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Military Footwear

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by footman1972, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. footman1972

    footman1972 Active Member

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    Hi All,

    Can anyone recommend specific types / brands of military boots?

    From anecdotal evidence, I understand that US-issued boots are considerably better than those issued to UK forces from a comfort and functional point of view.


  2. Foot fan

    Foot fan Active Member

    is it for use in the military or personal use?
  3. DAVOhorn

    DAVOhorn Well-Known Member

    re Foot wear for miltary

    Dear All,

    I seem to remeber reading that during the Falklands Conflict that British Troops became partial to the Argentinian Miltary footwear.

    Unfortunately the only way to acquire this was from an Argentinian who no longer had a need for his Boots.

    I remeber when i was at school i joined the School Corp and had to enjoy the trauma of the standard army issue boot.

    I was informed that they had to BE BROKEN IN before they became wearable.

    I beleived that the army chose its footwear for its longevity and not its functionality as protective footwear.

    Have the GOVT improved ARMY footwear.????

    regards David
  4. Foot fan

    Foot fan Active Member

    short answer... no
  5. iain wilson

    iain wilson Welcome New Poster

    With regard to "breaking- in" of heavy leather footwear, the following may be of interest. As a mountaineer, I am familiar with the older traditional type of leather boot which has nowadays been replaced by the modern lightweight boot using synthetic breathable materials. I was told on several occasions over the years by older mountaineers that the best way to render stiff leather pliable was to pee in the boots and wear them while still damp in order to soften the leather, in much the same way that in the eighties, one was advised to put on new jeans and lie in a bath of cold water in order to obtain a bespoke fit!!! Desperate measures indeed!!
  6. Lawrence Bevan

    Lawrence Bevan Active Member

    From speaking to rehab staff, I believe the ethos within the British Armed Forces heirarchy is that the boot is first and foremost a weapon of war and a comfortable vessel for the wearer's foot secondarily.

    Getting new recruits "used" to the boot is a major component of early training and takes up a lot of time of the rehabilitation personnel.
  7. Foot fan

    Foot fan Active Member

    Speaking from personal experience I can definitely say you never get used to the boots. One method of 'breaking in' used to be stuffing the shoes with wet newspaper, others just tell you to keep wearing them and they'll eventually be comfortable. Should have tried the jeans idea though...
    Back to my earlier question, if you are looking for 'good' boots I suggest you steer clear of military footwear as it causes more problems than it prevents (rather ironic considering the tasks assigned to the defence force) but if it is for military use, the US boots are markedly better than UK and Australian, I can't speak for any other countries boots as I haven't worn them.
  8. Cameron

    Cameron Well-Known Member


    One of the residual problems with theatres of war in different climates means boot design changes with time. The UK boot in the Falklands was waterproof but held in the water, too. Water poured inthrough the laces and filled the plastic sole (made form a cross mesh of plastic) Trench foot become a problem and the advance across Goose Green had to completed within the shortest possible time to avoid major casualties. Argentinean boots were taken to protect against the wet cold conditons. The Argentinean boot was considered the best for wet conditons. Both designs would be quite inappropriate for Desert Storm and Afghanistan. Reports from wars in the Middle East confirm the UK boots were not entirely perfect for the high temperature conditons. There is at least one website dedicated to boot talk for army recruits (Canadian) which is interesting to lurk. The Australian boot does have a lot of research behind it and was thought to be a good quality boot. There has been tons of research on squarebashing and shin splints. The bulk seems to come from Isreal and Jim Philps did some work in New Zealand about a decade or so back.

    The Kiwis had a extraordinary amount of recruits drop out from squarebashing and many complained of shin splints. Much of the symptoms were caused by limitation of dorsiflexion caused by high lacing boots. The recruits had to wear them for all activities are were not able to wear trainers for running. Needless to say the incidence of shin splints is lower in these armies. There is also reported a lot of pride and recruits who come through their training will wear their pain (breaking their boots in) with honour and treat other recruits with disdain should they fail to make the mark. Bullying is very commonly reported with enthnicity and gender cited focus.

    So back to your question, no one has yet come up with the perfect military boot. Different contitions necessitate different styles. US boots are probably better quality than others simply because there is a strong fashion element to the uniform and the boots must be made from homegrown hides. Consequently there are dedicated manufacturers on mainland US.

    Fashion and the military comes from Nazi Germany where the SS had designer uniforms which included quality leather boots. The US were quick to catch on and by the Sercond Wold War and the introduction of females in the military then better cut uniforms were a must.

    Sizing and comfort should be a priority but seldom is, and this has certainly been the case in UK, over the war years. Research shows concentration on recruiting based on arch height may have increased the number of service people with boot problems. This is now much less frequent.

    What say you?
    Hey, What do I know?
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2005
  9. footman1972

    footman1972 Active Member

    Hi Everyone,

    The boots in question are intended for military use - this posting was in response to an enquiry I recieved from a Podiatrist who practices in Barbados, and works with the Defence force there.

    Interesting about the incidence of lower limb problems related to the inability of the boot to dorsiflex - I was chatting to a podiatrist recently who recommended that when recruits were lacing their boots they should miss out one row of eyelets at the flexion point of the ankle. This made a significant difference in the number of injuries sustained.

  10. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

    Some military personnel with particular injuries are, at the discretion of medical staff treating those pathologies, "allowed" to be measured for bespoke boots. Altberg in Richmond, N. Yorks are one such supplier especially for those guys in the Catterick area.

    Those conditions include, stress#, equinus, trauma, and post-decompressive fasciotomy.

    I have probably cost the MOD thousands of pounds in recent years by referring pts of the MOD to Altberg!

    If I get killed, you know why!!!
  11. murray

    murray Welcome New Poster

    Our practice treates the majority of defense personel in the central nth island of nz.There are a variety of boots worn and as noted these are generally dependant on the climate and terrain they are to be worn in.One of the requirements is that they can be sourced easily in NZ if soldiers are deployed overseas and need replacement.The current boot is being re-jigged with the first change being a lighter grade leather for the upper to reduce frictional pressure in the heel counter and improve ankle jt dflxn ie reduce resistance.A shank has been added also to improve stability.The next change is to provide a different sole unit.One boot that is worn is the HI TEC Magnum which is ideal for camp / pt wear but not durable for field work.Trials are also being done with ankle height tramping boots which are showing a reduction in injury rates.

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