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Archive for the ‘Boots’ Category

Ft Bragg Warfighter Expo – Stabil Grippers

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

I’ve shown you Stabil Ice removable outsoles in the past for use on snow and ice. Manufacturer Stabil also offers Stabil Grippers, to help keep you on your feet on slippery, wet surfaces, like found at swimming pools and maintenance facilities as well as at dining facilities and hospitals.

They slip right over your standard footwear and are easily removed when not needed.

Stabil Grippers are available to government customers exclusively through ADS.  

US Army Unveils New Jungle Combat Boot

Monday, March 6th, 2017

The US Army is poised to issue a new Jungle Combat Boot based on an RFI to industry just five months ago in October. This is an impressive example of what can happen when the Army works with industry. Well done!

Let’s hope the manufacturers get these out there soon for private purchase by Soldiers not assigned to the 25th ID.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service) — The standard issue combat boot most Soldiers wear today, the one most commonly worn in Iraq and Afghanistan, is great for sandy dunes, hot dry weather, and asphalt. But it’s proven not so good in hot and wet environments. So the Army has developed a new jungle boot that some Soldiers will see this year.

Last September, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley directed the Army to come up with a plan to outfit two full brigade combat teams in Hawaii, part of the 25th Infantry Division there, with a jungle boot. The Army had already been testing commercial jungle boots at the time — with mixed results — but didn’t have a specialized jungle boot, so Program Executive Officer Soldier, headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, had to get a plan together to make it happen.

By October of last year, the Army had made a request to industry to find out what was possible, and by December, contracts were awarded to two boot manufacturers in the United States to build a little more than 36,700 jungle-ready combat boots — enough to outfit both full IBCTs in Hawaii.

“This is important to the Army, and important to Soldiers in a hot, high-humidity, high-moisture area,” said Lt. Col. John Bryan, product manager for Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment, with PEO Soldier. “We are responding as quickly as we possibly can, with the best available, immediate capability, to get it on Soldiers’ feet quickly, and then refine and improve as we go.”

MIXING LEGACY WITH TECH

Right now, the new jungle boot the Army developed will be for Soldiers at the 25th ID in Hawaii — primarily because there are actually jungles in Hawaii that Soldiers there must contend with. The new boots look remarkably similar to the current boots Soldiers wear — they are the same color for instance. And the boots, which Bryan said are called the “Army Jungle Combat Boot” or “JCB” for short, sport a variety of features drawn from both the legacy M1966 Vietnam-era jungle boot and modern technology.

The M1966 Jungle Boot — which featured a green cotton fabric upper with a black leather toe that could be polished, had a solid rubber sole which Soldiers reportedly said had no shock-absorbing capability. The new boot uses a similar tread, or “outsole,” as the M1966 “Panama style” — to shed mud for instance and provide great traction, but the added midsole is what makes it more comfortable and shock absorbing, said Albert Adams, who works at the Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center.

The outsole of the new boot is connected to the leather upper via “direct attach,” Adams said. That’s a process where a kind of liquid foam is poured between the rubber outsole and leather boot upper. It’s “a lot like an injection molding process,” he said.

The foam layer between the rubber sole and the upper portion of the boot not only provides greater shock absorbing capability, but he said it also keeps out microbes in hot, wet environments that in the past have been shown to eat away at the glues that held older boots together. So the new boots won’t separate at the soles, he said. “It provides a high level of durability, and it also adds cushioning.”

Also part of the new boot is a textile layer that prevents foreign items from puncturing through the sole of the boot and hurting a Soldier’s foot, Adam’s said. The M1966 boot accomplished that with a steel plate. The new boot has a ballistic fabric-like layer instead.

Staff Sgt. Joshua Morse, an instructor at the Jungle Operations Training Center in Hawaii, said the puncture resistance is welcome. He said punji sticks, familiar to Vietnam War veterans, are still a problem for Soldiers, for instance.

“They use these punji pits for hunting purposes,” he said. “In Brunei, you are literally in the middle of nowhere in this jungle, and there are natives that live in that area, and still hunt in that area, and it can be an issue.” And in mangrove swamps, he said, “you can’t see anything. You don’t know what’s under your feet at all. There are a lot of sharp objects in there as well.”

