Friday, 25 January 2013

Military Boots

When it comes to military boots I have already reviewed Lowa, Danner and Bates Military boots but there are a raft of army and military boot companies out there that have yet to get a mention and the different styles of military footwear they offer, and more excitingly the boots they are about to offer!

The biggest brands in traditional military boots are probably; Lowa, Altbergy, Danner, Meindl, Hanwag and Haix.  As you can see it is a landscape predominately dominated German made boots!  Not really a surprise there, the Alpine manufacturing heritage and a traditional German eye for quality has established the brands in the hearts and minds of military personnel the world over.  The one notable exception exception is Danner which is a US brand (though only their upper tier models are actually hand made in the US).

Currently most military boots come in the traditional black leather, or black leather and nylon, or desert suede/desert suede and nylon combinations.  Some manufacturers have experimented with different camouflage patterns, including Hi Tec Magnum who went all out with their full Crye Multicam boot which even had a multicam sole!  The sole was made with different colour rubber blocks fused together, rather than just being panted on, meaning that the pattern would never wear off even as the sole wore down.  Whilst this innovation was pretty neat this boot sadly proved ultimately unpopular with the military due to its high price and a few durability issues.  The latest colour innovation in military boots is a new brown colour, designed to complement the Multi-Terrain Pattern used by the British military.  The advantage of the brown boot over the old school black military boot is that it doesn't have the stark contrast line where the boot meets the trousers, and also the brown itself blends much more effectively with a wider range of backgrounds and terrains than black, desert or even Multicam making it much more versatile boot for military personnel.  This new brown boot is going to be the official MOD issue boot going forward.

One of the up and coming players in the military boot markets is YDS a Turkish based company which has enjoyed a lot of success in the international tender business and is looking to make headway in the UK.  A lesser known brand in the retail side of the military boot industry YDS are looking to grow their presence through a select number of retailers as they continue their approaches to the UK MOD boot tenders.  Having spoken to YDS and inspected their products I am really quite impressed with what they are offering, direct injection sole units, full genuine Gore-Tex breathable waterproof bootie, high quality leather uppers and a price that compares more with a Magnum Police boot than a Lowa military boot.

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