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Archive for the ‘Boots’ Category

Combat Flip Flops – Free Combat Flip Flops AK’s with the Purchase of a War Rug

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

War Rug

Combat FlipFlops currently has a new line of Afghan War Rugs up for pre-order on their site. They’re handmade in Afghanistan, sourced throughout the Northern provinces, and every rug purchased covers the funding of a week of education for an Afghan girl. For the next week, Combat Flip Flops is offering a free pair of AK-47 flip flops with every rug pre-ordered. Put in your order before December 16th, and you’re guaranteed a pair of flip flops under the tree in time for Christmas; the rugs will be delivered early 2018.

The festive video below sums up the offer quite nicely:

www.combatflipflops.com

Sneak Peek – Salomon Forces Introduces Wide Instep For Speedcross 4 Forces

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Last month I visited the Salomon Footwear headquarters in the French Alps and got a look at how they develop products as well as what’s in store for the Forces line in 2018. First off, they’ve updated the Speedcross 4 Wide Forces with new sizing. Salomon is also introducing unisex sizing for the Toundra CWSP boot which is great as more and more women join the military, law enforcment and first responder communities.

Speedcross 4 Wide Forces

Long a trail running staple, the Speedcross 4 has been very popular with Forces cuatomers who prefer its light weight and Contragrip deep lugs in soft terrain. But, many North American customers have complained about the tight fit across the instep. Salomon has listened and is introducing a new last with wider toebox for the Speedcross 4 in 2018. I received a sample pair this Fall and can definitely tell the difference. You won’t have that tight feeling you’ve noticed with the existing last. From here on out, new footwear will incorporate this new last and as existing models are updates, they’ll be rolled out with this new fit as well. But interestingly, this Wide option will not be introduced to the commercial line. Turns out, North American and European feet are the same size. We are just used to a wider toe box here in the US. However, according to Salomon, that’s doesn’t mean everyone around the world shares the same footshape.  Apparently, Asians actually do have wider feet.

Toundra

Available in Black for both men and women, the Toundra is Salomon’s warmest winter boot for extreme environments. It will keep your feet warm when the temps drop down to -40°C/°F, at just 660 grams per pair (23.3oz for size 8.5UK/9US), it is by far the lightest boot in the extreme cold weather segment.

These products will be fully available after the first of the year. Contact your favorite Salomon Forces dealer for details, or visit www.salomon.com/us/men/collection-forces.

PEO Soldier Provides Update On Jungle Combat Boot and Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform

Friday, December 8th, 2017

Yesterday, the US Army’s Program Executive Officer Soldier, responsible for the development, procurement, and lifecycle management of weapons and equipment used by the individual Soldier, hosted a media round table to update us on the Jungle Combat Boot (ver 2) and Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform. These two pieces of vital clothing are intended for use in a hot, wet environment.

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Providing the update was COL Stephen Thomas, Product Manager, Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment; LTC Jonathan Allen, Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment; and CPT Dan Ferenczy SCIE Assistant Product Manager, Environmental Clothing and Footwear. Both COL Thomas and LTC Allen came on board over the Summer while CPT Ferenczy has been working on this project for about a year.

COL Thomas kicked off the event with a brief overview of PM SPIE. He was followed by LTC Allen who brings a lot of energy to PM SCIE, which he refers to as the “Varsity Team” of PEO Soldier. He wanted to thank everyone who got them to where they are today in this project, Army and industry alike.

Jungle Combat Boot
Current issue boots are less than optimal for wear in the jungle. They lack puncture protection and feature additional layers for comfort which retain moisture. Initially, the Army evaluated Commercially available boots but found that they didn’t dry quickly and lacked drainage and traction in mud and didn’t shed excess mud.

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Intended for use in a tropical, or hot wet environment, the Jungle Combat Boot has been a fast tracked acquisition. Within six months of the directed requirement being issued, the Army had taken delivery of the initial generation of boots and was fielding them to two Brigade Combat Teams in the 25th Infantry Division.

Fielding of an initial capability was so fast because readiness is the Army’s number one priority. However, the PM SCIE team has relied heavily on Soldier feedback to refine the requirement. For example, Soldiers want a boot that is more flexible, lighter weight and has a less thick sole than those initially fielded. The version 2 JCBs will also dry an hour faster than currently issued boots and feature a puncture resistant sole incorporating material which resists 200 lbs sq in of force. This will not only protect from thorns but also man made threats such as the “punji stakes” used in Vietnam.

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PM SCIE is currently working with industry to conduct a wear test of a Gen 2 boot incorporating changes in 2nd Quarter FY18. In alphabetical order, the vendors are Altama, Bates, Belleville, McRae and Rocky. Based on feedback next March, PM SCIE will combine the best attributes into a common requirement. However, boots will continue to be refined until Soldiers are satisfied.

