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Army AR670 compliant boot recommendation for COMFORT, light weight, and breathablity???

The standard issue boots that I have now are trash and cause me pain after even a short time of real use standing, walking, or running. I'm heading off to ALC for 3 months. I'll be doing 6 12's a week. If I don't get some different boots I'm going to end up with crippled feet or something! I'm looking for something as comfortable as possible while still being AR670 compliant. Ideally something as close to a running or tennis shoe as I can get. A running shoe or tennis shoe disguised as a boot!

I test fitted Nikes and thought they were ok but I prefer not to support them.

I test fitted Merrel and liked them real well.

I'm planning to test fit Garmonts next.

I saw a pair of reebok hyper velocity on sale online for a great price but know nothing about them.

What do you recommend?

Thanks.

tsh77769

tsh77769@hotmail.com

Original Post
@Community Member posted:
 I'll be doing 6 12's a week.

 

What ALC does 6x12 milers a week?  Surely not MP ALC?  If you're walking you'll likely want supportive boots.   As already mentioned, everyone's foot is different. 

My go to boots are:  Rocky S2Vs.  Durable, supportive, and kind of pricy.  They may look "warm", but they are not-or at least the last 3 years of wearing them in the field in Cajun Atropia hasn't bothered me.  Good for walking in.  I've been wearing S2Vs for the last 10+ years.  Many miles, many airborne ops, much mud, rain, whatever, and they are worth the price of admission for me.

For garrison shit I wear Belleville C320 with prescription orthotics in them.  Very comfortable and lightweight boots.  I have doubts on their durability in the field or for any type of longer distance walking though.  Lots of my peers wear them as well, since they are lower priced and available on post.

I picked up a pair of Garmont T8s for cheap last year to rotate in as field boots.  They are OK for cheap made in Vietnam boots.  I wouldn't buy again though.  Not bad, not good, they just don't fit well like my Bellevilles or Rockys. 

Of course, I have retirement orders in hand, so they are all about to be yard work boots soon. 

Please clarify your mission.  6x12s, as noted, means different things to different people.  

Be aware that sometimes there are similar styles with different features, all referenced by a general name.  Rocky S2V covers a lot of different models, some of which ARE hot, and some are incredibly comfortable in hot weather (despite, as fdc noted, appearing warm).

In general, S2Vs fit me well, despite not really liking the company.  Their durability isn't bad, either.  I wanted to like the Garmonts but they didn't really work that well for me - they felt 'floppy'.  Belleville makes a decent boot, that holds up well, but they tore me up on 12-milers.  I am not a fan of Bates.  I haven't worn a lighter Danner, only cold-weather variants - if you weren't rucking, they were fine.

Tankersteve

Honestly, while there are a lot of good recommendations, at the end of the day you'll just have to be willing to try a lot of boots until you find what works best for you. Personally, Garmont T8s fit my feet the best, as I have a normal sized heel with a wide forefoot. Mine have been good durability wise, but I also clean and treat them regularly to restore the leather. Not the lightest, but far better than many.

@Community Member posted:

 

Yes, 6 days a week 12 hours a day. Not miles.

Sitting in class, just about any serviceable boot would do.  Since you're in Anchorage, just go over to Fort Rich(AKA JBER) and check out what in in the clothing sales store.  Try out the C320s.  Super light and comfy for chilling at a desk.  Inexpensive too.

@Community Member posted:

I got lucky in the past, my issued boots for the ACU's were actually ok . The ones they gave me for OCP's have been truly just awful.

 Looking up, seeing the 670-1 reference in the thread title and I can't help it.  Your "OCPs" that you are wearing now are guess what---ACUs.

Last edited by Community Member

I will be doing plenty of class time but I will also be doing lots of time on my feet as well. The boots I have now are actually painful so I sure as hell ain't taking them! Thus I need a replacement. Since I am indeed support staff, I'm choosing to emphasize comfort.

I'm aware of the Ft.Rich/JBER thing and still call it Ft. Rich, just because. I did go to both the clothing and sales shop and also patriot tactical right next to the PX. That's where I test fitted the aforementioned boots.

