SEAL Team - Behind the kit - Boots
Updated: Aug 3
Footwear is one of the important factors when operating in different environments. A night time insertion via canopy, followed by a march across hilly and rugged terrain with a weighted pack requires sturdy ankle supporting boots. A day strike in an urban setting to snatch a HVT likely asks for lightweight, manoeuvrable footwear such as that with low or mid support. Bravo adapts to their environments using a mixture of brands and models.
The boots seen in SEAL Team used by Bravo are from research all real world, real military application boots, that are proven in a huge variety of terrains by US combat forces and other global combat forces. The majority of boots seen during these operational episodes are variations on core manufacturers. These boots are currently being used by forces personnel worldwide and are recommended for use by civilians too. They are after all, only boots at the end of the day.
In short, the main boot manufacturers used by Bravo are Salomon and Merrell, with several other manufacturers also seen through the seasons. For ease, I've reduced the names of the boots in each section to just initials.
Bravo as with operators in real life, can within limits choose and run their own gear, so naturally preferences are chosen and this is what gives the show and characters their individuality. Each member of Bravo has their own kit, their own style and it works for them, something likely instilled by those working on the show based on their backgrounds and experience. What I also like is the attention to detail regarding the exterior of the boots. If you look closely at some of the Salomon boots used, those boots have the Salomon logo (usually in yellow, red or white) on the side of the boots filled in with black marker, or the red 'contagrip' logo on the heel also blacked out, an eye for detail...
In this blog I'll be breaking down the boots and looking at how Bravo use them in different environments. This blog has taken many months to put together, many hours at staring at boot soles, scrolling through manufacturer websites and discontinued lines to bring to you the huge variety of boots used by Bravo. I've also added in links to reviews, so if you're on the lookout for a new pair, I've given you a headstart! So without further ado, grab a coffee or beer, put the wallet on the table and read on.
Boots are one of the three key components (Armour, Boots, Protective Eyewear) of an operators loadout and due consideration should be given in regards to research and expenditure. Boots are an integral part of deployment and their style and capabilities should be matched where possible to the environment. Consider; where you will be going, for how long, equipment you'll be carrying and temperature. Time and effort spent researching will pay dividends when using your chosen boots. When researching boots, the below diagram is useful to identify key areas you want to focus on and ensure that your choice does or doesn't have. Make no compromises though as damage to your feet through a rolled ankle or worse can cause massive problems to the team and those around you.
Salomon is a French sports manufacturing company founded in 1947. Originally the company thrived upon sales of skis, but since 1947 the company has spread into the hiking and running arenas, and have now become Europes largest sports equipment manufacturers. Further info can be found here on Wikipedia - Salmon.
Salomon throughout the series appears to be the staple favourite, likely due to their robustness, availability, variety and fair price. With a long proven track record in comfort and versatility, Salomon make a great choice for those in Bravo. The huge variety in boot type provides the team with a multitude of boots to choose from for all of the different environments they operate in, with high, mid and low ankle support.
Salomon X Ultra Mid Aero (SXUMA)
The SXUMA is seen worn by Ray throughout the 3 seasons and was identified by the faint blue V's on the sides and via the blue stripe on the tongue and the blue heel tab. Version worn by Ray show signs of wear and tear and the colours are faded. The boot is well vented, lightweight and is the middle-ground between running shoes and boots that provide ankle support.
Salomon Authentic LTR GTX AW19 (SALTR)
The SALTR has been used on and off by several characters through the seasons. Blackburn and Sonny are the two prominent users of the SALTR as seen in the pictures below (some zooming required). The striking front to back white band (part of the shock absorbers) and the light / dark brown suede material made identifying these boots fairly easy.
Salomon Speed Assault Boots (SSAB)
The SSABs are something of an oddity and I've only seen them is use a couple of times. Generally the SSAB in Coyote have been worn by Brock and these have been worn in an urban / high speed environment and therefore the lightweight aspect probably means that they are a good choice. The leather / material toe cap area and the distinctive tread seen in several pictures narrowed the search down. The only other user I've seen is Clay in Season 3 Episode 3 wearing the SSAB in Black when conducting the room entry trials.
Salomon Quest 4D GTX (SQ4D)
The SQ4D is one of the most popular boots seen in use by Bravo across the seasons. A firm favourite due to their operating locations (with rugged terrain requiring ankle support) and a raft of colours to choose from. Predominantly the team use the Wren colour, which allows the boots to blend when using MultiCam, AOR1, AOR2 etc, but interestingly I identified that Brock did use the green variant pictured below. Again personal preference and experience adds to the detail.
Salomon XA Pro 3D (SXA)
The SXA comes in many guises and colours throughout the seasons. A simplistic lightweight trainer, it provides the teams with something durable and easy to use. Mostly seen in use across base locations in downtime, but has been used when snatching HVTs.
Salomon Forces XA Pro 3D Mid GTX - Iguana Green (SFXA)
The SFXA was difficult to track down. Used by Jason in several episodes and also by Trent, the boots were identified by the distinctive shaped side tabs, rear grey teeth and the black / brown toecap upward strike. The SFXA has been discontinued although there are a number of worn / near new and new boots available if you search around in the right places.
Salomon Jungle Boots Ultra - Burro (SJB)
The SJBs were used when Bravo deployed to Mexico and assumed the local 'Marina' uniform, insignia and equipment. Lightweight and designed as a jungle boot with high ankles, they're perfectly designed for use in the Mexican heat, allowing feet to drain of fluid and heat quickly. Identified by the Salomon toecap 'lift', the rubber heel back and strap and the contagrip (3 wide) sole. Another good choice from reading the reviews!
