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Archive for the ‘Boots’ Category

AUSA 19 – Danner Fullbore

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

Although it’s a TAA compliant boot, this is the first time Danner has offered a hiker-style in their military line.

Available in Black, Coyote and coming this Fall, Gunmetal Gray. The Black and Gray models are waterproof and feature smooth leather. The Coyote is suede and is only water resistant.

The Fullbore features a Vibram Fuga sole with Megagrip technology along with an Ortholite footbed for comfort.

AUSA 19 – WL Gore & Assoc Showcases New Temperate Weather Boot

Monday, October 14th, 2019

The upcoming Terassault GTX from McRae Industies is a temperate boot with improved breathability range thanks to the Extended Comfort membrane from W. L. Gore & Assoc.

It is a very lightweight, low profile design. It offers extreme flexibility and doesn’t impede the design of the boot. In addition to less bulk, it offers at least 30% increased breathability over the Army issue temperate weather boot.

Coming Spring 2020 from McRae Industries.

The McRae Industries Story – Part 1, Caution to the Wind, Flying on a Dream

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

> Growing up in rural North Carolina, McRae Industries founder Branson McRae had big dreams for the future. He went on to become a world leader in manufacturing military footwear.

Mount Gilead, NC, sits at the foot of the Uwharries, North America’s oldest mountain range. With a population of just over 1,000, this Montgomery County community, located an hour east of Charlotte, is small-town America at its best: plenty of fresh air, picturesque charm, and peaceful living all around.

Just outside town, McRae Industries, Inc.  –  a world-renowned footwear manufacturer – has been a legendary mainstay for six decades.    

Small-town charm: Mount Gilead sprung up in the late 19th century.                         

McRae Industries founder Branson Jackson McRae, born in 1920, grew up in Mount Gilead, the third of six children. Branson’s stalwart work ethic was gleaned from his father, James McRae, a farmer and descendent of Scottish immigrants.

The will to succeed: Branson on the family farm in Mount Gilead,1930.

Self-described as an “opportunist and a dreamer,” Branson contemplated his future while working on the family farm. “I’d have a mule in the cotton patch and would be seeing all the nice automobiles drive by,” he once said. “I would think, will I ever have one of them?”

After graduating from Mount Gilead High School in 1937, he set out immediately for a full-time job.

Building ships, houses, and a skating rink

As World War II approached, Branson relocated to Wilmington, NC, to build Liberty ships – cargo vessels that were a frequent target of German U-boats.

While living in Wilmington, he met and married his future wife and spirited soulmate, Lorraine Hamilton, with whom he had four children: Gail, Sandra, Gary, and Jim.

“In the war days, job security for Liberty builders was a given, Branson’s son Gary says. “The Germans sunk the ships so quickly more were always needed.”

Branson’s first job: Building Liberty ships for World War II combat.

When the war ended, Branson joined with brothers JC, Philip, and Finley to launch the McRae Brothers Manufacturing Company, a home construction business based in Mount Gilead. Business boomed, but Branson was always on the lookout for fresh opportunities.

In 1956, he purchased an abandoned brick school building in Wadeville, just a few miles northeast of town, where his daughter Gail had attended elementary school. There, he and Lorraine opened a skating rink, readily building a popular new business.

Starting a shoe company 

Two years later, another prospect loomed. A business group from New York visited Mount Gilead with the vision of opening a shoe factory there. Although the plan was abandoned, Branson sensed the opportunity – and seized it.

“Dad was laser focused on starting a factory in the old schoolhouse,” son Gary says.  “At the age of 40, he threw caution to the wind. He knew nothing about footwear, but he was confident he could learn and succeed.” The new business, Gro-Rite Shoe Company Inc., was soon manufacturing children’s footwear for such industry leaders as Kinney Shoes.

A new business begins: The Wadeville schoolhouse, circa 1967.

To start his company, Branson invested $100,000 in cash and assets in exchange for a third of the new company’s stock, selling the remaining two-thirds’ interest to local investors. With a total $300,000 investment, Gro-Rite was “woefully underfinanced,” son Jim says. “Profits were slim, but Dad persevered.”

Shoemaker mentor: Heinz Rollman taught Branson his patented method.

Learning the craft

Branson’s mentor in his new business venture was Heinz Rollman, a third-generation, multimillionaire shoemaker. Heinz had fled Nazi Germany in 1939 and relocated his company, RoSearch Inc., to Waynesville, NC. He and his partners operated 72 shoe factories worldwide and invented “Process 82,” a patented method of making shoes using vulcanized rubber. Instead of stitching together the upper and lower parts of the shoe, the process “cooks” the two together, creating a highly durable construction.  

“People who won’t give up, no matter what difficulties they encounter, those kinds of people I admire and respect more than money.”

– Heinz Rollman, founder of RoSearch Inc., and mentor to Branson McRae

“Heinz could see that my father, though lacking in funds and knowledge of the shoemaking business, was sincere, ambitious, and uncommonly determined,” Gary says. “He granted Dad a license for Process 82, and Gro-Rite became the first company in the U.S. to receive a patent for vulcanizing children’s shoes.”

