up.

The breathable mesh lining is another great feature. Bates Footwear constructed these boots with sweaty stinky feet like mine in mind. They do not completely stop my feet from sweating; after all I live in Texas. They do, however, keep my feet cooler, which prevents them from sweating as much. These boots breathe well and still do not stink. The trade off is that they are not waterproof.

The only metal on these boots is the zipper pull tab and slider. When zipped up there is a leather tab with hook and loop closure that covers it up so there is no metal showing that might scratch your bike. The tongue is padded and there is a large padded collar around the top which is real nice as well. Comfort is in much supply on these boots.

Soon after I started riding with the Bates boots I did notice one issue. The Composite Safety Toe makes the front of the boot taller than an ordinary boot or shoe. This made it where the boot would no longer fit under my front shifter to up-shift. Fortunately, my V-Star, "Mistress", is equipped with a heel-toe shifter, so I had to learn to start up-shifting with my heel. Now I have gotten so used to up-shifting with my heel I do it all the time no matter what shoes I am wearing.

So far the Bates Boots have held up real well and are proving themselves to be extremely durable. Not only that, they are real comfortable as well. Torch gives them a M.M.M. rating of 9 out of 10.

Ride on,

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