Bates suck. They supply boots to the Army as well. The very best combat/utility boots you can get can be purchased from Altama footwear. http://www.altama.com They are worth every penny you spend on them, and they will last over a year of constant wear in the harshest conditions imaginable.
Personally I like bates boots. they're issued to the USMC and sold in PX's. I have a pair of they're Marine saftey toe boots. I didn't get them until the last part of my deployment but were pretty good for the time that I used them a lot. Another good boot company is Corcoran boots, but if your looking for boots for law enforcement try the Converse side zip boots they feel like runniing shoes. Yeah I've gone through a lot of boots, just ask my wife I have like 12 pairs.
I love bates. I bought my last pair about 4 years ago, they made it through 3 deployments, they now have no tread left on them, both soles are split straight across under the balls of my feet and are split halfway up the sides of the leather. They are being held together by duct tape and spit, and one of the dogs chewed the tops off of them. I obviously can not wear them to work anymore, but I still wear them while working in the yard. I will not get rid of them until I can’t put them on anymore.
The only problem I ever had with them is the soles do not “stick” very well to the slick floors of Iraqi homes so you can kind of slide. I now own a pair of Oakley boots. They are tough, and the soles were designed to work on slick surfaces. Great boots.
I did have a pair of Altamas back in the day. Back when we still had black boots. They were the all leather cadillacs. I had them for less than a month, then went to CAX 9 of 2000. While running range 410A they exploded on me. The whole sole on the right boot literally flew off and all the stitching went bye bye. Have not owned a pair since.