Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘Boots’ Category

Natick Evaluates New Boot Technologies

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

NATICK, Mass. — The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Soldier Center at Natick is testing new Army Combat Boot (ACB) prototypes at three different basic training and active duty installations over the next four months. The effort will gather Soldier feedback toward development of improved footwear.

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Soldier Center at Natick is testing new Army Combat Boot (ACB) prototypes at three different basic training and active duty installations over the next four months. The effort will gather Soldier feedback toward development of improved footwear. Pictured, a U.S. Army Soldier from the 1-114th Infantry Regiment stands in the mud holding 7.62mm ammunition during M240 machine gun weapons training on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Nov. 6, 2018. (Photo Credit: Master Sgt. Matt Hecht)

The Army’s current inventory of boots includes seven different styles designed for different environments and climates. The boots issued initially to recruits are the Hot Weather and Temperate Weather Army Combat Boots. Requirements for these are managed by the Army Uniform Board as part of the recruit “Clothing Bag.” The Program Executive Office Soldier’s Project Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment maintains and updates the specifications for both boots.

The Army’s current inventory of boots includes seven different styles designed for different environments and climates. The boots issued initially to recruits are the Hot Weather and Temperate Weather Army Combat Boots. (Photo Credit: Mr. David Kamm (RDECOM))

The current generation of Army Combat Boots has not undergone substantial technical or material changes since 2010. New material and technologies now exist that may improve physical performance and increase Soldier comfort.

“Great strides have been made recently in the Army’s environment specific footwear, for jungle, mountain, or cold weather locations, but there is substantial room for improvement in the general purpose boots which are issued to new recruits,” explains Anita Perkins, RDECOM Soldier Center footwear research engineer and technical lead for the Army Combat Boot Improvement effort. “Most components of these combat boots have not been updated in almost 30 years.”

Surveys conducted by the Soldier Center report Soldier satisfaction with ACBs is lower than that with commercial-off-the-shelf, or COTS, boots, leading many Soldiers to purchase and wear COTS boots.

“The survey of over 14,000 Soldiers world-wide discovered that almost 50% choose to wear COTS combat boots instead of Army-issued boots,” Perkins said. “Many Soldiers reported choosing combat boots from the commercial market because the COTS boots are lighter, more flexible, require less break-in time, and feel more like athletic shoes than traditional combat boots or work boots.

Unfortunately, these characteristics often come at the cost of durability and protection.”

The Soldier Center’s Footwear Performance team believes new technologies can bridge the gap between the lightweight, comfortable, COTS boots and the durable, protective, Army boots. Recent advancements in synthetic materials and rapid prototyping can produce a boot with potentially the same protection, support, and durability of current Army boots, but lighter and more comfortable out of the box. To reach this goal, the Soldier Center is evaluating new types of leather and even some man-made materials which are much more flexible than the heavy-duty, cattle hide leather used in the current boots.

“Also included in the prototypes we are testing are new types of rubber and outsole designs, which are more than 30% lighter than the outsoles on the current boots,” said Al Adams, team leader for the Soldier Clothing and Configuration Management Team at the Soldier Center.

When working with industry to develop the prototype boots for this effort, Adams and Perkins put an emphasis on cutting weight. The boots being tested are up to 1.5 pounds lighter per pair than the ACBs currently being issued.

“In terms of energy expenditure or calories burned, 1-pound of weight at the feet is equivalent to 4-pounds in your rucksack,” Adams said.

The test boots will be fitted and fielded to 800 basic trainees at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and Fort Jackson, South Carolina, followed by 800 pairs going to infantry Soldiers at Fort Bliss, Texas. The Soldier Center team will be hand-fitting each pair of prototype boots throughout the month of January and then return in March and April to collect surveys and conduct focus groups to gather specific feedback.

“Soldiers live in their boots and many will tell you that there is no piece of equipment more important to their lethality and readiness,” said Adams. “A bad pair of boots will ruin a Soldier’s day and possibly result in injuries, so we really believe that each of these prototype boots have the potential to improve the lives of Soldiers”.

Simultaneous to the field testing, lab testing will be conducted on the boots at the Soldier Center to quantify characteristics like flexibility, cushioning, cut/abrasion resistance, and breathability. The combination of lab testing and Soldier recommendations will identify Soldier-desired improvements to the boot prototypes and rank the state-of-the-art materials and designs for Soldier acceptance, durability, and safety. The Soldier Center will then provide recommendations to PM SPIE and the Army Uniform Board to drive the next generation of Army Combat Boots.

“The development of new boots take advantage of the latest materials technology, and are functional and comfortable, is critical to ensuring that our Soldiers are ready to fight and win in any environment,” said Doug Tamilio, director of the RDECOM Soldier Center. “Soldiers are the Army’s greatest asset, and we owe it to them to make them more lethal to win our nation’s wars, and then come home safely.”

By RDECOM Soldier Center Public Affairs

Looking For Some Proper Mukluks?

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

Empire Wool & Canvas has opened pre-orders of their True North Boots for Spring delivery.

1. Email your request to empirecanvas@charter.net. They will send you a bit of info.

2. Fill out your size, color, and personal info. And send in your deposit for boots and or extra liners. ($150 boots- retail $350, or $100 liners delivered in the USA)

3. Wait patiently as they gather pre-orders and start building footwear.

Your deposit is refundable if you opt out. Boots will likely start shipping in the Spring.

