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Work Boots

Magnum Panther 8.0 Side Zip Tactical Boots – Detailed Review

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Rating : 8.0/10
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Performance Breakdown

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Bottom Line

Crafted with durable nylon mesh panels that are incorporated into the water-resistant leather, the Magnum Panther 8.0 Side Zip Tactical Boot can provide the protection you need while ensuring all-day comfort.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Durable and water-resistant upper
  • Side zipper
  • Moisture-wicking

Cons

  • Outsole feels too rigid
  • Lacks toe protection

Material

Waterproof Magnashield leather and nylon

Type of Toe

Steel toe

Weight

3.5lb / 1.59kg / 56.09oz

Waterproof

No (water-resistant)

Shaft Size

8 inches

Outsole

Slip- and oil-resistant outsole

Boot type

Side Zip Tactical Boot

Manufacturer

Magnum

Safety certifications

Yes

Price range

$123.95 to $200.00

Summary

Built with similar features as other Magnum tactical boot models, the Magnum Panther 8.0 Side Zip Tactical Boot is nevertheless a noteworthy choice because it delivers the essential features with a price range that is much more affordable than the other options from the same manufacturer and across other brands. This boot has approximately half the price of the Magnum Viper Pro that has more or less the same protective and comfortable features. It even comes enhanced with a side zipper to make access easier instead of needing to deal with laces every time the boot is worn or taken off. The construction of the boot felt strong enough to withstand the normal wear and tear that work boots are normally exposed to in various situations for tactical and other professions that may be just as challenging. Overall, I had a comfortable experience while using these boots that offered good value for money.

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The durable leather and nylon materials that make up the Magnum Panther 8.0 Side Zip Tactical Boot’s upper are water-resistant, providing the protection that you’ll need to keep your feet from being completely soaked through when your activities require a bit of exposure to water and other liquid substances. The contoured insoles delivered enhanced comfort as they continuously cradled my foot throughout the busy workday. The boots come with outsoles that provide strong traction and are sturdy enough to withstand the regular use and abuse that can be expected in challenging environments. However, the thickness of these soles also brought a bit of discomfort, as they felt too rigid and interfered with some of my movements, negatively impacting the way I moved and tackled my duties. We’ll take the time to look at the boot’s qualities to determine which are the most impressive ones, and which features can benefit from some enhancements so that the footwear’s performance can be improved.

For durability that can take you through challenging duties and environments, this tactical boot offers extra comfort at a reasonable price.

Ideal For

  • Those who prefer a tactical boot with a side zipper for heightened convenience
  • People who like tactical boots with a relaxed fit
  • Work settings that will benefit from water-resistant boots

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Performance Analysis

Comfort

The Magnum Panther 8.0 Side Zip Tactical Boot is fitted with insoles molded to follow the natural shape of the foot so that superior comfort can be enjoyed for the entire workday. This insole surrounded my foot with enough cushioning to dissolve foot pain before it had a chance to build up as I worked nonstop on duty. It fitted nicely around my foot with a comforting presence that also prevented the continuous friction from my movements from developing into blisters, allowing me to move around without the need to deal with pain for long hours at a time. This insole was removable, so I had no trouble. The interior was fitted with a special fabric that brought a soft and smooth touch to keep my foot protected from unwelcome textures, contributing to the overall comfortability of the boot without the extra bulk and weight within the footwear. The combination of leather and nylon made the upper quite flexible, so it effortlessly adapted to my foot’s movements. I was able to keep moving for extended periods without any discomfort issues coming from the upper as it worked with just the right amount of flexibility that didn’t hinder my movements but also didn’t compromise the boot’s overall durability and protective qualities. The extended sections of nylon mesh on the calf area increased the mobility in this area but also worked to protect the ankle from being twisted painfully, especially when I was navigating tricky surface conditions.

I appreciated the padded collar that provided superb cushioning around the boot’s opening, protecting my calf from uncomfortable friction that can come from the nonstop walking and moving around for the entire shift.

My experience with using this boot would have been more comfortable if only the sole wasn’t too thick, as it hampered some of my movements and negatively affected my efficiency.

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Weight

This boot is lightweight which was a shock because they have a robust structure that usually translates to heavy footwear. I was ready to feel the considerable weight of the boot, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was much lighter than other tactical boots and work boots that I have previously tried. I believe the reduced weight resulted from the upper being crafted out of a combination of leather and nylon mesh instead of being made completely out of genuine leather. The nylon mesh components are lighter compared to pure leather, so the overall weight of the boot was minimized compared to tactical boots built with all-leather uppers.