The new JCB also features a heel with a lower height than the M1966 model, to prevent snags on things like vines in a jungle environment. That prevents tripping and twisted ankles. Among other things, the boot also has additional drainage holes to let water out if it becomes completely soaked, speed laces so that Soldiers can don and doff the boots more quickly, a redesigned upper to make the boots less tight when they are new, an insert that helps improve water drainage, and a lining that makes the boot breath better and dry faster than the old boot.

“You’re going to be stepping in mud up to your knees or higher, and going across rivers regularly,” Adams said. “So once the boot is soaked, we need it to be able to dry quickly as well.”

FEEDBACK FORMED FINAL DESIGN

Morse has already been wearing and evaluating early versions of the JCB and said he thinks the efforts made by the Army toward providing him with better footwear are spot on.

“The designs were conjured up in a lab somewhere, and they were brought out here, and the main focus was the field test with us,” Morse said. “A lot of us have worn these boots for a year now, different variants of the boots. And all the feedback that we’ve put into this, and given to the companies, they have come back and given us better products every single time.”

Morse said he hadn’t initially worn the new jungle boots that he had been asked to evaluate. On a trip to Brunei, he recalled, he went instead with what he was familiar with and what he trusted — a pair of boots he’d worn many times, the kind worn by Soldiers in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I wore a pair of boots I’d had for a couple of years,” he said. “I wore them in Brunei and I had trench foot within a week. But then I thought — I have this brand new pair of test boots that they asked me to test; they are not broken in, but I’m going to give them a shot. I put them on. After 46 days soaking wet, non-stop, my feet were never completely dry. But I wore those boots, and I never had a problem again.”

The Army didn’t design the new JCB in a vacuum. Instead, it worked with Solders like Morse to get the requirements and design just right — to meet the needs of Soldiers, said Capt. Daniel Ferenczy, the assistant product manager for Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment.

“We worked with Soldiers to come up with this boot. We take what Soldiers want and need, we boil that down to the salient characteristics, hand that over to our science and technology up at Natick; they work with us and industry, the manufacturing base, to come up with this product,” Ferenczy said. “This is a huge win, a great win story for the Army, because it was such a quick turnaround. Industry did a fantastic job. Our product engineers are also top of the line. And we had a ton of Soldier feedback … we really dealt very closely with what the Soldier needs to get where we are.”

In March, the Army will begin fielding the current iteration of the JCB to Soldiers in the first of two brigade combat teams in Hawaii. During that fielding, the boots will be available in sizes 7-12. In June, the Army will begin fielding the JCB to the second BCT — this time with a wider array of sizes available: sizes 3-16, in narrow, regular, wide and extra wide. They will also go back and take care of those Soldiers from the initial fielding who didn’t get boots due to their size not being available. A third fielding in September will ensure that all Soldiers from the second fielding have boots. Each Soldier will get two pairs of JCBs.

In all, for this initial fielding — meant to meet the requirement laid out last September by the Army’s chief of staff — more than 36,700 JCBs will be manufactured.

By December, the Army will return to Hawaii to ask Soldiers how those new boots are working out for them.

“Al Adams will lead a small group and go back to 25th ID, to conduct focus groups with the Soldiers who are wearing these boots and get their feedback — good and bad,” said Scott A. Fernald, an acquisition technician with PEO Soldier. “From there, the determination will be made, if we had a product we are satisfied with, or if we need to go back and do some tweaking.”

AUTHORIZED FOR ALL

Fernald said that sometime between April and June of 2018, a final purchase description for the JCB will be developed — based on feedback from Soldiers that wore it. He said he expects that in fiscal year 2019, an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract will be signed with multiple vendors to produce the final version of the JCB for the Army.

Bryan said the JCB, when it becomes widely available, will be wearable by all Soldiers who want to wear it — even if they don’t work in a jungle.

“From the get-go we have worked with the G-1 … to make sure we all understood the Army wear standards for boots,” he said. “One of the pieces of feedback we have gotten from Soldiers before they wear them, is they look a lot like our current boots. That’s by design. These will be authorized to wear.”

While the JCB will be authorized for wear by any Solider, Bryan made it clear that there will only be some Soldiers in some units who have the JCB issued to them. And right now, those decisions have not been made. For Soldiers who are not issued the JCB, if they want to wear it they will need to find it and purchase it on their own.

