5.11 Skyweight RapidDry Nine-inch Boots
- By Chris Parkin
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 04/05/2017
Since injuring my ankle last year and the weakness that seems to plague the joint ever since, I now find it pointless to wear anything other than a boot that will support my ankle in all conditions and environments. The Skyweight RapidDry boots from 5.11 trade well upon the company’s Police and Military reputation for top-quality manufacture with innovative design, they seemed perfect for summer use in dry locations. After a winter of heavy boots, the Skyweights in their dark coyote colour were a refreshing change, their 1200 denier nylon build with clarion suede panels giving a very sprightly feel. Eyelets for the laces, although not allowing a fast lacing setup, do mean you can draw the long laces loose to squeeze into the boots, which are a very snug fit around the ankle area internally. The tongue that attaches to the boots inner actually needs quite a force to get your foot in, but once in, a secure feel appears that seems at contrast with the light boot. The sole is low in profile, very longitudinally flexible and tactile allowing good feel for surfaces and driving too. 8mm heel to toe drop presents a neutral stance. Breathability is excellent but these are in no way waterproof, as mesh covered breathing holes are sited around the instep and outer foot.
The fit is relatively broad, although overall sizing is on the small side of average. I made the mistake of wearing thin socks one day with the boots and this highlighted my only hesitation about the Cordura and its inherent flexibility, it tended to sag below my ankle bone on the outer side of my foot and rubbed; we get used to the rigidity of leather and longer term, this has eased off. Otherwise, the nine-inch leg and mixture of Cordura/Suede in the design gives firm lateral ankle stability, with enough linear flexibility to be comfortable running. Torsional rigidity from the Nylon midsole shank is excellent and is a nod towards ability over tougher ground but you will prefer this boot for more even surfaces, as that soft sole does make every rock and pebble noticeable underfoot.
The boot is ‘GSA Compliant’, which in general means U.S. Government approved for procurement. I like the Dark Coyote colour and it allows the boot to be very discreet with casual clothes, it is a little more stain- and wear-resistant too, throughout the test the boot remained close to box-fresh condition, shrugging off dirt and moisture damage to the suede as well. Breathability was first rate with daylong comfort assured, the Ortholite insoles doing their usual branded job without excessive arch support, so my flatter feet were happy all day. The leg will also cinch in good and tight on my skinny legs, the lighter fabric closely following the contour of my ankles. My size 11 boots weighed 932-grams, so light to pack in a suitcase too, squashing almost flat to save space.
A great boot for daily wear; unobtrusive looks, lightweight and great support for those with a ‘soggy’ ankle.