Coming soon from Bates.
When you think of Wiggy’s, you generally think of sleeping bags. But, that’s not all Jerry Wigutow does. His latest product is an inexpensive shoe drier.
While it can be used to dry almost anything, this “Shoe Drier” utilizes a viscose rayon fiber batting core to absorb moisture from your boots or other items in a similar fashion to stuffing your wet shoes with newspaper. Wiggy claims there is no known shelf life for this item and that it can be used indefinitely including field use so long as you dry it out each day. It can also be thrown in a standard dryer.
For use in extremely wet or cold environments, Wiggy’s also offers a vest which can be worn below overgarments. You place the Shoe Drier in the vest in order to dry it with body heat.
Tacprogear is now the Military and tactical distributor for LALO Footwear. The full release can be read below:
Boynton Beach, Fla. (March 2015) - Tacprogear, a leading manufacturer of tactical equipment used by professionals around the globe, is pleased to announce that it has become the military and tactical distributor for LALO Footwear. Additionally, LALO has become the official footwear of Tacprogear.
“We are very excited about becoming the exclusive distributor for LALO Footwear to the military and tactical markets,” remarked TPG CEO Dan Lounsbury. “Our company missions and beliefs are very similar so this was a natural fit. Top tier materials designed with invaluable feedback from Elite Operators creates a top notch product that we are proud to offer through our website.”
LALO makes uncommon gear for the common man and woman, making the most technologically advanced products for the military and beyond. LALO Footwear is Navy SEAL field tested and approved. Their creations come from the minds of current and former special warfare operatives, as well as a team of award-winning designers and developers that have been creating innovative footwear for some of the world’s most popular brands for over 30 years.
“We are very pleased to partner with TPG to distribute LALO products via their sales channels, servicing their customer base. Together with TPG we can focus on delivering world class products and impeccable customer service to the market,” commented LALO CEO Jay Taylor.
TPG carries the following LALO Footwear styles on its website:
– Bloodbird (available in Black Ops, Desert, Jungle)
– Grinder (available in Black Ops, Desert, Jungle, Night Vision)
– Zodiac Recon (available in Black Ops, Desert, Night Vision)
– Shadow Intruder Tactical Boot (available in Desert Tan and Black Ops)
– Shadow Amphibian Tactical Boot (available in Desert Tan and Black Ops)
MSRP ranges from $117 to $315. The full selection can be found on TPG’s website.
Word on the street is that the Army has postponed the Uniform Quality Control Program for boots planned for this Spring. The program has raised numerous questions from industry regarding how it would be implemented which resulted in hesitation in manufacturing Coyote Brown boots for the upcoming transition to the Operational Camouflage Pattern this Summer.
Had it gone on as planned, there would have been few footwear options available along with the new version of the ACU because no one wanted to be stuck with a warehouse full of uncertified boots. While issue boots are being procured through the Defense Logistics Agency, footwear manufacturers were waiting to begin making commercial options until after UQCP had completed its process. As it is, the delays caused by UQCP will most assuredly result in boot shortages during the initial transition as boot builders remain skeptical.
What’s more, it’s “caveat emptor” since there’s no guarantee the Coyote colored boots you purchase will eventually receive UQCP certification, nor that you’ll be allowed to wear them. Even though a boot model might earn UQCP certification, it’s still up to the chain of command whether it can be worn. The best bet is to look for boots that are AR 670-1 compliant and hope that your CoC will allow you to wear them.
The delay is currently estimated to be six to eight months but they plan to take it back up once the transition to OCP is under way.
Last June, SSD flew to Chamonix, France to cover the unveiling of the Arc’teryx footwear line. Unlike anything we’ve seen before, the line consists of two basic types (Acrux = Low cut and Bora = Mid cut) made into eight shoe models with five for men and three for women. Now, they are available for order.
The key to the technology is ‘Arc’teryx Adaptive Fit’ (pronounced A squared): the combination of a stretchable liner and single-piece, seamless laminated outer shell that are manufactured separately but worn together for improved comfort, climate management and durability. In several models, these liners are removable. The upper is no slouch either. The construction contains no leather and is made up of a laminate consisting of:
• a non-woven DWR-treated microfiber for smooth internal surface
• a textile woven with PU coated Nylon yarn for air flow and abrasion resistance
• 0,2 mm TPU film build integral upper support
• 0,35 mm high abrasion TPU film reinforcement on more exposed areas
Once again, I want to remind everyone that these are not a LEAF product but rather a commercial Arc’teryx offering. Having said that, many LEAF customers are going to want these, particularly as they are available in generally subdued colors. However, these are NOT garrison boots and are very much boots meant for the trail and field.
