9 Ways Military Boots Have Changed Through the Years

WWII Combat Boots

It’s difficult to imagine a time when soldiers didn’t wear combat boots. However, before World War II that was exactly the case.

According to Olive-Drab.com, boots served as a replacement for shoes and canvas leggings. Unfortunately, the leggings neither provided sufficient protection nor could be quickly taken on or off. Well, they were leggings after all.

Then there was “Boots, Service, Combat”—the first issued combat boot.

The original boot featured a double buckle, straps, laces and a rubber sole. The laces only reached the ankle and the rest of the boot really looked like a high top leather shoe with a cast-like extension.

Since the initial installation of the military boot, much has changed in the ever-evolving industry. Now over a dozen companies build specialized footwear specifically for troops who endure the rigors of warfare. With so much healthy competition, the robust military gear industry easily fluctuates with customer demands.

Today we list out those trends and ask what you would like to see in the future of combat boot design.

  1. Lightweight – There is no doubt that the lighter the boot is, the easier long-term wear will be. Footwear weight can affect performance and endurance in any activity.
  2. Leather – Because of lower import tariffs, various synthetic boot components are being reverted back to leather.
  3. Athletic build – Nowadays combat boots don’t shy away from having a hiking boot feel. While protection is of the utmost importance, having reliable traction and the ability to take on rough terrain can be just as vital.
  4. Comfort – Being able to focus on the task at hand and not the three growing blisters on your feet is crucial.
  5. Breathable materials – Stationed in the desert? With extreme daytime temperatures and cold nighttime conditions, having footwear that has some type of climate control is  key.
  6. Black boots – It’s not necessarily a trend, since black combat boots have been around since the 1950s, but demand for dark colored military boots remains high.
  7. Kids boots – Many manufacturers including Altama and McRae have begun production of children’s military boots to give pint-sized patriots something to march about in.
  8. Fast-roping – Special features have been added to boots that allow airmen to quickly exit helicopters via rope.
  9. Waterproof – A no-duh concept that has become a standard for all footwear to live by. 

What footwear trends have you witnessed? What will military boots of the future be like?

(Image via Flickr)

2 Comments on “9 Ways Military Boots Have Changed Through the Years

  1. With DAMPS Technology Smart Boots we are taking military boots into the future.
    The real time super magetic suspension/propulsion technology now allows soldiers to walk 10 miles and save the shock of 7 miles. User testing with Special Operations Forces (SOF). We’ve got to be smarter than our boots. HOOAH!

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