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The Great Boot Review

Just to clarify, in the US Army, you don't get a "boot allowance" per se. Each enlisted Soldier receives an initial issue at basic training. After six months, the CMA starts and accrues each month until the 18th month of service. On that anniversary, the Soldier receives a lump sum for the previous year. I don't remember exactly how much it is, but it's around $250-$300. Each year thereafter, the Soldier gets another CMA lump sum payment.

Officers are on their own as far as buying uniforms. They get an initial allowance of a few hundred dollars, and have to purchase their own uniforms from then on.

The Army has switched to the new desert style boot for all climates. This is the ACU approved boot with Goretex liner, and so forth. The main type of all weather boot is the Belleville 790 infantry combat boot, but there are other approved boots that Soldiers can wear.

The only time Soldiers get "free" uniforms is when they are deployed to a combat zone and there are very specific guidelines that apply. If your uniform gets burned up/cut off of you or something like that, the Army will replace it in combat. For some operations that are especially hard on clothing, they give Soldiers a clothing replacement allowance, which is a one-time payment to replace damaged and worn out uniform items.

The above doesn't apply to TA-50, which is the Army slang for field gear and organizational clothing.
lostrover said:
$325 for a pair of Danners??  Care to buy my ice fishing business in the Caribean??  Danner Acadia's (every model of the Acadia) and Ft. Lewis can be easily had to all points in Canada for less than $200 on your doorstep, there are alot of independent Danner reps in Canada, that will give you a good break on them.

Where do you find them for less than $200? That is a hell of a bargain and I'd like to get me some for that price.

I have Danner Pronghorns that I use for hunting. They are the most comfortable boots I have ever worn and are super light at 48oz (compared to 68 oz for Ft Lewis), I wonder how a boot of that type of construction would hold up in the field.
Never been a Fan of the Mk III's..... well ok... thats not true... when I first joined I liked em kinda.... but i also never wore anything better then the Crappy Boots. once i put on SWATS for my Civy Job, I started wearing those (given that they look almost Identical to Magnums.) anyways, I jumped on the Danner Bandwaggon and Love them.

x1 pr. Danner Acadia with Thinsulate and Goretex.
x1 pr. Danner Stryker GTX w/ Gortex liner (awsome Boot, one of my new favs)
x1 pr. Danner Acadia Hotweather with Coolmax Fibers. (not really trialed yet. I'll let you know after tour how they are)

Personally Im glad I got the Hot weather Acadias, since it gives me 3 pairs of boots to rotate through in K-Har instead of just two. and the Dessert SWATS we have are on the warm side as well... 

I think Librarian is bang on. there will never be a 100% solution. but i think the Magnums and the Good Vibram soles on the Mk III's are definately a BIG step in the right Direction.

Well I got a pair of Acadia Desert 26000 (no GTX with the vents), with the heat barrier insole versus just the airthotic...........spend some time breaking them in, the insole need a bit of extra love, the breathing ability sans GTX is great and the insole vents to help with the water issues when they arise.  The only problem with them in the past 2 years has been my desire to wear to weddings wiht a suit.
Where would one go to try on a few of these boots before buying?

I'm looking into buying me some footwear for my barge-sized feet.
Grab your yellow pages and find your nearest orthopedic (maybe not the right term......but a place that builds orthodics), get them to measure your feet properly, then call the manufactures customer service line and they will help you out with initial sizing (save alot of time with some clerk somewhere).  Find your local dealer and go pay a visit........just let them know your gonna be there awhile, the ole feels ok doesn't cut it many miles up the mountain.  Two feet=two boots, put them both on, and check your fit, initially if you kick your toe and your toes hit, move up a size, you want the heel of your foot fully locked into the heel cup..............etc..etc.... Regretfully the only way you will know your real true fit is after alot of miles in them, and it takes alot of time to find the right ones.
I wanted Danners once while in Fort Knox at the US Cav store just off post...couldn`t afford them, so I tried on a pair of Matternhorn 10" Field Boots.  Loved them!  Little cheaper, but they were awesome boots for fall-winter-spring, little hot in the summer.  Mine were $129 USD (this was in `95).


