History of Russian Footwear
The most ancient form of footwear in Rus (the territory of modern Russia) was porshni, shoes made from a piece of rawhide leather, usually of horse, pig or seal, sewed by hiderope. Porshni were used in Novgorod already in the end of the 10th – beginning of the 11th century. There was similar footwear in Europe at that time. These shoes were popular in Russia till the beginning of the 20th century.
Lapti, basketry shoes made from bark or bast (inner bark of linden tree), were the most popular footwear in Rus. Firstly lapti are mentioned in the 10th century documents, although an instrument that was used for making lapti, was found in the ancient encampments dated to the Iron Age (around 1000 BC). As lapti were made from thin bast, they were abraded very quickly: in four days in summer, in ten days in winter. This footwear was usual for poor people.
High boots were borrowed by Russians from Turkic nomads, who used them for horse riding. Rich and noble men and women wore soft marocco boots, in bright color with many decorations. Women wore also decorated red leather bottineses. Whereas poor people wore only lapti or porshni.
Only during the Peter the First rule time, traditional high boots lost their popularity, as he produced a law to limit wearing traditional Russian dress.
In the beginning of the 20th century almost all men wore high boots. Whereas women wore koti, short-cut boots. Creaking boots were very stylish at that time. In order to achieve creaking effect, during the production of a boot, a strip of dry birchbark was put between sole and inner sole, or a sugar was poured there.
Valenki, warm hard boots made of felted sheep wool, firstly appear in Rus in the period of the Golden Horde times from Turkic and Mongol tribes, who used similar footwear. Howevew valenki became widespread only in the first half of the 19th century, and were used mostly for walking on dry snow.
Men wore a special kind of valenki called burki. The bottom looked like leather boots, but upper part was made of white felt, framed with dark leather strips to protect from moisture and to contrast white felt. In Soviet times burki were worn by military officers, and heads of collective farms.
The warmest high boots are called unti. These are boots for cold and very cold climate, made of dog or reindeer fur outside or inside, and thick felt sole. This is regular footwear for Thule peoples. Formerly, unti were a part of pilot’s winter uniform.
Development of Military Footwear
Slavic warriors did not have any special footwear. Only personal bodyguards of tzars wore high boots, but regular warriors usually had only lapti, basketry shoes made from inner bark of linden tree.
The idea of military shoes developed in around the 16th century, during the rule of Ivan the Terrible who organized the first regular military units - riflemen. In Moscow persons liable for military service wore high boots with curved toes. There were 14 riflemen regiments, and majority of them used yellow high boots, only two – green ones, and only one – red ones. At that time military dress and footwear was comfortless and non-functional. It was more pretentious than practical.
Later, during the rule of Peter I, soldiers started to use square-toed footwear, shoes with buckles and flared boots. The flared boots were regular footwear for cavalrymen. At this time the rank of a serviceman did not influence the quality of footwear, there might be difference only in materials findings and spurs were made of.
What was Peter I shoe size?
Peter I was 2 meters (79 inches) tall – a head taller than usual men. However, his shoes size was only 38 (UK 6).
In year 1778 knyaz Potemkin became the Field-Marshal of Russian Army. He made several reforms, including uniform reform. He achieved that tails, pigeon wings and hair powder were abolished, and servicemen started to wear practical and comfortable dress and footwear. Thanks to this reform, light and comfortable boots with short boot-top appeared.
Nevertheless during the rule of Pavel I (1796-1801), tails and pigeon wings were returned and the servicemen had to wear uncomfortable Prussian-like uniform. The boot-tops became longer and boots started to be made of patent leather. Patent leather shoes were also popular and were worn together with stockings.
Patent leather footwear was popular many years, till the next tzar Alexander I changed Russian Army footwear from half-boots and shoes to knee-high boots made of Russia leather.
The next tzar Nikolay I brought the strangest army footwear – a very short boots, on the top of which black cloth half-boots with 5 or 6 buttons had to be worn. Customary high boots with foot wraps returned to the army together with the next tzar Alexander II, and for a long time remained unchanged.
In Soviet times high boots were the main army footwear. During the USSR times a huge variety of high boots designs appeared. Despite the high boots were changed to special army quarter boots in Europe and USA already during the World War II, in Russia this kind of army footwear started to be used commonly only in the beginning of the 21th century.
Kirza Jack Boots/ Kersey Boots
History of Russian Soviet Officer Kirza Boots
In the beginning of World War II, USSR faced a problem of footwear for millions of soldiers, as there was catastrophic lack of leather boots. A chemist Ivan V. Plotnikov was entrusted in the shortest possible time to improve the technology of artificial leather – kirza. Kirza is a pig leather imitation based on the multi-layer cotton fabric, modified by film-forming substances. The name kirza is an acronym from KIRovsky Zavod (Kirov Plant), the first place of kirza mass production.
