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The boots I am reviewing today are a set of safety work boots from Steel Blue known as the Argyle Zip (available on eBay AU). They are available in black and wheat, and I have a copy of the wheat coloured variant:
The boots are 150mm high and the manufacturer describes them as a derby-style, lace-up safety work boot. They are also marked as being anti-static and having good water resistance. They are also steel-capped and able to resist a drop force of 200 joules - and this particular boot has a polyurethane bump cap covering the toe to protect the leather beneath.
Additional options for the Argyle Zip range (beyond the bump cap noted above) are a nitrile outersole for 300°C temperature resistance, a steel plate within the sole for penetration resistance and the removal of the steel cap.
The standard outersole is TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) which is stated to be highly resistant to most oil and chemicals and is heat resistant up to 130° Celsius:
TPU is also supposed to have high tolerance against cuts, abrasion, cracking or splitting damage and has good tear strength. The Argyle Zip has both laces:
...and a zip down the side:
The zip is a Riri item, which if you haven't heard of them generally seem to be considered as being in the same league as YKK:
The inner sole is "Ortho Rebound":
The top of the inner sole is high wicking material that's apparently resistant to abrasion. Beneath that is a polyurethane footbed and then a flexible anti-microbial insole. Beneath all that are energy absorbing, anti-bacterial PORON inserts:
The Argyle Zip boots generally seem to be available in sizes from 3 to 14, and half sizes are available within that range from 6.5 to 12.5. Some variants seem to have sizes 15 and 16 also available and some have additional half sizes available. The half sizes provide additional width without increasing the length of the boot.
There's some padding around the back of the ankle:
...and the model number (well, the 152 part of 332152) on the Velcro'd cover for the zip:
It meeds the following safety standards:
The box came with a sticker suggesting that the boot had been endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association - looking at their endorsed products list Steel Blue would seem to be the only safety boot company with such an endorsement. All of the other endorsed companies also appear to be alone in their field, for what that's worth.:
The reviewed pair were a size 6.5 (Australian sizing, other sizes on label):
I am working on getting them weighed - they certainly feel light for work boots but having the numbers would be nice. If you are specifically looking for light weight boots and don't mind the lack of a steel cap have a look at the Steel Blue Canberra (eBay AU) and Torquay (eBay AU) composite-toed range.
So far I have worn the boots for a week and have been extremely pleased with the comfort provided - I usually wear them for between four to eight hours a day, seven days a week in an automotive workshop or outdoors setting. Compared to the $70 pair of safety boots I was wearing previously the Argyle Zip boots are able to be worn for much longer without foot and knee pain and feel distinctly more comfortable throughout the day. Of note, I am wearing them with King Gee Bamboo socks, which feel like a good match to the boots and are available on eBay AU.
The zipper seems to be of good quality and is nice and large and the laces are of an appropriate length. My only gripe with the boots is that I would like a tab at the back to help pull them on with!
Steel Blue offer a 6 month manufacturer's warranty on their boots, which are made in either Australia or Indonesia as far as we can tell.
If you're keen for a pair check out the deals on eBay AU.
As far as colour choice goes, Steel Blue state that due to the Baltico lining in their boots the outer colour will make no difference to the wearer in terms of one colour (i.e. black) being hotter than the alternatives.
I'll post an update after a month of wearing them!
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