Over a month ago, I received a pair of Magnum Cobra boots to review. The Magnum Boot Company is a branch of Hi-Tec Sports, which was founded in England in 1974. Hi Tec first came to light in the U.S. when they designed a black lightweight tactical boot for the F.B.I. in the early 1980’s.
This early boot was called the Hi-Tec Magnum. Commercial sales began in 1983 and Hi-Tec expanded. With many variations of the tactical boot being produced, Magnum became a stand-alone brand and separated from Hi-Tec Sports.
Like many agencies, the Hi-Tec tactical boots were the first patrol boot authorized for uniform wear at my department around 1989. I have worn many pairs of them over the years, and I was interested when I saw Magnum’s new website and current offerings.
I chose to test Magnum’s Cobra 8.0 WPI boot with a side-zipper. I felt this boot had advanced features that showed a real evolution from the original Hi-Tecs.
The Cobra 8.0 is a leather and 900 denier nylon tactical boot with an aggressive outsole and a polishable toecap. The boot is chemical and pathogen resistant through Magnum’s Ion-Mask technology. The side zippers are quality YKK zips. The entire boot is waterproof.
I wore this boot for over a month on duty, which for me is street patrol, SWAT incidents, K9 assistance calls, and K9 training. Without a break-in, I started wearing the boots for about 11 hours on the first duty day. They were comfortable and continue to be.
Since then, the Cobras have logged much time slogging in mud, gravel, high grass, wooded areas, and industrial areas.
The Magnum/P2i’s Ion-Mask treatment plasma bonds with the entire surface of the boot, giving it chemical and pathogen resistance and waterproofing. As such, the boot is lightweight when wet because its hydrophobic coating repels water from the boot’s material.
We had an especially rainy June. I discovered that the Cobras were indeed waterproof. In general, I have found that waterproof boots can be uncomfortable because the same forces that keep the water out will keep the water (perspiration) in. In addition, “sealed” boots can feel very hot inside.
This did not seem the case with the Magnum Cobras. They were nearly as breathable as a standard boot, but had definite waterproof qualities in mud and water. I did not suffer the same sweat build-up I have before with other waterproof boots.
I like the idea of the boots being pathogen resistant. We step in blood and bodily fluids all the time, sometimes copious amounts. It is comforting to have a protective barrier between these infectious liquids and your feet.
The Cobra’s tread was effective on any surface. Last night, we had a bomb call where an oil change shop found a device under a car. After a local E.O.D. team had disabled the device, I went down into the oil change pit with the evidence technicians to find bits and pieces.
While standing directly on oil was predictably slick, moving on to other surfaces proved stable. The composite sole of the Cobras did not appear to “hold” the oil. Some boots remain greasy for a while after exposure to commercial kitchen floors or oily places like this garage. The Cobras did not.
Another feature I liked in this boot was the added tread which wraps up the toe of the shoe. This is valuable for a K9 handler’s standard duty of humping fences. The raised toe aids by grabbing into chain-link fencing and gripping wood stockade slats. I climbed quite a few fences on training tracks and the boots worked well.
The fit and finish of the boot was very good. After a bit of torture, the boots are still in great condition. This boot has improvements and refinements over previous Magnums, but remains a value. Though the MSRP is higher, the Cobra 8.0 WPI can be found for about a hundred dollars retail.
I recommend these boots and I will be wearing them on my next shift.