The word sniper is about as over-used as tactical, and in many cases as badly used as the notorious operator. It never ceases to amaze us how many people out there use the word to describe themselves inaccurately, or to embellish certain pieces of gear or whatever. If there is anything more irritating than some mall ninja type knucklehead claiming to be a sniper, itâ€™s got to be having half your head removed by someone who really is (though that is without a doubt a very transient aggravation).
Off topic for a second â€” why are there so many shooters that will spend eleventy hundred dollars for a top of the line rifle, then pick up some cheap optic to throw on top at Wal-Mart of a flea market? Shouldnâ€™t it be the reverse?
Second to tactical, sniper is the most alarm-raising word we can think of when it comes to a product description. Paint it black, call it tactical and you can charge an extra 10%, right? Same thing in many ways when it comes to sniper. So it is that when we saw the new Wellco Sniper Boot we groaned, and thoughtâ€¦seriously? We try not to judge a dope book by its cover, though, so weâ€™re taking a look at them andâ€”happilyâ€”so far so good. (This makes us happy, because after the Belleville Khyber and the OTB Thor TCs, these were the boots we most wanted to try out.)
The boots are made in the manufactory (love that word) they built last year and are available at this point in tan and black. Weâ€™ve asked if theyâ€™ll make them in the sage green currently inflicted upon Airmen by the powers-that-obfuscate in the Air Force, but no word on it yet. Our guess would be no, given the on-again, off-again, rotational nature of AF uniform regulations but you never know. Stranger things have happened (the adoption of the Defensor Fortis Load Bearing System and ABU itself not least among them). However, we digress. Again.
The Sniper boots (God, we hate calling them that) are completely non-metallic. Instep and ankle are constructed of a rugged material they call SuperFabricÂ® to prevent tearing and resist punctures. Theyâ€™re 8â€ high, full lace to the top, breathable nylon side panels and have both moisture wicking materials and drainage vents built into the sides (because wet feet seriously suck, no matter how comfortable the boots are). The insole is the Wellco signature â€œelite premiumâ€ and the sole has cross-treads at the toe and heel for grip. The boot leather is full grain fleshout leather and (this is cool) the toe is shark skin leather.
abject minions highly motivated handlers who we instructed to test these boots have only had them for a week or so, and they havenâ€™t had the chance to get to the field, but thus far (weâ€™re told) theyâ€™ve proven to be surprisingly comfortable to wear (particularly on the range) and are holding up well (especially for such a lightweight boot). Weâ€™ll have to advise further after theyâ€™ve had more time to abuse the hell out of them test them out properly.
The poseurs and wannabes are vexing, as is the misuse of the term when it comes to merchandising but maybe they had a good reason for it. Maybe the name actually suits the boot somehow, who knows. We do know that beyond a couple size mix-ups Wellco has always made a good product and had great customer service, so weâ€™re pretty confident our initial above average impression. Sizes are 4 through 14 regular, wide sizes available from 7.5 to 11.5.
Great pair of boots despite the potential of a Walter Mitty name, looks like theyâ€™ll be a style worth throwing on your poor feet before going over to stomp around in Derkaderkastan. Check â€˜em out. (Images courtesy of Wellco Boots and GoingLoud.com.)
Weâ€™ll close with a bit of sniper trivia. Many, many Americans (rightly) are familiar with Carlos Hathcock. Not too many know who Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ was. If you want to read about a truly heroic and dangerous man, look him up. Hereâ€™s a hint: he was practically Divine retribution with a modified Mosin-Nagant, and he was from Finland.
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