By Rehan Iqbal
As a soldier or military personnel, having the right equipment is a life-saving necessity. But while Kevlar vests keep you alive, it’s your footwear that carries you through all the way to that extra mile. Whether you are deployed in action or serving stateside, it is of the utmost importance to have a great set of boots that you can rely on.
Sure, the standard US Army supplied compliant boots are great and all, but you have to keep in mind that you will be wearing these boots for extended periods and under very rigorous environments. That’s why most soldiers prefer to get their own boots for even more comfort and support in the battlefield. However, all your options need to be in line with the new AR 670-01 Army Regulations. Now, while the biggest and most notable changes in the new AR 670-1 were the implementation of stricter hair, tattoo and appearance rules, the regulation also touched on new rules for approved military boots.
Some of the changes included the removal of mesh uppers on military boots. See, in the past, military personnel were used to wearing synthetic uppers on their boots for less weight and more breathability. However, the new regulations require all-leather boots without any zippers. These are just some of the changes that are all aimed at improving the safety and performance of soldiers. If you are looking to buy yourself a pair of approved military boots, then here are all the AR 670-1 details for optional wear to look out for.
AR 670-1 Optional Footwear Requirements
Boots Must Be 8 to 10 Inches High
To ensure that soldiers get the best protection when deep in action, the AR 670-1 requires all authorized footwear to be between 8 to 10″ in height. This ensures adequate coverage in any terrain as well as retained flexibility.
Boots Must Be Made of Tan Cattle Hide Leather
While there are a lot of other leather types such as pigskin, none of them really meet the criteria of tough cattle hide. This cattle hide type of leather is not only far more durable than other types of leathers, but it also provides superior performance. For the exterior, the AR 670-1 requires authorized boots to be made of all leather material or a combo of leather and some non mesh fabrics.
Plain Toe and Matching Sole
US Army authorized boots are required to have a plain toe as well as a soling system that matches the color of the tan materials. From the bottom, the outsole should not extend all the way up the heel or over the toe. Similarly, soling materials that exceed about 2″ in height will not be permitted.
Authorized Outsole Materials
According to the AR 670-1, polyether polyurethane and rubber are currently the only outsoling materials allowed on US Army boots. That’s because in addition to these materials being the only few that meet a need for extra durability levels, they have the strongest traction and resistance in all environments, conditions and temperature ranges.
The importance of having the right US Army gear cannot be overstated. However, soldiers also need footwear that offers as much comfort as it does protection. So while the Army itself encourages optional wear, it’s up to you to purchase boots that are AR 670-1 compliant.
Fortunately, most major footwear manufacturers have already released plenty of AR 670-1 compliant styles that make getting an authorized pair much easier. But then again, don’t be too quick to ditch your standard issue Army boots. The same AR 670-1 regulations require all soldiers and military personnel to have at least a single pair of each of the CII (Clothing Initial Issue) boots. This requirement incorporates both the US Army hot weather Combat Boot and the Army temperature weather Boots. As such, any optional footwear and authorized boots do not relieve soldiers and Army personnel of their said requirement to own one pair each or the standard issue US Army boots.