Army researchers have begun testing an enhanced jungle combat boot, Army Times reported.
The new footwear, developed for tropical conditions, has been issued to soldiers in the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, which opened the Jungle Operations Training Center in 2014. The 25th ID will continue testing the boot through September 2017.
The Belleville Boot Company and Rocky Boots supplied the Army with 36,708 boots after winning a contract in December. The product aims to improve footwear options for combat soldiers who train in the Pacific region. Many of these soldiers are accustom to the arid war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Researchers expect to add “significant miles” by subjecting the product to months of field training and exercises, possibly physical training.
Based on Vietnam-era footwear, the jungle boot features fast-drying, breathable mesh, a puncture-proof sole, and a thick layer of shock-absorbing polyurethane. The sole also contains drainage holes and specialized tread to cut through muddy terrain.
So far, the new gear has received positive feedback from the 25th ID staff. Officials say the design may be modified after they receive more feedback from the soldiers.
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