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  • On shaky ground

    By Zoe 16/03/2011

    On February 22nd 2011 at 1251hrs a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck Christchurch New Zealand causing widespread damage and loss of life.

    2 weeks later I was on a plane heading there to assist. I took with me some essential equipment, included was a pair of Magnum Elite Force WPi 8.0

    Whilst there I worked 7 night shifts patrolling the central city area mostly on foot. The boots were brand new and I hadn't had a chance to wear them in before the deployment.

    My first shift involved me walking through the cordoned off 'red zone' ensuring there were no unauthorised persons snooping around. The power was out and the streets were pitch black, still covered in rubble from damaged and collapsed buildings as well as cracks and liquifaction. Walking around in this environment only lit by maglite meant that I was regularly stumbling over loose bricks and glass. The Elite Force 8.0 WPi boots provided stability and a level of comfort much needed. I didn't suffer any ankle roll over thanks to the relatively rigid ankle covering on the boots. This rigidity doesn't mean that you don't get flex out of the boots too though. They are easy to walk in.

    Other duties involved standing on static cordons for the duration of a shift. This is where the comfort of the boots really played a role. The inner sole of the boots was soft and formed to the bottom of my feet well. Admittedly my feet were tired at the end of the night, but I would be surprised if they weren't. You can't stay on them for that long without them feeling a bit tired.

    The boots are light weight, and easy to move in. By looking at them you would expect them to weigh a lot more than they do, but they're deceptive in that respect. There were a number of aftershocks which made me seriously think about running away from still crumbling buildings, and should my brain have engaged my feet in time I have no doubt these boots would have got me away in a hurry. As it was all I managed to do was to run in circles and jump up and down until the quakes stopped.

    On a few occasions I was patrolling in a vehicle. Again these boots excelled. Thanks to the rounded sole on the back of the boot, driving was easy. The padded leather area at the top rear of the boot also added extra comfort while driving.

    The only downside to these boots is the rubber heel area covering the back of the ankle. Although it would offer added support from any rear trauma, it is also a bit annoying as I found it gave me blisters if I wore thin socks. I can't be certain if this is purely down to the rubber area or the exposed zig zag stitching on the inside heel area. Either way, a thick pair of socks seemed to be the easiest fix for me.

    The Ion-Mask technology made cleaning the boots pretty easy. A wipe down at the end of a shift got rid of any remaining silt and brought them up as good as new.

    If you're after a solid light weight boot then the Elite Force 8.0 WPi tick all the boxes.


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