o these shoes even need an introduction? The Altama Maritime Assault OTB shoes hit the market a few years back and I would think almost everyone who's into shooting, airsoft or "tactical lifestyle" knows these by now. It took me a while to get a pair though due to these not being available in Finland earlier so I could've easily tested the fit.
Thankfully Varusteleka started stocking them last spring, so when they hit the web store I ordered my pair just in time before the first batch ran out. Although they don't need much introduction I've grown a such fan of them that I wanted to do a quick write up about them, so you can make an educated decision.
Even though we live in 2022 now it still puzzles me how hard it's sometimes to find quality reviews of certain things. So hopefully this post will help you out if you're thinking about getting these kickers. The review is based on my experience of wearing these as my every day shoes for over 6 months excluding the winter months after snow fell. Oh and please note, don't use my experience to consider these for on the job shoes if you're in the military or LE or such. I've just used them as an everyday shoe in an urban environment.
That said let's start from the front.
The shoes have a rubber toe guard which makes the shoe look like it could be a little stiff, but that's not the case at all. They're very flexible and I'd even say soft to the foot compared to some trendy sneakers.
The body is nylon Cordura, the flap some kind of a mesh fabric and the laces are a smooth stretchy thread. The Cordura is easy to keep clean and as it includes the drainage holes they breath very well. As these are my everyday shoes I haven't tested how well the drainage holes work to dry the shoes so I won't comment on that feature.
Although compared to shoes with a lighter fabric body the Maritime Assaults are definitely more warm during a Summer day. The flaps open really wide, if you're the kind of a person who uses laces when you put shoes on, with these you might need to start using them if you don't, I'll get to that later.
I was wary of the laces at first, a little worried about how they'd hold up but I've had no trouble with them and their slight stretchiness actually contributes to the comfortability of the shoe when you lace them up.
Moving up, I think the Altama's subdued rubber patch style logo gives the flaps a nice finished touch. The flaps are extremely comfortable and like said open wide, which makes putting the shoes on your feet a breeze.
Let's take a quick look inside, so what's pretty uncommon is that the shoes have rubber insoles. This is because of their original purpose of being an OTB shoe which will dry quickly. There's a couple things that can divide opinions that these insoles cause.
- If you don't open the laces and flap well it can be hard to put these on when you're wearing socks. Meaning the rubber creates friction between your sock when you're inserting your foot inside. A weird thing is that at first I didn't notice this at all but after a little use it seems like the rubber started sticking a bit more and I had to pay more attention to foot placement.
- Sometimes the rubber causes your socks to bunch up and you may start your walk with uncomfortable sock-jam under your foot, but it's nothing you can mitigate with a bit of care when putting the shoes on. This also depends on the type of sock you have.
Apart from those things the rubber insoles are surprisingly comfortable, and as the shoe is quite well ventilated it doesn't cause excessive heating.
One thing I really like is the big back straps on the shoes, these compensate really well for the small trouble with socks at times. Easy to grab, well built, and still not too big to get stuck anywhere.
Finally let's look at the soles. As mentioned these have been my daily shoes for most of the year. From what I can see the sole has barely started to degrade. There's just one place where the traction ribs have disappeared but that was probably due to huge piece of gum or something like that that I had to scrape of the sole. I usually walk at least 1 km per day on average so for normal wear like that these will last a long time. They provide a really good grip on most urban surfaces and are also very comfortable to walk as the sole is quite bendy, combined with the rubber insole they feel really nice on the feet.
So to sum up, the hype is real. These are, in my opinion, really good shoes for everyday use. Once I started wearing them I didn't even consider my other everyday shoes that much, the comfort level is way better than average sneakers. I won't comment on how they fit professional use in demanding environments as I haven't used them like that but for the tactical enthusiast they won't disappoint in normal circumstances and I would totally recommend you get a pair.
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