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Traction

The boot is equipped with a thick rubber outsole that looked and felt strong enough to withstand long-term and heavy use without easily breaking apart in the process. I expect the sole to deliver long-lasting durability even when I use the footwear for physically demanding tasks on a regular basis, which will allow me to reap the benefits from the boot’s features without worrying too much about premature outsole damage. It provided great traction that enabled me to walk with assurance on wet and bumpy ground conditions as the boot gripped the surface strongly to provide the stability I needed in such situations.

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Fit and Sizing

This boot is true to size and brought a comfortable fit without the need for me to choose an option that came in a smaller or larger size. It had a relaxed fit with enough room within to allow my foot and toes to move a bit when necessary, such as when I started to feel that cramps were developing as I had been on my feet for the better part of the day. The boots’ fit can be adjusted with the help of the lace-up design so you can effortlessly make modifications until you achieve the fit that feels perfectly comfortable and secure to suit your personal preference. The boot is ideal for those who prefer having that extra space inside for a comfortable experience but may seem unstable or ill-fitting for people who prefer a snugger fit for comfort and stability.

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Waterproofing

This boot is made with an upper that consists of water-resistant leather and nylon mesh panels. The upper will be able to maintain foot dryness when exposed to occasional splashes of water and other liquids or short-term exposure to these substances. The boot can be used in wet conditions and outdoors when it is raining for a short period of time. However, as it isn’t made with completely waterproof components, it cannot provide long-lasting protection from wetness and may even lead to the foot being soaked through if the boot is submerged in fluids for a long time.

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Breathability

This tactical boot is fitted with a moisture-wicking lining that works to continuously dissipate perspiration and heat before they can even have the chance to accumulate and develop into full-blown overheating. The excess moisture and temperature are dispersed with the help of the mesh panels on the upper that allow air to move unhindered throughout the boot, making it possible for the interior to maintain a well-ventilated environment even with long hours of boot use in hot or humid conditions.

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Quality and Durability

The Magnum Panther 8.0 Side Zip Tactical Boot is crafted with water-resistant leather and a nylon upper that is strong enough to resist easy breakage when used in challenging environments. The materials are designed to keep water and other liquids from entering the boot to maintain comfortable foot dryness.

However, as the upper is not entirely waterproof, it cannot sustain the protection against liquids for a long period of time.

The 8-inch-tall boot offers heightened coverage so that more of the calf area can be protected against water, abrasion, and other safety hazards that you may encounter on a regular basis. The mesh portions built into the upper allow air to flow freely into the boot to sustain a properly ventilated environment that will keep the foot dry and comfortable all day long. The insole is shaped to the contours of the foot for superior comfort and cushioning that can prevent foot pain from developing even with nonstop working and walking around for long hours at a time.

The outsole feels thick enough to resist early damage with more than the usual wear and tear, offering increased durability that may not be offered by tactical boots with thinner soles.

However, the thickness of the soles can cause a bit of discomfort, as they felt too rigid and bulky, getting in the way of some of my movements so certain tasks were more difficult to manage. This outsole offers strong traction that can keep you safe when moving over wet or uneven surroundings, though, so you can move more confidently over these tricky surfaces without compromising your agility and safety in the process. The durable YKK side zipper is fitted in place to make foot entry and exit easier, since there’s no need to tinker with the laces every single time. The boot features a non-metal hardware lacing system that can help you easily blend in with the surrounding area and keep your presence hidden in crucial situations while you’re out in the field. The TPU heel counter keeps the heel secured in place and prevents it from sliding uncomfortably within the boot for additional security, especially when dealing with rapid and/or lateral movements.

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Other Versions

The Magnum Panther 8.0 Side Zip Tactical Boot is offered in a version without the side zipper, which may be preferred by those who like tactical boots in a traditional silhouette without performance enhancements. This boot is available in black.

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The Challengers

Magnum Viper Pro Waterproof All Leather Boot

The Magnum Viper Pro Waterproof All Leather Boot is a superb alternative if you prefer all-leather boots that are completely waterproof to keep you company as you go out in the field for your duty. This boot has a breathable membrane that keeps the interior continuously ventilated so that the foot can experience comfortable coolness even with long hours of boot use in hot surroundings. It comes with foam roll pads that protect the ankle area from being bruised or injured when this zone is exposed to abrasion or impact hazards that may be encountered over the course of a tough workday. The non-metallic shank helps maintain stable footing over a variety of ground conditions and helps maintain the lightweight construction that allows the boot to deliver impressive functionality without compromising your comfort and mobility in the process.

