Work Shoes | Testing Magnum’s New Viper Pro

Wide Widths Available | Price Survey $79.95-$106.95

Work Shoe Facts
Sooner or later work shoes deteriorate and need to be replaced. Before buying discount work shoes, stiff clogs or worse, have a look at the new multipurpose work shoes from Magnum.

Viper Pro 3.0
Tactical Advantage   
Born from Britain’s top selling athletic shoe firm, to supply U.S. Federal agents, California’s Magnum® is both a tactical and civilian market supplier of technical work shoes and boots.

Weight and Fit
On a Taylor® bathroom scale, wide Viper Pros, size 9.5 weighed 16 ounces each (4-10 ounces less than other, similar shoes). Viper Pros have a very committed, professional grade fit and an equalized flex. 

Upper materials are genuine leather, ballistic (explosion, impact resistant) nylon, and other lightweight parts. 

Round, cord style/tactical laces and precise, reinforced guides.

Insole | Lining
Mesh interior has spill protection and a ventilated, removable insole.

Heels | Toes
For those who move doors with their feet, climb or test the rocks, Viper Pros have bumpers that save the shoe areas usually ruined by abrasion. Flexible toe and heel fins grip ramps and help in climbing.

Sole | Tread | Shank
Labeled oil and slip resistant, the Viper Pro has finer tread on the surface of deep, beveled lugs and stabilizers, resulting in a more sanitary shoe. The Viper Pro is non-metallic by design.

Reinforced and meticulously sewn. Suitable for traditional shoe maintenance, restoratives and preservatives.

Unhelpful Aspects
Neither Vegan nor Vegan footwear. Not recommended for skydiving.

The author experienced a minor break-in period of approximately an hour while working and probably because of extra thin socks. Wearing these shoes a few hours ahead of work would probably eliminate any likelihood of a break-in period while working. 

The Viper Pro developed less wrinkles or creases than the 5 other brands recently tested by the author. After 3 weeks, each Viper Pro shoe had only a single, shallow crease before the toe area, just below the tongue and this was not aesthetically disconcerting.

Although Viper Pros do not require expensive, aftermarket insoles, It is possible to experiment with thermal or cooling insoles to customize the warmth of these shoes, in extreme environments. 

MAGNUM® | Essential Equipment™


The author has been wearing and testing black work shoes for approximately 28 years and has tested approximately 42 different work shoes during this period. The author, on a mission to revive his skills, requested the opportunity to test the new Viper 3.0 and utilized a donated, sample for this purpose. The author is not otherwise affiliated or associated with Magnum® nor has the author received pecuniary compensation or incentive from Magnum®.

Coot Style | Rough Plate ™ Cooking Series

The internet is overloaded with gossip about Coots... 

...and almost devoid of functioning Coot recipes.

Plentiful and occasionally crossing oceans, Coots are a medium size water bird with smoky-black feathers. Members of the Rail Family and similar to Moorhens, encyclopedia entries describe the Coot as “Crane-Like”. Coot nicknames include Mud Hen and Mud Duck. 

Coot feet are lobed claws that allow walking, running, climbing, grasping and swimming. 

Two Coots and A Wood Duck

~ Coot ~

~ Style ~

Coot meat must be thoroughly defatted and washed even before short term storage. 

Coot Meat is firm, dense and slightly fragrant after cooking. 

Do not try to overpower Coot dishes with strong drink because this has an adverse effect. Select a very cold, light flavored drink for Coot.

Coot meat is a gourmet experience, best enjoyed as delicate tidbits.

Coot meat tastes complex, similar to a full bite of Tournedos Rossini (Fillet Mignon, Foie Gras and Black Truffles) only denser in texture.

Sampling Coot requires no more daring than the testing of other game meats. Coot is less intense than some cheeses or liver. 

Smoky Coot Hash

  • Coot Breast Cutlets 
  • Brown Sugar
  • Liquid Salt and Umami (Worcester and Soy Sauces) 
  • Black Pepper
  • Oil
  • Wood Chips
  • Cold Baked Potato, Diced
  • Fried Egg
  • Butter
  • Sea Salt
  • Herbes De Provence
  • Covered outdoor grill
  • Frying Pan 

Rub a generous amount of brown sugar on all sides of skinned, defatted and washed Coot pieces or cutlets. 

Once the sugar has melted or dissolved, drizzle, pour or shake Worcester and Soy Sauces on all sides of the Coot pieces. Refrigerate below all other foods for an hour. Transfer Coot pieces to a new container, discarding any liquid, season with pepper and refrigerate below all other foods for 12 to 24 hours.

Oil and smoke Coot pieces away from direct or radiant heat to an internal temperature of 165-185 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Dice cooled Coot pieces. 

Saute Coot in butter (add a liquid if you want to braise and tenderize the meat). 

Brown the potatoes in butter.

Add Coot meat.

Finish with sea salt, a fried egg and Herbes De Provence. 

For this and other very small smoking projects, the author suggests using a very small fire in only one side of a covered outdoor grill. 

Hash has been served in the evening, for many years in witty, High Cuisine settings.