I also noticed that they call them OCP ACU's in AR670. Most people refer to the old ones as ACU's and the new ones as OCP's though.

tsh77769

tsh77769,

Are you sure you boots are big enough?  You describe symptoms that bothered me for decades until I got bigger boots, inserts and thick socks.  Make sure they are sized properly.  Your feet get bigger as you age.

You can get "Fixing Your Feet", John Vonhof, 6th ed. Wilderness Press, 2016 at the library.  It has an excellent section on military footwear.

I also recommend this thread 

https://www.lightfighter.net/t...297#4814467393322297

and

https://www.lightfighter.net/t...08#45361960852744408

 

And this:

*The Magicians Foot Care*, The Magician, Professional Soldiers, Fayetteville, NC, 2004. (edited and shamelessly borrowed ).

Blisters, callouses, corns, hammer toe and pain are signs of poor foot care.  With a little work, you can have comfortable, healthy feet that can carry you for miles across a concrete jungle, a real one or a blistering desert.  Here are some tips to help you train your feet to go for miles and miles

When you clip your toenails, you want to ensure that you use a nail clipper with STRAIGHT EDGES. If you look at your standard nail clipper, the edges are almost always shaped in a half-moon configuration, like an arc. Those are fingernail clippers, and should be used only on fingernails. Straight toenail clippers are always straight.   Get them at Sephora.

You have to look hard at the stuff sold at the PX or wherever you are buying your foot care gear. Make sure they are sharp, and that they have a good wide set of handles. Spend more for good quality, and  buy a good pair of German clippers.

Toenails should always be cut straight across, never in an arc.  Look at your fingernails. Typically, for most people who are not genetically one step descended from apes, fingernails are curved. Toenails can be curved, if you are an idiot and have not trained them to grow straight.  You will get ingrown toenails, and they hurt real, real bad. When I say that toenails need to be cut straight across, I mean just that. You will see that the nail itself will probably end up being longer at the ends where they protrude from the toe bed, and that is fine. They can be shorter at the center, as long as they are straight across. Cutting them in this way, training them to grow this way, is intended to help prevent them from growing into the sides of your toe beds.  If your nails are already ingrown, soften them in a foot bath and then gently pry them into the proper position.  This is the only time you might want to use cuticle scissors as they are small enough to get into that small place.  Toenails are easier to trim when they are soft after a hot water soak.  Clip that offending nail and file it smooth.  It may take a while to train your nails but it’s worth the time.

After you trim your toenails, take an emery board or filing pad and round off the ends of the toenail so that a ragged edge does not snag your sock.  This is a sure way to losing your toenail in an agonizing way when you can’t stop to adjust your boots and socks.  Also break the sharp corners of the nail and buff them smooth.  Buffing smooths out the ridges and reduces cracking of the nails, which is as painful as it sounds.

Use a nail brush to remove dead cuticle, not cuticle scissors.  Cutting your cuticles creates an open wound.  Brushing removes the dead cuticle slowly and exposes fresh cuticle.  Scrub your feet vigorously with the nail brush to remove dead skin.  This will allow your nail to get stronger and thicker.  I use the ones from Swissco which are widely available.

If your feet are jacked up, go to a podiatrist, explain what you are doing and why, and ask him for his advice. He may just yank your tonails out so you can start over and train them from the beginning. Regardless, you need to get all the toe-jam out from under and beside your toenails, and you should do this weekly in garrison, and daily in the bush, at minimum. You may need to clip them more than once a week. When you are in the bush, and your dogs are literally your life, then you will inspect them and maintain them and do whatever is necessary to keep them right every day, sometimes several times a day, conditions permitting.   

