Combat boots: tips & backgrounds to choose from

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 also plagiarism. It is not always easy to keep track of which ones are real (and above all good) and which are fake. In the following we will introduce you to the criteria and background information about combat boots and how you can find a good model.

The most important things in 30 seconds:

  • Combat boots are special shoes specially developed for soldiers
  • These are robust leather lace-up boots: durable, robust and battle-tested.
  • The Bundeswehr wants to equip all soldiers with 2 pairs of new combat boots in 2022 (light and heavy boots)
  • Combat boots have become popular and affordable outdoor shoes due to their quality.

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Requirements for the combat boot

Combat boots must optimally support the feet on long marches in the field and in close combat and therefore of course be comfortable, ergonomic and functional.

  • Robust & waterproof: At the Defense Science Institute for Materials and Operating Materials (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 hold in the terrain. There are separate mountain boots for mountain troops.
  • Penetration resistant sole: Even if you step on a nail, broken glass or other sharp object, the sole will withstand.
  • Resistance & Antistatic: The sole is also acid and petrol resistant, non-abrasive and 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 marches, the feet must not tire, pressure points or blisters should appear.
  • Started: The (newer) comfort also includes a large entry area to easily get in and out of the shoes.

The upper is made of tanned leather. According to the Defense 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 use in the desert or in the tropics.

Which combat shoes does the Bundeswehr use?

The combat shoe equipment of the German Bundeswehr is currently being revised and went through the media in the summer of 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 last until 2022until all soldiers are fully equipped.

Bottlenecks in industry are cited as the reason for the long duration. The Bundeswehr generally assigns the orders to German companies, which we will tell you in detail later.

Combat boots of a soldier

Bundeswehr basic model 2007 DMS

The former basic model, the year-round shoe, is the 2007 DMS combat boot. Both the outer and the inner lining are made of waterproof cowhide. The tongue is specially padded and there is an exchangeable insole. The 2007 DMS combat boot is already on the Internet for about 100 euros available.

The reason for new combat boots, however, was the increased complaints of the soldiers that they got blisters in their shoes and were otherwise not so satisfied. So if you’re looking for a pair of combat boots, it’s questionable whether the now outdated model is really the best choice for you.

New Bundeswehr combat boots 2017

The new combat shoe, heavy and combat shoe, light has been available since 2017. The male models are from Meindl and Haix and the women models from Meindl and Lowa produced. The women’s models are cut a little narrower and taller.

What is new at 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, it is a great challenge to develop shoes that fit all 183,000 soldiers’ feet equally well. Because in addition to the shoe size, our feet also differ in many other criteria. The combat boot, heavy from 2017, is again a black lace-up boot made of leather with a Gore-Tex membrane according to the specifications of the Bundeswehr, while the light combat boot is brown.

  • The new combat boots should even more ergonomic be cut. In addition to tests for water impermeability, the shoes were also tested for hours in the hot desert sand. The feet should defy both cold and heat in it.
  • 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 received positively at first.
  • You can already see the first reviews from civilian testers who describe the Haix combat boots as wonderfully processed and comfortable to wear. Although it is not for real mountain tours, it is still very suitable for any terrain.

Video of the Bundeswehr from 2011

Statement by the WELT on the Bundeswehr combat boots 2019

Availability of the new combat boots

Since, as I said, there are bottlenecks in the equipment of the troops, the new combat boots are from the production of 2017, 2018 and 2019 not yet for private individuals in the trade. You can order individual 3rd choice models on the Internet, which have been sorted out because they are not completely leak-proof, for example. According to “Bundeswehr und mehr”, the price should level off at around 230 to 280 euros.

The 3rd choice models cost around 100 euros. The first customer reviews z. B. on Amazon are consistently very good. Even if it is “3. Wahl “, the buyers perceive the shoes to be very high quality and comfortable. However, some report that the shoe is small and that it is better to order one size larger.

More 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 manufactured by various manufacturers before the year 2000. They are black cowhide lace-up boots with a shaft height of approx. 26 cm and a reinforced heel area. They are priced for less than 100 euros.
  • Combat boots 280, 285 and 275: Under the names Combat Boots 280 or 285 there are different size designations. For example, size 285 corresponds to shoe size 44. As a rule, the combat boots that are offered under these names are older army combat boot models of the basic model from 2007.
  • American combat boots: You can of course also order the combat boots of foreign armed forces. Combat boots of the US Army, for example, are popular. Manufacturers are, for example, the companies Altama and Belleville and there are many models in light brown.

Buy combat boots

Combat Boots FAQ

What price can be expected?

New combat boots of the older generation often cost around 100 euros. There is also a large market for used combat boots, but doctors generally advise against used shoes, as everyone walks differently and the shoes accordingly “break in” differently.

The new Bundeswehr combat boots 2017 are also available in the 3rd choice for around 100 euros and will later cost over 200 euros. American combat boots cost about the same (about $ 120) plus shipping.

What can combat boots be used 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 terrain, which are often much cheaper than the special shoes that were developed specifically for hikers, hikers or hunters.

It must be said that in direct comparison tests z. B. between real hunting clothing and military 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 versatile in the terrain, the combat boot 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 personnel” etc.

What are combat boots used for?

They are developed for soldiers and are worn both during military operations and military parades. Civil use is often found in the outdoor area, from hiking boots to survival training. Security forces also often wear combat boots.

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