Bates Zero Mass 8″ Desert Boot
Bates Zero Mass 8″ Desert Boot
When Bates Footwear sent us these kicks, we noticed a lot of features before they even touched our feet: They were light, with slip-on construction, and while firm, seemed very flexible with its Wolverine Warrior Leather base and nylon upper.
Now that our eyes were done looking at these boots (which also look, as my wife put it, very sexy) we decided to put them through the test.
The first thing we noticed once we slipped our feet into the boot, was its uni-construction, meaning that the tongue and the shaft of the boot are connected.
PRO TIP: If you have large feet like we do you may want to consider getting a half-size larger than what you normally wear. It will help you slip in and out much easier.
These boots are light, and not just light for boots. They are light for anything you put on your feet. I have running shoes that weigh more.
So first thing after putting them on, we went outside in 40-degree weather and built a fence in the rain. The boots are built with leather that’s 3M Scotchgard-protected, which also provides resistance from dirt, chemicals, oil and water-based stains (all of which we managed to get on them and all of which cleaned off nicely). With the rain belting down on us, water beaded up and rolled off the boots as intended and our feet stayed dry.
Now that the work was done, it was time to play. Off to the gun range! While the rain at this point was coming at us sideways and I’m pretty sure there was sleet mixed in there, too, my feet stayed dry and toasty with enough room for my wool socks. I could not say the same for the pants I was wearing, which now hung an inch lower with 20 pounds of water they absorbed.
Time to head back and sit in front of the fire. The boots made it through their first day perfectly.
With more wear and time on my feet these boots have yet to fail or slip with its durable rubber outsole. No issues with the construction, either, no fraying in the stitching. They continue to break into a more comfortable form that fit my feet with every use. We can only imagine it is due to the cushioned EVA midsole.
I also have to compliment the engineers for something as basic as the laces. You know when you put on your boots and you have to tighten every series and layer of laces? Well that is a thing of the past. I love the fact that I only need to pull the laces from the top and the boots tighten perfectly all the way down to the toes. Well-done.
Since the boots arrived they have over 200 hours of wear time on them, from standing to walking to even running, there has been nothing but long-lasting comfort and support. No biting at the heel that you might sometimes find in combat/tactical boots.
OK, no boot is this amazing, right? There has to be some flaw. Nope, they even come in black!
While I will not suggest these in sub-30-degree weather, I recommend that you have a pair in your closet for the warmer days.
If you want a pair of your own, check them out here http://www.batesfootwear.com/