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Aircrew Boots

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Once very desirable footwear, these days the Boot - Aircrew, or 'flying boot' is very much overshadowed by much more advanced designs. Back in the '80s, however, they were considered well ally, and one was a very fortunate chappie if one could blag a pair of these.

Leather-lined with a fully-gusseted tongue (fnaar) and cushioned tops, these beauties were light years ahead of the DMS nightmares on general issue. Unfortunately, they were totally tits for anything but big timing it around camp or sitting in a cockpit. The design of sole pretty much made any outdoor pursuits - other than sitting in a bush waiting for the SAR chopper - a non-runner.

The tread - or what constituted tread - wore out very quickly, and whilst this was good on the flight safety front (preventing FOD ingress inside aircraft), it did make for some spectacular acrobatics when the hapless wearer encountered POL spillages or wet grass. But they held a shine beautifully.

They were also available in a curious brown colour for a time. This was nothing to do with desert operations, as deserts were not invented in 1985 and such shenanigans was the stuff of the future. The reason for the (short-lived) change to brown was that someone was copping a right ol' arse about said footwear being worn around camp - usually by non-aircrew types who'd blagged a pair. Making them in brown should have stamped out this practice. Thankfully, they looked so gay that the aircrew community whinged sufficiently to have them changed back to luxuriant black.

The author - being a big timing, non-aircrew walty cnut - somehow managed to get a pair of these 'on ticket' courtesy of a Biff Chit from the MO. This was not due to the author having spakky feet, but rather the MoD's decision to dish out gash footwear made by the lowest bidder to the troops. There was nowt wrong with the feet, but plenty wrong with BCH. Blagging a pair of flying boots circumvented the pain (and future lawsuits), and enabled the wearer to cut a dash about camp, much to the delight of the swooning masses.