Haix Black Eagle Tactical 2.0 GTX

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  • Right, you savages. We're trying to bring ourselves in to 2017, so we're ditching the written reviews for the most part, and moving to what's called a 'talkie' where you can see and hear the review. Amazing stuff eh?


    I don't give a crap if you can't stand my voice either. :D

    Competition: It's detailed at the end of the video, but if you can't be bothered watching, simply stick your answer in the comments box below. We want to know what the worst pair of boots you've ever worn were, and why! The winner will get a pair of the Haix Black Eagle Tactical 2.0 GTX! Woo!

    We're also not entirely sure how the video reviews are working for some people, so in the meantime, here's the written review:

    Trends come and go, styles come and go. Organisations change their core requirements and the relevant industry has to change and adapt if they want to survive. The British defence establishment may have ditched black boots for brown boots, but black tactical footwear is here to stay. Whilst a tear was shed at many a boot manufacturer when they realised half their line was redundant, it gave the consumer a bit of breathing space as many whittled down their lines and ranges to core models that performed and sold well.

    The old problem of too much choice being a bad thing has started to balance out now. There’s more focus now on quality, functionality and style rather than just cobbling (cobble.. boot…. Honestly, why aren’t I getting paid for this comedy gold?!) together any old mish-mash of a boot.

    Haix faced the same challenge as the rest, but they’ve advanced their tactical range to the new Black Eagle Tactical 2.0 GTX, incorporating both full GORE-TEX, ankle protection and a generally light, comfortable boot.

    Made from full grain (or Grade 1) leather, the Black Eagle is designed first and foremost with quality in mind. There are some boot manufacturers who will opt for top grain or corrected leather which means the leather has been artificially adjusted (buffed down, chemically treated, etc) to remove blemishes. Depending what you read, they may try to sell this is a good thing, but ultimately, it’s a bad thing. It’s sort of like ‘triple distilled whiskey’ – that’s not a good thing, it’s the same as using a teabag three times! Full grain leather gives the best yield and durability and is simply put, the best leather available from an animal hide.

    The Black Eagle is a full 3-ply GORE-TEX rig, including the tongue itself. This means in theory, you should be bone dry unless the water comes in over the top of your boots, in which case, let’s be honest, you’re having a crap day and it’s probably time to pack it in and go home. Considering that it’s full GORE-TEX, the Black Eagle is still very light and flexible with none of the heaviness you’d associate with a GTX boot, weighing in at only 600 grams. This means you can skip, hop and bounce through puddles all day long without your feet taking on that heavy, leaden feel.

    An added bonus is that as always, GORE-TEX is breathable, meaning you get to avoid the Catch-22 of having no water get in, but no moisture getting out, leading to damp, sweaty feet. Being objective, it’s never going to completely work. Your feet are in a confined, limited area. No matter how breathable the material may be, your feet are going to sweat. The only question is how much?

    With the Black Eagle, after a full day in the boots in dry conditions, my socks had signs of damp around the toes and small damp spotting over the bridge of the foot. Far from the worst I’ve ever experienced in a GTX boot, and probably worse because I wore very thin socks just for that purpose. I felt that the amount of moisture retained was a more than acceptable trade-off for the water resistance available. I normally wouldn’t even consider a GTX boot for an every-day wear, but actually, the Eagle is no worse than many boots that don’t have any waterproofing.

    For when the weather or conditions are against you, the Black Eagle meets expectations. The water hazards that were encountered were defeated with the inners staying dry throughout, both with partial submersion and general exposure to heavy rain. As I mentioned in another article, this is summer in Scotland and we’ve had plenty of torrential storms to play in!

    With an outsole is marked as ‘Double Density’, you also get that extra abrasion resistance and greater levels of comfort underfoot. Another benefit of the double density construction is that you can get away with having a thinner insole. This cuts down on heat retention and can give a more comfortable fit to the boot.

    The insole provided is the stock Haix insole. It’s been mentioned elsewhere that they’re nothing special to write home about, but they’ll do the job and should you swap them out for something more high-end, then you’re not throwing away a large amount of the overall expenditure on the boot with it. It’s worth bearing in mind however that the double density sole is designed to allow a thinner insole to be used – the outer sole itself is where the shock absorption and cushioning comes from.

    The sole of the boot is also resistant to heat, cold, petrol and oil, with a self-cleaning grip setup that should keep most of the debris and crap out, maintaining your control over any terrain.

