Having the proper gear at the range can be the difference between having an enjoyable day out and cutting the day short because you’re so miserable. One thing that has always proved important at the range is high-quality boots. A few months ago I did my write up on the Johnny Combat range boots from Viktos and said they were quality for the money. This past month I picked up the New Salomon Forces Sua Sponte Mark III boots from US Elite Gear as my new range boots. Let’s take a look at how these boots are for regular range use.
The Salomon Sua Sponte Mark III boots are a distributor exclusive pair of boots from the guys over at US Elite Gear. This model comes as a mid-height all-terrain boot that has proven to be a comfortable boot walking around town along with out in the hiking trails and range area. Salomon included the QuickLace system on this boot where there’re no traditional laces but rather a tensioner that keeps the laces tight but is faster than lacing your boots up every day.
What makes Mark IIIs different from previous models is the addition of GoreTex material to make them waterproof. Salomon decided to make the Sponte Mark III’s chassis really flexible to keep mobility up without compromising the rigidity and support of the boot. These Mark IIIs also come with upgraded OrthoLite insoles which do make a difference if you’re on the move all day. Another thing that’s a benefit to have is the anti-slip and oil resistant sole these Salomons come with. MSRP for the Salomon Sua Sponte Mark III is set at $199.99 on US Elite Gear’s website currently.
During the winter and spring months in Michigan, there’s a fairly good chance the range will be muddy and soaking wet. I’ve wrecked a number of boots over the years by taking them out to the range when it’s real wet and muddy out. The Gore-Tex lining in the Salomon MKIII’s was the most impressive part of the range portion of the testing. I had a few moments where the boots were completely covered in cold mud or I stepped into a low point in the range where the boots were submerged in water. Despite all the abuse, my feet were still dry and comfortable. Once I got home from every range trip, I just made sure to wipe off the dirt and mud to keep the boots clean but maintenance was minimal.
Typically, Gore-Tex boots are hot and seem to be relatively heavy just from the amount of layers it takes to be waterproof. Salomon did a great job making these boots waterproof while maintaining a lightweight flexible boot. In the past, you either had to pick between a lightweight flexible boot or a waterproof boot but these MKIIIs seem to be the best of both worlds while not having the disadvantages of either style of boot.
Upgrades From Other Boots
After using the Salomon MKIIIs for a few months now, there are a few design features that make these boots stand out from other options like the Johnny Combat style boots from Viktos. The biggest difference between the Solomon’s and other boots is the overall comfort of the boots. They typically will take a bit longer to break in but once they do, it honestly feels like a custom fit to your feet. These MKIII boots came with upgraded OrthoLite fusion sole inserts that definitely make a difference when you’re at the range or on your feet the majority of the day.
After playing football for almost 15 years, my ankles are pretty much shot and tend to need more support. I will typically go for a taller height boot to add extra support. These Salomons are a mid-height boot but the overall design of the chassis and sole make your feet more stable and give my ankles almost more support than a taller height boot. If you’re looking for a boot with ankle support like I was, I would definitely recommend this boot for the extra support it offers while remaining relatively lightweight.
I will admit this is my first pair of Salomon boots I’ve ever owned. In the past, I was always hesitant to order a pair because of the price but I truly believe this is another case of “you get what you pay for”. I won’t lie they are a fairly expensive pair of boots, but over the last few years, I have thrown these boots in mud holes, ran through hiking trails and walked almost 200 miles in them without an issue. I am very pleased with paying the full retail price for these boots and probably will order a similar pair if I ever wear these ones out.
There are a ton of options in the tactical boot market and some are great options. Honestly though, out of the dozen pairs I’ve had over the last couple of years, these Salomon Sua Sponte Mark III boots really do shine. Let me know if you’ve had a pair of Salomons in the past and how they were in the comments below. If you have any questions about these boots or firearm-related questions don’t hesitate to shoot me a message on my Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.