Last month, during the MSPO 2023 defence and security expo in Poland, I grabbed the chance to snap the HAIX XVENTURE GTX for this brief update, writes Bob Morrison.
Those who regularly read this Footwear section of JOINT-FORCES will have spotted my January heads-up on this new hiking boot from HAIX of Bavaria which had just become available for private purchase through the Outdoor section of their UK website. I have not yet had the chance to try this new boot model out myself but, as I expected of a lightweight Gore-Tex membrane boot model positioned between the popular HAIX Black Eagle and HAIX Scout models, members of the company’s European specialist military sales team say it has been attracting a lot of interest from defence sector customers.
The XVENTURE is not in the class of boot designated as Combat High Liability by the UK MoD, but having now had the chance to handle, prod and poke both the slightly different Brown / Wood and Coyote versions I reckon it might well fall into the UK MoD Patrol (i.e. base or garrison boot) category. At this point I must emphasise this is only my opinion and HAIX have not indicated any intent to offer this boot for current British Army requirements. This is unsurprising because publication of the next UK Supply of Combat Boots requirement Contract Notice inviting companies to tender, advised as a Public Information Notice in June 2021 and anticipated as being published in February 2022, is now running a ridiculous 20 months behind schedule and until precise details are are issued none of the interested companies know precisely which of their models will meet the required spec.
As previously mentioned, the XVENTURE GTX model is a 6-inch (16cm) mid-height boot with a Gore-Tex laminate waterproof and breathable membrane lining ‘sock’; the Coyote GTX version has the uninsulated three-layer Extended Comfort laminate (for warmer seasons / theatres) and the Wood GTX version I snapped had what appeared to be the moderately insulated four-layer Performance Comfort laminate. The Coyote GTX boot has mostly split cow leather (rindspaltleder in German) uppers while the Wood GTX boot has minimum 2.0mm thick Nubuck leather uppers, though both boots also have padded textile sections in the ankle and collar areas plus the tongue as well as a synthetic material section around the heel cup and slightly forward of this on the outside edge of the foot above the sole.
The closed hook lacing system is two-zone, though without a mid-point lace lock, and the Coyote GTX version has a lace pocket at the top of the tongue. The composite anti-slip rubber outsole with shock-absorbing heel section is of HAIX’s own design and has been well-proven on other (military) models for several years. The width adjustment is by way of three different HAIX Vario Wide insoles, with Medium (red) as standard and Wide (yellow) or Narrow (red) being separately available. The Coyote GTX boot is available to the public in sizes EU35 to EU 51, which covers most sizes from UK3 to UK15, but Wood GTX is only advertised from EU39 to EU47 equating to UK6 to UK12; though of course a full size range in any colour would be available for military or blue light services customers buying in bulk. A light grey version (Cloud GTX) is also available from EU39 to EU47 and a lighter tan Khaki GTX WS version aimed at the female buyer is available in sizes EU35 to EU43.
Should HAIX send us samples of the XVENTURE for review I will return to this interesting boot type at a later date.
[images © Bob Morrison]