Combat boots are special shoes for emergency services and an important part of tactical clothing. There is now a huge range of combat boots on the Internet – unfortunately, there are also plagiarisms. It is not always easy to keep track of which are real (and above all good) and which are fake. In the following we present you with criteria and background information about combat boots and how you can find a good model.
Combat Boot Requirements
Combat boots must optimally support the feet on long marches in the countryside and in close combat and must therefore of course be comfortable, ergonomic and functional.
- Robust & waterproof: At the Institute for Defense Research (WIWeb), the leather shoes must not let any moisture through, even after hours of simulated walking through water. The requirement is that the boots remain waterproof for 72 hours.
- Fixed profile: The profile must be non-slip and provide a secure grip on the terrain. There are separate mountain boots for mountain troops.
- Penetration-resistant sole: The sole also withstands stepping on a nail, shards of glass or other sharp objects.
- Resistance & antistatic: The sole is also resistant to acid and petrol, has low abrasion and is antistatic. The surface of the shoes is also mostly resistant to fire and water (of course only for a short time).
- Breathable & comfortable: Even on long walks, the feet must not tire, pressure points or blisters should develop.
- Step-in: (Newer) comfort also includes a large step-in area to easily get in and out of the shoes.
The upper is made of tanned leather. According to the military science institute, the seams are a particular challenge. We try to use as few seams as possible, as seams are always a weak point on the shoe and can let moisture through.
With regard to different climatic conditions, there are different combat boots and separate models for desert or tropical use.
Which Combat Shoes Does The Bundeswehr Use?
The combat shoe equipment of the German Bundeswehr is currently being revised and was widely discussed in the media in summer 2019. Instead of the previous year-round model, the troops are now to be equipped with two pairs of shoes: a “combat shoe, heavy” and a “combat shoe, light”. According to media reports, distribution began as early as 2017, but by 2019 only 160,000 of the approximately 183,000 soldiers had received a new heavy combat shoe and only 31,000 soldiers had received the additional light model. It should take until 2022 for all soldiers to be fully equipped.
Bottlenecks in the industry are cited as the reason for the long duration. The Bundeswehr generally awards the orders to German companies, which we will tell you later.
Bundeswehr Basic Model 2007 DMS
The former basic model, the all-season shoe, is the 2007 DMS combat boot. Both the outer and inner lining are made of waterproof cowhide. The tongue is specially padded and there is a removable insole. The 2007 DMS combat boot is already available on the Internet for around 100 euros.
The reason for new combat boots, however, was the increasing number of complaints from soldiers that they were getting blisters in their shoes and were otherwise not so satisfied. So if you’re looking for a pair of combat boots, it’s debatable whether the now-obsolete model is really the best choice for you.
New Bundeswehr Combat Boots 2017
Since 2017 there is now the new combat shoe, heavy and combat shoe, light. The men’s models are made by Meindl and Haix and the women’s models by Meindl and Lowa. The women’s models are slightly narrower and higher.
What is new in the Bundeswehr is that women can also choose men’s models and men can choose women’s models if they fit better. As you can imagine, designing shoes that fit all 183,000 soldiers’ feet equally well is a huge challenge. After all, in addition to shoe size, our feet differ in many other criteria. The combat boot, heavy from 2017, is again a black leather lace-up boot with a Gore-Tex membrane according to the specifications of the German Armed Forces, while the light combat boot is brown.
- The new combat boots should have an even more ergonomic cut. In addition to waterproofing tests, the shoes were also tested for hours in the hot desert sand. The feet should defy both cold and heat.
- As you can hear from the media, the new combat boots would be well received by the troops. However, Eric Becker from WIWeb tells JS Magazin that everything new is generally positively received.
- You can already find the first reviews from civilian testers on YouTube, who describe the Haix combat boots as wonderfully processed and comfortable to wear. It may not be for real mountain tours, but it is still very well suited for any terrain.
Availability Of The New Combat Boots
Since, as mentioned, there are bottlenecks in the equipment of the troops, the new combat boots from the productions of 2017, 2018 and 2019 are not yet available for private individuals. You can order individual 3rd choice models on the Internet, which have been sorted out because, for example, they are not completely leak-proof. According to “Bundeswehr and more”, the price should level off at around 230 to 280 euros.
The models of the 3rd choice cost around 100 euros. The first customer reviews z. B. on Amazon are consistently very good. Even if it is “3. Wahl”, the buyers consistently perceive the shoes as very high quality and comfortable. However, some report that the shoe runs small and that it is better to order one size larger.
Other Popular Combat Boots
In addition to the combat boots mentioned, we would now like to briefly introduce you to other popular models:
- Combat boots 2000: The Bundeswehr / NATO combat boots 2000 are shoes that were made before the year 2000 by various manufacturers. They are black cowhide lace-up boots with a shaft height of approx. 26 cm and a reinforced heel area. They are already available for less than 100 euros.
- Combat boots 280, 285 and 275: The names combat boots 280 or 285 hide different size designations. For example, size 285 corresponds to shoe size 44. As a rule, the combat boots offered under this name are older Bundeswehr combat boot models of the basic model from 2007.
- American combat boots: Of course, you can also order combat boots from foreign armed forces. For example, combat boots from the US Army are popular. Manufacturers are, for example, the companies Altama and Belleville and there are many models in light brown.
Combat Boots FAQ
What price to expect?
Older generations of new combat boots often cost around 100 euros. There is also a large market for used combat boots, but doctors generally advise against used shoes, since everyone walks differently and the shoes “break in” differently accordingly.
The new Bundeswehr combat boots 2017 are also available in the 3rd choice for around 100 euros and should later cost more than 200 euros. American combat boots cost about the same (about $120) plus shipping.
What can combat boots be needed for?
Combat boots are often worn as an alternative to trekking shoes. They are ideal outdoor shoes for long hikes, survival trips, camping holidays in the wilderness or even hunting.
In general, combat boots are all-rounders for off-road use, which are often much cheaper than the special shoes that were developed explicitly for hikers, hikers or hunters.
It has to be said that in direct comparison tests, e.g. B. Between real hunting clothing and army clothing as an alternative, the special equipment for the respective area often wins. (The shoes of Bundeswehr soldiers, for example, are not specially designed against an attack by wild boars.) But if you are out and about in a variety of terrain, combat boots can be a good choice.
Which manufacturers are there on the market?
The current production of Bundeswehr combat boots is carried out by the German companies Meindl, Haix and Lowa. The shoes are not always called “combat boots”, but are sometimes also referred to as “shoes for emergency services” etc.
What are combat boots used for?
They are developed for soldiers and are worn during troop operations as well as military parades. Civil use is often found in the outdoor area, from hiking boots to survival training. Security forces also often wear combat boots.