“We are not directing commercial industry to sell them,” Bryan said. “But if they build to the specification we’ve given them for our contract, they can sell them commercially and Soldiers are authorized to wear them.”

(US Army Photos by David Camm)

IWA – Patrol GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Footwear

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Lightweight, extremely breathable and durably waterproof desert boot demonstrates its value in a user trial

NUREMBERG (March 3, 2017) – With its Patrol GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort Footwear, W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore) offers its footwear partners a first-of-a-kind solution for a lightweight, extremely breathable and durably waterproof duty boot specifically engineered for use in hot-dry and hot-humid climates. A full-scale user trial has now confirmed that the footwear concept performs well in active use. Trial participants stated that the temperature inside the boots was pleasant and the heat release characteristics were excellent. The boots were also quick to dry and offered reliable protection against sand, dust and water entry.

Exceptional breathability and outstanding heat release characteristics
The Patrol GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort Footwear line was developed for patrols with a lighter load, combat in urban environments, and low to medium liability combat operations. At the core of the desert boot is the Patrol GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort Laminate that comes without insulation. This laminate delivers exceptional breathability and outstanding heat release characteristics, reliably preventing the foot from overheating. At the same time the laminate creates a durable barrier against water entry whilst offering protection against sand and dust as well as preventing penetration by undesirable liquids and commonly occurring chemicals. This is the first-of-a-kind and quite different to the desert boots worn by the armed forces until now. Thin materials and limited use of foam layers facilitate the heat release process. The single-layer boot construction allows for a low water pick-up of the outer material and extremely quick re-dry paired with less weight.


User trial in hot weather
From July to November of 2016, the Patrol GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort Footwear was tested in a full-scale wear trial conducted by Gore, footwear partner Meindl and market research agency HYVE. 48 soldiers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria tested Meindl’s Equator Alpha GTX® duty boot over a period of 10 to 16 weeks. The majority of the trial participants wore the boots for more than six hours a day in easy terrain, sandy and dusty environments, standing water and other liquids. The bulk of their activities were conducted over level terrain in warm weather and involved moderate exercise – i.e. marches, combat training, shooting drills or indoor duties. Most of the soldiers were stationed in Central Europe, however, eleven were in Africa, Afghanistan, the Near East and Kosovo.

During the extensive feedback process, the trial participants were overwhelmingly positive in their assessment of the test boots. “The boots are ideal for their intended use. I’m thrilled with the high climate comfort factor and the breathability,” said one of the test participants. The majority of the participants said that they sweated far less in the trial boots than in the boots they had worn in the past. This was almost unanimously confirmed by the soldiers who were stationed in extremely hot climates. 75 percent said that up to 35°C they felt that the temperature inside the test boots was still pleasant. 80 percent stated that the heat release properties were good or even very good while 87 percent said the same about the re-dry properties – and confirmed that in this respect the trial boots possessed better characteristics than the boots they had worn in the past. One of the soldiers even described the highly breathable boots as “heat specialists”

Reliable protection
The GORE-TEX® boots also scored high when it came to their protective performance. The vast majority of the trial participants were satisfied with the protection the boots provided against sand and dust. This feature was certainly of great significance for the test persons. Half of the wearers said that during military operations they often, or even frequently, came into contact with sand and dust. They were also positive in their evaluation of the waterproofness of the test boots – their experiences involving exposure to sewage and commonly occurring chemicals will certainly have fostered this attitude.

The desert boots scored additional bonus points for their high comfort factor. 91 percent of the soldiers were favourably impressed by the weight of the boots, particularly when compared with the footwear they had worn in the past. The boots also made an impression on the trial participants with their walking comfort, running comfort, fit and durability.

The specialist for hot-dry and hot-humid climates
At the end of the trial and after several months of wearing the boots, more than two thirds of the participants said that they would recommend Meindl’s GORE-TEX® Equator Alpha GTX. They particularly recommended that the boots be worn in hot-dry and hot-humid climates. The approval rates were significantly higher in the case of soldiers who had tested the boots in extremely hot climates. “In view of their light weight and really good membrane, the boots are highly suitable for the intended uses,” said one of the trial participants.