Branson renovated the school building’s 12,000 square feet of floor space – and added another 3,000 feet to build a rubber mill.  He hired more than 100 Montgomery County workers and put them through a vigorous training with RoSearch experts. Branson also purchased the machinery to cut, sew, and prepare leather for vulcanizing.


Gro-Rite’s unconditional guarantee: “A new pair of shoes free if the soles wear out or the counters break down before the shoe is outgrown.”

Each step of construction followed the Rollman family’s carefully crafted procedures. The result? A faster construction process, elimination of several steps required in conventional shoe manufacturing, and a shoe that stands up to water.

Six years after Gro-Rite’s launch, America’s involvement in the Vietnam War was accelerating. American soldiers needed resilient footwear – boots that outlasted the treacherous conditions of Southeast Asia. The federal government took notice of Gro-Rite’s vulcanizing technique and asked the company to bid on a contract for combat boot construction. Branson responded, the contract was awarded, and destiny took a new turn.

Hoka One Arkali Trail Shoe

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019

I must admit, the new Arkali from Hoka One has me intrigued. Certainly, the last thing I need is another pair of shoes, but I have had good luck other Hoka models.

While still somewhat “chunky”, the to toe lacing is desirable for an approach shoe, and that’s where I’d categorize these.

They’ve included adjustable heel and ankle straps. Additionally, the sole is a Vibram Megagrip hi-traction outsole with 5mm lugs and there a toe cap to resist abrasion.

No specs on drop or weight.

Varusteleka – Särmä TST M19 Combat Boots, Manufactured by Lowa

Friday, September 27th, 2019

Varusteleka just launched the new Särmä TST M19 Combat boots. These boots are a joint development between Varusteleka and Lowa. The aim was to create a robust combat boot, which works well in various Nordic climate conditions, maintains a grip on snow and works well in woodland type of terrain.


• Gore-Tex membrane
• Thick nubuck leather and Cordura
• Injection molded EVA multicomponent sole
• Speed lacing
• Weight approx 1430 grams (3.15 lbs) for pair
• Manufactured in the EU from EU materials

MDM 19 – Haix Combat Hero

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

Built specifically for the US Market, the Combat Hero is Haix’ first AR670-1 compliant boot.

This is great for those of you who like Haix but haven’t been able to wear them with your uniform.

It’s the right color, right height abd made from the right materials.

MDM 19 – Rocky USMC Tropical Boot

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

The Marine Corps has selected two new tropical boots for use on the jungle. One of them is the Rocky boot.

It features a modernized version of the famous Panama tread outsole, manufactured by Vibram. The sole incorporates a ASTM certified puncture plate and an air-port cushioned footbed.

The upper is a full grain, flesh out leather combined with 1000D Cordura. The leather portion of the upper also features drainage holes to release water and increase breathability.

LALO Announces Partnership with MILLBROOK TACTICAL, Expanding Global Reach and Services in CANADA

Monday, September 16th, 2019

San Diego, Ca. (September 16th, 2019) – LALO LLC – dba LALO, a San Diego, California footwear company, is pleased to announce a partnership with Millbrook Tactical, the premier wholesale distributor for military, tactical and sporting goods markets servicing Canada. LALO is a leading manufacturer of footwear that is developed in conjunction with and used globally by Elite Tier One Special Forces Operators.

With multiple locations in Ottawa and Petawawa, ON, Millbrook Tactical specializes in being a full-line product supplier that has partnered with some of the world’s premier manufacturers, including Arcteryx and OpsCore, to name a few.

The team at Millbrook are among the best training-development consultants, firearms and tactics instructors in Canada. As retired members of the Canadian Special Operations community, they are committed to serving their clients with the same dedication that they have served their country for so many years as SOF operators. Not only does Millbrook Tactical specialize in offering the best available gear on the market to the end user, they are also the leader in offering Canada’s protectors with the training they require and deserve to excel in any extreme condition that comes their way.

With LALO’s product philosophy of building products in conjunction with, and for the end user, and the ethos of Millbrook Tactical – those who serve, deserve – special military and LE pricing, the LALO/Millbrook partnership promotes a coexistence of good business and shared values. Couple that with the extended reach now open to LALO, Millbrook Tactical will be on the frontlines of LALO’s expansion in Canada.

“We are very pleased to partner with Millbrook Tactical to distribute LALO products via their sales channels, servicing their customer base. Together with Millbrook Tactical we can focus on delivering world class products and impeccable customer service to the market,” commented LALO CEO Jay Taylor. “Frank and Nancy and their team of seasoned industry professionals share the same vision and values as we do at LALO, to deliver the best quality goods possible to those that put themselves in harms way.”

Frank Paquette and Nancy Desjardins, President/CEO and Vice President respectfully, of Millbrook Tactical, further explain their thoughts as, “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 to our customers.”