The Eliminator 2.2
PHOTOS COURTESY ROCKY OUTDOOR GEAR
The Eliminator 2.2 Tread Pattern
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Police officers spend much of their shift on their feet. Proper footwear that offers comfort, support and protection is not a luxury, it's a necessity. A twisted ankle or a slip on the ice can lead to long-term problems.
When I started my career in law enforcement in the early 1970s, the selection of police footgear was limited to low-cut dress shoes and military-style jump boots. I favored boots for ankle support and weather protection, but the jump pattern provided little arch support, cushioning or water/cold resistance. I learned to make do while searching for a better way.
In the late 1980s, I saw a range officer in a nearby sheriff s department wearing a pair of Rocky Eliminators. A combination of leather, nylon and GORE-TEX, this boot offered cutting-edge technology. I headed off to the police supply store and made my purchase of the first of many pairs of the Eliminator.
The first thing I noticed when I picked up the Eliminator was the boot s light weight compared to my all-leather boots. And it took only a day or so to break in the boots and get them as comfortable as my running shoes. In the past, I had to break my foot into the boot. Blisters and sore feet were common complaints. Add in the waterproof construction and the availability of wide sizes, and the Rocky boot became my annual purchase item. Observing officers footwear in area departments, I saw it become the standard for many officers performing patrol and SWAT duties.
The original Eliminator was offered with both a waffle and lug-type sole. The waffle sole gripped mud and dirt, but it slipped on wet or icy pavement. The lugs held mud but were far tougher and offered better traction.
In the years following, the Eliminator s style and construction have evolved. The sole has been re-configured to a more durable, lug-style design. Today s boot, the Eliminator 2.2, is offered in both insulated and non-insulated models, along with steel-toe and all-leather versions.
Overall, the new boot is more durable; I used to get one year out of a pair, and I now get two or more. The extreme comfort and waterproof construction of the Eliminator remains vital. I wore my Eliminators nearly 20 hours a day during our agency s mutual-aid response to Hurricane Katrina. During the deployment in the New Orleans area, our teams walked in unavoidable muck and polluted water. Not once did my feet get wet, nor did I experience any discomfort. I removed the nasty sludge and mud with water and a spray bottle of 5-percent bleach solution used for decontamination. No harm done, and I returned home with my boots. I saw other officers throw away their boots as we left, but I didn t see a single pair of Eliminators tossed.
You can get Eliminators with insulating Thinsulate, but I prefer to purchase the non-insulated Eliminator (model 80361) so I can wear the boot year-round. I do keep a pair of insulated boots (model 80321) for extremely cold weather but have rarely used them.
In any product review, I look to find the negative. There is little downside to this boot other than the price tag. (List price is $157.99; steel-toe and all-leather models sell for $167.99.) But you get what you pay for, and saving a few dollars means nothing when you suffer severe blisters and your feet distract you or worse, take you out of service.
Since the introduction of the Rocky Eliminator, many footwear companies have entered the market. Police officers and emergency responders enjoy a wide selection of shoes and boots. If you re looking for top quality coupled with superior customer service, check out the Rocky Eliminator.
Rocky Eliminator 2.2
- Breaks in easily;
- Superior comfort;
- Waterproof; and
- Not cheap.
Rocky Outdoor Gear
39 East Canal Street
Nelsonville, Ohio 45764
Jeff Chudwin serves as chief of police for the Village of Olympia Fields, Ill. A founding member and current president of the Illinois Tactical Officers Association and co-chairman of the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System Region 4, Chudwin has been a firearms, use-of-force and emergency response trainer for more than 25 years.