Garmont is a renowned Italian footwear brand known for its high-quality and rugged outdoor boots. The Garmont T8 line features two of their most popular tactical boot models – the NFS and the BIFIDA.
Both boots are designed for military, law enforcement, and other demanding applications but have slightly different features and benefits.
This comprehensive guide will examine the key similarities and differences between the Garmont T8 NFS and BIFIDA boots. We’ll compare the uppers, outsoles, durability, traction, weight, comfort, support, and more so you can determine which model is the best choice for your needs.
A Brief Comparison Table
|Upper Material||Nubuck leather + nylon mesh||Full grain leather|
|Outsole||Vibram Nisqually||Vibram Multisport|
|Traction||Excellent, deep lugs||Good, shallow lugs|
|Waterproofing||Fully waterproof||Water resistant|
|Cushioning||PU midsole||No midsole|
|Ankle Support||6-8 inches||Lower cut|
|Weight||25 oz||22 oz|
Key Differences Between Garmont T8 NFS And BIFIDA Boots
The uppers on both the NFS and BIFIDA are constructed from durable, abrasion-resistant 1.8 – 2.0mm nubuck leather. However, there are some slight variations:
- The BIFIDA features a full-grain leather upper while the NFS uses a combination of nubuck leather and 1000D nylon mesh panels along the tongue and collars for enhanced ventilation.
- The NFS has a Gore-Tex waterproof lining to keep feet dry while the BIFIDA relies on the water-resistant properties of the full-grain leather.
- Both uppers are treated with a hydrophobic treatment to repel water, however the NFS upper will be more waterproof thanks to the Gore-Tex lining.
- The NFS upper includes antipilling nylon overlays on high abrasion areas for added durability while the BIFIDA does not have any overlays.
Overall, the NFS upper may have a slight edge for waterproofing and breathability thanks to the Gore-Tex liner while the BIFIDA upper will likely be more hardwearing over time.
The outsoles are where we see the biggest differences between the two boots:
- The NFS features a Vibram Nisqually rubber outsole which offers excellent traction on mixed terrain along with heat-resistant properties. The deep lugs provide great grip on soft ground.
- The BIFIDA uses a Vibram Multisport rubber outsole with shallower lugs optimized for trail running and athletic wear. The pattern isn’t as aggressive as the NFS sole.
- The NFS outsole extends up and wraps the toe cap for extra protection and durability. The BIFIDA outsole ends below the toe cap.
- The NFS sole includes a PU midsole for cushioning while the BIFIDA does not have a midsole layer.
The NFS clearly has the edge here with its rugged Nisqually outsole that can handle just about any terrain or environment. The BIFIDA’s multi-sport outsole is better suited for lighter use and not heavy duty tasks.
With their abrasion-resistant leather uppers and stitched construction, both the NFS and BIFIDA offer extremely durable uppers that can handle years of steady wear.
As mentioned earlier, the NFS may have a slight advantage thanks to the nylon overlays reinforcing high wear areas. But both boots are built to last through rugged use.
For the soles, the NFS is the clear winner for long term durability thanks to the thick, lugged Nisqually rubber and protective toe cap. The NFS can truly handle years of hardcore use and abuse if properly maintained.
The BIFIDA will still be reasonably durable with its stitched leather upper, but the multi-sport outsole may wear faster than the NFS – especially if used for heavy duty activities.
Here the NFS’s aggressive Nisqually outsole provides unbeatable traction on all types of terrain from loose dirt to mud.
The deep multidirectional lugs bite and grip the ground, providing stability even on steep inclines or uneven terrain.
The BIFIDA’s shallower trail running outsole performs fine on most surfaces but can’t match the traction of the NFS lug pattern.
On flatter trails or packed ground, traction is about equal. But on technical terrain, the NFS has a clear advantage.
If your activities demand the best traction possible on unpredictable surfaces, the NFS is the superior choice.
Weight is often an important factor for tactical boots, and here the two models are quite close:
- The NFS in a men’s size 9 weighs approximately 25 ounces per boot.
- The BIFIDA in a men’s size 9 is slightly lighter at 22 ounces per boot.
So the BIFIDA has about a 10% weight savings over the NFS. This is mainly attributed to the lack of a midsole layer in the BIFIDA.
For most users, this small weight difference won’t be very noticeable. But ounces can add up over miles. If light weight is a priority for your boot, the BIFIDA may have a slight edge.
Comfort is subjective and depends a lot on the shape of your feet and your personal needs. But here are some key differences between the two:
- The NFS is designed as a tactical/military style boot with a roomy toe box and generous widths to accommodate orthotics. It has ample cushioning from the shock absorbing midsole.
