When the Air Force adopted the ABU and its associated Digital Tiger Stripe pattern, they also selected a new rough out Sage Green boot to complement it. Unfortunately, for those Airmen working in industrial areas such as the flight line, fuels, and maintenance the suede absorbed fuel, lubricants, and other liquids and not only looked awful, but were hazardous as well.
In a 45 day test at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, 200 Airmen in the maintenance, medical, and civil engineering career fields tried out four different boot designs.
Â· “Style A” – A hot weather, safety-toe boot construction with full-grain, smooth sage green leather.
Â· “Style B” – A temperate weather boot constructed with full-grain, smooth sage green leather. This test boot was the only non-safety toe boot included in the wear test. This boot was only tested on Airmen in non-flight line, non-industrial work environments that did not require a safety toe.
Â· “Style C” – A hot weather, safety-toe boot constructed with full-grain, smooth sage green leather. The heel and toe areas of the boot had rubber reinforcements that are also sage green in color.
Â· “Style D” – A temperate weather, safety-toe construction with full-grain, smooth sage green leather.
In the end, the Air Force Uniform Office recommended the adoption of a Sage Green, full-grain leather boot with rubber heel and toe reinforcements. As an interim solution, Air Force maintenance troops have been wearing Black boots due to the poor performance of teh standard issue boots in industrial applications. However, they will have to transition to the new Sage Green boots as they become available. It is important to note that this boot will be solely for use by Airmen working in industrial areas.