Well here it is folks the long-awaited Black Diamond X2 Boot Product Review. Before I get started I really have to thank Black Diamond specifically Caitlin Gambee for giving me the opportunity to review this great product. It was a great and humbling experience, now on with the review!
First here is the website that you can go to look at all of the information on the boot http://www.blackdiamondfootwear.com/leather-fireboots-277-0912/ and here is the “spec sheet” for the boots http://www.dreamingcode.com/dc_ecomm/DocumentManage/DocumentManagement/78_442doc.pdf
Sure some of that stuff matters but what I really wanted to focus on was performance in a variety of situations because at the end of the day that is what really matters.
Since we did not have any fires during my eval period I tried to simulate various firefighting conditions through training and physical activity. The one thing that really stand out to me is how light and comfortable these boots are. I have worn a lot of leather boots, Ranger, Warrington PRO, Globe, etc. and sure they all start off feeling better than the rubber brand boots, but they typically lose that comfort feeling after a little while. The Black Diamond X2 boots stand the test of time were comfort is concerned.
I worse these boots in training scenarios, emergency calls, ran on the treadmill, and did a circuit workout and they were comfortable on my feet the entire time. They have better in soles than my station boots! The big test as far as comfort goes came on an incident just last week, the honey moon period was over with the boots and we had and incident on a bridge which required a lot of walking, and standing, for a loooooooooooooong time. My feet did not hurt during or after when in my other boots I would have been begging to pull them off.
Two other great things are the wide opening, and integrated “loops”. Again with other leather boots after sweating in them I have had a problem getting them off my feet, not these boots, the go on fast, and come off smooth. The integrated “loops” for carrying your boots are strong and you can not break them, as you can with other sewn on versions.
However it is not all good and I did find 1 negative to the boots specifically about the integrated “loops” and the stretch material backing. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wears shorts to sleep in, or to work out in while they are on duty. Well during my physical activity tests, and during calls I found that when you added sweat, bare skin and those 2 components of the boot it would have the tendency to rub or chaf. The more sweet and the more activity the worse it was. It was nothing that would “rub raw” but it could be uncomfortable especially over a long period of time on a hot day or after a really sweaty workout.
Lastly the stiffness of the neck of the boots is phenomenal. A lot of boots lose their shape after time and we have to find creative ways to ensure they stay easy to get into. Well not these boots I have soaked them in sweat, water, and worn them to access and they still stand tall just like the day I pulled them out of the box! The soles and other components havent even begun to wear out either!
Bottom line is these are great boots, and well worth the money. But I warn you if you buy them you better have enough money for 2 because you will want to have another pair lying in wait for when they do finally wear out (a long long time from now), or if your like me and have multiple sets of gear you will want them in all of your sets. So go over to the website and get you a pair of these boots today!
Again I would like to thank Black Diamond for the chance to do this, and for anyone else out there that has a product contact me via the contact info on the tab the top of the page tool bar and we will see what we can work out. You can message me in the comments section on twitter.
Do not forget to follow along on twitter @www.twitter.com/averagejakeff
As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!