Add a Review


  • A boot made for going down ropes and up walls
    • *
    • *
    • *
    • *
    • *

    By Kevin 01/04/2012

    I received my Spider 8.1 Urban SZ boots about 4 months ago. These are the first pair of boots that I have received from Magnum as an Official Field Tester. When I first took the boots from the box, my initial impression was that they’re built for hard use. The soles are of a hard rubber compound (not Vibram) with a moderate tread, which extends over the toe guard. I really like these soles a lot. First thing after taking the boots from the box, I put them on and wore them for a three mile hike over moderate terrain. The boots were initially stiff and hard sole was uncomfortable, causing my legs to be fatigued after the hike (over a short time, these boots break in very well). The tread doesn’t hold debris, which is important when you work in a rural department such as mine, where you can go from a call in the woods or a cranberry bog to another in an expensive home. To the public, it’s much more professional and courteous to not be tracking dirt all over their homes.

    The side zipper is the coolest and most nicely made that I have ever seen. When closed, ‘SPIDER 8.1 URBAN’ is written out in grey silicone. The pull tab is a large plastic one, allowing a good grip, even with gloves on. There’s also a velcro tab that goes over the pull tab to keep it in place and prevent rattling. Inside, there’s a gusset that prevents your sock from becoming snagged and probably serves as additional protection for fast roping.

    The boots have a composite safety toe and the eyelets aren’t sewn in, in the typical fashion. Instead they’re mounted via rubber over moldings. The third eyelets from the bottom are lace lockers. Unfortunately, the laces are too thin, preventing the laces from locking in place. Once you do have the laces tightened as you want them, you’re good to go, since you’ll be using the side zipper to put them on and take them off.

    On two occasions, I was able to put my Spider 8.1s to the test. The first was on a fast rope tower. While my police duties don’t include fast roping, I told an academy buddy of mine, who is also a Coast Guard Reservist, about them. He told me that he could get me on the fast rope tower at a nearby air station. I took him up on it and a week later I was on the tower. Interestingly, prior to being allowed to use the rope, the training officer made me remove all of the polish from my boots. I was told that remnants of the polish could cause slick spots on the rope. I f your duties include fast roping you’re better off with non-Urban versions of the Spider 8.1. After many trips down the rope, from heights between 15-70 feet, I can say that the Spiders hold up well. So well, that my friend and the training officers were impressed. There was little wear on the instep, which is molded for proper positioning on the rope and the SuperFabic patches prevented heat build up and showed no wear. The only sign of wear was dome fraying at the bottoms of the zippers. With a lighter, I was able to melt down the frays and now you can’t tell that they were there. I really want to thank Alexis and the Magnum crew for sending me these boots. If they hadn’t, this is and experience that I would never have had.

    The second was a call to back up a neighboring department for an on-going break at a scrap yard. When I arrived, I had to climb a 9-foot chain link fence. The shape of the toe made it no problem to put the boots into the links. There is also a groove that runs across the sole near the toes, which seems to be made for this, as I could feel it ‘locking onto’ the wire links as I was climbing. After the fence I had to scale a concrete retaining wall, This was made easier because there’s a moderate tread on the toe guard, which really helps with traction and made going up the wall much easier. After the call the toes were scuffed up, but the scuffs disappeared with polishing.

    Aside form the laces, the only drawbacks are that these boots get hot. If the outside temperature gets above the 50’s, the boots are too warm for me to wear. I can see why other versions of these boots have venting in the toe area. Consider those if you work in a warm climate or are looking to spend your Summer clothing allowance on them. Also, the Spider 8.1 boots seem to fit more tightly than others. They work best with thin socks. I think the original intent was for these to be used in rapid assaults; not for wear during an 8 hour shift.

    Share

Reviewed By