Gore Defense

Posts Tagged ‘Boots’

Lowa Boots – Spy Photos

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

We previously wrote about Lowa Boots at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. What we didn’t talk about was a meeting the Editor sat in on with Lowa USA, discussing the development of the first US market Task Force boots. Previously, all Task Force boots have been designed for the European market and eventually brought here to the US. Based on the highly successful AL-X line, these three new tactical boots will be lightweight yet provide excellent ankle support. Also, both of the mid-height boots feature closed eyelets.

Please remember that these are all prototypes and the styles may change before they reach market. They are tentatively slated for release in Spring 09.

Below is the Desert Mid variant. It is not lined with Gore-tex.

Lowa Task Force AL-X Tactical Desert Mid

This version is a Black Gore-tex lined boot intended for Law Enforcement.

Lowa Task Force AL-X GTX Black Mid

The low top version below will probably not be lined with Gore-tex in order to keep the price point down and because a boot is really better suited to sustained wet weather. It is intended for tactical training such as hand to hand or range time as well as for light duties such as bike patrol.

Lowa Task Force AL-X GTX Black Low

The new Lowa boots will be available from AFMO.

Bates Wins Special Operations Forces Contract to Manufacture High Performance Tactical Combat Boot

Friday, September 26th, 2008

SOF Lightweight Combat Boot

Bates developed the Tactical Combat Boot specifically to provide enhanced durability, stability, and traction in urban and field operations. The Vibram® Mutant outsole creates superior traction on wet and dry surfaces, while the direct-attach construction provides superior cushioning and durability. The anti-bacterial, abrasion-resistant Dri-Lex® Camo lining delivers enhanced moisture management and ensures soldiers’ feet remain cool, dry and comfortable.

“Bates is committed to being the leader in providing footwear solutions for all branches of the US Military – We intend to achieve this goal by leveraging a wide range of technologies and development expertise throughout Wolverine World Wide’s array of footwear brands such as Merrell and Wolverine Brand,” said Ron Woznick, Vice President and General Manager of Bates Footwear. “We feel privileged to provide yet another new footwear solution for our nation’s elite combat forces needs.”

The Special Forces Tactical Combat Boot joins the Chem Bio Protective Overboot and the Tora Bora(TM) Alpine Combat Boot as the mission footwear of choice for the Special Forces. All three products are manufactured with 100% domestic materials at Bates facilities in Big Rapids, Michigan and Jonesboro, Arkansas, maintaining the company’s commitment to manufacturing in the United States.

Bates is a leading supplier of uniform footwear to all branches of the U.S. military and has been building a reputation for uncompromising performance in uniform footwear for more than 120 years. Engineered advancements such as Bates DuraShocks® comfort system, Ultra-Lites® technology and Bates Individual Comfort System combine to set the brand apart and cement its status as the gold standard in uniform footwear. For more information and to view product lines, visit www.batesfootwear.com.

With a commitment to service and product excellence, Wolverine World Wide, Inc. is one of the world’s leading marketers of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport, uniform footwear and apparel. Wolverine’s portfolio of highly recognized brands includes: Bates®, Hush Puppies®, HYTEST®, Merrell®, Sebago® and Wolverine®. The Company is also the exclusive footwear licensee of popular brands including CAT®, Harley- Davidson® and Patagonia®. The Company’s products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in nearly 200 countries.

Goodbye Raichle, Hello Mammut

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

In 2003 Mammut brand purchased Swiss footwear mainstay Raichle. Although Raichle turns 100 next year, Mammut found that they weren’t getting the market share under the Raichle brand name that they were seeing with the Mammut clothing, hiking and mountaineering lines. Starting this year, boots produced by Raichle will carry the Mammut name.

Many of you may have worn Raichle combat and mountaineering boots. No word on how this may affect their black boot line.

OR – Day 3

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

OTB Boots
Ok, I have been alluding to the OTB Jungle boot project for awhile but here are the first pics…

OTB Jungle boot
Back to the future. A 21st century take on the venerable jungle boot.

OTB Jungle boot
The laces are a modified sausage style.

The sole design pays homage to the Panama Tread.

OTB Jungle Boot Drain Holes
OTB took an entirely different approach to drain holes.

Carry your Solio charger in style. Solio’s new Tread line of accessories not only looks good but is manufactured from recycled tires.

