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.
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.
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.