Sunday, January 9, 2011

Gear review: Magnum Workhorse 8.0 WP CT boots

Well, I guess it's about time to let everybody out there know how good Magnum boots are.

Over the years I have worn many pairs of boots by a number of the big names in hiking footwear (Columbia, Hi-Tec, Merrell, Timberland, and Vasque), and my experience with these serves as my primary source of comparison for fit, quality, and comfort. I currently own pairs of Hi-Tec Altitude IV WP 200, Vasque Skywalk, and Vasque Sundower boots for hiking. Although I've worn a couple of pairs of uncomfortable bargain priced work boots in the past, I've never owned a name brand pair of work boots. I was excited about the opportunity to test out some quality work boots, and when I found out from OBN that I had been selected to put a pair of boots from Magnum through their paces I was looking forward to the task.

I received my pair of Magnum Workhorse 8.0 WP CT boots on December 16th and was very impressed with them upon initial inspection. My first reaction was that these boots are well made. All of the seams are double stitched, the leather is first rate, and the soles look like they would stand up to years of continued use. I have historically been very hard on boots and have learned from experience how to recognize a good pair of boots before I commit to buying them. The Workhorse boots from Magnum definitely passed my rigorous inspection for quality, and I couldn't find anything about them that didn't meet my approval.

The day the boots arrived from Magnum just happened to be the same day as a University of Memphis Tiger basketball game. I decided this event would be a nice first test of "straight out of the box" comfort. I decided to try out wearing the boots with a mid-weight pair of hiking socks much like I would wear with any of my other boots. I found the fit to be very similar to other boots I currently own, and despite what I read in a review on the Magnum website they seem to be pretty true to size.

After standing on my feet for nearly two hours (cheering for my Tigers in a nail-biter of a game) and walking nearly a mile round trip between the FedEx Forum and the parking garage, the Magnum Workhorse boots passed their first test with flying colors. These were some of the most comfortable boots I have ever worn without the need for a "break in" period. This is probably thanks to the "M-Pact contoured footbed with memory foam."

I don't typically wear boots that are 8" tall, so I wasn't sure how comfortable they would be for just wearing around. I thought they would be a bit stiff, but they are far more comfortable than what I expected. The extra ankle support is actually really nice for spending long periods on your feet... even if it is just enjoying some college hoops.

I have since worn these boots for several days of work around the house, to another Tiger basketball game, and during a trip to the Memphis Zoo. These boots are still just as comfortable as the first time I put them on, and they still look good too. Did I forget to mention that these boots don't look half bad for a work boot? Well, they do look nice, and I will likely wear them anytime I need a pair of brown boots to complete an outfit.

They look good and they're waterproof!

While at the zoo, I decided to test out the waterproofing on the boots in one of the zoo's water features. My feet stayed perfectly dry, but I didn't try to go past the highest point of the gusseted tongue which is around 4.75". These boots are certainly not waterproof past that point, although from the review I read on Magnum's website some people apparently expect that they should be. I have never owned a pair of boots that was waterproof above the gusseted tongue, so I expected no different from these boots. The Magnum Workhorse 8.0 WP CT boots are just as waterproof as any boot I have ever worn.

Overall, the Magnum Workhorse 8.0 WP CT boots are a fine product and I would recommend them to anyone looking for a comfortable, well-made pair of waterproof work boots. I think they are definitely worth the $115 MSRP; and if you decide to buy a pair for doing some hard work while standing on your feet for long periods, you'll be glad you did.

As one last testament to Magnum's obvious commitment to quality, I feel the need to share the letter to "all customers" printed under the lid of the boot box. It impressed me when I read it...

To: All Customers
I would like to personally thank you for buying MAGNUM footwear.

We live in a very competitive world and know you have plenty of choice. By choosing our products you have supported a very enthusiastic, very committed team of Magnum employees who want to make very comfortable, lightweight and durable boots. When you put our boots on your feet, we want you to say: "Wow! These feel good - comfortable, lightweight, strong, non-slip, long lasting, stylish... etc." If you have any comments or questions, just write to me - I would like to hear from you.

Frank van Wezel - Chairman

Wow, any company chairman who is bold enough to print that on the lid of a shoebox must really stand behind their products. That definitely gets a thumbs up from me, and if I ever use Frank's e-mail address it will only be to tell the people at Magnum to "keep up the good work."

*These boots were provided courtesy of Magnum Boots via the Outdoor Blogger Network for the purpose of this review. The Naturalist's Angle is in no way affiliated with Magnum Boots and this gear review represents an independent unbiased opinion of quality and performance.*


  1. Nice review Jay. Now I wish I had put in for them.

  2. Howard, thanks for reading. They are definitely nice boots, and I'm glad I did put in for them.