    On the outside, the Haix Black Eagle has a gimmicky side panel marked ‘ankle protection’ that is made of rubber and is designed to absorb any impact to the ankle bone area. I refer to it as a gimmick because that was my initial thought. If you want to see if it works, check the video. It does, it’s not a gimmick!

    The lacing system comprises of the Haix 2 Zone system. There’s a loop through system that locks the bottom half of the laces in place, meaning they should never slacken off, allowing you the top half of the laces to adjust to get your feet in / out etc. It works well and saves a bit of phaff and hassle.

    Overall, it’s a really very well designed boot, and I’m amazed they’ve managed to keep it so light with a full GTX fitting. With the insole it comes in a 632g, and comparable boots such as the Alt-berg Aqua is around 200g heavier.

    I’d definitely consider the Black Eagle Tactical 2.0 GTX for my standard wear boot, I’m happy with how it’s performed and the comfort it’s brought. The downsides are the sole isn’t pierce resistant and the toecap only provides minimal protection from impact, but these are minor points which you can balance off with a review of your risks and needs in a tactical boot.

    At £144.90 from Haix direct, they’re close to the top end for a tactical boot, but I think it’s merited and shows itself in the quality of build.

    You can buy them HERE and don’t forget to watch the video for the competition!
tiger stacker, Nomad1382 and Helm like this.

User Comments

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  1. Steven
    Boots have arrived. Thank you :)

    Very comfy on first wearing. Just need some crappy weather to test them out.

    Photos over on the self taken thread as I cant get them on here from my phone
      tiger stacker and DeltaDog like this.
  2. MrBane
    We have a winner!

    Haix have selected @Steven as the winner, well done to the winner and well done to those who didn't do well. I'll be in touch with details later on today on how to claim. His entry was:

      ulape, napier, Gravelbelly and 3 others like this.
    1. tiger stacker
      Well Done
      tiger stacker, Sep 1, 2017
    2. Steven
      Thank you. I'd like to thank my parents, my production team, and god. I stand on the shoulders of giants (that's enough of that Ed.)
      Steven, Sep 1, 2017
    3. ulape
      Dammit, I thought I had the shiite wellies angle covered! :)
      ulape, Sep 2, 2017
  3. bill121koln
    Boots DMS, issued in to me 1974, absolute crap, the sole fell off but because of government cutbacks it had to be held on with black nasty, I wore them like that on the tank park for the best part of 3 months before my "slot" for exchange came up. for exercises I bought a pair of surplus German WW2 short "Jackboots", very comfy but they fell apart at BATUS and were buried in the ulu. After that I mainly wore Dr Martens which lasted well beyond my military service.
      MrBane likes this.
  4. The_Duke
    Worst ever? Altbergs. BCH and Assault boots weren't great but at least they were free and readily available.

    I was at Catterick so went to the factory for fitting for a pair of all leather midweight boots for tabbing. After much fitting and trying on of various types and all sorts of lacing options it was obvious that I was suffering from lift in the heel cup that was going to cause blisters of biblical proportions during a 10 miler.

    No problem, they say. For an extra £££ we can do a custom modification that will solve that. 6 week delivery, but might go out to 8 as we are a bit busy. 8 weeks came and went, no boots. Calls backwards and forwards and it became clear that they haven't even started work on them. It took over three months for them to arrive.

    The "custom modification" was a small square of sponge sewn to the inside of the tongue which was apparently supposed to push the heel back into the heel cup. However, given the rather well known property of sponge to compress under pressure, this achieved the square root of feck all. Heel lifted, feet blistered.

    Utter over priced, not fit for purpose, late, dog toffee. From memory, £150 for the boots plus another £30 for them to sew in two scraps of sponge. Total waste of time and money, made worse by the fact that they didn't have the honesty to admit that my feet were not the right shape for the Altberg last and that no amount of sponge was going to fix that.
      Gravelbelly and MrBane like this.
    1. MrBane
      Controversial statement! I suppose that unless you went for the complete custom boot which cost a pretty penny, then you're not going to get a solution with a bit of sponge.

      Also, as much as I do like Alt-Bergs, they have also cost me my large toenails, alongside Lowa. Maybe it's just my feet.....
      MrBane, Aug 31, 2017
  5. Gravelbelly
    I'm with Napier. My initial issue back in 1984 was the original version of "Boots, Combat High" shown in his picture, with the seam across the heel... horrible, cheap, rubbish.

