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ARMY BOOTS OF THE WORLD. REVIEWS
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According to the manufacturer information, light black tactical boots "Grom" (the "Thunder") were specifically designed for special forces and police units Poland. It is alleged that these boots were named after the same-name Polish anti-terrorist unit created in 1991.
The activities of the Polish special unit "Grom" is to great extent classified. Even the establishment of this team was announced by the authorities only three years later. So, most information about "Grom" unit is secret, but it is known, that it numbers up to 300 people, and each battle group consist of four well-trained fighters. The women can also serve in the"Grom" unit, presumably as intelligence agents, but any more detailed information is secret.
It is also known that all the members of the unit "Grom" are trained according to the program of special forces units, three-quarters of them are qualified doctors. Each member of the unit knows at least two foreign languages, and is not only a well-trained climber, sniper and frogmen (according to the US Navy SEALs Programme), but also a statesmen bodyguard.
In particular, it was the Polish "Grom" in 1994, which ensured the safety of Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the UN Secretary-General and William Perry, the US Secretary of Defence. Contrary to the practice in the United States Army and for its professionalism, the Polish "Grom" unit was awarded the "The Army Commendation medal" of the US Army. The award was handed over to Colonel Slawomir Petelicki, the creator and commander of this unit.
However, not everything went smoothly in the life of "Grom" unit , as well as in the contemporary US, British and other special forces. In October 1999, the unit was transferred from the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the Ministry of Defence, and passed through repeated reforms and renewal of the staff.
At various times, in many countries, including Poland, the special forces were on the verge of disbanding and liquidation for political reasons.
Later, the founder and the first commander of the "Grom" unit admitted that it were the wars, which saved the unit from disbanding, and the personnel - from forwarding to different units of the army and navy, because "Grom" was actively involved in the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
As a part of the Ministry of Defence of Poland, "Grom" unit is still responsible for solving the problems of the counter-terrorist struggle. There are some new challenges as well: the "Grom" fighters undergo the training as a commando (even partisan) troops, fulfilling the task of fighting the enemy in case of hostile invasion on the territory of Poland.
In modern Poland, the special unit "Grom" enjoys an excellent reputation and respect.
As for the same-name boots, some Polish sceptics on the military forums argue that this sounding name is just a "marketing ploy". However, the truth is somewhere in the middle between the two polar opinions.
Whatever it was, today "Grom" tactical boots are among of the most popular models of tactical footwear of the Polish security forces and among civilian hikers, hunters, guards...
These boots are made of high quality soft calf leather, combined with "Cordura - Traspira", a durable, waterproof and breathable textile material. The impregnation of the material provides protection from outside moisture and good resistance to mechanical damage. The boots sizes range from 33 to 48 in French metrics. The boot's counters are strengthened with additional layers of the leather inside. The weight of pair of boots is 1.2 kg for size 42.
"Grom" boots are produced only in black. As it was told before, the material of the boot's top is leather + "Cordura Traspira" (in some descriptions this material is also called "ballistic nylon" - "nylon balistyczny", i.e. resistant to cut and tear, and various mechanical deformations). The out-soles is double-layer (polyurethane+ foamy polyurethane) and feature self-cleaning tread pattern of "Cheetah" type. This is exactly the same standard out-sole as used on the Polish army "desert" boots, but black-coloured. This is the DMS-type boots, i.e. with Direct Moulded Sole.
DMS method makes the boots light and flexible as sneakers or plimsolls, as well as strong enough and resistant to cracking, abrasion and slip. The profile of the out-sole tread (the heel is 13 mm in height) ensures quiet and safe movement on the most common surfaces of the urban environment: stone masonry, tile, asphalt, concrete, gravel, break-stones etc... It also allows the use of "Grom" boots on the "dangerous" surfaces, with potential risk for the out-soles to be exposed to the engine oil, fuel, solvent, acid etc. In other words, the out-sole material does not react with the aforementioned chemically aggressive substances.
The lacing system consists of three pairs of simple round eyelets in the lower part of the lacing system, above there are five pairs of "MARK" speed lacing eyelets. The laces of the "Grom" boots are round in section. Soft textile tongue is made of "Cordura - Traspira", i.e. the same material as non-leather part of the boot's top and is stitched high to the boot's top upper (the flap of the boot's tongue is almost "closed"). As distinct from most "jungle" boots, the sides of the boot's top near the malleolus bones are not reinforced with an additional layer of textile material. A soft velour padding "collar" in the upper part of the boots is up to 50 mm in thickness at the rear side of the boot's top, and serves to protect against the ingress of water, dust of small pebbles inside the boots...
The manufacturer also produces a model of "Grom" boots with entirely leather upper. The soft padding on top of the boot's upper is made of leather too, not velour, like the standard model. The lacing system was slightly changed as well: the lower pair of speed lacing eyelets was changed with a pair of hook clamps for laces fixation.
This boots are definitely more sturdy, that the standard "light" model, and the "Grom" leather boots out-soles tread pattern is of their own, Polish design. It can be assumed that the experience of Bundeswehr boots design was taken into account while creating these boots, because from the tread pattern of the Polish leather "Grom" boots resembles the out-soles of the German mountain boots by "HAIX" company.
The marking on the out-soles usually consists of the name and location of the manufacturer (Protektor - Lublin);
the features of the out-soles (antistatic, oil, petrol-resistant) and sizes (the round sign is divided into three sectors, each of which shows the size indication in Polish, British and French size metrics respectively). The photos show the examples of marking: the Polish size is 26 cm, the British size is 6.5 and the French size is 40), and the table of all sizes of boots, produced by the manufacturer - "Protektor SA" company of Lublin.
This choice of metrics is likely due to the possibility of such boots supplies to the Armed Forces of the Polish allies of NATO. This version can be also proved by the fact, that the manufacturer is possessed of the AQAP 2110: 2006 (Quality Certificate for military boots), as required by NATO regulations.
A pair of "Grom" tactical boots cost about 230 zloty (i.e. 55 Euros) in Poland.
The sources of the photos and information:
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