Review of the Belleville F790 Women's Waterproof Desert Boot
INITIAL IMPRESSION & APPEARANCE: Belleville has a reputation of being one of the top vendors for military boots. Taking a initial look at these boots right out-of-the-box makes me realize why Belleville make some of the best boots on the market. The boot upper is made of top quality suede cowhide panels which are carefully stitched to three panels of abrasion resistant nylon Cordura. all of the high stress areas around the toe and heel utilized double stitching for reinforcement and durability the midsole is made of high quality polyurethane as opposed to cheaper EVA and is joined to a by Vibram Sierra outsole, which is a great all-purpose outsole which will perform well on loose as well as flat surfaces. This boot is not your run of the mill made in China boot. It's apparent that this boot is constructed of high quality materials combined with top-quality American workmanship.
KEY FEATURES: The first main feature of this boot is the toe to heel lace design. the laces in this boot start about an inch closer to the toe in most standard boots. What this does is provide additional tightening adjustment for fit and comfort. This is a feature usually offered in higher and footwear such as expensive hiking boots. The toe to heal place design gives a user more control for tightening around the toes and toe box than in a standard combat boot. The second key feature of this boot is the Gore-Tex booty that is integrated into the lining of the boot, which provides a waterproof barrier that protects from both standing water and rain. What's really unique about all the Belleville's cold-weather boots is the gusseted tongue, which is a shoe tongue that is stitched to the side of the boot that goes the height of the tongue. What this does for a waterproof boot is provide standing water protection up to the top of the gusset. So this means you are going to have no problems standing in several inches of water with these boots. So when Belleville advertises that there boots are waterproof they really do mean waterproof and not just water resistant from rain. These boots weighed in at 28 ounces person side which is not lightweight but not unreasonably heavy for a full-size military boot.
TRYING THESE ON: The Belleville F790 is a women's specific boot which means it is size specifically for women's feet which tend to be smaller and narrower than men's feet. These boots offer a great amount of foot support. One of the things to look for when assessing the quality of the boot is the amount of flex in the arch area. Cheaper boots tend to have a lot of flex which puts strain on your arch and allows fatigue to set in sooner. The F790 has a very supportive midsole which flexes enough for movement but provides excellent support in the arch area. Another key note is the ankle support with these boots. Belleville designs most of their boots for maximum movement, so these boots are going to give you a whole lot of ankle support such as comparative models from other brands. This boot does provide a sufficient level of ankle support but that is because it is designed for movement so physical activity such as running or jumping are not going to be restricted with this boot. It really depends on what you're looking for in terms of ankle support, but most folks out there are looking for a boot that provides superior movement for physical activity. one thing that could be improved upon is the factory insole that comes with these. Belleville standard insole is made of a rubber foam that doesn't offer a whole lot of support. It does offer sufficient cushioning but for those needing's support especially if you've got flat feet or arch problems, these will definitely need to be replaced with a higher quality insole.
OVERALL: The F790 is an excellent pair of sub $200 boots that feature Gore-Tex technology. This boot is an excellent value and will provide great support and comfort whether you're buying these for duty or for recreation. You really can go wrong with Belleville quality and workmanship right out of the box. Replace the insoles on these and you'll have a top-performing boot that will give you excellent comfort in wet weather and should last for several seasons to come.