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The Danner Desert Eagle Boot

As the United States has become more involved in conflicts in various remote areas of the world, the US military has been forced to relearn some of the lessons learned during WWII that were promptly forgotten. Long ago, the US learned that black is not the best color for camouflage.

As it has often been said recently, the color black is a target indicator as black only rarely exists in nature. To be specific, some argue that black does not truly exist in nature at all. Instead, what we think of as black is actually dark brown.

With US forces engaged in Iraq, Afghanistan, and numerous other places around the globe, it quickly became evident that a uniform designed for European battle fronts did very poorly in the desert or other arid environment. Therefore, newer, more applicable fatigues needed to be designed and issued.

As a result, much attention has been paid to the US Military’s move away from green-based battle dress utility uniforms (which most often took the form of a woodland pattern camouflage) to multi color tan-based uniforms that have come onto the scene in several patterns such as the US Marine Corp’s digital camouflage.

As the great switch began from green to tan it was realized that perhaps the boots worn by our soldiers and marines should no longer be black, but instead some combination of brown or tan. The US Marines learned during WWII that the rough side out leather boots of the time wore and hid much better in just about every environment than smooth or shiny leather black boots.

Shortly after the war, however, the move was back to black footwear, mainly because it looks better while in garrison or formation. Since we are now back on a war footing where it is more important tobe functional than pretty, we are again seeing the move to a rough side out style of tan/brown boot for field use, just as was proven almost 60 years ago.

Just as the US Military has relearned the lessons of the real world, perhaps it is time that the tactical law enforcement community learned the same. Many law enforcement tactical units have the need for equipment that is non-reflective and blends into the surrounding background or terrain as much as possible.

A significant portion of tactical units have shed the “men in black” attitude and are now clad in uniforms that feature other colors such as olive drab green, brown, or tan. With the move to these types of uniform colors, perhaps, just as with the military, it is time that we rethink what would be more appropriate footwear in place of the shiny all-black boots that are common to patrol officers.

Tactical units are, by the very nature of the job, hard on equipment; as a result, they need footwear that is rugged in the extreme. Danner, one of the leaders in law enforcement and military footwear, has seen the writing on the wall and has developed the Desert Eagle.
Based on Danner’s GTX series of boots, the Desert Eagle comes with a rough side out leather finish just as did the boots of yesteryear that were proven so successful in all theaters of operation. The Desert Eagle was developed as an alternative to Danner’s Acadia series of boot, which is also made in desert tan as well as standard black.

Rugged in the extreme, the Desert Eagle is aimed at a lower price point than the Acadia, a feature that is great appreciated by many. While the Acadia is one of the preeminent boots on the market, it also commands a suitable price. The Desert Eagle is constructed so as to be easily within the financial reach of any within its intended market, the troops, or officers in the field.

By no means does the lower price mean lower or lesser performance as the Desert Eagle is loaded with many top of the line features. The Desert Eagle, also known as the Danner Model 26010, comes with a Gore-Tex lining and the proven TFX sole used in the Striker GTX series of boots that have been very successful with those in traditional law enforcement. Dark brown, rough side-out leather with tan fabric inserts make the Desert Eagle an attractive 8” tall boot that has speed laces near and above the ankle.

Danner supplied some of the first Desert Eagle boots available for this test and evaluation. Officers who wore the boots immediately noted that there was no break-in stiffness that some other boots exhibit. From the moment that they were brought out of the box, the boots fit true to size and were comfortable whether moving about in an urban environment or hiking in the hills; the boots worked no matter what the terrain.

Extremely tough, the boots have seen everything from low land creek beds to rock lined quarries. Overall, the boots have held up very well to all of the abuse that has been heaped upon them, but still remain presentable enough to go out for a casual night in plainclothes. In fact, the boots have held up so well and look so good that for those agencies that wear a tan or brown uniform (as in the case of many mid-western and western sheriff departments) the Desert Eagle may be totally suitable for uniform patrol wear.

Some pundits would question if there is truly a need for law enforcement officers to concern themselves with being camouflaged and would in fact question if camouflage might not be a very poor idea due to the possibility of suspects or others failing to recognize officers so adorned as law enforcement officers.

In some functions, such as tactical entry units, those arguments are extremely valid. However, in others, such as what would be the case with law enforcement counter snipers, marijuana eradication teams, or rural surveillance units, the need for camouflage is just as much of a premium as with their military counterparts. For these officers the need to stay hidden is of paramount importance for them to achieve their overall goals.

Danner is a company who breeds brand loyalty. When this and other boot tests were announced and help was sought from officers to test the various brands of boots, the most common question was “Can you get me some Danner’s?” Danner has achieved this success by being ahead of the curve, manufacturing rugged, good looking, and well thought out products that are more than suitable for any intended task.

Overall, the Desert Eagle should take its place as one of Danner’s top offerings. The Desert Eagle is everything that a great field boot should be. It is strong, waterproof, and offers a comfort level that allows a soldier, marine, or tactical officer to remain on his feet and in the fight without breaking the bank to do so.

Scott Oldham is a Supervisory Sergeant with the City of Bloomington Police Department where he serves as the Tactical team leader for that agency. He can be reached at

Published in Tactical Response, Sep/Oct 2005

Rating : Not Yet Rated

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