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 ...
Danners are great, got a pair of Ft.Lewis boots
I’ve worn for 20 years.
Just bought a pair of Bates RAT boots, pretty
comfortable, although I had to replace the upper
eyelets with hooks, Did the same with the Danners too,
just like them more.
The Rat boots are good but rather soft sided.
The Ft.Lewis have served me well and are excellent
in mountainous terrain, stiffer.
Both have Vibram soles.
Wish we had something like that back in the day of fifty mile forced marches with full field packs and weapons wearing hard leather boondockers.
LL Bean Crestas. I have a pair that has over 2,000 miles on them including at least 5 ‘marathon’ hikes in the mountains (31 to 40 miles/day) and many, many days over 20 miles. Not one blister. Ever. Very comfortable boots for hiking/backpacking (and I have the bad habit of carrying way too heavy a load). They’d probably be an improvement over what is being worn now.
Yep. Kinky Shoes.
I wear out a pair of Vibram soles in a maximum of two years. How many times have you resoled these Danners? Mind you, I'm not doubting that they're good boots, I'm just trying to compare the value to the Wesco's I'm wearing now, as I can rarely resole them more than once. I do firefighting and logging among other things. Heat is hell on boots.
Ok, I admit I take care of them and only wear them
hunting, clean them at the end of the season, sno-seal
them put stretchers in and pack them up til next year.
For work I wear RedWing steel toe shoes and I get about
two years out of a pair, back when I was doing fabrication
and red iron. They are pricier than others but are what
I’ve found works best, like Carhart or Filson.
Absolutely the most comfortable boots or shoes I have ever owned. The LLB Crestas are pricey, but well worth it. I have them in black and dark brown, and they work well with a business casual look.
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That isn't necessarily a bad thing but training them up to a tour in Iraq or Afghanistan is going to entail a slightly different approach from the one that put farm kids into combat boots in WWII. Or at least a better-planned transition.
Bates and Danner are awfully good and I don't have any data on the other. These days I'm mostly in Browning or Timberland, myself, but I'm carrying a 60-year-old body over terrain a lot less challenging than the Hindu Kush. I get to sit down now and then, mostly now, and there's nobody shooting at me (at least deliberately). A 20-something soldier in prime physical condition carrying a rifle and a 70-lb pack is quite another thing.
But I'll be following this choice carefully, because you never know.
these kids have never known a world without Nikes and Adidas as primary footwear.”
The grandson has to wear what he also calls “hard” shoes when they go out to eat, to school on Wednesday with a white dress shirt for chapel and to church on Sundays. You wouldn’t believe all the grousing that goes with it.
In the meantime, my son needs to replace his hiking boots so everyone’s comments on this post are certainly helpful; they will be my Christmas gift to him.
OK, you get my vote for Gram of the year. :-)
My last pair I found at the outlet store - $50 less & perfect!! I have a wide foot so I figured I wouldn’t find what I needed, especially since Crestas are so popular, they’d be snapped right up. Actually, I wanted to try a regular width boot and a ‘wide’. Got there, wandered up and down the shoe racks ... everything was mixed together ... shoes, boots, slippers, etc. Saw a pair of brown toes peeping out ... Crestas? Yup ... regulars. Tried them on and it was no dice - too tight with my hiking socks. I’d been up and down at least twice ... took one more look ... was that a pair of brown toes on the very end of the bottom shelf? It WAS ... pulled out another pair of Crestas and did a happy dance to the cash registers (literally - they thought I was nuts!) because it was exactly what I wanted - all leather, my size, in wide and a perfect fit. Sometimes it’s just your “lucky” day! :-)
I wonder how the Romans became a world power wearing sandals.
I have been wearing a boot made by Converse for the last 3 years. It is by far the best boot I have ever worn. This boot is cool in the Arizona summer and warm in the winter. It has a composite toe that does not conduct heat and is stronger than conventional steel toes. I’ve worn boots all my life, from cowboy boots, to the “Black Cadilacs” the Marine Corps issued me for 20 years. 3 years before I retired from the Corps we were issued the new boot. It was a great improvement over the old crap, but nothing will compare to the Converse boot I wear for work now.
Which ones? Are those the Rapid Response Composite Toe model? I’m really interested in this because this is a quiet explosion in both technology and quality after a lot of dry years.
Whoa, those are nice. A little pricey, but nice.
I deployed to Iraq in 07/08, the issued boots were fine for me, although some people had trouble with them. I purchased a pair of Bates and would rotate them with the issued boots. The Bates were very comfortable.