Colors: Black/Black, White (natural)/Cream, or ATACS AU/Cream

Sneak Peek – Garmont Atlas

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

Coming 2019

www.garmont.com/en/products/tactical

Reebok Expands Sublite Cushion Tactical Series with New Safety Toe Styles for 2019

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

St. Louis, MO (Dec 3, 2018) – Warson Brands, official licensee of Reebok for duty and uniform footwear, announces two new additions to its popular Reebok Sublite Cushion Tactical series of footwear for law enforcement and military professionals.

The new RB8809 builds upon the success of the Reebok Sublite Cushion Tactical series by offering a coyote brown version with composite safety toe and side zipper for wear with the new Air Force uniform. “With the Air Force transitioning to the OCP uniform, we wanted to make sure they had the option of wearing a composite toe and side zip version of our most popular military boot,” said John Duvic, VP of Product Development at Warson Brands.

Also new for 2019 is the addition of the RB8606, a 6-inch version of the Sublite Cushion Tactical featuring a composite safety toe and side zipper. “Because it is so lightweight, our Sublite Cushion Tactical boots have been popular among law enforcement professionals, and we had several requests for a safety toe version with a side zipper. The composite toe is still very lightweight, but adds a lot of protection,” says Duvic.

The RB8809 and RB8606 will be available for purchase at an MSRP of $150.00 and $160.00, respectively. Reebok Duty will display the full line of Sublite Cushion Tactical boots at SHOT Show booth #10179.

Reebok duty footwear and the Sublite Cushion Tactical series are available through select retailers throughout the United States. For more information on the Reebok Sublite Cushion Tactical, visit reebokwork.com/sublite-tactical.

Sorry Air Force, This Isn’t A Boot

Saturday, November 17th, 2018

I know some of you Airmen are trying to game the system, but despite being referred to as a “boot” by several of the companies which sell it, the Altama Maritime Assault – Low is not a boot. It’s a shoe.

The problem is that the latest changes to AFI 36-2903 (Air Force Guidance Memorandum, AFGM2018-03 to AFI 36-2903, Dress & Appearance), intended to guide wear of the Operational Camouflaged Patterned Uniform and accouterments, no longer stipulates a boot height. However, AFI 36-2903 does say that “Dress and personal appearance standards that are not listed as authorized in the publication are unauthorized.”

So give it a rest and get a pair of boots. You’ll just look like hipster in these with your pants hem rolled up.

Rocky S2V Styles Approved for Aviation Use by US Army

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

NELSONVILLE, Ohio — Two of Rocky’s (NASDAQ: RCKY) popular S2V military footwear styles have been approved for aviation use by the U.S. Army, providing new sales opportunities for the company’s commercial military division. Both S2V styles conform to U.S. Army standards for safety and performance and are approved for use while performing crew duties, effective October 2018.

“Rocky has a long history of producing military footwear, and we continue to work with servicemen and women in each branch to create the industry’s most reliable, safe and highest-performing boots,” said Mark Dean, VP of Rocky’s Commercial Military and Pubic Service Divisions. “The aviation use designation for our Rocky S2V styles is attributable to the quality materials, durability and performance they provide to members of the U.S. Army.”

The addition of the S2V footwear to the Army’s approved for flight list opens new markets to the brand and makes a new option of premium footwear available to servicemen and women at bases with flight operations located throughout the world.

RKC050, the hot-weather version of the S2V, and RKC055, the cold-weather version, are fire resistant, water resistant and feature a proprietary high-walled Vibram outsole. RKC055 includes 400 grams of 3M™ Thinsulate™ Ultra insulation and a Berry compliant waterproof liner for optimal cold-weather performance.

Both styles are made from flash and water-resistant leather and 1000 Denier CORDURA®. Rocky’s Roll-Stop Ankle Stability™ system and the Rocky AirPort™ footbed with Aegis microbe shield make the S2V styles both incredibly safe and comfortable.

All of the styles are Made in the USA, Berry compliant and available in coyote brown in compliance with the Army’s uniform standards.

For more information on the flight approved S2V footwear and additional specific features for each style, visit www.RockyBoots.com.

Tecnica – Forge Winter GTX

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

One of the coolest things I learned about during last week’s Outdoor Retailer Winter Market is the introduction, in September 2019 L, of the Forge Winter GTX from Italian footwear manufacturer Tecnica.

As you may recall, Tecnica’s Forge is custom molded to the wearer’s feet during a process first developed for ski boots. Their Thermoform system features an anatomic last Custom Adaptive Shape. C.A.S. consists of a footbed and upper. The footbed works in concert with the upper’ arch. The upper also features a customizable heal cup and ankle pads.

As you can see, they are all Black, without the color pop of the initial launch of the Forge. Additionally, in order to make the Forge more appropriate for winter use, Tecnica has integrated a Gore-Tex lining as well as Vibram Arctic Grip Sole. The Arctic Grip sole does an amazing job of keeping stable in ice.

The rest of the details remain the same. Kevlar loops take the place of metal hardware to form the self locking lace design that doesn’t creep while moving and the tongue overlaps to reduce hot spots.

www.tecnicasports.com

ORWM 18 – Salomon Sonic RA Nocturne

Saturday, November 10th, 2018

The Sonic RA Nocturne is a mid-height winter running shoe from Salomon. It’s getting a new All-Black paint job, but the printing you see at the heel is reflective for running safety.

It features Salomon’s Vibe Technology midsole construction with EnergyCell+ and Opal to “attenuate fatigue-causing vibrations for a cushioned yet responsive ride.”

www.salomon.com