Review of the Rocky Duty Boot

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Rocky Paraboot Review

No gimmicks, no B.S., just a great, old-school boot

The Rocky Side Zipper Paraboot is an outstanding boot that has over MANY YEARS proven itself to me time and time again. Highly recommended!

For the last 25 years, I've worn either the Rocky side zipper paraboots, it's extremely similar predecessor models or a similar boot put out by Bates. These boots hold up really nicely, take a good shine and put up with what can only be called abuse, really well.

Each year, for the last 25 years, I've completely worn down the soles of my daily wear boots. It's an annual tradition for me to then go to the uniform store and purchase a new pair just like the ones I had previously. I've found only two companies that make a model like the Rocky side zipper paraboot that I would even consider buying because of either price or quality issues.

The Rocky boots are very well constructed. The leather used in their manufacturing has always held up very well for me and in fact has never worn out before the tread on the soles was worn down to a point where slippage became an issue. That isn't to say that the leather doesn't show wear especially because of the abuse these boots go through, but the uppers hold out far longer than the soles are useful.

I originally started purchasing boots with a side egress zipper because I got tired of constantly re-lacing the standard no zipper boot. I also liked the idea that I could get out of them quick enough to perform a water rescue if necessary. When I first purchased zippered boots, I was concerned that the zippers might fail or they might split open leaving me with no recourse but to cut the boot off but this has never occurred. The zippers on the Rocky boot are rugged and strong enough to put up with anything I throw at them. I also like the leather flap that secures over the zipper when the zipper is closed. This is in marked contrast to the Danner boots I once purchased which were very disappointing when on the THIRD day I zipped the boot up and found myself holding the zipper tab and pull head in my hand. I returned those boots.

Not that I do it as often as I should, but the Rocky boots will take a good polish if you are willing to work with them a little bit. I find the best polish to use is either the Kiwi black paste or the Lincoln black paste put down in several layers and finished off with a horsehair brush. I can get results just short of a spit shine after about 5 layers.

The Rocky paraboot is a very rugged boot. Because of the amount of use and abuse they receive, I end up replacing them once a year, but as previously mentioned that's mostly because of wear and tear on the sole. It's not uncommon for me to challenge these boots by wearing them for fourteen hours a day and do everything from working on construction projects, hiking, digging, walking through water at a fire scene or traipsing around overland. I've also worn these boots in the snow and while I find that they are not very great at insulating one's feet, they certainly do keep the snow out and if dried properly, don't seem to suffer any ill effects from very occasional hikes through the white stuff.

In so far as comfort, I very much like the Rocky paraboots. There is a definite break in period but what I've found is that if I alternate days between the pair I'm replacing and the new pair, I don't seem to have anything more than tired feet at the end of the day. I've never gotten blisters while breaking them in. Once the boots have been properly broken in, which usually takes about 3 weeks, I find them to be far more comfortable and form fitting than any of my other footwear. Believe it or not, I prefer these boots to tennis shoes.

For many years, Rocky has given me great satisfaction with their side zipper paraboot and its predecessor models. The boot is decidedly old school, is all leather, has stitched construction instead of being made from ballistic nylons that are vulcanized or otherwise adhered to the sole. The boots are comfortable, easy to break in, wear for at least a year and take all manner of abuse that I throw at them. I will be very sad if Rocky finally retires this model.

Click to view the Rocky Men's 10" Side Zipper Paraboot Duty Boot-2090 on

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