Disintegrating BCH Sole

#1
I am sure this has been done to death but can only find detail on ProBoot failure by searching ARRSE.

Just wore a pair of newish BCH that I had not worn for a year or so and within minutes of walking about camp I was leaving a trail of rubber! The sole was disintegrating and revealing the soft inner core of the heel. Storeman said it was a common problem and blamed a faulty batch. He said Bicester didn't even want a failure report or the boots back as they had so many. He said there was a proper term for the failure but he couldn't remember it. Anyone shed any light or refer me to relevant post. I am just glad this happened in camp and not on ops.

uqfegd

pp
 
#2
Had the same problem last year. I normally wear jungle boots but had to wear issued BCH for a day due to a visit. Brand new boots which had been in locker for a year or two but never worn. They crumbled in minutes. Returned and replaced at QM's. No EFR submitted as they didn't want one.
 

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
#3
I'm just having the same problem wit ha pair of ProBoots. Chunks of rubber falling off everywhere.
 
#4
Think the boots have a shelf life and a use by life so heels will start to disntergrate after 5 years or so .Wether they are worn or just sat in locker.
 
#5
I kept a pair in my shed for about 5/6 years and they crumbled in minutes< I suppose they don't last long ewnough to get to that state if you wear them everyday. I also had a pair of matterhorns that were issued along side them and they are still going strong
 
#6
The most common complaint of the much loved boot combat high and its replacement the combat assault boot. The Cold Wet Weather boot is made by the same people using the same machines and uses the same sole technology. The story goes.....

The PU moulded sole (fitted to both these boots) is designed offer a compromise between performance and ease of manufacture. To get all the qualities you need in a sole unit gives it a shelf life of about 10 years (or is it 5?). DSDA and some unit stores are particularity bad at rotating stock and so old boots often sit on the shelf while newer stuff comes in and gets issued straight out.

War Stock, which does sit in the stores is made using the Dunlop Welded sole method. This allows a different type of sole unit to be used, which, while being less flexible, sits for years without compliant.

If the PU moulded soles are left too long either in DSDA, Unit stores or your locker the sole unit starts to degrade because of hydrolysis.

How to tell? Inside the upper you will see some print (might be very faded if you have been wearing them a while). I can't remember exactly what is says but somewhere in the figures you will see something like 1299. In this example it means the boots where manufactured in the 12th month of 1999. You can then work out how old your boots are.

DC IPT are not aware of the problem and are not issuing faulty stock; as far as they know! If you send boots back and there more than 10 years old you will be told that they have achieved their intended life so get some more.

If its any consolation AG (yes 'the' AG) brought two pairs back on Friday while visiting. They were 11 and 12 years respectively....we sent him away reshod!
 
#7
Both pairs of my Pro Boots have disintegrated in the last month, but I've had them over ten years so no great shakes. Shame they were knocked off my 1157 years ago!!!!

Just dished them out to the boys to exchange so they have an extra pair of boots.
 

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
#8
I have had my ProBoots only 2 years, and they have only been worn in the winter - the tread is hardly worn. On looking inside there are no rounds in the magazine and no rounds in the chamber.... Eh? Sorry, got carried away there... On looking inside it says 0399 - so they are almost 10 years old! I think a trip to the clothing store is called for. Too bad - they were comfortable too!
 
#10
kitmonster said:
The PU moulded sole (fitted to both these boots) is designed offer a compromise between performance and ease of manufacture. To get all the qualities you need in a sole unit gives it a shelf life of about 10 years (or is it 5?).

If the PU moulded soles are left too long either in DSDA, Unit stores or your locker the sole unit starts to degrade because of hydrolysis.
Thanks for the detail info.

This is about the most ludicrous kit story I have ever heard - MoD must have tried really hard to procure the only type of boots sole known to man that has a (relatively) short shelf life. Probably like every one here, I have all sorts of cheapo boots some of which are decades old - yet I've never known any to split or fail due to age.

So far, I have had five pairs of "self-destruct" CABs - most never even got as far as being broken in. What a complete false economy to try and save money by buying this sort of rubbish - one pair of Danners or similar at US DoD rates would have been far better value.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#11
4(T) has hit the nail on the head. As it happens, I recently discovered an unworn pair of DMS boots in my garage which I was originally issued in 1983. I've been wearing them as work-boots in the garden and they're sound as a pound.
 