UK a company well known in the diving world, is releasing a new reinforced hanger intended for wet suits. But it is strong enough for a 175 lbs man to do pull ups from it so it will support body armor. What’s more it has a built in fan.

McNett has a new product currently called Rank Away but this name my change before it reaches market. It is designed to kill bacteria that causes odors and will help with that stinky armor problem.

OR – Day 2

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

Lots more cool stuff…

Camelbak has developed three new carriers that are low profile and designed to attach to the back of body armor via their proprietary Direct Armor Attachment System. They have also developed the Racebak which is the fusion of a performance sleeveless t-shirt and a bladder system. It goes back to Camelbak’s roots, bike racing but I have a feeling that we will be seeing the Racebak adopted by military guys and adapted to a number of uses.

Outdoor Research
OR will be releasing three new gloves in the fall. All three are manufactured offshore but designed specifically for the military retail market. This means the price point will be much lower than their issue gloves.
The gloves are:
Pile Driver – Hard knuckle
Flash Point – Minimalist FR
Storm Cell – Tight fit, Gore-tex insert lining

Fisher Space Pens
They expect to release a flat tan version of the bullet pen soon.

Lowa Boots
The Desert Elite boot that has been exclusive to the UK Task Force line will be available in the US this fall.

Mountain Boots

Friday, July 4th, 2008

The history of dedicated footwear for mountain warfare traces its way back to WWII. A square toed, brown, smooth leather boot with tongue and groove on the sole for ski bindings was issued to the 10th Mountain and First Special Service Force. Mountain boots would remain a Special Forces standard issue item up until today.

WWII Mountain Boot

Although members of 10th SFG(A) stationed in Bad Toelz, Germany privately purchased mountain boots from local cobblers in the 50s and 60s, the issue Mountain Boot remained relatively unchanged. The infamous “Chips” or Chippewa Mountain Boots were a Special forces staple up until the late 80s. They were also issued to the 10th Mountain Division during their initial stand up. Featuring bright steel speed lace hooks, thick felt insoles that never dried out, and a sole with a tongue and groove to fit the old issue “suicide stick” skis, the design had barely changed from WWII. Wearing them was like walking around with bricks strapped to your feet but no self-respecting member of 10th Group would be caught without them.

Chippewa Ski Moutain Boot

But as the 90s wore on the US was without an issue Mountain Boot. Influenced by 1/10th SF’s experience at Bad Toelz and later in Stuttgart, over time SOF units issued boots from Koflach, Raichle, Lowa and eventually La Sportiva who manufactured a special black version of the ever popular Lhotse for US forces operating in Afghanistan. Ironically, the brown leather Lhotse was better suited to military operations than the black model. But the major weakness that all of these highly specialized European brands was just that; they were European. The Berry Amendment requires that US forces must use US textiles. Unfortunately, at the time there was no US manufacturer of hard core Mountaineering Boots.

La Sportiva Lhotse in Black

As an interim, both the Marine Corps and Army are issuing Danner Mountain Boots although they are different models. Danner has developed a dedicated boot for mountain operations for the Marine Corps that was unveiled earlier this year. The Mountain Cold Weather Boot is brown and features an abrasion resistant toe and heel cap as well as a Gore-tex lining. Each pair comes with a new sock system for cold weather.

USMC Danner Mountain Cold Weather Boot

The Army on the other hand has chosen to issue a commercially available Danner to members of the 173d and 101st. Combining leather with nylon fabric panels, the Army’s boot stops just above the ankle resembling a hiking more than a combat boot. PEO-Soldier officials have been very clear that these are an interim solution and in no way intended to replace the current issue boot. For that, the Army is hedging their bets on a new modular boot system set to debut in 2009.

Danner Combat Hiker

Both the Army and Marine Corps solutions are really more trekking boots than actual Mountain Boots. To fill this void in the US military’s family of footwear, they have turned to Bates Footwear and their new Tora Bora model which they are touting as the Tora Bora Alpine Combat Boot. Originally a SOCOM requirement, the user community for the Tora Bora but it is expected to eventually include both the Marine Corps and Army.

Bates Tora Bora Alpine Combat Boot

For more information on the Danner Combat Hiker contact Danner.

For more information on the new Tora Bora, go to Bates.