Category Archives: Boots

British Army Wellco Jungle Boots

We seem to have covered a lot of different pairs of boots on the blog this year, we round out our selection though with a pair of American made Wellco jungle boots:imageThe British Army purchased these boots in quite large numbers form the US for issue to troops on jungle deployments and in training in jungle environments. The boots are lightweight, as is so often the case with jungle boots, and feature a two part construction with leather for the lower portions, and fabric for the area above the ankle:imageLeather reinforcing goes up the whole of the front of the boot in order to mount the eyeholes and clasps for the laces:imageAs befits boots that are likely to get very wet and then need to dry rapidly, two drainage holes are fitted to the lower portion of the boot:imageThe soles of the boots are made of heavy duty rubber and have a pattern known as a ‘Panama Sole’:imageThis design was invented by a US soldier called Raymond Dobie in World War II and uses a series of angled rubber lugs in the soles to push soft mud from the soles, clearing them and providing much better grip in greasy clay or mud. Each sole has the size (here 12) moulded into the rubber, indicating that these were manufactured for the British Army rather than for the US military as the sizes are those used in Britain, not America. The official stores catalogue describes the boots as:

Boots, Combat, Jungle. Hot weather. Calf length derby style boot with black leather uppers and nylon leg. Speed loop & eyelet lace closure. Rubber moulded sole. Drainage plugs inside arches.

The inside of the tongue has a white stamping indicating size, NSN number and date of manufacture. As this is an area of high wear, these can be hard to read sometimes:imageEach boot also has a maker’s tag with the US flag and the name Wellco embroidered on it:imageAs ever we can rely upon Arrsepedia to give a humorous and not necessarily accurate reason as to why the British Army adopted US produced boots:

Being British of course, we decided to make our own version of the US jungle boot and came out with something that looked like a DMS boot with the ankle bit removed and replaced with green canvas, thus looking like a slightly more ally NHS orthopaedic shoe.

Under rigorous jungle conditions, these lasted about 14.7 seconds and so combat arms personnel posted to Belize were finally, and very grudgingly, issued with US jungle boots which they actually got to keep. Woo hoo!

These boots were produced in sizes from 3 to 15, in half size increments and each size was offered in regular, wide and extra wide. This resulted in a bewildering 74 different size and width combinations for this design of boot!

Brown Karrimor SF Cold Wet Weather Boots

Continuing our look at some of the different combat boots of the British Army, tonight we are considering the Karrimor SF cold and wet weather boots:imageThis design was introduced into service with the British Army in 2012 and was one of a range of different boots introduced at this point to go with the new MTP uniforms. For the first time soldiers could try a range of boots to find the one that worked best for them.

The Karimoor combat boots are described as:

The latest issue army cold weather boots for British military personnel from world-renowned outdoor equipment specialist Karrimor. Designed using full grain waterproof leather, these…boots are extremely durable and ideal for use in cold and wet weather. With a Gore-Tex membrane to keep feet dry in the worst and wettest conditions, Karrimor SF boots also feature an innovative 3M Thinsulate lining to preserve warmth while allowing feet to breathe. With a strong rubber Vibram outsole, Karrimor military boots are second to none when it comes to comfort, grip and ruggedness. These waterproof army boots are the ultimate choice for cold weather combat and training exercises.

The soles of these boots are deep and rugged and manufactured in Italy by a specialist sole producer called ‘Vibram’:imageThe boots are of a hi-leg design with lacing up the front from the top of the foot right up to above the ankle:imageThe Union Flag logo of Karrimor SF, the manufacturer, is embossed into the tongue of the boots:imageAnd the manufacturer’s name is embossed into the outer side of each boot:imageA white label with sizing and a /|\ ownership mark is sewn to the underside of the tongue:imageThe boots seem to have been very popular with troops and one soldier gives his thoughts on the design:

Karrimor SF are hard wearing and good in freezing and wet conditions and generally stomping about shite ground and woodlands.

The only major criticism from soldiers is that the brown colour of the boots is very easy to turn into a horrible maroon shade if a dark tan polish is used on them rather than a light tan one! Apparently at this point there is nothing for it but to grovel to the QM and hope you get a replacement pair!

Altberg Defender Boots

A few weeks back the Lowa desert boots were covered on the blog, this was the first in a mini-series of posts over the coming months covering some of the different boots used in the last ten years by the British military. When the British Army adopted the new MTP uniform it looked to replace its boots to match. Initial trials boots were in a muddy green colour, but it was quickly decided that brown was the best colour to choose and soldiers would be offered a choice of makes and models so they could chose boots that best suited them. Tonight’s boots then are a pair of Altberg Defenders and are one of the most recent patterns of boots to be given to troops:imageThe boots are made of brown leather and are a high-leg style:imageThe boots come in a large cardboard box, wrapped in tissue paper to protect them:imageIncluded in the box are a range of care leaflets and information for the user:imageThe user’s guide has detailed information on how to look after the boots and size them:imageimageimageimageThe boots are made of an Anfibio leather which is water repellent and the high leg design features a heavy duty tongue and lacing up the front:imageThe sole is very heavy duty with a multi-terrain rubber tread:imageThe manufacturer’s name is embossed into the leather on the ankle:imageFurther details are printed inside the boot and a white label has the /|\ ownership mark and NSN details on:imageThe boots are available in both Male and Female versions and in both MOD brown and black. Sizing also comes in both medium and wide fitting so there are a dazzling array of different NSN numbers for all the variants:

NATO Stock Numbers

Defender – Boots Combat High Liability – Male, Brown

PLN: 771

Male 5 Med 8430-99-512-2157
Male 5 Wide 8430-99-512-2158
Male 6 Med 8430-99-216-0801
Male 6 Wide 8430-99-216-0802
Male 7 Med 8430-99-216-0803
Male 7 Wide 8430-99-216-0804
Male 8 Med 8430-99-216-0805
Male 8 Wide 8430-99-216-0806
Male 9 Med 8430-99-216-0807
Male 9 Wide 8430-99-216-0808
Male 10 Med 8430-99-216-0809
Male 10 Wide 8430-99-216-0810
Male 11 Med 8430-99-216-0811
Male 11 Wide 8430-99-216-0812
Male 12 Med 8430-99-216-0813
Male 12 Wide 8430-99-216-0814
Male 13 Med 8430-99-216-0815
Male 13 Wide 8430-99-216-0816
Male 14 Med 8430-99-216-0817
Male 14 Wide 8430-99-216-0818
Male 15 Med 8430-99-216-0819
Male 15 Wide 8430-99-216-0820

Defender – Boots Combat High Liability – Female, Brown

PLN: 772

Female 3 Med 8435-99-216-0821
Female 3 Wide 8435-99-216-0822
Female 4 Med 8435-99-216-0823
Female 4 Wide 8435-99-216-0824
Female 5 Med 8435-99-216-0825
Female 5 Wide 8435-99-216-0826
Female 6 Med 8435-99-216-0827
Female 6 Wide 8435-99-216-0828
Female 7 Med 8435-99-216-0829
Female 7 Wide 8435-99-216-0830
Female 8 Med 8435-99-216-0831
Female 8 Wide 8435-99-216-0832
Female 9 Med 8435-99-216-0833
Female 9 Wide 8435-99-216-0834

 

Defender – Boots Combat High Liability – Male, Black

PLN: 775

Male 5 Med 8430-99-512-2161
Male 5 Wide 8430-99-512-2162
Male 6 Med 8430-99-383-2463
Male 6 Wide 8430-99-383-2464
Male 7 Med 8430-99-383-2465
Male 7 Wide 8430-99-383-2466
Male 8 Med 8430-99-383-2467
Male 8 Wide 8430-99-383-2468
Male 9 Med 8430-99-383-2469
Male 9 Wide 8430-99-383-2470
Male 10 Med 8430-99-383-2471
Male 10 Wide 8430-99-383-2472
Male 11 Med 8430-99-383-2473
Male 11 Wide 8430-99-383-2474
Male 12 Med 8430-99-383-2475
Male 12 Wide 8430-99-383-2476
Male 13 Med 8430-99-383-2477
Male 13 Wide 8430-99-383-2478
Male 14 Med 8430-99-383-2479
Male 14 Wide 8430-99-383-2480
Male 15 Med 8430-99-383-2481
Male 15 Wide 8430-99-383-2482

 

Defender – Boots Combat High Liability – Female, Black

PLN: 776

Female 3 Med 8435-99-383-2483
Female 3 Wide 8435-99-383-2484
Female 4 Med 8435-99-383-2485
Female 4 Wide 8435-99-383-2486
Female 5 Med 8435-99-383-2487
Female 5 Wide 8435-99-383-2488
Female 6 Med 8435-99-383-2489
Female 6 Wide 8435-99-383-2490
Female 7 Med 8435-99-383-2491
Female 7 Wide 8435-99-383-2492
Female 8 Med 8435-99-383-2493
Female 8 Wide 8435-99-383-2494
Female 9 Med 8435-99-383-2495
Female 9 Wide 8435-99-383-2496

 

Lowa Desert Combat Boots

When the British Army started operation in Afghanistan there were constant complaints about the quality of the footwear issued and men routinely swapped, borrowed or bought non-issue boots to better deal with the rigours of operations. Commercial companies such as Lowa and Altberg quickly became firm favourites with troops and the MOD finally recognised this and started purchasing issue boots from these sources. Tonight we have a pair of desert Lowa combat boots to look at:imageThese boots entered official British Army service in 2007, as seen in this extract form the ‘Black Book’ of military kit issues by the army:CaptureThese boots are still manufactured by Lowa and officially have the title ‘Desert Elite Coyote’. Their website gives more details on the boots:Capture1These boots can be dated by the series of pin holes on the tongue which show the size (9) and the date of manufacture (December 2009):imageThe boots are made of suede type material with a high ankle design:imageThe maker’s name is embossed into the suede:imageVentilation panels are fitted to each side to allow air in to the boot:imageThese could become clogged with fine sand so brushes were used to clean them out periodically. The soles of the boots are thick and with well-defined grips to ensure good traction on rough terrain:imageA label is sewn into each tongue with details of sizing and indicating that the boots were made in Germany:imageA Lt Colonel Tredder said in 2010:

I’m personally really pleased that we are giving guys top-of-the-range equipment, things like Lowa boots – you just don’t get any better than that.

These boots were very popular, but the army quickly realised that men often had personal preferences and so eventually offered a small range of boots so men could find the ones that suited them best. These boots were used extensively on operations until the introduction of MTP uniforms saw them slowly replaced with brown boots that better matched the new camouflage.