Salomon X Ultra Trek GTX
The SXUT was one of the most difficult to track down. Seen in the Season 1 pilot and sporadically through the seasons worn by Ray these boots are quite unique. I found the boots through a lot of trawling, specifically looking for the sole tread and distinctive pattern seen in the group photo below (yes you really do need to zoom in to look at the sole of his boot!) This is one of my favourite boots aesthetically.
Merrell is a US footwear company created in 1981 with the intention of breaking into the hiking market creating durable, high performance, budget agreeing boots. As well as designing and manufacturing boots, it also creates and sells accessories and other related apparel. Further info can be found here on Wikipedia - Merrell.
Merrell is again another firm staple for boots across the team. Merrell boots offer variety and styles mixed with ruggedness and comfort. I've purchased the Merrell Moab 2 and can say that I'm very impressed with them so far after 9 months of usage.
Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Mid & Moab 2 Mid GORE-TEX
The MM2V again has seen usage by a number of the team across the seasons and has been seen in the Pecan (first image below) and Earth (brown) colour variant. In season 3, Jason is seen in the Afghan base wearing a pair of Moabs in the colour termed 'Beluga' (second image below). Merrell have a lot of yellow on their products, it's one of their signature marks that helps them stand out amongst the competitors and makes them identifiable at a glance. As with the Salomon range that Bravo use, if you look closely at any stills from the show, you can see the yellow letters / shapes are generally filled in with black sharpies to try and obscure the bright yellow. Details details details!
Merrell Moab 2 8" Tactical Response
The Merrell 2 8" in Coyote has only been seen once in use by Vic Lopez in Season 3 Episode 8 when rescuing the downed Marine pilot. The zipped entry and lightweight mesh material likely makes this a lightweight and breathable book to wear in high temperatures.
Asolo has its' origins in Italy in 1946. Currently their Italian factories manufacture their alpine ranges of equipment and their Romanian factories produce a huge raft of other products. Asolo remains one of the market leaders in hiking boot manufacturing in Europe and continues to win awards for its consistently bold new designs that are lightweight, light on the wallet and are of high quality. Further info can be found here on Asolo - History.
Asolo Fugitive GTX
The AFGTX I've only seen used by Clay in Season 1. It's distinct red V on the side, red laces and red heel sole certainly make it stand out from the other Salomon and Merrell boots used by Bravo. Appearing more like a work boot on a construction site, it is a favourite amongst hikers and those in construction. Again though, individuality through choice shines through.
Asolo TPS 520 GV
The ATPS has been used by Sonny on a number of occasions throughout the seasons. It's 'snub nosed' appearance, light grey pattern on the side of the sole (noted as part of the 3 shock absorbers) helped to identify it. Similar in looks to the UKs 'Altberg' manufacturer, this boot again is designed for difficult terrain and is a tough sturdy choice.
Other / Non descript
As well as the big 2 (Salomon & Merrell), Bravo do use a number of different boots sporadically in different episodes, generally in different environments depending on what they're mission is. Their time spent deployed in Mexico required them to assume the kit and equipment of the local unit. Running around in boots of the big 2 would be a dead cert giveaway. This section tries to capture some of the other varieties used, some common, some less so and some that took a very long time and thousands of images to identify. This will be an ever evolving section as new boots are identified and added over time.
US military jungle boots (Vietnam style)
Used in the European HVT snatch episode, some of Bravo use the Jungle boots to blend in with the local operating environment, low key, non descript and easily obtainable. Lightweight and non GTX, once wet, water drains out easily and the medium stiffness of ankle support means that they're flexible enough to be used and probably preferred if in use when running etc.
Depending on variation of boot and manufacture date, reviews are plentiful.
Reebok Hyper Velocity
Another boot that took a long time to identify was the RHV. The amount of tan / desert boots available online is ridiculous! These boots caught my eye when I saw both Davis and Blackburn wearing them and it took a while to get there. Whilst Davis' boots do look different, it's purely down to their size and that they're the womens' version.
Vans Ultrarange Exo Hi Top MTE
HAYES in Season 4 wears a pair of Vans in the 66 Supply / Grape Leaf colour variant. Whilst not particularly applicable to BRAVOs standard operating environments, the Vans likely provided comfort and formed a part of the low profile loadout.
Thoughts and opinion
Boots are a main staple to your loadout and what you choose to wear is down to personal preference, environment, cost, aesthetics and reviews. Different environments require different boots and whilst one brand may provide sturdy support in a jungle, the lightweight mids or trainers may best suited for an urban area. I've used a variety of boots over my career and up until now haven't used any US based boots, however, wanting to perfect the Bravo team loadout I purchased the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilators and have not looked back since (future review inbound)! Looking to the local UK weather, a Gore Tex boot is a must for winter and lightweight non GTX are for the summer, but again it comes down to preference. Boots are often overlooked and lots of people buy a second hand ex military pair, then soon after buy a more expensive pair. The honest advice is, like protective eyewear, take the time to read reviews, speak to other users, trial and then invest. This way your're basing your choice on sound reasoning and will likely choose boots that will last and be comfortable, something you want, especially if you're in them for 8+ hours a day.
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I am not paid for my blogs by the manufacturers or companies that I purchase my items from. I am not offered freebies to promote a product. These blogs are purely written from my own experience in truth to help advise and inform others who may wish to purchase the items or understand more about them. If I am sent a freebie to review this will be stated at the beginning to make you aware.