For the conditions found in warmer and even hot climates, Gore offers two other solutions that are specifically engineered to meet the exact requirements of soldiers operating in these scenarios: Tactical GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort Footwear and High Liability GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort Footwear.

gore-workwear.de

Rocky Making Donation to Medals of Honor for Every Pair of C7 Boots Sold in February

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

NELSONVILLE, Ohio — Now is the time to purchase a brand new pair of the incredibly lightweight and performance-driven C7 military boots from RockyBoots.com. Beginning February 1 through March 19, Rocky will donate one dollar for every pair sold through its website to the Medals of Honor organization.

Medals of Honor gives the endurance/race community a tangible way to engage with and give-back to the families that lost loved ones while serving our Military. Participants across the country can sign up at medalsofhonor.org and compete in honor of a fallen U.S. service member and donate a finisher’s medal to the surviving family. These medals act as a symbol of honor, remembrance and unity. The organization also accepts fallen hero registration and monetary donations.

“Receiving a medal of honor from, in most cases, a complete stranger who wishes to recognize your family member’s sacrifice is an incredibly moving experience,” said Amy Cotta, founder of Medals of Honor. “We’re honored that Rocky is willing to support our mission and help us provide medals to the families of those who lost their lives fighting for our country. Rocky does a tremendous job in support our military, and we’re thrilled to be able to work with them on this initiative.”

March 19 is the date of the 75th Bataan Death March in New Mexico. The Bataan Death March is an incredibly popular race through the high desert terrain of the White Sands Missile Range. The memorial march is conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and, in many cases, their lives.

Many participants in the Bataan Death March and other similar competitions wear Rocky footwear, and even some participants in local 5K and 10K races throughout the country chose to wear military boots to honor the men and women of the armed services.

“Rocky is a longtime supplier to the U.S. military and a popular footwear choice for those who serve,” said Mark Dean, VP of Rocky’s commercial military division. “We are always excited to partner with organizations that support our soldiers or their families. Medals of Honors offers a unique and meaningful way to honor those who lost their lives fighting for our country, and the Bataan Death March is the standard bearer for race events honoring our soldiers.”

For more information on Medals of Honor, visit www.medalsofhonor.org. Information on the Bataan Death March is available at bataanmarch.com, and more information on Rocky’s military footwear can be found at www.rockymilitary.com.

SHOT Show 17 – Reebok Duty

Friday, January 20th, 2017

The Strikepoint series is currently on the market. The 8″ version is an AR 670-1 complaint boot with cattlehide leather and 1000 Cordura upper. It features an anti-friction and anti-microbial lining. Additionally the Uform technology allows you to heat the boots in the oven to 200 degrees for 5 min and then wear them in order to mold them to your feet by wearing them for eight minutes. Also, you can reset them, if needed. The Strikepoint is also available in a 6″ model.

The R52 midsole is an ultra responsive high rebound foam and FootFuel footbed comfort technology combine for comfortable wear. The Strikepoint also enjoys a wide toe box.

The outsole is inspired by Reebok’s popular athletic footwear and incorporates Ropepro cleats for rope work and is stitched to the upper at the toe. On a final note, these go all the way to size 15!

This is the Sublite Cushion Tactical line which is comprised of five different models one of which is waterproof. From the outset, I couldn’t believe how light they are when I picked them up. For example, the 8″ is 15oz per boot. They offer leather and mesh upper meaning they’re highly breathable.

The MemoryTech insoles massage footbed adapts to the contours of your foot. They feature little nubs which feel like fingers massaging the sole of your foot. The Sublite foam midsole is also a responsive material. This combines with the full-foot flex grooves to offer improved flexibility and balance. The outsole is also slip resistant thanks to targeted rubber sections.

If you thought that size 15 was impressive for the Strikepoint, you’ll be pleased to know that the Sublite Cushion Tactical goes all the way to size 16!

Warson Brands is the official licensee from Reebok for safety and military footwear.

SHOT Show 17 – LALO Tactical

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

LALO uses two upper and two lower designs to create three different boot models in the Shadow line. For example, (top to bottom) the Amphibian utilizes a drainable lower. The Intruder shares the upper with the Amphibian but comes a carbonized rubber outsole. The Operator introduces a new high upper but utilizes the same carbonized rubber outsole as the Intruder.