Boot sizing is critical. You especially need to pay attention to boot width.  Go to a shoe store, an actual shoe store, and have a competent person size your foot, while you are standing. If you can, "liberate" an "oppressed" foot sizing device, one of those things they use in shoe stores, called a Brannock Device, so you can size your foot while actually wearing a 60 to 80lb ruck on your back.  Your foot will spread, even more so in the afternoon.  Know your boot size, and when you get sized in the army, speak up and stand up for yourself, as you will be given boots, but your life will suck far worse if they are the wrong size.   Get your correct boot size.  You will probably want between one half to one inch room in the toe. You want your heel to be secure, and not slip out of the heel cup of the boot. This is important. You will need to snug down the ankle part of the boot to a point where you are not inhibiting blood flow to the foot, but adequately to ensure that your heel does not slip.  You do not want your feet sliding around inside your boot.

Depending on the type of boot you get, you may or may not need to shape them to your feet to accelerate or facilitate the "break-in" process. There are a million methods of accomplishing this. Some folks wear their boots in the shower, and then walk around with them wet until they dry on their feet. Some folks just wear their boots for a month until they are broken in the hard way. I used to literally soak my boots in a bucket of neetsfoot oil, which can be a very expensive proposition if you go to the store and see how much an entire bucket's worth will cost you. The thing is, neetsfoot oil breaks down the leather, whether you are using old-style authentic green jungle boots, newer-style black jungle boots, full-leather standard Army-issue boots, or whatever.  I have no idea what kind of boots are issued these days, or permitted.  But neetsfoot oil can make your boots softer than slippers, meaning the uppers will be nice and soft, and practically waterproof.  When you are a grunt, and you live and die on your feet, neetsfoot oil is worth the money spent.

The neetsfoot oil treatment is only appropriate for boots worn in the field.  It will ruin all chance for boots to look "normal" or pretty for garrison purposes, but for field boots, you will thank me every day you wear them in the bush if you prepare your field boots in this way.  I used to soak my boots, completely immersing them, (at least just the leather part, or completely, if they were all leather boots), for about two weeks.  No kidding.  Periodically, I would pull the boots out, and rough up the outer surface with a steel brush, carefully. This was so the neetsfoot oil could soak in deeper into the leather, completely saturating it. When I came back from the bush, I would clean my boots, then reinsert them into a bucket, or just liberally coat them repeatedly with more layers, to maintain the water repellency and softness.

Boots prepared in this way are completely waterproof. They will leak neetsfoot oil onto your socks for awhile after you prepare them (this is ugly, but harmless), but they will last a long time, remain totally waterproof, and require very rare applications of black shoe polish, which means you can skip packing a can of polish and a rag in your ruck. Your boots will stay black, no matter what, and you will not have to polish them. Your boots will get very soft, very comfortable, and you will like them more than tennis shoes. Your boots will be as waterproof or more so than a set of Gore-Tex boots, but they will be a lot cheaper, even considering the cost of the neetsfoot oil (it might cost around $20-30 for enough to immerse your boots, with a bucket large enough to fit both boots in it).

Many people have pre-existing foot problems and will need to wear orthotics.  Custom made orthotics can help, especially when the foam rubber sole is replaced with smooth leather over the Kevlar footbed.   Ask a real cobbler to get some ‘ballroom shoe sole leather’.   It lasts forever and the sweat from your feet keeps them supple.

Now, let's talk about socks.  In the big, bad bush, where you are in a rain forest like Panama or parts of Colombia, Central America, Peru, the Amazon Basin, that sort of thing.....if you are walking through streams, in streams (sometimes jungle is just too thick, and you have to walk in the streams, as dangerous as it can be), The Magician never wore socks.  His feet were like rocks, anyway, and wearing socks just kept them wetter.  You have to dry your feet out under these conditions, and that means sometimes you have to stop, hang your ruck from a tree (carefully, being aware of snakes and ants and spiders and millipedes and shit) put up your jungle hammock, and get into it to pull foot maintenance, clean your weapon, eat chow, etc.  The major part of foot maintenance under extreme conditions can be merely drying your feet out.

