Boots. Every man, woman, and child should have a good pair of boots. As a real American, I own several, and my latest comes from Viktos in the form of the Johnny Combat boots. Specifically, the black multi-cam variant that gives me a stylish look combined with a practical set of boots. Multi-cam black is rather hipstery, but as the resident tactical hipster, I accept that fully. So how did I review the Johnny Combat boots? Well, I freaking walked in ’em, duh.
Reviewing the Johnny Combat Boots
I got these bad boys in the middle of March and hit the ground running. Well, walking mostly. I was heading to South Carolina for the Gathering event, so I strapped the boots on and jumped on it. Like most gun events, you are on your feet, shuffling from event to event on the shoelace express.
Unlike other events, this one was held outside in the foothills, so lots of up and down, with a hefty dose of bad weather. I faced hills, mud, and lots of clay during this thing.
It presented a good chance to ‘break’ the boots in. As I type this, I hit my hundredth mile wearing the boots with several days of 3 to 5-mile hikes under my belt.
For me, rest days involve a long morning walk with a weight vest on. The pace varies on my mood. It’s often faster than your grandma but nowhere near as easy.
Beyond that, I’ve worn them on my quest to be big and fit. The Johnny Combat boots aren’t designed for sprinting, weights, flipping tires, or box jumps, but how else would I know if they work in dynamic movements? I pushed these boots to the edge because I needed to see if they function as good as they look.
I can recreate Fallujah in my backyard, but I still put these bad boys through the wringer.
What I Found Out
The break-in period was anything but. I brought a spare pair of shoes in case the break-in was rough on my feet. My sensitive self didn’t want to deal with blisters and cramping feet at a media event. I never changed out of the Johnny Combat boots. These things never hurt my feet or caused much discomfort.
As far as a break-in goes, the Johnny Combat boots have gotten more comfortable over time, but they never hurt me in the first place. Within that week, in which I walked 18 miles, I would say they had softened up and broken in a bit.
Today, on my hundredth mile, I’ve walked a total of 7.73 miles, including a five-mile hike and then my regular around-the-house stuff. Wearing the Johnny Combat boots the entire time, I never felt a single hot spot or blister. It was perfectly comfortable.
When facing down the elements, I also had zero issues. From the cold rain, wind, and mud to the dry spring of Florida, there is nothing that brought shame upon the name. Viktos builds the boots to be inherently water-resistant. While I haven’t tried to go swimming in the Johnny Combat Boots, I’ve struggled through the mud, walked through puddles, and knee-high wet grass. The whole time my beautiful feet remained dry and warm.
Bringing the Heat
Are they jungle boots? Cold weather boots? Well, they are neither. More like a three-season boot or a Florida boot. If I lived up north and faced snow, I might want something heavier; in my weather, they don’t present an issue. Even in the heat, which has climbed to the low 90s this week, the boots are never hot.
They are light enough to breathe and breathe well. In South Carolina, it was rather cold. Colder than I like for my Marches, and again, my feet never felt cold. In the actual desert or in the tundra, I might want something specific, but for the regular world, they’re perfect.
Viktos installed a very aggressive tread pattern into the bottom of the Johnny Combat boot. It really digs into the earth and soaks it in. Climbing up and down those South Carolina hills coated with rain and wet clay didn’t slow me down. I didn’t slip and fall, which is a feat for my clumsy ass.
Putting Work In With the Johnny Combat Boots
I live in the absolute middle of nowhere. I am surrounded by jungle with a thin dirt road as my only access to the world. That thin dirt road is my hiking trail, and depending on the weather, it is covered in either moon dust or the slickest mud imaginable. I’ve dealt with both in the last month and I’ve yet to trip over my own feet.
On tire box jumps, I never slipped and ate dirt either. Doing walking lunges and farmer’s carries also proved that I could keep my feet on the ground without tripping or rolling an ankle. Not to mention side lunges, goblet squats, and burpees were all completed without issue.
The Johnny Combat boots make carrying a heavy load comfortable too. A wide forefoot allows for foot splay under a heavy load. It doesn’t cause the sides of my feet to aggressively rub the boots and challenge my callouses to a fight.
Speaking of Tripping
The week before my first deployment to Afghanistan, we did a three-mile hump to do a final BZO on our weapons and optics. Somewhere on the way back, I rolled an ankle and got a fracture. I then deployed and just taped it up and went on business as usual. Since then, I’ve had a weak ankle and I tend to roll it often.
The Johnny Combat boots are a bit of a weird size that doesn’t conform to the norms of low, mid, and high. Instead, they go up six inches on the ankle and, when tied tight, provide a ton of support to the ankle. It’s almost cast like in its support. Rolling an ankle hasn’t happened yet, and it doesn’t seem to be an option.
That being said, I had enough mobility to run sprints (or what my fat ass calls sprints) and flex my footwork around a heavy bag. You certainly feel the tread dig in when doing both. The Johnny Combat boots aren’t too heavy either, so it doesn’t feel like you’re hauling boat anchors. I’m not gonna run in them by choice, but if I had to, these would work.
The slightly lower cut offers a lot of mobility mixed with a lot of stability. It’s an excellent compromise between mobility and stability, and my weak ankle appreciates it.
Tactical Hipster Approved
The Johnny Combat boots and I have some miles in. Happy miles, good miles, miles I wouldn’t trade for anything. They are a rock-solid set of boots that are supportive, offer good mobility, support, and are nice for most weather conditions.
They also look good! The black Multicam looks excellent, although it likely doesn’t offer me much actual camouflage. Honestly, I plan to wash them after this review. All the clay, sand, and pollen has given them a unique color of filth, and I didn’t pick black Multicam not to show it off.
Check out the Johnny Combat boots and the other gear at Viktos.
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Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner, a lifelong firearms enthusiast, and now a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is the world’s Okayest firearm’s instructor.