Review of the Belleville 300 TROP ST Steel Toe Duty Boot
INITIAL IMPRESSION & APPEARANCE: Right out of the box, this is one burly, tough boot. These are by no means light on the scale as a size 11 weighed in at 33 ounces. The weight was pretty standard for a full-size steel toed boot but enough about that. The superb workmanship and quality is what gives Belleville its reputation as one of the best manufacturers on the market for duty in military boots. The stitching on the upper where the leather panels joined to each other and to the abrasive resistant nylon cord or a is either double or triple stitch for strength and durability. The upper consists of about 80% of high-quality cowhide leather on this boot. This is very high-quality leather that I believe comes from the state of Texas. This boot features a gusseted tongue that runs all the way to the top eyelet, stopping any debris or dirt from falling into your boot from the top. Belleville uses high-quality polyurethane in their midsoles, over the cheaper EVA that many other manufacturers use. Finally a tough by Vibram Sierra outsole is mated to the boot. This is one of the most durable outsole designs on the market today and offers excellent grip and stopping power. Even though the 300 TROP ST is Belleville's entry-level duty boot it really is built to take a beating.
KEY FEATURES: This boot features and ASTM-compliant steel toe for crushing protection from falling objects so it's ideal for hazardous work environments, factories, industrial settings, etc. This boot was designed for hot weather use as I can tell by the unlined upper which consists of ballistic nylon which is triple stitched to itself on other panels or two parts of the upper. A well padded collar provides comfort, especially if you're wrapping your laces around the upper of the boot as some people like to do. There are six speed lacing eyelets which make this boot quick to tighten up and remove at the end of the day. Belleville really went the extra mile to make this boot durable as I can tell where the leather heel panel is quadruply stitched to the rest of the boot, which is a high stress area on the boot. This boot won't be coming apart anytime soon.
TRYING THESE ON:After lacing these up and taking a few steps these really are comfortable boots. One thing of mention is the marginal ankle support that these provide compared to many other military boots on the market. I wouldn't say that this is a weakness or strength, it is more of just a characteristic of how Belleville designs their boots. The advantage of a boot with marginal ankle support is excellent movement and flexibility. Wearing these, I can rotate my ankle pretty freely in every direction with relative ease. Whereas other boots I've reviewed have a pretty stiff upper and are restrictive, yet supportive and help prevent ankle injuries. So the advantage to these you won't feel restricted when running, jumping, and engaging in other physical activity. Like I had mentioned previously, these are relatively heavy but folks looking for a more athletically inclined boot probably would prefer a more lightweight, low-profile, tactical style model. The 300 TROP ST really isn't designed for speed. It really is a tough duty boot that is comfortable to wear and walk around in. Another point of mention is the factory insole that comes with these boots. Belleville includes a rubbery shock absorbent insole, which does provide an ample amount of cushioning. However it does not provide a whole lot of support for those with flat feet or arch issues. Support in the arch area is excellent as this high-quality midsole offers great support and does not flex a whole lot around the arch.
OVERALL: This is an excellent all around hot weather duty boot for law enforcement, emergency medical technicians, or security professionals. At the price point of about $140 for these American-made boots, you really can't go wrong picking up a pair. I would expect to get several seasons of every day use out of these boots, only limited by the outsole wearing out, as long as you slap on some polish or leather conditioner once in a while. Even when this does happen, this boot is completely re-soleable so you can just take this down to your local shoesmith and get the soles replaced for $20-$30. The 300 TROP ST is one of the flagship models and most popular sellers for Belleville and I can see why.