Be careful with your sizing. You want to ensure that your socks fit right inside your boots, and that your feet fit correctly inside your boots wearing socks of different sizes.  You need to be careful - if your feet slide when wearing just liners, you need to tighten your boots when you lace them up, or maybe use a half-size smaller.  If your boots are too tight when wearing Smart Wool thicker socks (like during the wintertime), then you need to loosen them up, or go a half-size or a whole size larger especially if you wear orthotics.  The only difference, generally, between a half-size is like a half-inch in the toe.  The Clothing Sales store will sell you “Socks, Winter, Ski, Oatmeal in color” for $2-3 a pair.  This is a special order items an worth the wait.

Ok...where are we.....let's talk about what you do to maintain your feet.

You want to powder your feet at least once a day, regardless of where you are, or what you are doing. And that means right now.  You want to use any powder with anti-fungal properties, like Desenex, whatever, and yes, cans cost a shitload (like six bucks!) at the grocery store, while they are FREE in the Army. In garrison, powder your feet when you put your boots on in the morning, after your shower.  If your feet are sore, or cramping, massage them, and massage them right.  If you don't know how to do that, go get a foot massage from a Rolfer masseuse, and ask them to show you what to do.  They can put you to sleep with a foot massage, and teach you how to bring a woman to climax with a foot massage.

In the bush, you powder your feet as needed, whenever possible, depending on what your team leader says, or is appropriate.  You do this both to help keep your feet dry, but also to change socks (from wet to dry), to clean your feet, and to stay ahead of fungal infections. If you do get a fungal infection, see your doc and get some stuff for it.  There are a variety of drops and creams and stuff that work ok, as long as you use them for a full course of treatment, and then continue with good maintenance and prevention using powder.

In sum, you get boots that are the correct size based on what you are doing, where you are doing it, and when; you prepare the boots, breaking them in, waterproofing them; you exercise care in sock selection and sock usage; you practice good foot hygiene, and keep your toenails trained and trimmed, and you use both experience and gear to keep your feet dry, whether the weather is hot or warm.  If you are in hot weather, you wear appropriate boots and liners to keep your feet as cool as possible.  You can use antiperspirant to actually inhibit sweating, helping keep your feet dry.  No kidding.  In cold weather, same thing.

 Equipment.  You need the right stuff.  Some of this, like foot powder and socks, are free.  You’ll have to procure good tools though and replace them periodically.  At a minimum these tools include:

  1. Properly sized boots
  2. Good socks
  3. Straight toenail clippers
  4. Cuticle scissors
  5. Nail Buffing pad
  6. Swissco fingernail brush
  7. Soap, preferably pine tar soap, but Dial works well
  8. Tea tree oil
  9. Foot Powder
  10. Ingrown toenail file
  11. A two gallon RubberMaid tub is the perfect size to store all your tools and soak your feet.

 

It is a good post... if a bit dated.... 

It has been a long while since the Army or USMC was issued smooth black leather (Suede in..) boots... so a small bit of it doesn't apply.

The rest though... is pretty similar to what Soldiers (dunno about Marines) were once taught and does have good information.

I never did the neetsfoot oil thing.. but I did use about a half a can of Mink Oil on each new pair of waffle sole black leather boots I ever got issued- same general effect for me.

I also cleaned my boots with a vegetable brush and hot water -followed up with black leather dye and more mink oil after each field problem though.

I had a couple pair of "garrison" boots for non-field wear.

The "newer" black leather boot- still a DMS sole, but actually a more "usable" in the field pattern sole, but leather just did NOT shine up anywhere near as good as the waffle sole boots... and I really REALLY hated the padded "cuff" at the top of the boot... some guys liked them- I hated them... and while they "broke in" faster than the older style boots.. they did not last anywhere near as long.

The tan -suede out- boots that everyone eventually started getting issued did away with the whole boot polish kit for most Soldiers, so actually taking care of your boots - and subsequently your feet- has become a dying art.

For me- as an Infantryman (who also had a smear of FA and CAV time) my comfort level was ALWAYS predicated on my feet. 

I've only had blisters on my feet twice... in a 27 year career.

Did not matter if it was in Afghanistan sweating my ass off or in Norway with the snot froze solid in my nose.

If my feet were comfortable - I could pretty much deal with whatever the environment was.

So taking proper care of my feet has always been important to me--- and still is.

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