Initially, the low top Acrux models were referred to as Alpha, so if you read my earlier stories, keep that in mind. The Mid height Bora continues to retain the same name. The Bora² Mid GTX Hiking Boot is available in Black with removable Cajun-colored stretch GORE-TEX liner although the insulated liner isn’t out yet. In addition to the removable boot liner, it also incorporates a Vibram sole made from the new Megagrip compound. Working in concert with the outsole, three-dimensional rubber components (individually shaped for every size available) protect heel and toe area from rock contact. Finally, an Ortholite-insole rounds up the outer shoe construction.
I’ve been wearing a pair of Acrux FL for several months. My pair is the unlined model, mesh and I find them quite comfortable, with the feeling of an approach shoe, meaning the sole is somewhat stiff. I’ve hiked quite a bit in them with no issues. As you can see, I even wore them without socks. With any show built on a European last, I recommend that you up up 1/2 size. That’s what I did and I have a good fit. Also, when you order these, if you are in the US, they will show you a US size on the product page but when you get into the shopping cart, they will revert back to UK sizing which is 1/2 size smaller than US sizes. Don’t be alarmed.
The Bates Recondo is a jungle assault boot, intended for multi-terrain regions. It features an upper constructed of Wolverine Warrior Leather, which resists water and oil, and 500D Cordura nylon for quick drying performance. The Vibram Mutant outsole is rugged with a strong grip. Additional features include speed laces and medial and lateral screened vents.
Available in Olive Mojave. Made in the USA.
Tactical Distributors has partnered up with Salomon for a giveaway. One lucky winner will receive the full current line of Salomon Forces boots. The contest starts today, March 19th, and ends March 28th.
For more details, and to enter, visit tacticaldistributors-giveaway-com.myshopify.com/pages/crusader-boot-giveaway
DryRight is a new non-powered boot drying product designed to combat the negative effects of constant wet feet, something that the USMC has been paying attention to this past year. It sure beats the heck out of stuffing newspapers into your boot to dry them out.
Boothbay, Maine (March 3, 2015) – After months of testing, the Biovation DryRight tactical boot-drying product has received positive feedback from the U.S. Marine Corps. The testing resulted from a Broad Agency Announcement Contract received by Biovation in June 2013. These strong results will lead to the finalization of product design and the commercialization of the DryRight product in 2015, concurrently with the completion of a final field trial by the USMC. The development of this innovative product would not have been achieved without the support of Marine Corps System Command in Quantico, Virginia.
Biovation is a technology design and manufacturing company that produces advanced, non-woven fiber products with integrated anti-microbial properties for packaging, healthcare, custom advanced material OEM products, and other specialty scalable applications. The DryRight product was funded, developed, and tested in close collaboration with the United States Marine Corps to help them perform at their best.
This easy-to-use solution is rolled and inserted into a wet boot. The anti-microbial materials dry the boot and ensure the foot health of the wearer. Poor foot care is a significant contributor to lost combat readiness. DryRight is lightweight, portable, and prevents unnecessary foot injury while never needing to be wrung out or washed, making it a necessary tool for today’s warfighter and peacekeeper. A single unit can be re-used between 10-15 times with “recharging” (air drying) and is manufactured with greater than 50% bio-content.
DryRight provides the warfighter with a solution that sustains an optimum microenvironment around the foot that is critical to top performance and long-term comfort. When in use, it provides maximum boot dryness in all foot contact areas (toe, heel, top and bottom of foot) regardless of climate and weather conditions within 6-8 hours. DryRight use results in the reduction of foot blisters and damp socks. Biovation has applied its extensive expertise in advanced polymers, non-wovens, super absorbents and multi-component biochemical formulations to create a unique product.
Biovation CEO Kerem Durdag said, “The foot health of Marines during training and deployment is a primary medical concern for the force. We have developed DryRight to provide an efficient and effective tool for Marines both in combat and training. Biovation is proud to partner with Department of the Navy on this important project to protect Marines in the field.”
Biovation plans to establish a dedicated manufacturing line by April 2015, allowing for June 2015 deliveries. Biovation is committed to the State of Maine’s high-tech innovation manufacturing economy by implementing a world-class production line and creating new high-skilled jobs to support the launch of DryRight.
