There’s a moment when you pull on a new pair of work boots and you’re hoping for a great mixture of comfort, stability and support. You want the protection from the toe cap, sole and weather-resistant leather of course, but the comfort is important. When you think about it, that’s a big ask.
As my big, size-14 hoof slid into the Oliver AT 45 series boot for the first time all the elements lined up and I knew it was going to be a winner.
After standing up and walking around in the Olivers the ankle support and comfort under the toe cap jumped out straight away. I later learned the protective toe cap wasn’t metal, but a composite material (NATUREform) that was 40% lighter and guaranteed to not set off the metal detectors at the airport. A layer of latex and a protection strip did a great job making the toe-cap area superbly comfortable.
Test #1: Comfort
A long day on the tools is only going to feel substantially longer when you are in an uncomfortable pair of boots. So Oliver has gone all out with the addition of the COMFORTcushion Impact Absorption System, a combination of cellular urethane and PORON designed to give high levels of comfort. Hidden underneath this layer lies the Oliver Comfort Footbed which enhances airflow and is infused with Odorban Control Technology.
The sole itself includes Oliver SOFTstride open-cell, low-density, urethane foam for comfort and contour support.
What do all these fancy technologies and materials mean in the real world?
One bloody comfortable work boot.
The long-wearing TPU outer sole is designed to self-clear rocks and debris from the tread, and after a week cutting timber and steel, grinding welds and visiting several worksites, the AT 45 series boots have gotten comfier as they have been broken in.
Test #2: Environment
It’s all fine and dandy to test a pair of work boots on a nice, sunny, 24-degree day, but like a good set of tyres, the real test needs to include a variety of environmental challenges to see what the boots can handle.
So this test was about the elements: water, heat and fire…along with some flying sparks from the grinder and welding gear.
Oliver boots also include Electrical Hazard (EH) protection and offer Hydrostop (3-year guarantee) against the effects of hydrolysis and microbiotic attack on the sole. There is no better way to end a hard day’s work than sitting back and enjoying a fire in the firepit. The soles of the AT 45s are heat-resistant up to 130 degrees Centigrade. That doesn’t make them fireproof, but it does offer a pile of protection when getting hands-on keeping the fire up and running.
The next test included getting the boots down and dirty with some puddles and water, and as much as I hated tromping the Olivers through the mud, it had to be done. The water-resistant Nubuck leather coped extremely well with our puddle-and-mud testing and, after giving the boots a good old-fashioned hose off at the end of the day, provided an impressive real-world example keeping the feet dry.
The 45 Series Boots
- 45-632Z 150mm wheat zip-sided
- 45-632 150mm wheat lace-up
- 45-645Z 150mm black zip-sided
- 45-645 150mm black lace-up
- 45-637 150mm brown lace-up
- 45-627 brown elastic-sided
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
As mentioned earlier, you can really feel the quality of the Oliver AT 45 Series from the moment you pull them on, and I’m happy to say the experience just gets better the more you do in these boots. They are built to work hard, keeping feet and toes not only safe and protected, but offering a very high level of comfort. In all these areas Oliver has done a great job. The grip and stability are huge and obviously a work boot is going to get a harder life than any other boot. I have owned numerous Olivers in my time and durability is up there in the standout features. Even in peak winter, working in mud and mess, the Olivers are more than up to the challenge.
For more visit www.oliver.com.au.