When asked if the Army had been working with SOCOM and the Marine Corps, both of whom also have Jungle Boot requirements, LTC Allen answered that they had. He related that the Army, Marine Corps and SOCOM teams work regularly together, sharing information. But, while the overall objective is a common boot for all services there are different requirements. For example, Marines prefer a 6-8″ tall boot, whereas Soldiers desire a taller boot.

Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform
The IHWCU is intended as an alternative for the Army Combat Uniform for wesr in jungle environments. While the two uniforms share the Army’s Operational Camouflage Pattern, the design and fabric are both different.

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The overall layout of the uniform is the most obvious difference. CPT Ferenczy said that they had also incorporated a quick dry fabric and long with general performance improvements. Overall, there are fewer layers and seams.

Jacket Improvements
No mandarin collar
Old style shoulder pockets with buttons
No breast pockets

Trouser Improvements
No rear pockets
Gussetted crotch
Articulated knee
Mesh ankle wrap

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Aside from the fabric improvement, there are five major features on this uniform I’d like to point out. First, the lack of both chest and rear pockets. Second, the return to a more traditional, vertically oriented, button flapped shoulder pocket. Third, the reverse rake on the trouser cargo pockets, with the front of the pocket and flap being higher than the rear. Fourth, the introduction of a gusseted or diamond crutch for increased mobility and to reduce blowouts. Finally, the incorporation of the mesh ankle wrap. This feature has been quite popular and works like a gaiter to protect the Soldier’s legs from bugs and other pests when the trousers aren’t bloused due to heat and drainage concerns.

While the goal has been to reduce the amount of fabric on the garment, I’m surprised they’ve retained the lower leg pockets which don’t seem to offer much capability considering they will constantly catch on vegetation and fill with water. I’m also curious if any of these features will find their way over to the ACU.

Fabric
The current fabric being used for the IHWCU is a 5.7 oz, 57/43 NYCO blend by Invista. According to CPT Ferenczi, this new fabric also offers improved air permeability (breathability) of 70cfm versus the 30cfm of the ACU’s 50/50 NYCO. Thanks to the new fabric and design, the IHWCU boasts a 30 min faster dry time over the current 90 minutes for the ACU.

However, the Army is preparing to conduct a lab test of new hot weather fabrics and based on what they find, they plan to conduct an additional wear test of promising fabrics later this year.

When You’ll See Them
According to LTC Allen, 65,000 sets of the IHWCU are currently in production. In January, they plan to issue four uniforms and one pair of boots each to soldiers in one Hawaii-based battalion of the 25th ID.

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Unless you’re in one of the test units at the 25th ID, there’s no word yet in when you’ll be issued the IHWCU and JCBs. The Army is still at least a year out from a final decision and hasn’t decided if these will become Clothing Bag items, common to all Soldiers or issued at CIF as Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment.

PEO Soldier photos by Ronald T Lee.

Milipol 17 – Helikon-Tex Previews Boots

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Helikon-Tex displayed prototypes of a possible expansion into footwear. It’s a natural progression as they add more and more categories to their line. The current models are more focused on the LE amd security sectors than military customers, but if they do get into footwear, I’d expect them to add other models as well.

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I’ve been impressed with the amount of new products coming out of Helikon-Tek these past few years. What do you think?

www.helikon-tex.com

Milipol 17 – Terrang MP-Sec France / Lowa

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

German footwear brand Lowa exhibited this new shoe in the Terrang MP-Sec France booth. It’s the Innox GTX LO TF, a Gore-tex lined shoe with a synthetic upper, which takes styling cues from the popular Innox. However, they’ve incorporated speed lacing.

The Maddox is offered in Black and Grey. Available early 2018.

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www.lowaboots.com/mens/task-force-tactical

Milipol 17 – Meindl X-SO Corium GTX

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Although German brand Meindl’s X-SO Corium GTX isn’t a tactical shoe, it gets a mention here on SSD for its use of Gore-tex Surround technology. I have a pair of shoes from another manufacturer with Surround and I really like the membrane which offers venting out of the sides of the sole in order to cut down on the hot feeling many get while wearing footwear with Gore-tex.

Meindl refers to the color as Black, but its really a deep Grey hue. Sizes 6-12 UK.

www.meindl.de

Milipol 17 – Aku Pilgrim GTX Combat in Brown for British Army

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

www.akutactical.com

Altama Maritime Assaults – Military Morons Edition

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

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Yesterday, I received this note from Military Morons.

As you may guess, the Altama Maritime Assaults have been my favourite everyday wear footwear, for many reasons.

A couple of months ago, I thought it’d be cool to have some Altama Maritime Assaults in an OD/Black colour scheme, inspired by the classic Vietnam Jungle Boots. I asked them about it and they liked that idea, and put in the order for the samples. I also requested that these come without the large pull loops in the back. They went a step further and put my militarymorons skull logo on my one-of-a-kind samples.

Whether these eventually become a collaborative special edition, or a standard colour offering from Altama, I thought you might like to throw these pics up on SSD.

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So what do you think? Should they produce a run of these Military Morons special edition Maritime Assaults?

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