Source: Stars and Stripes
The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Soldier Center has developed prototypes of new combat boots for soldiers to wear over the next four months at both basic training and active duty locations.
800 newly recruited soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. and Fort Jackson, S.C. will receive new boots for field testing purposes, along with 900 infantry soldiers at Fort Bliss, Texas.
The new combat boots were designed and developed to compete with other commercial brands soldiers favor for their comfort and lightness. They feature flexible leather with lighter outsoles, making them “1.5 pounds lighter per pair than those issued today.”
Improvements have been made to the service’s specific jungle, mountain, and cold weather boots, but there have yet to be any significant changes made to the general purpose boots “almost 30 years.”
After a poll of 14,000 soldiers, the Army found that almost 50 percent of soldiers would choose more comfortable, sneaker-like options over those issued by the Army. The goal is to “bridge the comfort gap while maintaining durability and protection,” but deciding whether it has been met will be up to the soldiers themselves.