Review of the Belleville 300 DES ST Steel Toe Desert Boot
INITIAL IMPRESSION & APPEARANCE: Just picking these up this, is one rugged boot. A pair of size 11s weighed in at 33 ounces, so these are definitely not intended for light duty. Boots weighing above 30 ounces are more or less standard for a full-size duty boot. The majority of boots that Belleville manufacturers definitely fall into the full-size military boot category.What is impressive right off the bat with these boots is the triple and in some spots even quadruple stitching to make this one reinforced tough duty boot. the boot upper is made up of full grain smooth leather and puncture resistant nylon Cordura. I believe all of the leather uppers that Belleville uses in their boots are all from the USA. This boot has a gusseted tongue that spans all the way to the top of the upper, which is going to prevent falling sand and dirt from getting into your boot. The midsole that Belleville uses in this boot is made up of very dense polyurethane for longevity and comfort, as opposed to cheaper EVA used in a lot of other brands.This boot features a Vibram Sierra outsole, that features large multidirectional lugs for excellent traction on loose inclines and declines. For an entry level boot, the 300 DES ST definitely doesn't cut any corners in material quality and workmanship.
KEY FEATURES: This boot comes standard with an ASTM-compliant steel toe for foot protection from falling hazards so it's ideal for dangerous work environments, construction sites, etc. This boot was intended for hot weather applications and utilizes and unlined upper which consists of breathable nylon fabric that is triple stitched to other panels or leather areas. A cushioned collar provides excellent comfort without being bulky. There are several speed lacing eyelets so boot tension can be adjusted to your customize the level. Belleville took some extra effort to reinforce this boot for long-lasting durability . One example is the the leather heel panel which is attached to the rest of the boot with four ply stitching. They are the boot experts for a reason and no which stress point areas on a boot need to be reinforced for longevity and strength.
TRYING THESE ON:After lacing these up and walking around the room, these boots felt great. One area of mention is the little ankle support that these boots feature as opposed to other duty footwear available. It's really a matter of personal preference of how much ankle support his desired. Belleville believes in more freedom of movement rather than ankle support. most Belleville boots are built this way. The real benefit of having a boot with littleankle support is added movement and agility. With these boots on, I am able to move my ankle all the way around 360° with not too much resistance. Any other models I've worn in the past feature more restriction, yet provide more support. So the benefit to these design is you won't feel limited when undergoing any type of running, jumping, or crawling. Like I had mentioned above, these are not lightweight by any means but professionals searching for a boot specifically for physical activity should probably look for a lower weight model with a lighter EVA midsole, as opposed to the heavier polyurethane midsole. Truthfully, the 300 DES ST isn't intended for speed, but this boot will outlast any made in China alternative by many times. This is a ruggedized military boot that is very supportive and great to wear both on and off duty. A final expansion is the factory insole that come standard with these boots. Belleville provides a rubber insole, that does attenuate shock but provides little support for those with flat feet or arch problems. Replacing it with a simple aftermarket insole would be an easy solution. Other than that you'll find that this boot is very comfortable and great to walk around in.
OVERALL: For hot weather applications, this is a great American-made desert boot for law enforcement and military professionals. At the going price of $140 it would be difficult to find a better quality, or comfortable boot from any other manufacturer. You should expect to get several good seasons of use out of these, even with tough use and minimal maintenance. Another notable mention is the fact that the outsole is completely re-soleable so just take these to a local shoes shop and get soles replaced if they ever wear out.