by Paul Hollingsworth, PCI #468
Orange County (FL) Sheriff’s Office
Let’s start with the basics. Upon unboxing the Black Eagle, it is instantly apparent that this is a solid, well-built shoe. In addition, considering its intended purpose – a police bike shoe – it is, without question, the best-looking shoe in its category.
The Black Eagle is a fairly complex shoe, consisting of numerous technical parts. This includes an inner sole made of EVA/TPU* materials that are not only lightweight, but also provide cushioning and support. Pronation support is built into the shoe via an asymmetrical TPU to stabilize the heel. Supination support is provided by an inner sole made of a strong, spring-back material.
In breaking down this shoe, the upper is a mixture of rubber, breathable nylon, and soft leather. There is a solid rubber toe cap that is ideal for riding with toe clips. It protects the toes, and helps to keep the shoe dry when caught in less than ideal weather. The breathable nylon area on the top of the shoe flows plenty of air, keeping the feet comfortable even when riding in the hot, humid Florida weather.
There is a stiff shank for support, which helps prevent the pedals from imprinting on your feet. The shoe is still flexible enough to allow you to run, jump, climb fences, and catch bad guys. The sole is very grippy on almost all surfaces and never squeaks. The lacing system consists of a single-pull lace that provides an even closure of the shoe. It is super-fast and easy to operate.
I have worn this shoe every workday for four months and it shows no signs of wear. Try as I may, the only negative I can find with this shoe is the lack of some type of reflective material on the heels.
Sizing is a little large; I normally wear a 10.5 in all shoes, including my Haix boots, however, I wear a 10 in the Eagle Series Shoe.
For those of you up north looking for a waterproof shoe, Haix makes this same shoe in a breathable GORE-TEX labelled “Athletic 10 Low”. They also make it in an all-leather GORE-TEX labelled “Tactical 20 Low”.
The shoe retails for $129.00; however, Haix sells it on their site for $109.00 and I have found it a little cheaper on other sites. Haix participates in the IPMBA Product Purchase Program, offering $10 off plus free shipping and returns.
I feel this shoe is definitely a good value for the money, considering its durability and good looks.
*Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) is the copolymer of ethylene and vinyl acetate. It is an extremely elastic material that can be compacted to form a porous material similar to rubber, yet with excellent toughness. Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is any of a class of polyurethane plastics with many properties, including elasticity, transparency, and resistance to oil, grease and abrasion.
Paul is a 25-year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and is a member of Tourism Oriented Policing Service (TOPS) Unit. He was certified as an IPMBA Police Cyclist in 2000 and as an IPMBA Instructor in 2001. He has attended the IPMBA Maintenance Officer Certification Course. When not riding his bike, he can often be found riding his motorcycle or competing in inline speed skating events. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) 2016 IPMBA. This review appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of IPMBA News.