Feet On Fire

The U.S. Army recently completed a very quick competition to select a hot-weather combat boot for troops in Afghanistan. This search took only a few months. The last such selection, which ended ten months ago, took two years and resulted in a splendid new combat boot for combat troops in Afghanistan. There was one problem. The boot was built with cold weather in mind. But it turned out that during Afghanistan’s very hot Summers, this boot left feet too hot, and quite uncomfortable. Thus the race to find a hot weather boot. Now troops will go off two Afghanistan with two pair of boots, one for each of Afghanistan’s two seasons (one is very hot, the other is very cold, and in between each of these main seasons there is a few weeks of deceptively mild weather for which either boot will do.)
But for most of this year, there was only one choice. Earlier this year, the U.S. Army selected the Belleville 950 Combat Mountain Hiker as the new combat boot for troops in Afghanistan. The Belleville 950 has a stiffer and 20 percent thicker sole, designed to ease foot strain, and increase traction for troops crossing broken (often rocky) terrain while carrying typical heavy combat loads (over 30 kg/66 pounds). The upper portion of the Belleville 950 is water resistant leather. The Belleville 950 is not suitable for full time use, because of the stiffness. So troops will continue to use their current, less stiff and more padded, combat boots. But when they are heading out into the hills, they were to wear their Belleville 950s. 



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