The first time kirza was used during Soviet-Finnish War of 1939-1940, but the experiment was not successful. The material split and broke, did not keep warmth. Plotnikov made necessary improvements, and already in November, 1941 modernized kirza boots were brought into mass production. For this invention in 1942 Plotnikov and his team was awarded a Stalin Prize (second class) of 100,000 roubles. Invention of kirza boots was considered as important as invention of Katyusha rocket launcher and constructions of the famed Soviet airplanes. At the end for World War II Soviet Red Army had 10,000,000 soldiers wearing kirza boots. Till the end of 20th century kirza boots were the standard footwear for Soviet and Russian servicemen.
Kirza jack boots were worn together with a foot wrap. Foot wraps were more convenient than socks, because they could be made from locally available materials, dried faster, and frayed slower (as the material could be wrapped around a foot differently). Although the main advantage was that because of a foot wrap, a soldier could wear bigger size boots. All these advantages kept soldiers’ feet healthy and safe.
Till nowadays kirza is produced according to Plotnikov recepies of the war time. Specialists say that over the entire history 150,000,000 pairs of kirza boots were produced.
Kirza Boots Designs
The toe and the counter of the boot is made of yuft (also known as juft or Russia calf leather), boot-top is made of pure kirza, but sole - of wear-resistant rubber and nails. Sole design charged several times over the years. The first and the most rare design is a sole with ‘pimples’, it was created already before World War II, and the Red Army soldiers entered Berlin in boots with this sole. This sole design was produced till the middle 70’. In the middle 70’ sole design was changed to tractor-tyre-protector-like. This sole is the most widespread, it is produced till nowadays, only brass nails are changed to metal ones. There are also other designs like smooth sole, stepwise sole, and others. Kirza boots design also had many changes over the years: boots were producted with round or flat toes, with metal insets in the toes and without them, with short and long boot-tops, with or without straps. There are also very rare laced kirza boots for paratroopers.
Use of Kirza Boots
Soldiers’ kirza boots even nowadays are very serviceable and are specially made for using in extreme circumstances like walking in rough country, marshes or forests. Kirza boots are suitable for all seasons – they save feet from moisture, snow, cold or strong heat. Besides their historical value, kirza boots are an excellent choice for any hunter, angler or mushroom picker.
Chrome Officer Boots/ Box Calf Boots
Chrome officer boots for many men are a symbol of bravery, fortitude, honor, and military virtue. That is why even men not related to armed forces, are willing to buy them.
Chrome boots, also called box calf boots, are made from box calf – shiny black calfskin leather, which is very hygienic, elastic and form-stable. The boots have a chaste design, beautiful shine due to special impregnation, bright black colour stable for many years, and a thick sole. Boot lining is white or yellow, with stamped text – year and place of production, size, etc.
Chrome boots do not demand any special care and are very serviceable. Usually several generations of a family can use them.
Usually chrome boots are worn with jeans of dark colours or trousers like soviet soldier’s uniform with tapered legs. Such design of trousers allows to put them inside boots easily.
Formerly chrome jack boots were an indispensable attribute of the uniform of head military authorities - lieutenant-colonels, colonels, generals, and marshals. Others had only kirza boots to wear. Owning a pair of chrome boots was a fond hope for the majority of men.
Only in the end of the 20th century, chrome boots have turned from the exclusive part of military uniform to a footwear for everyday usage.
Use of box-calf Boots
Usually, chrome jack boots are used in autumn and winter, as the calfskin they are made of, is impregnated with a special waterproofing compound on the base of chrome. This treatment allows boots secure feet from humidity in any bad weather.
Usual customers fond of chrome boots are military style fans, bikers and horsemen.
Yuft Jack Boots
Yuft (also juft, Russia leather) is a very thick leather made by tanning skins from cattle bellies with oak, willow, or birch, and then rubbing with an phenolic oil, made by distillation of the bark and wood of an European white birch.
Yuft jack boots are very heavy and wearproof. In Soviet Army there were two types of soles for yuft boots: plain one – for cadets, and thickened one (micropore) – for officers.
There is a lot of yuft jack boots types, the most popular of them are:
1. Yuft jack boots, made for senior rank officers. Very heavy and serviceable, with a very thick toe, a cant on their boot-tops, and white leather lining inside. Thick rubber micropore sole bounces a little while walking, therefore absorbing a shock. Admirers of leather footwear will definitely appreciate a strong specific scent of natural leather which is characteristic for these jack boots.
2. Yuft jack boots with leather sole, with a little different design from the previous. The leather used for boot-top is a bit thinner and softer, inside there is leather or cotton lining. A sole is brown or black, fixed with brass nails.
3. Yuft jack boots with a smooth brown leather sole and cotton lining inside.
4. Short-cut yuft jack boots for the marines. Very rare nowadays.
5. Yuft jack boots for tankmen, made of very thick leather, and with straps on the side.
6. Yuft jack boots for pilots, made of very thick leather, with natural fur lining inside, and with straps and zipper on the side. These boots are very rare nowadays and price for them is quite high.
