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.
I had a pair of Bates with the zipper sides that felt like I’d been wearing them for twenty years from the day I bought them. They were my favorite riding boots. Dumped the bike last March and tore the left one all up. Broke my heart almost as much as damaging my ride.