New spec combat boots and insoles

Discussion in 'Military Clothing & Boots' started by in_the_cheapseats, Feb 28, 2011.

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  1. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Understand that there is a new spec out there for boots for theatre. Not a very sexy subject but as we all know a vital bit of kit in the fight to keep soldiers happy and comfortable.

    Had an interesting and frustrating conversation with one of the firms whose boots are in the running for the contract. I was a little surprised to hear that the MoD has stipulated an insole that no boot or shoe manufacturer uses any more. It has thinner, less padding and doesn't support the instep as any new design insole does.

    MoDs "experts" reason? Allegedly it will wick away moisture quicker...

    Bollocks says the firm I spoke to, who supply boots to a lot of different militaries around the world. They eventaully found the only place left in the world able to make the insole to the specs that the MoD want in China. Even the Chinese were more than a little confused. Conversation went along the line of "but why choose this if they are would get a modern insole that is better? it's crap"

    Technology has moved a bit in boot design lately. I wonder if those God's down at AW who do the tech spec actually know what is available? I wonder when they last worked in industry to know?

    All I can see is the same old same old of soldiers getting sore feet and running off to purchase insoles themselves, be it sorbothane or others. :)

    The ironic thing is that the modern boots are designed to work with modern insoles and a move to a far thinner old style will be detrimental to the boots comfort and to foot fitting. Time for AW to take note and update themselves with some people who know modern materials......
  2. Would these be the plastic cheese-grater insoles? Very good for straining your tea if the tea bag splits, but otherwise...
  3. Are they still around? IIRC, virtually indestructible...except for fire. :grin:
  4. I'm not sure how much further they can take this. As far as I know, most are more than happy with the Lowa/Miendl/Magnum choice.
  5. I s'pose that by having a crap insole in the boot you can go and get the footbed that best suits your feet......
  6. Good God, they can't be serious.
  7. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I quite liked the plastic insole. If you turn them up the wrong way and wear thin socks they massage you feet like massage sandles.

  8. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Strangely enough, one of the names involved is the firm in question. Q - take the advise of an international recognised boot making company whose job is to maximise the comfort and robustness of their equipment and invests heavily in doing so or some civil servant who isn't in the industry and writes requirements that the industry thinks are pants? As we all recognise, the MoDs history in boot insole selection has left a lot to be desired in the past. I remember the cheese graters with horror too.
  9. How much is this new boot contract for and how does it compare to, say, giving all ranks an allowance of £300 (or thereabouts) and letting them choose their own boots? Hardly anyone wears the issued ones anyway...
  10. Because then they wouldn't match and this would upset people with Red Sashes.
    The Americans do this - here's some money, buy what you want as long as its on the list. 2011 Clothing Allowances - Military Benefits - That said the US are a lot more **** about what you can buy. Because we Brits buy extra stuff, our CO's tend to have a bit more latitude when it comes to extra kit. And because our QM's hand over everything you "need*" we also don't have the problem of a NIG going out and spunking all his cash on BFO knives with compasses in them.

    * Note, does not include all items you actually need. Ever been issued a pair of twisties or some boot polish, or sorbathanes or decent socks etc etc?
  11. I really don't know who you are getting your info from because this is just plain wrong - 100% factually incorrect. The competition for the new range of footwear is based on a performance specification (ie we want it to perform this way) rather than a technical specification (ie we want it made this way). The pertinent point is that this means the competition is for boots as supplied by the manufacturer - complete with the insoles designed to work with their boots.

    The only thing I can think are:

    1. This is wah. In which case, well done.
    2. The individual doesn't know what he is talking about or, perhaps, more likely - has misread the requirement/ITT/is working on out of date material. In which case, good luck to them in the competition cos it sounds like they are about to crash and burn.
    3. He is talking about supplying the existing range of footwear which will be only around for another year or so before the competition is completed.
  12. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator


    No wah sadly.

    Question - if you detail weight, height, colour and pretty much what all the components should be made of including that of the insole, is that "performance specification"? All that info is given within the current specifications for the tender.

    Seems to me that by detailing all that, this is a long way from "performance specification"; it is setting requirements to be met and nothing on how it is to perform.

    Perhaps a small review on the internal understanding against the actual definition of "performance specification" may be required...??