Magnum Spider 8.1 Desert HPi Boots, Built for Fast Roping and Hard Use - ITS Tactical
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Magnum Spider 8.1 Desert HPi Boots, Built for Fast Roping and Hard Use

By Bryan Black

For the past six months I’ve been beating up the Magnum Spider 8.1 Desert HPi Boots and loving every minute in them.

They’re well constructed, comfortable, lightweight, breathable and have held up to everything from hiking, running, climbing rope and Fast Roping. Today I’ll give you my unbiased review of what I loved about them and also some things that I’d like to see different in how they’re made.

Spider 8.1 Desert HPi Boots

[flickr id=”5910061600″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”] While the name was definitely something I had trouble memorizing while making the video below, these boots pack a ton of great features! To start off, there was very little required to break them in and fit great right out of the box. They do seem to be slightly wider than other boots I’ve owned in the same size, which I really liked.

I’ve always found that most boots I’ve owned have rubbed against my little toes on the outside and I had none of that on these boots. This of course is my personal note as boots fit everyone differently and your mileage may vary, literally.


[flickr id=”5910061364″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”] The Spider 8.1 Boots are made of quite a few different materials, Leather/1650 Denier Nylon upper, Tuf-Tec Leather toe guard, Spider Mesh lining SuperFabric and M-PACT Sockliner. The leather and Tuf-Tec toe guard definitely added to the ability of these boots to hold up well in the brush while hiking and resist snags and abrasions. There’s definitely wear in these areas but definitely not as much as I feel there should have been, based on the abuse these boots have been through.

While the 1650 Denier Nylon used around the boot has held up, there’s quite a bit of fraying in numerous areas on the boot. While the stitching hasn’t been compromised where the nylon meets other materials, I’ve noticed the fraying is in the areas with the most wear such as the crease where the foot bends naturally and on the point where the SuperFabric meets the nylon on the Fast Rope System.

The boot interior liner is made of very nice soft and wicking breathable material, the upper is also padded just enough to aid in comfort, but yet not create extra bulk. Made in China.


[flickr id=”5910061552″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”] I’ll start off by saying that while the laces are very strong, I don’t care for them. They dig into my fingers when I pull them tightly to lace them up. I wanted to give them a fair shake like everything else on these boots, but I’m a big fan of replacing laces with Paracord for more than just the lace replacement reason. Update: Magnum Boots mentioned below in the comments that they’ve replaced the laces with 330 Paracord and added a locking cleat.

I really like the way the eyelets are designed, with six on each side of the boot and a clear separation between the top three and bottom three. This separation closely resembles the point at which some people, including myself, like to skip a lace to take off some of the tension on boots and allow the boots to flex more. I think the way that Magnum designed the lacing is another reason why these boots are so comfortable.

Fast Rope System

[flickr id=”5909520809″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”] I’d like to highlight a few of the features of the Magnum Spider 8.1 Desert HPi Boots, in particular I’d like to give my thoughts on the Fast Rope System with SuperFabric. We recently completed the testing of these boots by setting up our Fast Rope that we built and I spent some time looking like a kid that can’t get enough of a slide.

We had about 15 ft. in height to Fast Rope from, while no where near the 30 to 60 ft. typical on Fast Ropes, it still gave me a feel for the composite piece at the instep and how well they helped control descent.

The instep piece on each boot creates a nice pocket for the Fast Rope to flow through and the addition of the SuperFabric just above provides a ceramic laced material that helps wear and heat resistance. While after multiple Fast Ropes there are some wear marks, but nothing like what would have been on a boot sole without the added instep protection. The SuperFabric also showed no signs of wear at all.

I found the breaking to be significantly increased by simply locking in more to the rope with the system and allowing me to use less grip to slow descent.

Vent-Guard Sandproof Ventilator Technology

[flickr id=”5910061506″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”] Housed near the natural bend in the foot, the Vent Guard ports on each side of the boot help keep the foot cooler. It was hard for me to tell if this directly added to the breathability of the boots but I’m fairly certain it did.

With most boots, the natural bend point of the foot gets a build-up of sweat that’s a dirt magnet. Each Vent-Guard port has a filter layer that allows air flow, while keeping out sand and other materials. I found this to be an accurate statement and didn’t notice any dirt that accumulated on my socks where the ports are.

While these boots are not waterproof and aren’t marketed as such, the ion-mask hydrophobic surface technology does help keep the boot more resistant to liquids and I feel it’s also aided in how clean these boots have managed to stay regardless of the abuse they’ve been through.

Full Feature List

  • [flickr id=”5909502315″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”] ion-maskâ„¢ hydrophobic surface enhancement – keeps the materials cleaner and resistant to liquids
  • Leather / 1650 denier ballistic nylon upper with Tec-Tuff leather toeguard resists snags and abrasions
  • TPU exo-frame reinforcement for support
  • Spider Mesh lining for comfort and breathability
  • Tested & certified to EN 20347:2004 standard for occupational footwear
  • Ergonomically designed
  • Metal-detector friendly with non-metallic TPU shank and composite hardware
  • Lace storage system on tongue
  • M-PACT comfortable contoured sockliner
  • Spider outsole with reinforced stabilizers and flexible toe fins to silently stick to walls
  • Vent-Guardâ„¢ sandproof ventilator technology
  • Fast-Rope System with SuperFabric
  • Weight – 2 lbs. 13 oz. (both boots together)

In all I really liked the time I’ve spend in the Magnum Spider 8.1 Desert HPi Boots and would highly recommend them. They’re available direct from Magnum Boots for $145 or through their dealers.

Video and Photos

[flickrset id=”72157627008630067″ thumbnail=”thumbnail” photos=”” overlay=”true” size=”medium”]

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