Roger on the Matterhorn. It's a great boot and is built on the Munson last, so it fits the same as combat boots.
There is already a thread on this, but I have heard from a few guys that came back from A'stan that they had liked the Converse Desert boot.  They aren't too expensive either. 


However, that really looks different from a combat boot. 
zipperhead_cop said:
There is already a thread on this, but I have heard from a few guys that came back from A'stan that they had liked the Converse Desert boot.  They aren't too expensive either. 


However, that really looks different from a combat boot. 

I've actually just ordered my pair for this upcoming deployment, and I'll let you know how they do. I know HitorMiss swears by them.
I just happen to have a chit for matterhorns. I swear by them. just as good as danners and a couple bucks cheaper to boot (ha get it? talking about boots, okay lame) mind you I'm a fan of vibram sierria soles, so any boot company mentioned here has that sole.
altama's; fit more like an actual shoe. I have a pair on route actually, so I'm going to give them a try. they say they're waterproof (I don't think they're goretex though) but either way I'm going to give them the submerrsion test just like everyother boot that claims that. but if they're anything like the jungle boot versions I've owned, they're going to take a beating and keep on ticking
matterhorn's; like I said just as good as danners, couple bucks cheaper. they fit like danners though. so you may not like that. however I also have wide feet (and flat feet, and stress fractures, ahhh gotta love mark three's) and I've never had a problem with room width wise. the set I've owned, I've been wearing for almost three years now. with the exception of sole wear, these boots are still like new.
belleville's; a company that is also constantly being looked over. just as good as any other company on the market. not as high of quality of a boot as danners, but they'll still last you forever. I've never owned a pair, but I know a guy that did. he loved these things.
rocky; there's a few guys in 3RCR that have these issued to them. they say that they like them and have never had a problem with these boots in the field. these boots also fit like a shoe apparently.
luckily there's a website where you can find all of these said boots; http://www.quanticoboot.com/ I personally have never order from there, but from people I know that have. the service is quick (even to Canada), and they're easy to get ahold of if a problem does arise.
so there, take that! a boot kit list, from a boot whore.
In my limited but painful experience with the issued Mark III boots I am happy to say that wearing my Magnums are like night and day.
I believe as previously mentioned that everyone has different footwear needs and an allowance would serve members well...as well as save many hours attending the MIR

Rocky's are what our Department springs for, and I dislike them quite a bit.  The soles are only slightly softer than a Mk III and have a tendancy to crack across the ball of your foot.  The Gortex does not hold out water when submerged, and failed frequently even in rain and snow.  Nobody wears them beyond their original issue.  That being said, I am betting the Company only buy the cheapest ones possible and there could be other higher-end Rocky's that are better. 
Yeoman said:
I just happen to have a chit for matterhorns.
Your chit must be older than a year then. Message was cut (this time last year I believe) on the medical side of the house advising MOs/Physio that they could still write chits for footwear but were no longer able to "prescribe" a specific boot manufacturer. So chits written for a specific boot type are technically "invalid" now.

Whatever footwear is purchased for you must be available on the local economy within the vicinity of you base to qualify for LPO IAW TB (Treasury Board) Regulations governing purchases with Crown funds. If Matterhorns aren't available around your next base, Supply can not LPO them for you. This also explains why every base purchases different types of footwear from one another.

There's already another thread running on the "chit specific" issue.
actually yeah that chit is almost three years old now.
no one at work really cares a whole lot. so long as I've had a piece of paper at some point or another signed by a doctor saying I could wear them, they don't complain.
see that's what I figured after I started getting places when I was asking questions. I recall people out west getting danners issued to them for instance.
Most of the folks out east here are wearing them Stealth boots by Magnums. Local store I guess. Too bad they don't carry much more.
  When I was looking at the Danner "Acadia" boots there were the synthetic steele toe 399.0 and 325.0 for the soft toe(three vets).  The lining of the synthetic toe was different as was the insole.  The problem I was having with the boot was my foot was inclined in.  Maybe I need orthodex?  However, with the issued boots they seem to be Ok, but I would like something to take the shock out of the boot.  The boots can be a little hard on the knees but overall there ok.  I have heard a lot about the danners and thought I would give them a try.  If anyone has any insole suggestions that have worked for them it would be much appreciated.