Original SWAT Alpha Fury 8-Inch Side-Zip Tactical Boot

The Original SWAT Alpha Fury 8-Inch Side-Zip Tactical Boot is another noteworthy choice if you’re shopping for lightweight tactical boots. It’s crafted with non-metallic components so it won’t set off metal detectors unnecessarily, which also makes the boot an ideal footwear option for those who work in an airport setting (such as TSA agents). The rubber outsole features thick lugs that offer superior traction to keep you from slipping when navigating problematic surface conditions indoors and outdoors. The custom-molded TPU toe box and heel counter work to strengthen these critical portions to keep them safe from being easily damaged when exposed to impact dangers in the work area. The boot comes with a rapid lacing system that doesn’t take too much out of your time to adjust so you can get to the most secure fit with ease. The side zipper provides you with an even more convenient option to put on and take off the boot in a flash, and just deal with the laces when you need to adjust the fit according to your personal comfort preference. This lightweight boot enables you to move as rapidly as you need without getting in the way of your agility while tackling the most important tasks of the day.

Bates GX-8 GORE-TEX Side Zip Boot

The Bates GX-8 GORE-TEX Side Zip Boot delivers high-performance benefits in all weather conditions. The GORE-TEX membrane guarantees outstanding protection against water, mud, and other liquid substances to make sure that you will be able to maintain all-day foot dryness even when you need to work for extended periods in wet conditions. This boot keeps moisture away from your skin so you can avoid a clammy and sweaty foot feeling even with long hours of boot-wearing in hot or humid surroundings. The thick outsole delivers strong underfoot support while having a firm grip on the ground so you can more easily walk and move around while maintaining your steady footing over various surface conditions. The midsole is designed to bring welcome flexibility that will keep you going as you deal with various tasks in and out of the field so you can move as efficiently as possible without sacrificing your safety and comfort. The lightweight construction ensures nonstop comfort that won’t weigh your feet down unlike bulkier work boots or tactical footwear.

Chippewa 8-Inch Aldarion Waterproof Comp Toe Boot

The Chippewa 8-Inch Aldarion Waterproof Comp Toe Boot can be relied on to keep your feet protected and comfortable even in extreme weather conditions. It’s built with a proprietary waterproof membrane system that stops water from entering the boot to allow you to keep on working in wet conditions while enjoying the assurance of maintaining foot dryness and comfort. The brass eyelets and hooks are designed to resist tarnishing for long-lasting functionality and aesthetics, while the sturdy nylon laces are constructed to keep up with frequent lace adjustments without easily breaking down in the process. The boot is fitted with 400 grams of insulation material that will keep your feet warm when you’re working in cold and damp conditions. The Thinsulate Ultra material comes in a thin structure that provides much-needed warmth without the bulk so the boot’s interior can stay comfortable all day long. The composite toes offer reliable protection against compression and impact threats that may be lurking all around the work area and does so without temperature transmission, electrical conduction, or a heavy profile.

Thorogood American Heritage 8-Inch Steel Toe Boot

The Thorogood American Heritage 8-Inch Steel Toe Boot is an excellent choice if you want your work boots to veer away from the usual round toe design. This boot comes with a moc toe silhouette that exudes a rugged handsomeness while providing extra space in the toe box, allowing the toes to move as needed so you can easily stop foot cramps from fully developing over the course of a long workday. The steel toe caps work to protect your feet from being crushed when something heavy or blunt accidentally rolls or falls on the boot from an elevated area. The boot’s footbed features a cushioned insole that delivers remarkable comfort as it cradles the foot for the entire day to keep discomfort at bay and works as a reliable shock absorber to fight off foot fatigue. The fiberglass shank brings flexible support to maintain your stable footing as you navigate different terrains and allows you to work continuously without a rigid material underfoot to hamper your efficient movements.

Conclusion & Verdict

The Magnum Panther 8.0 Side Zip Tactical Boot is a reasonably priced option that provides a comfortable experience and reliable protection to keep up with your job’s demands. The side zipper is a welcome addition that brings increased comfort and convenience when taking off or putting on the boot. Nylon mesh panels on the upper encourage continuous airflow for maximum breathability to stop overheating. The thick outsole delivers strong traction and looks sturdy enough to withstand challenging settings, but feels too thick and rigid, so it can easily cause discomfort, especially with extended periods of boot use.

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Luke Davis

Luke is the lead author on WorkWear.org. He has a vast experience in construction engineering and project management in California and Texas, where he had the chance to put to test a wide range of safety boots and PPE. Outside work, Luke is an avid hiker and not surprisingly a DIY fanatic!