Well, I’ve worn them for a week now, and I think I’m ready to render a final verdict:
My normal boots are a leather/Cordura upper, and require very little break-in. The Elite Force boots, with their full leather (or reasonable facsimile) upper, took a week to begin wearing comfortably. Initially, the left boot rubbed my outer ankle quite a bit, but that is no longer an issue. Now, they’re as comfortable as any Magnum boots I’ve ever worn – which is to say, very comfortable. They breathe very well, which in my experience, is pretty unusual for a pair of waterproof boots.
Seriously, they’re good lookin’ boots. I particularly like the rubber armor panel above each heel, which keeps you from scarring up your boots when you kick them off.
You may recall that the left boot filled with water during the extended immersion test. Considering that the same boot is the one that gave me comfort problems, my guess is that there was some defect in the boot lining, although none was immediately apparent to visual inspection. Since then, I’ve worn them in rainy conditions, and both boots kept my feet dry, even when wading briefly up to my ankles.
Although one boot failed the immersion test, I’ve become a believer in the Magnum’s Ion Mask technology. It does indeed repel water, and still allows maximum breathability.
Overall, I’d have to say I’m impressed with these boots. I still wish they had a boot zipper, but it turns out that Magnum offers my favorite Viper II boots – with side zipper – with the Ion Mask waterproofing technology.
Next time I buy a new pair of boots, it’ll be those.