    I got them broken in, did my recruit training in them, mostly OK so far. Shortly afterwards, we head off for a week's AT and walking in the West Highlands, and I discovered that the crease that formed just above the seam, was at exactly the right height to dig into the base of my Achilles tendon... over and over again. By day four, full-on tendonitis in both legs, and the joy of that "pulling cotton wool apart" feeling, every time you started walking again. After finishing the week and getting home, I solved it by sticking a pair of the (then brand new) sorbothane shock-stoppers in. They raised my tendon above the crease, stopped the tendonitis recurring.

    They redesigned the boot fairly quickly; by the next year, the new recruits got a version where the separate heel counter shown in @napier 's picture had been binned, and it was a single sheet of leather around the heel. I was stuck with mine (thanks, Man at Q&M), but fortunately, I was able to steal my Dad's NI Patrol Boots for BFTs...
      MrBane and napier like this.
    1. MrBane
      Yeah, it's amazing how entire sections going man down with Achilles issues causes procurement and the Infantry Trials & Development Unit to come up with something else. Just a pity it took them so long to realise that off-the-shelf is generally always better than lowest bidder!
      MrBane, Aug 31, 2017
  6. A/R Jnr
    Worst boots ever, Boots DMS,(army, 76), totally useless,
      MrBane likes this.
  7. Converted_lurker
    As a 13yr old cadet my mum bought me a pair of Dr Martens which I thought were ace until the first exercise I went on which had lots of mud and lots of wet grass. I was like bambi on roller skates and everyone laughed as I fell over or slid past. Simply no grip whatsoever.

    After that I became really picky about my boots.
      MrBane and tiger stacker like this.
    1. MrBane
      That's why you always saw the punk bands sliding all over the stage as if it was part of their act!
      MrBane, Aug 31, 2017
  8. theoriginalphantom
    US jungle boots, issued for Angola.
    They were light, fairly cool with the fabric parts as you'd expect, but for me they were bloody awful as the insoles worked their way up the back of my heel and eventually out of the boot entirely. ( I allowed this to happen after getting pissed off taking the boots off and putting the insole back in just to see how far it would go.
    To be fair, the boot isn't the problem, it's my narrow heel/wide foot, but this is the only boot this have ever happened for me.
      MrBane likes this.
    1. MrBane
      I've never seen a boot with the insole actually making its way out of the boot, that's pretty impressive. You must have feet like twigs!
      MrBane, Aug 29, 2017
  9. Barrack
    As 'ally' as they looked, the Magnum Panthers 8.0 we're as much use as an ashtray On a motorbike. They had waterproof capabilities worse than a knitted condom, they had horrendous ankle support and the laces snapped whilst marking time. I'd rather wear square basher boots on the fan dance than wear the magnums.

      MrBane likes this.
    1. MrBane
      Yeah, I've got a pair of them and every time I take my feet out, another part of the boot comes with them. The lace retainer has snapped on the tongue, bits of sole are flagging off, the inner heel has split away and come out. Just guff.
      MrBane, Aug 29, 2017
  10. javaguzzisti
    Choice of three.
    US Army issue boots 1978. Heavy, cumbersome and not waterproof.
    German Army issue jackboots, even worse then above but indestructible, I still have them.
    But worst by all was the boots I swapped for the jackboots, DM 18 hole boots.
    I have never got on with DM's. I find the air sole weird, the boots made my feet sweat and I was so glad to get rid of them for something that might be useful.
    Best boots ever were the 1998 Goretex lined Pro boot.
    Put them on for the first time on a Friday in 1998 at 07:30 in North Oxfordshire.
    Rode to somewhere in Wales for a rally with 6 mates. Put tents up aqnd then did another 250 miles around Wales including stopping for scoff in a barge restaurent. Came back, scoffed again, got hammered and took the boots off at about 03:30 Saturday morning.
    I forgot I was wearing brand new boots.
      MrBane likes this.
    1. MrBane
      Pro boots weren't too shabby, I grant you, but I feel the hype that followed them was probably abit OTT. Plus the fact those lads with the pink berets started calling you a craphat if you wore them, 'cos apparently they're for them only.....
      MrBane, Aug 29, 2017