A friend of mine sent me this message.
Read this message from our SMA about the authorized boots for wear with the
ACU. Photographs are attached. Disseminate this message as you deem
CSM Daniel Chavez
Leaders Book Note - Boots
In this edition of my leader book notes I would like to inform leaders of
the authorized and unauthorized Commercial-Of-The-Shelf (COTS) and Army
issued boots for wear with the ACUs.
There has been misunderstanding with the ALARACT Message 140/2007 with
leaders in interpreting which COTS boots are authorized and which are not.
My intent is to add clarity to the ALARACT message giving leaders a better
understanding of which boots are authorized for wear and why.
With regard to pure COTS items, Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier and
U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center
(NSRDEC) do not have a "certification" process for boots. AR 670-1 and
ALARACT messages provide guidance on what approved standards industry uses
to manufacturer boots that are authorized for wear. This includes what
material requirements have to be met to ensure boots meet the durability and
performance requirements for Soldiers. These guidelines provide the
aesthetic requirements to ensure any authorized items maintain uniform
standards for our Soldiers.
The Army authorizes COTS boots as long as they are between 8 to 10 inches in
height and made of tan rough side out cattlehide leather, with a plain toe,
and with a soling system similar in color to the tan upper materials. The
soling materials cannot exceed two inches in height, when measured from the
bottom of the outsole, and can not extend up the back of the heel of the
boot or over the top of the toe (See attached pictures). The exterior
the upper boot can not contain mesh but must be constructed of all leather
or a combination of leather and non-mesh fabric. Boots with metal or plastic
cleats in the bottom of the soles and sewn-in or laced-in zippers or velcro
inserts are not authorized (See attached pictures). There are other
leathers, such as pigskin, that do not meet the performance criteria of
cattlehide. Cattlehide leather is more durable, and provides better
performance in combat over pigskin.
Soldiers should be aware that some companies sell
"Warrior Leather" which is a common-use name for pigskin leather. Rubber and
polyether polyurethane are the only outsole materials authorized.
Rubber and polyether polyurethane are the only outsole materials that
currently meet the need for durability and traction on surfaces in multiple
environments and temperature ranges. Other materials, which may be of a
lighter weight, do not meet Soldiers performance standards.
There are many COTS items available that meet the aesthetic guidelines.
Some examples of these items include, but are not limited to, the Belleville
Model 390, the 8-inch Danner Desert TFX, the 8-inch Oakley S.I. Assault Boot
as well as many other more traditional Army tan combat boot styles (See
attached pictures). The purpose of listing these items here is to give
examples of styles that fall within the guidelines and authorization as
optional to wear.
PEO Soldier and NSRDEC establish high quality standards for both the end
items and component materials going into our combat boots. Current Army
footwear is designed to be durable and provide the functionality needed by
Soldiers in current and potential future operational environments.
This process ensures that Soldiers have functional boots (the NSN ones) to
accomplish their mission.
PEO Soldier and NSRDEC maintain a close relationship with the footwear
buyers at AAFES to ensure they are not buying anything for MCSS that does
not meet the Army Uniform requirements. If AAFES has an interest in selling
a specific COTS boot in MCSS, they forward PEO Soldier and NSRDEC a pair of
the specified boots. PEO Soldier and NSRDEC provide the AAFES footwear
buyers feedback if the boots do or do not meet Army requirements. Our
Military Clothing Sales Stores stock items that are authorized for wear by
other services, whose mission requirements are different than ours. Because
of these different mission requirements not all boots carried in our MCSSs
are authorized for wear by our Soldiers.
The individual Soldier is responsible for buying authorized boots that meet
Army requirements. Leaders have the responsibility of ensuring optional
footwear meets Army requirements. AR 670-1, Appendix E requires all Soldiers
to have one pair of each of the Clothing Initial Issue
(CII) Bag item boots.
This requirement includes both the Army Combat Boot (Hot Weather) and the
Army Combat Boot (Temperate Weather). Any optional footwear discussed above
that unit commanders authorize does not relieve Soldiers of their
requirement to possess one pair of each of CII boots.
The Army develops and issues Soldiers the best equipment available for
accomplishment of their mission COTS items provide a different aesthetic
look compared to the NSN footwear and/or contain material components that
were selected for business reasons and not always aimed at improved
The attached slides provide examples of authorized and unauthorized boots.
These slides do not endorse these individual companies but provide leaders a
method of verifying authorized boots for wear. Currently there are hundreds
of companies producing desert tan boots.
Leaders, let's make sure our Soldiers are wearing the proper boots. Army