We'll be taking a break from our regular tips and tricks this week to discuss arguably one of the most important pieces of an outdoor adventurer's kit - their footwear. For those who enjoy hiking or extended backpacking trips, what you wear on your feet plays a huge impact on your ability to undertake the trip. If you know your footwear lacks water resistance, avoiding treading water will be a consideration, so as to avoid any unfortunate circumstances.
While many of us have a pair of dedicated hiking boots or something along those lines, today I wanted to discuss a pair of shoes that can really do it all. Weekend warriors and full-time enthusiasts can benefit from versatility in their kit, and footwear is no different. While we've featured them on our store for quite some time, we haven't had a chance to discuss the Altama Maritime Assault boots in detail.
Altama has been designing footwear for the US Department of Defense since 1969, and is the inventor of the iconic Panama sole - designed specifically for the harsh environment of the Panama jungle. It's their continued innovation on sole and footwear designs that continues to push Altama into the forefront of footwear technology, and the Maritime Assault is the culmination of years of field research conducted by active duty Navy SEALs. Their need for a shoe that could transition from wet to dry, while providing the support needed to withstand dozens of pounds of extra, soaking wet gear, and also fit into military issued diving fins for the most clandestine of operations. Altama delivered, and after years of military exclusion, the Maritime Assaults are now available for civilian purchase.
Since my discovery of them, my Maritime Assaults have been my every day shoe. The perfect pair to transition from the office, gym, and trails, I've removed several pairs of shoes from my wardrobe for this one piece of iconic footwear. The sticky seal rubber on the outsole is ASTM F2913-17 slip resistant certified, meaning that it maintains solid traction in water, and even oil. That oil resistance means the Maritime Assaults can even fit in the confines of an industrial kitchen - providing grip that nearly no environment can break. So, whether it's for the gym or just daily walking activities, the Maritime Assaults will ensure you never lose your footing. Combine this with the reinforced rubber safety toe, and you have additional safety features to protect your feet, without the added bulk of solid toe protectors. While those are good at what they do, there is a trade off in mobility and comfort when using a hard toe option. As an everyday shoe, a hard reinforced cap is entirely unnecessary, but the light rubber reinforcement provides peace of mind, and protection against the incidents that do occur.
There's nothing more unique than the water drainage vents - which work spectacularly at expelling water out of the shoe, but works just as well to keep water out. No longer do you have to fear losing your footing and having to waste hours drying your boots. Wet or dry, the Maritime Assaults keep you on your feet, and are designed to dry quickly. Best when worn with bare feet, the interior PU insole is waterproof, and helps to push any excess moisture out to the drainage vents with each step.
Most importantly is the overall design of the Maritime Assault. Designed specifically for the needs of the elite US Navy SEALs. These operators requested a shoe that was fin-friendly, but versatile enough to provide grip and stability in a multitude of environments, with wet to dry environment transitions a staple of the design. The result is a hybrid of sneaker and boot construction - providing the comfort and mobility of a sneaker with the durability of a tactical boot. The Maritime Assault has answered the call time and time again, and continues to serve alongside the men and women of the most elite warfighters in history.
As we always say to plan ahead, looking at your gear and how you can improve upon your tools is an essential part of planning. Having inferior equipment in certain situations can be the difference between life and death - and no one knows that better than the elite operators who continue to rely on Altama to complete their mission. This isn't just a shoe we're telling you is great - take it from real military operators and even professional athletes by viewing their interviews here.