#12
The front of the sole on my Pro boots came adrift. Again, practically brand new. I've glued and nailed the fucker back on but the rubber around my bodge is starting to fall apart. I too have boots from over 25 years ago (Matterhorns, aircrew flying slippers and a pair of DMS) and apart from looking a bit shabby on the uppers, they are totally wearable.

Would love to know who signed off this particularly wonderful procurement.
 
#13
I've just had to collect some from stores and they have a label stating the shelf life of 4 or 5 years and a life of 1 year or two winters.
See how long they last shall we?
 
#14
Didn't the Booties have replacable screw in soles for their boots at one time?
 
#15
Its not our boots exclusively that suffer from this, its any PU moulded sole. You can make the sole last longer but when you stick in the requirements for shock attenuation, anti-slip, static properties, heat, POL, cold etc etc it all adds complications. No manufacturer will guarantee their boots will still meet all the requirements after 10 years in a dusty shed. Other nations set the same standards

Very little is held in stock any more, theoretically a boot should be manufactured, issued and worn out way before the shelf life expires. If a storeman has had a set of boots on the shelf for 5 years the usage rates dictate they should go back into depot.

Can't make financial sense? It is certain that when the latest versions were procured a massive business case would have been created that scoped all the options and the most cost effective one picked. Boots cost several millions each year are are not picked on a whim.

Anyway don't shoot the messenger!
 
#16
Oh crap. I've got a set of Harry Spankers GW1 era dessies in a cupboard. I'd better have a look and see if they're still wearable.
 
#17
kitmonster said:
No manufacturer will guarantee their boots will still meet all the requirements after 10 years in a dusty shed. Other nations set the same standards
Lowas do. I've dusted mine off after about 8 years and they are as good as new. I would put money that they will last another 8 years (obviously I'll not be tabbing across East Falkland in them) of regular use and being stuffed back into the garage. The last time I dug them out, I hadn't bothered to clean them after mincing around South Armagh. Quick hose down, bit of Kiwi and they are like new.

Very little is held in stock any more, theoretically a boot should be manufactured, issued and worn out way before the shelf life expires. If a storeman has had a set of boots on the shelf for 5 years the usage rates dictate they should go back into depot.
Back to depot for what? To be written off? Brand new boots chucked away. Thats money well spent. :roll:


Can't make financial sense? It is certain that when the latest versions were procured a massive business case would have been created that scoped all the options and the most cost effective one picked. Boots cost several millions each year are are not picked on a whim.
Maybe procurement should be based on a whim. It would save a crap load of dosh. As it happens, we spent huge amounts on the whole procurement chain to get what? A load of tat. I'm not just on about boots.


Lowas - £120
Pro Boot - £120
 
#18
kitmonster said:
Its not our boots exclusively that suffer from this, its any PU moulded sole. You can make the sole last longer but when you stick in the requirements for shock attenuation, anti-slip, static properties, heat, POL, cold etc etc it all adds complications. No manufacturer will guarantee their boots will still meet all the requirements after 10 years in a dusty shed. Other nations set the same standards
No shots aimed at the messenger....


This must be some bollox that the gullible MoD swallowed as they were ripped off for paying through the nose for some cheap recycled rubber. I just don't believe that CABs have a secret NASA-spec sole where the only downside is going crumbly after a few years - I mean, the world is full of shoe & boot manufacturers turning out high-spec footwear for sport, military, industry & civpop, yet NONE of them sell boots with crumbly soles. I'm sure Danner/Matterhorn met a stringent US DoD spec - given that the US buys first rate kit - and yet mine are still going strong after 20+ years....
 
#19
I'm reading this and shaking my head with disbelief that the people who buy boots believe the line the manufacturers give them. I'm still wearing a couple of pairs of the really old combat highs I got in the early 90's. One has worn soles and is reserved for CFTs, the other has sat in a cupboard for a good ten years before I got round to wearing them. They do the job and the soles are still fine. I retired another pair I got in the late 80's (a private purchase) a while ago because of the soles - they'd worn away with use ! Oh, and I've got a cupboard full of odd boots, wellies and so on - guess what ? None of the cheap crap I bought only the Lord knows how long ago has mysteriously and spontaneously decided to fall apart. None of the issue boots from well over a decade ago has disintegrated. If the current stuff does it's because the current stuff is an overpriced underperforming ripoff.
 
#20
My BCHs disintegrated last summer on exercise, the 1st piece of rubber came off on the Monday and there was no sole left at all 3 days later.
I managed to blag another pair to do me through the ex and handed these in to the QM staff on return to unit, and was handed another pair from the same shelf I got the original ones from.
Will these do the same?
 

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