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Woes of the foot soldier: Sore feet spur Army to fight for new boots
The Washington Times ^ | August 26, 2013 | By Cheryl K. Chumley

Posted on 08/26/2013 4:52:04 PM PDT by yoe

An Army survey of sore-footed soldiers has led leaders to take on a new mission: finding the perfect boot that withstands the weather but properly cushions across long treks and rough terrains.

And the Army has put a team of specialists on the job — footwear project engineers at the branch’s Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Massachusetts.

“The soldier lives in his boots,” said Bob Hall, one of the footwear engineers, in The Boston Globe. “If he’s having problems with his boots, he’s having problems with everything.”

Army researchers in Natick are winding down a two-year campaign — sparked by a survey that revealed soldiers’ core complaint, aching feet — to develop a boot for Middle East terrain. The military took prototype boot submissions in 2011, and now the field’s been narrowed to three potential companies with lengthy backgrounds making footwear for the military: Bates Footwear of Rockford, Mich.; Belleville Boot Co. in Belleville, Ill.; and Danner in Portland, Ore.

“We know who makes the best boots out there and we tap into the best technology the industry has,” said Sgt. Maj. Emmett Maunakea in The Globe article. “There’s so much science that goes into it.”

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government
KEYWORDS: boots; combatboots; shoes
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To: Carry_Okie

Wow, that is pricy. Nowadays I have to wear steel-toed boots at work & usually go with Georgia or Iron Age. They last several years, and break-in isn’t too bad. I think it was mopping up that really killed the old Danners. Water plus ashes makes a form of lye, and when it’s also hot, you just can’t put sufficient grease on your boots to keep them from cracking.


41 posted on 08/27/2013 6:44:37 PM PDT by HartleyMBaldwin
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To: Billthedrill
While I was in the Army, I was quite happy with Panama tread jungle boots with an athletic shoe insole. In the later years, they ended up replacing the aluminum punji plate with Kevlar so with a nice thick pair of Merino wool socks, they were even pretty decent in all but the colder weather.

In the 10 years or so since I got out, I still wear various boots for everything from summers in Louisiana to winters in western PA. My work and recreation take me from everything to swamps to some pretty rugged hilly trails...and offices.

Hands down, the most comfortable boots I own are the Inov-8 Roclite 400 GTX. They are marketed as the lightest, all leather Gore-Tex boot made, and I tend to believe them:

They are extremely light, weighing very little more than most running shoes. On the down side, some of the weight saving comes from the abandonment of a traditional heel cup, so there's a little less ankle rigidity, so if you've got a real heavy pack, they're probably not the optimum boot. Also, the sole is a very soft, gummy composition that gives exceptionally good traction on smooth, slick rock or concrete, but tends to wear on the faster side.

In more rugged terrain, I also have a pair of Tactical Research Khybers:

They are much lighter than they might appear at first look. They give much better ankle support than the roclites. The sole material is harder and will wear longer than the roclites, but you do sacrifice a bit of flexibility.

42 posted on 08/27/2013 7:05:38 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Many thanks. You may have just sold me a pair of boots. BTT


43 posted on 08/27/2013 7:10:05 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill
Always glad to help out other FReepers, and always happy to plug other people's products that have given me great service.

Especially nice when I can do both in one post :-)

44 posted on 08/27/2013 7:15:18 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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