- The BIFIDA is designed more as an athletic outdoor boot with a “performance” fit – so it hugs the foot closer with less room in the toe. No midsole so minimal cushioning.
- The NFS tongue is heavily padded while the BIFIDA tongue has minimal padding. The NFS collar is also thickerly padded.
- The NFS laces up higher on the ankle while the BIFIDA has a lower cut height below the ankle.
So in summary – the NFS likely provides more all-day comfort for those who need the roomier fit, thicker cushioning and ankle support. But the BIFIDA offers a more athletic, “second skin” type of fit some may prefer over time.
With their 6-8 inch ankle heights, both boots provide decent ankle stability and support. However, the NFS design makes it better suited for carrying heavier loads:
- The NFS midsole helps absorb shock over miles.
- The contoured, shock-absorbing footbed also provides good arch support.
- The higher 6-8 inch ankle height and thick padding lock in the foot better.
The BIFIDA is lower cut and lacks a midsole so it can’t quite match the support of the NFS. But for lighter use, the support levels are likely sufficient. Those carrying heavy packs over rough terrain would benefit more from the NFS.
The NFS has a clear advantage here with its waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex liner that seals out water while allowing perspiration to escape. Feet stay dryer in the wettest conditions without overheating.
The BIFIDA relies on the water-resistant treatment of the leather upper to repel water. But leather is not fully waterproof, so feet can get wet in heavy rain or creek crossings.
For demanding treks through wet terrain, the NFS is the obvious choice. But the BIFIDA provides decent water-resistance for dry weather.
Due to the NFS’s combination of nylon mesh panels and moisture-wicking Gore-Tex lining, it provides the most ventilation and breathability by far. Even during vigorous activity in hot weather, the Gore-Tex liner transmits vapor to keep feet cooler.
The BIFIDA’s full-grain leather upper isn’t very breathable, so feet are more likely to overheat in hot weather or high exertion. For colder conditions, however, less breathability can help keep feet warmer.
So the NFS is vastly superior for breathability and summer use, but the BIFIDA may have warmth advantages in frigid winter conditions.
The NFS boots retail for around $190 while the BIFIDA boots cost approximately $150 depending on size. So the BIFIDA is about 25% cheaper than the NFS.
Considering the better durability, traction, waterproofing and overall performance of the NFS, it provides good value for the price point.
The price reflects the quality construction and materials.
The BIFIDA is a good budget-friendly option, but it doesn’t quite match up to the NFS in ruggedness and versatility.
Overall the NFS provides better bang for the buck, especially for tough tactical applications.
Garmont T8 NFS And BIFIDA: Summary
Here is a quick overview of the key similarities and differences between the two Garmont tactical boot models:
- Better traction from aggressive outsole
- More durable, protective outsole and toe cap
- Cushioned midsole for shock absorption
- Breathable Gore-Tex lining keeps feet cooler
- More waterproof in wet conditions
- High ankle support and stability
- Slightly lighter weight
- Athletic performance fit hugs foot closely
- Less expensive
- Warmer in very cold temperatures
Also Read: Comparison of Kenetrek And Schnee’s Boots.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The main differences are that the NFS has a more durable, lugged outsole with better traction while the BIFIDA has a lighter athletic outsole. The NFS also has a Gore-Tex liner for waterproofing and breathability while the BIFIDA uses water-resistant leather. Lastly, the NFS has more ankle support and cushioning while the BIFIDA has a performance fit.
The Garmont T8 BIFIDA are good quality boots but are designed more for athletic outdoor use than hardcore tactical/military needs. They are comfortable, reasonably durable, and water-resistant. However, the NFS model is better suited for rugged activities that demand maximum durability and traction.
The BIFIDA is not fully waterproof, but the leather upper has a water-resistant treatment to repel water in dry conditions. It can withstand light moisture but is not guaranteed dry like a Gore-Tex boot in heavy rain or water crossings. The NFS with a Gore-Tex liner is the waterproof option.
Garmont’s top combat boot models are the T8 NFS and T8 BIFIDA. The NFS is the more heavy duty tactical boot with unmatched traction and durability. It’s the best choice for military, law enforcement, search and rescue, and other demanding jobs. The BIFIDA is a great lightweight outdoor combat-style boot for recreational users.
Overall, the NFS is the clear winner if you need maximum traction, foot protection, stability and versatility in all conditions. It’s the better choice for hardcore tactical, military and outdoor use.
The BIFIDA is best for those who prioritize light weight and want a performance athletic fit over maximum durability and support. It can serve lighter duty needs well, but can’t fully match the ruggedness of the NFS.
Hopefully this detailed comparison helps explain the key differences between the two models so you can select the best Garmont T8 boot for your specific footwear needs and budget.