AKU Pilgrim GTX FG - High Liability Combat Boots

AKU Pilgrim GTX FG - High Liability Combat Boots - WIN A PAIR!


Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Re. your first paragraph: our first day on the square for rifle drill (this be the SLR), and the shouty one explaining that because the new boots (BCH) didn't have a toe cap we'd have to imagine where a toe cap would be and that was where to line up the butt of the rifle. It was clearly a major design flaw.

The BCH (actually, the RM's version) were tested and signed off, then someone put on a cost ceiling of £12 per pair. At the time, a pair of Zamberlan Trek-Lites (my first decent civvy boots) were £75. The Scarpas cost even more. Go figure. The result was a lot of Achilles, ankle, knee and hip injuries. BCH finished my career for me. I was sitting watching your review over a coffee this morning, and remarked to SWMBO that there was a certain irony to seeing a review of such a good boot and my hip aching.

That £12 per pair must have cost the MOD far more in medical treatment, pay-outs and waste (because you train and accommodate a guy, only to lose him) than it ever saved.

A few years later, I met one of the BCH team. He was drinking in my local with a woman I knew - ironically, a craft teacher from the local school (no doubt she taught him). He started making all sorts of justifications about what he regarded as 'fundamentally, a good boot'. It wasn't, even by the standards of the day. I'd contrast the German and US boots of the time as examples. Or the Argentinian one, for that matter. He got a rather robust response from me.

History aside, I'm genuinely pleased to see that the standard of some of the personal kit that's coming through now is so high. I got a new pair of Hanwags last summer, and it's galling to see that people get something of a similar standard free... the lucky buggers. I'm pleased that they don't have to put up with the rubbish of yesteryear.

Moving on, it's interesting to see that we're back to a short boot, albeit with a gaiter system these days. Always the better solution, in my opinion.
Nail on the head there in terms of pricing. Now, it's an obvious point that a boot that retails for £75, does not cost £75 to make, but even so, you're still looking at around £22-£28 give or take for build costs; so how the army was ever meant to get anything other than a bit of leather for around £12 boggles the mind.

It's psychological as well - I used to dread putting on my CAB when we were forced to wear issue tissue. I knew I was in for pain and suffering. If this was at the start of a 12 mile tab, you've already got a soldier worrying about his feet rather than focusing on the task at hand. That's just absolute madness.

The army has always been a bit behind on the psychological impact of crap kit on the troops - even with the black kit bag you got issued for Herrick there was still some right duff bits of gear in there.

Great post from yourself, don't forget to take a punt on the number of cuts!

34 cuts.

DMS - nice and shiny.
BCH Mk 1 - good but not with tendon issues.
BCH Mk 2 - better and not a bad boot. Had a pair that got so soft that folded at the ankle.
Assault boot - more improvements. Not bad.
Altberg - very good bit of foot kit but high maintenance after getting wet.

These look very nifty.
As above, I found the CAB to be pretty bad. I've got a picture someone of my heels sans skin after a tab (and these were the pair I'd broken in!). I ended up going with Lowa then Alt-Berg for most of my service, though you're right on the maintenance side for Alt-Berg. Plus of course, they lost a bit of their customer base once they stopped offering re-soles.
****, never thought of that. In the interests of inclusion, let me help you out:

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There you go!

ARRSE - We don't discriminate, we just hate.
My barcode reader says that's Tesco Value baked beans.


Book Reviewer
I'm on for 38 cuts, size 11 please (or the pics get released on t'interweb)
I don't understand the moaning about BCH. I thought they were great and a real revelation after DMS which were shit. DMS were £12 in the QM's and BCH when first issued cost a whopping £30. I wore a pair for years on the building site as well.

That said I thought compo and 58 pattern webbing were decent, and unlike most I thought the SLR was shit. Actually I thought the Army was shit although I could see we were better than many.
BCH - They weren't the best but I never personally had any particular issue with them after a reasoanble breaking in period - the only time I've had to 'pour blood out of a boot' was at the first double time of a CFT and the guy behind me had the barrel of his SLR pointing downwards, hit the back of my heel which slammed my foot into the ground tearing off half the big toe nail and breaking my the toe. Hurt a bit. Luckily there wasn't far to go...

The pair I left with were like slippers and even that nylon waffle footbed thingy was ok - absolutely zero support for load bearing of course, but comfy.
Well yeah, there's loads of 'em.
And watching that video was 'only' 11 minutes of my life. How long is it going to take you to count all the ***** on here.

And arrange them in order of ****isness.


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Anyway - whoever gets closest or hits the right number of cuts, wins! Woo! Post your answers in this thread to be eligible. Rather than just slinging up a number though, put a bit of chat in as well.

In the meantime, feel free to banter about shit boots and serious injuries gone by thanks to DMS / CAB, etc.

Read more about this resource...
Cuts! fecking Alfred Hitchcock walt! :cool:


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Do we really have to bother with this formality?

It’s 30.

Just send them to my usual address as discussed previously.
Do we really have to bother with this formality?

It’s 30.

Just send them to my usual address as discussed previously.
lets be honest your conflict of interest with haix preclude you modelling them Suck it up buttercup or words to that effect
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I'd like to complement on your clear, but charismatic accent, which is, coincidentally rather similar to mine...

I make it 37 cuts.

I haven't got any stories about boots except to say that I wear the buggers out at a higher rate than I'm happy with.