I'll start off with the background on both boots, the magnum's I've had for 3+ years and have been great but they are getting very, very worn and haggard, so it was time for a replacement, hence the purchase of the Original Swat's a few months ago.
In both boots I replaced the insoles immediately with Sole Custom Footbeds, the stock insoles are to thin and do not provide adequate support for the foot, replacing them is practically mandatory in my opinion if you use your boots even on a semi regular basis. Sole Custom Footbeds are the best insoles I've ever used and I also highly recommend them. I never feel foot fatigue even after 12+ hours of constant use (wish I could say the same about the rest of me though), and that is a result of a combination of good boots and good insoles, and wool boot socks.
Pics will come when I get my camera back.
Magnum Stealth (Side Zip) Boots
Price: $99.00 (On Sale)
Purchased: 2005 From United Army Surplus (now out of business)
Note: The Magnum Stealth's have been replaced by the "Stealth II", MSRP is $90.00 USD for the Stealth II. http://www.magnumbootstore.com/index...PROD&ProdID=19
I opted for the side zip version as I liked the idea of being able to leave the boots laced up and just 'zip' them on. This unfortunately doesn't work, I like my boots nice and snug/tight, and I cannot jam my foot in while unzipped when they are laced up. That being said, the side zip is nice to have for taking them off as it is just easier even though I still do have to untie them... If I were to purchase a set of Stealth's again though, I probably would just get the non side zip version. It wasn't really an advantage and I like the idea of having the full body of the boots with no zipper seperation which could be a weakness although I never did have any problems with the pair I had. There were no signs of stress on the zipper panels and I expect they'll continue to last, but that's just me.
The Magnum's are light, comfortable and pretty tough especially considering their lightness. I don't think they would last well in harsh environments under constant use however such as deserts or bush, but for weekend warriors and urban use they are perfect. I myself used them in the bush most weekends for over three years, and I go through a lot of water/swamps/mud and they have been great.
The laces are a downfall imo, they are the 'round' style laces that have a habit of coming undone, I would much rather the 'flat' style as they hold better. That being said, it wasn't enough of a bother for me to switch them, I don't mind having to occasionally re-tie them but if I was using these in 'real' situations I'd definately swap out the laces.
They are not waterproof, and drain very well. I would never use 'waterproof' boots as I often get the boot submerged beyond the top with water anyway and with wool socks my feet don't get terribly uncomfortable after being soaked so I'm not worried about it.
Temperature wise I've used them in cold weather and hot weather, and they've been comfortable in either, again combined with wool socks. They arn't of course suited for extreme cold, but I've used them for some of our winter games and they were fine.
I've stepped on several nails and other similar objects and although they don't have any sort of protective layer I have not been impaled, which indicates the base material is pretty tough stuff and the treads are not worn down much at all even after all this time and use although the rest of the boot is certainly showing their age. Now, i'm not saying I stomped on a nail and it just stopped cold or anything I walk pretty carefully/lightly usually and often can catch myself before putting my full weight down but there were a few times when I full out stepped on a nail and I felt it pushing on my foot but it never pierced and still had a good inch of protruding nail left to go.
-Good durability to weight ratio
-Dense, durable outsole/treads
-Insoles need replacing
-'Round' style laces
-Side Zip version cannot actually use as intended (still have to untie boots)
All in all, a great boot I would recommend them and purchase them again they have done really well. I would not recommend them for an active duty boot being used in a harsh environment though such as afganistan as I feel they will wear out to quickly from the kind of abuse they are subject too in those circumstances.
Original Swat Classic 9" Boots
Price: 96.00 CAD
Purchased: 2008, From One Shot Tactical Supply - www.oneshottactical.com
MSRP: 76.00 USD - http://www.originalswat.com/product_...c054d856c7f3b4
I purchased these from One Shot Tactical, originally they sent me the Tan version instead of the Black that I had ordered, I sent an email inquiring about this and Darren immediately told me to ship them back COD and he would get that taken care of, which he did. A plus for One Shot's CS from me, I'd certainly do business with them again.
The boots themselves are noticably heavier than the Magnum's, thicker outsole, thicker materials, heavier leather. They are a bit hotter in hot weather and I imagine they will provide more warmth in colder. I also expect these boots due to their heavier construction will be more durable and suited for lengthy periods of use in harsh environments, but time will tell.
I've used them about 5 times (5-8 hrs / time) since the purchase, they have been quite comfortable and I've got no complaints. I would prefer a lighter boot, but again it is I expect a trade off of weight vs durability so i wouldn't really list that as a con.
The laces are the same issue as the Magnum's, they are round and have a habit of coming undone. Again, not enough of a bother to me to replace w/ aftermarket 'flat' ones, but it would just make the boot that much better in my books if the laces didn't need replacing and it's such a simple/cheap way to make the boot better I don't understand why the manufacturer doesn't include better quality laces, but oh well.
They are of course not waterproof, and drain well, not as fast as the magnum's, but good enough.
I havn't put them through enough use to comment on their durability and wear although as stated above I do expect they will last longer than the magnums due to the heavier materials used.
-Materials seem really heavy/durable
-Aggressive 'high' treads
-Insoles need replacing
-'Round' style laces
The Original Swat Classic 9" is treating my feet quite well and I have no complaints at this point. I do recommend them, however I cannot comment on their actual durability as I have not used them long enough. However, I've not heard of anything bad about them so I expect them to last. They seem well suited for hard use in harsh environments and I believe they would make a good choice for military duty use or similar hard/extended use applications.
Comparing The Two
The first thing I notice when comparing the two is how they position your feet. The Magnum's keep your foot more flat and feel natural/comfortable on hard surfaces (concrete, etc), the Original Swat's position your heel slightly higher in the boot in more of a 'running' position, feeling 'natural' when you shift your weight forward to move, and feeling more stable on softer ground like grass than the Magnum's.
The next thing is the weight, as mentioned above. The Magnum's are noticably lighter, and generally feel more like a sport shoe than a boot, whereas the Original Swat definately lets you know it isn't no shoe.
The thickness of the outsole on the Swat's reduce the 'feeling' you have underneath your feet to nearly nothing. When wearing the Magnum's, I can 'feel' what's underneath ie branches that might snap if I put weight on them, etc. Which certainly does make the magnum's more suited for 'stealth' :P .
The Magnum's have (obviously imo) been designed more for urban usage and applications whereas the Swat's I would certainly say are better suited for military or hard outdoor use applications. That being said, for a weekend warrior, I'd say the weight difference would put the Magnum's ahead of the Swat's for the intended use as your legs will be less tired at the end of the day (or few hours as the case may be). Plus, they even look fine worn with street clothes which I've done on numerous occasions, they just look like black boots with your pants covering the tops. The Swat's have a high outsole/treads and are very obviously combat boots even with the top half hidden, nor are they suited for casual wear imo and for urban use I'd definately say the Magnum's win hand's down.