Just a quick hijack with regards to orthotics...
As long as I have been in the CF (since 1985, on and off) I always wore the Mk III with just a good after market insole.  I never had any problems with my feet. 
After I had been on the job for a while, I found out that there was an orthotics clinic that would do custom orthotics and then give you a huge discount on Danner boots in order to draw business.  I went, and long story short after about a year and a half of wearing the orthotics I started getting heel spurs.  When I got back in to the CF in May, I was worried about my heel spurs and asked my chiro if I needed to be careful of them, or if they were just a nuisance.  Nuisance is what I was told. 
I decided that since I had never had foot problems before the inserts, and only got them because I wanted the boots, I said "screw it" and tossed them in the garbage.  Running really sucked for about four months, but lo and behold, I currently don't have any heel spurs.  And that is running with a loaded ruck for 5 k. 
I guess my point is do a lot of asking around as to who is credible as a orthotics distributor.  There is HUGE cash for them in that business, and it is definitely in their best interests for them to find a problem with your feet.  From what I have been told by people who legitimately need them, the only way to do a proper molding is with a plaster cast.  If the place you are at wants you to step into a foam block, you are likely not going to get a proper insert. 
I am certainly NOT suggesting that anyone who currently has orthotics stop wearing them.  Just be wary if you don't have problems with your feet currently and are being told you should get them.
Sorry for the divert. 
TN2IC said:
Most of the folks out east here are wearing them Stealth boots by Magnums. Local store I guess. Too bad they don't carry much more.

Not anymore.  The Toolbox in Burnside doesn't have the contract anymore...and they had started giving out Bates instead of Magnums (Bates are inferior IMHO, having had Magnum's before.  The M9 Assault by Bates are ok but the lightweight ones I have plain ol suck...mostly its Bates stuff being bought here in Halifax as of late...although you are correct, Magnum Stealth's were the standard before this fall... ;D

I had on a pair of the G2 Stealth's in St-Jean at Rona's...nice boot!
As I've used both cast mould and gait scan analyzed orthotics, I'll add to Zipperhead Cop's bit:

A few people on this site know me and have seen me in combat boots.  I broke my leg when I was 17 right above the ankle.  The break healed but not perfectly straight; my right calf has an interesting bow to it.  As a result, I have one pronating foot and one supinating foot.  And although I've never had any problems with it, it has created some unusual wear in my boots.  Upon completion of my battleschool (again with no problems), I was sent to the MIR to get orthotics.

Previously, I had been wearing Sorbothane insoles in the Mark III's.  The orthotics I was issued were cast mould.  They were hard and inflexible and totally incompatible with the Mk III's and so I was issued Danners (the high arches in the orthotics prevented me from lacing my boots).  However, the softer sole of the Danner contrasted with the very rigid orthotic.  I felt like I was trying to walk on a partially frozen waterbed filled with chickpeas.  Worse, because of the added height, I found my ankles to be rolling far more than they had previously causing me more problems than preventing. 

A few years later, of my own initiative, I went out and got a gait scan.  Before doing so, I asked around and was assured it was a superior method to cast moulds and well worth the $300.  The orthotic was more comfortable and far more flexible, and best of all, it was plastic (foot sweat eroded my cast orthotic and can only wonder what a good foot soak would have done).  However, it was still very high arched, to the point of uncomfortable, and still caused me to stand too tall in my boots thus rolling my ankles.

Between the orthotics and since, I've worn my Danners with regular Sorbothane insoles and have had no problems at all.  With my most recent pair I just used the half-insoles that came with the boots and have found them to be the most comfortable.  Since I'm tossing in anecdotal information about Danners... I'm on my fourth pair.  Two pairs issued (insulated) and two pairs privately purchased (non-insulated).  I don't limit my use of them solely to army time, too.  I go hiking and back woods camping with them.  Only one pair is used for garrison work; drill kills the sole.

Final point, there is a new and improved gait scan analysis that's superiorer to the one I underwent.  The insoles allege to be flexible yet firm without increasing height, but I don't want to spend another $300 to find out what I got now that works better.  My wife uses these in her Mark III's and swears by them.