A casual shoe for everyday wear that also provides protection on the job
By Dan Sanchez
For those of us who spend the day on their feet, a comfortable work shoe is a must. Unfortunately, most of us don’t take extra pairs of shoes with us to change into after work for the drive home, then slip on another pair for a casual night out with friends. When we’re stuck wearing the same shoe all day, something like the 5.11 Norris Sneaker is a great compromise. The shoe is something more, a casual high-top sneaker that also offers style and protection.
The low-top design allows the Norris Sneaker to be a little “classier” than just a regular sneaker or running shoe. You can wear it with jeans or casual pants, but it has additional features that make it great for work, taking a short hike, and of-course for a steady stance on the shooting range.
The 5.11 Norris Sneaker is ASTM certified for puncture resistance and features a Welmax board that protects your feet from up to 1,200 newtons of force. This means you can walk around with them in the shop and not worry about accidentally stepping on a nail or sharp piece of metal. The shoe’s toe guard is climbing grade rubber that also offers much more protection than a running shoe or casual sneaker. A Vibram Marbrani outsole features XS Trek, which combines traction and durability for long wear, while an Ortholite footbed and upper cuff provide added heel hold and foot protection.
If you’re looking for a lightweight shoe, however, the Norris Sneaker isn’t that, but then again, it’s not designed to be one. The sneaker is heavy for a reason as its more durable than anything else, but it’s also much more flexible, forgiving and less bulky than ankle-styled hiking or trail boots.
The combination of canvas and suede uppers make the Norris Sneaker a good-looking shoe that needs some break-in time. Reviewers on the 5.11 site claim the shoe runs a little narrow, so if you have a wider foot, it’s best to get a half-size larger, but try one on for yourself first. We found the shoe started to get comfortable after a couple of weeks of daily wear and were great for wearing on the job. Traction on flat floors or on wet pavement was far superior to the trail shoes we were used to wearing and they felt almost like we were wearing our rock-climbing approach shoes.
Although they worked well while standing on the job, they also looked nice enough to wear out for a casual dinner or a short hike with the kids on both paved and gravel trails. Although 5.11 Tactical makes excellent footwear in the form of boots for first responders, police, and military, the Norris Sneaker is a great design for those of us who love to do as much as we can with one single pair of shoes that are both durable and technical. For more information on the Norris Sneaker, visit www.511tactical.com.