The models are available in Black, Coyote and Ranger Green.

www.lalotactical.com

ORWM – Salomon

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Based on a previous SLab design, the Sense Ride from Salomon is a new, versatile trail racing and training shoe.  While pro athletes are already winning races in this shoe, it’s also a good fit for the new trail runner.  Think about the running trails on any military base as a great application for the Sense Ride.

It incorporates their Vibe technology which attenuates vibration in order to reduce fatigue.  The secret is their Opal technology which is a soft, high rebound material in a mid-sole compartment, combined with the Energy Cell+ midsole compound with high energy return.  

Additionally, the Sense Ride offers geometric decoupling which patterns the sole in order to work with how the foot moves through its stride, with more efficient heel-to-toe transition.  For those interested, it has an 8mm drop and weighs 230 grams.  

www.salomon.com

ORWM – Adidas Terrex

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

These are my three picks for Fall/Winter 17 from Adidas Terrex.

This is the Terrex FAST Gore-Tex Surround which incorporates, off course, Gore-Tex Surround technology which breathes at the sole as well as on the upper. That’s thanks to the membrane and the channels in the midsole.

This mid height fast hiker also incorporates a Continental rubber outsole along with speed lacing. It weighs 390 grams and has a 9.5 mm drop.

The Terrex Swift Solo incorporates a Stealth rubber outsole. This 225 grams approach shoe also offers a ClimaCool upper.

This bad boy is the Terrex Conrax Boa with 200 grams of PrimaLoft AND Stealth Rubber AND Boa lacing system. If that isn’t enough, it also features their patented Boost midsole which is an encapsulated PU which is temperature independent and does not compress meaning you get the ultimate cushion and rebound regardless of conditions.


adidasoutdoor.com

ORWM – Altama

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

I was surprised to find Altama in the Mystery Ranch booth and even more surprised to get a sneak Peek of some new shoes being officially released at next week’s SHOT Show.

This is the Aboottabad (in honor of the location of UBL’s demise) series. It consists of a Trail Run Low and Trail Run Mid and a Mid to Heavy Weight Hiker.

All of the outsoles in this line get their DNA from the old Panama tread of the USGI Jungle Boot.

Here’s an OTB Maritime Assault Shoe in Low Viz colors.

www.altama.com

Salomon Forces Introduces New ALP MTN GTX

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

During DSEI 2015 I spied a pair of outdoor Salomon X ALP MTN GTX discretely on display in the Edgar Brothers booth, which were undergoing wear trials with several European military and civil rescue organizations at the time. Salomon took feedback from those operational assessments and created a version for the Forces line.

All-terrain boot is the toughest in the Salomon Forces range

Salomon is set to launch another new shoe addition to its high-performance Forces collection when the X ALP MTN GTX® Forces becomes available on January 1, 2017.

The X ALP MTN GTX® is designed to be the one boot to get you to wherever you need to go-from the bottom of the mountain to the top…and back again. It’s calling cards are waterproofness, durability, protection and stability. Available in all black, the X ALP MTN GTX® Forces features a seven-inch upper that offers stability and protection from the elements, as well as a GORE-TEX® membrane for waterproofness.

It’s designed with a mountaineering last and a protective rubber toe cap. The 3D edging chassis gives it stability on rugged ground. The X ALP MTN GTX® Forces is the toughest and most rugged shoe in Salomon’s Forces range, allowing the user to attach crampons and push the barriers even farther. Whether you’re crossing a glacier, scrambling over loose ground or carrying, this shoes will do the job.

Now that you’ve read the press release, let’s take a look at what makes these special. To do that, we’re going to share a series of graphics from Salomon which depict key features.

The edging chassis is a single piece and key to the boot’s flex, front-to-back, and high rigidity, side-to-side.

The boot’s ability to flex while retaining edge stability, also aids with grip.

The X ALP MTN may feel more flexible to you than other mountain boots because the mid-sole is not a big slab of plastic or carbon with no flexion.

Here’s a view of the outsole.

These two graphics offer information about the outsole design.

The ALP MTN GTX also features lacing to toe.

www.salomon.com/us/forces