Skip to comments.Woes of the foot soldier: Sore feet spur Army to fight for new boots
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 branchs 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 hes having problems with his boots, hes 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 fields 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. Theres so much science that goes into it.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
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.
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.
Many thanks. You may have just sold me a pair of boots. BTT
Especially nice when I can do both in one post :-)