We’ve mentioned that the new Army program called Uniform Quality Control Program (UQCP) would be implemented during the transition to Coyote boots this Summer. Last week, the Army hosted an industry day to explain the program to boot manufacturers and field questions. Authorized by Army Regulation 670-1 dated 2 February 2012, UQCP is meant to certify optional purchase combat boots. Essentially, the Army wants to test commercially available boots because they want to ensure that Soldiers are getting quality boots. All boots submitted for evaluation with have to meet the Optional Combat Boot Product Description (PD) which spells out how they must be made. Specifically, this program will help guide AAFES buyers as they decide which boots to sell at Clothing Sales, but it may also be of use to private military outfitters when selling boots off post. Additionally, small unit leaders may choose to leverage the program to determine if their Soldiers are wearing built-to-spec boots.
There is a lot of uncertainty over how this program will be implemented. So, up front, it’s important to understand, this isn’t some plot from PEO Soldier to tell you what you can and can’t wear. PEO Soldier does not “authorize” uniform items. Rather, such authorizations stem from Army Regulations. PEO Soldier’s role is simply to manage the program due to their expertise with military footwear.
This slide from PEO Soldier is very important. It shows the intent of the program and while it was envisioned for all of the right reasons, it will assuredly be used as an exclusionary tool by some leaders simply because it is there. As it currently stands, UQCP is very limited, only applying to Berry Compliant boots that fit into the same category as issue Combat Boots. It does not apply to foreign made boots or footwear in a wide variety of specialty categories. Unfortunately, if improperly applied by leaders, there is a good chance that Soldiers in some organizations will not be allowed to wear any of those alternative boot options.
Here are a few facts for you:
-UQCP does NOT apply to existing Desert Tan boots that you wear with UCP. Those boots will most likely be authorized until 2018.
-UQCP does NOT apply to foreign made, NON-Berry compliant boots.
-UQCP currently does NOT apply to these additional categories of boots: Waterproof Boots; Insulated and Cold Weather Boots; Flame Resistant Boots; Safety Toe Boots; Puncture Resistant Sole Boots (Jungle); and Anti-Microbial Lined Boots. Additional categories may be added in the future.
-The initial run is open 2 March 2015 thru 1 May 2015. They don’t plan to open up new submissions again until 1 September, 2015.
-All manufacturer certs for boots submitted by the deadline will be announced at the same time so as to not give one company advantage over another.
-The period of certification will not exceed three years.
-The program is new; expect headaches.
To me, the marking of the UQCP compliant boots is the weakest link in the program. There is no plan to mark or tag approved boots identifying them as UQCP approved. This puts the boot industry at somewhat of a disadvantage because there are going to be boots out there that ‘look’ right but aren’t. Instead, The Army has informed industry:
“End items must include an internal label containing the manufacturer’s product number for the item.” Therefore, product numbers will be required on the internal tag of
all UQCP certified boots. Those product numbers will be listed on the PEO Soldier website in order to allow Soldiers and AAFES buyers to verify the certification of those boots.
Now, I know there are going to be some small unit leaders out there that will have Soldiers take their boots off so that they can compare this number with the ones on the website (which, based on all previous experience with other commodities, will not be kept current). You already know who they are. These are the same folks who stare at your junk, the whole time, when conducting urinalysis.
For many Soldiers, narrow use of the UQCP list will assuredly limit wear of commercially produced boots which many prefer due to alternative fit, materials and styles. For several years, all issue boots have been manufactured on a standard last. The benefit of this situation is that boots will fit the same regardless of manufacturer. The downside is that, for some at least, no issue boot will fit properly due to the common last.
Something similar to UQCP has been attempted, and abandoned, in the past. Way back in 2008, PEO Soldier came up with this great idea called ‘Team Soldier Certified Gear‘ that would have had industry paying the Army to ‘certify’ Soldier Systems items like gloves, eyepro and flashlights. They would then pay the Army a royalty to claim that the item was certified. Sounded like an awesome idea at the time; didn’t last.
In the end, all UQCP does, is provide verification that Berry Compliant, commercially produced Combat Boots meet Army Standards. That’s all. Most of those companies already manufacture contract footwear so they know how to do it and their contract boots are already subjected to these standards. What’s more, UQCP doesn’t cover many of the types of boots that Soldiers will wear (foreign made and specialty) like the mountain boots above which, while issued, are also available commercially. Instead, industry will jump through hoops to satisfy yet even more bureaucracy, that won’t do much for the Soldier, in the long run.