Ammunition boots were removed from service in the late 1950s as being unsuitable for modern warfare. Despite this their legacy lives on to the present day with hobnailed boots being used for parades and ceremonial occasions. These boots give a satisfyingly military ‘crump’ on the parade square and can be bulled up to unheard of levels of shininess. These boots are very similar to the wartime ammunition boot and are frequently used by re-enactors in place of hard to find (and valuable) period boots and poorly made reproductions:This pair of boots has metal toe and heel plates and small metal studs in the sole:
There should be thirteen studs per boot in the pattern 4-4-3-2 and one Coldstream Guardsman recalls:
One of the great memories in regard to studs in boots was in Caterham in the early 80’s. Sgt Boris Beard (Black Boris) was Sgt I/W for No1 Company. There was a blood donation drive that the Battalion was taking part in. Boris gave blood and felt very faint after the procedure. he was placed on a stretcher to recover and was approached by the Badge man the Great Perry Mason. Perry was genuinely concerned about Sgt Beard and asked if he was ok. Boris said yes he was feeling a lot better. Perry replied good.. Now place yourself in the report for not having the correct amount of studs in yer boots!!
These boots have a separate toe cap that provides a clear demarcation line for bulling, on this example the polish that has been applied has chipped and at some point I need to strip off all the polish and redo the boots to make them look correct:The toe cap at the back of the boot is also bulled, and as is often the case these boots were originally bulled all over apart from the top which would be hidden beneath the trouser leg, where the original pebbled leather can be seen:There are many different ways of bulling boots, with some advocating melting the polish, others using yellow duster or cotton wool balls and others using water and spit or a combination thereof. The boots are dated 1988 inside and have a manufacturer’s initials of ‘J & R Bros’:The size ‘9L’ is stamped both inside the boot and on the instep underneath:These boots can be seen on many formal parades, worn by all three services.