7. Yuft jack boots combined with valenki (felt boots). The lower part is a yuft boot with a rubber micropore sole, but the bootleg is made from thick felt. These boots are ideal for everyday use in winter, for example on winter fishing, etc.
8. Artel Boots. The name of these boots came from workmen's cooperative associations (artels) which were popular in pre-revolutionary times and Soviet Union till the 60’s. Artels consisted of a number of workers with similar qualification, age, and physical strength, which were equal in their rights and responsibilities. Artel boots had a leather sole fixed with wooden nails in two lines, with an artel stamp on the sole. These boots were produced till the 60’s.
The USSR broke up, and many of these boots are not produced nowadays. Although they are still very popular. Nowadays the boots are used both for everyday wear and in different hobbies.
Our store clients are from around the world, and they are always satisfied with their choice. Recently we have made a survey to figure out what are the main fields clients use our boots for.
Historical/ War Reenactment
Reenactment is a comparatively new but a very popular hobby of restoring historical battles, a specific active leisure with elements of extreme. It is based on a historical information and items left from the event, and is made as close to the original battle as possible. Most of the focus is on the study and practical usage of military art which is characteristic for that period – reenactors search very responsibly in order to find information about the battle in the sources of that time, and if something is missing, made assumptions based on the common sense. As the result, there is a spectacular entertaining event which is interesting not only for the participants, but also for the audience.
Proper costume is an important part of the reenactment, that is why Soviet boots are actively used in historical or war reenactments of the battles of Soviet period wars.
People, who are great on history, are interested to recreate the uniforms, equipment, and weapons of soldiers and officers of various eras and wars. All war elements have to be confirmed by scientific sources.
Reenacting is popular all over the world. For example, in Japan people reconstruct the uniform of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army during the World War II. Red Army admirers are in the United States as well. In Spain, in its turn, there is a group of people who reconstructs Polish Army. Participation in military-historical reenactments requires considerable expenses. The price of one uniform set, depending on reconstructed army and its branch may reach 1,000 $.
In reenactment, participants wear "remakes", i.e. clothes and footwear sewn or made today. Authentic stuff, of course, also occurs, but very rarely because rarities should be used very carefully. Some fans of "living history" manage to gather such an impressive collection of weapons, ammunition, and uniforms that any museum would envy them. It is important to mention that military rarities are valuables and can be converted to real money.
Over time, a number of printed and online media about reenactment has appeared. One of the most recognized magazines is British “The Skirmish Magazine”. It publishes historical articles and reports from reenactment events. Theme forums play an important role as well: reenactors meet there, share their views and information.
It is hard to convey the feeling of putting on a historical uniform. In fact, it is a trip to the past. Military-historical reenactments are the best lessons of military history. Patriotism is brought up on the historical memory, and this memory should be saved for future generations.
- Soviet-Finnish War
- World War I
- World War II
- Afghanistan War
A participant of a reenactment says:
It’s very involving! You start to realize how crazy difficult it was for our grandfathers to fight for freedom. Even going only 100 meters, even without real bullets whistling past your ears, you naturally start feeling yourself like a real soldier.
People fond of reenactment are of different occupations, marriage statuses, income levels, but they are united by reenactment romantics, thirst for knowledge, and patriotic feelings. They organize historical reenactment clubs to meet new friends and discuss and organize reenactment battles. Number of reenactors increases rapidly, and we are always happy to provide our boots for any reenactor needs.
The hobby of collecting is a search for similar items or items with similar criteria for personal storage and demonstration: e.g. stamps, coins, cars or toys. For some people collecting is an investment in rarities: art objects, antiques, jewelry, dolls. A true collector may give any sum of money for a desired object, and usually has a very spacious house for keeping all the objects safe. He is also very competent and passionate in the field of his collection, and would never sell his collection or even a tiny item from it.
For example, our standing customer Jan from Belgium is an active war attributes collector – he has bought a number of high boots and boots with WWII type sole. Jan says that in his and his brother’s collection, there are more than 80 items of war uniforms, 400 cannonries and several motorcycles, as well as bicycles. Jan has shared some photos of the his collection, see here links:
Historical relics are traces of our ancestors’ life. They can be jewelry and crosses, various kinds of living items: locks, keys, instruments, knives, fishhooks, buttons, etc. They also can be items connected with ancient wars and battles: pikes, sabres, swords, daggers. From recent wars one can find such historical relics as helmets, firearms and its parts, flasks, footwear and identification symbols, medals, tanks, airplanes, etc.
Collecting of historical relics is one of the most popular types of collecting. This hobby appeared centuries ago, when first conquerors got their enemies’ swords, helmets and armor as trophies and demonstration of victory and success; and traditionally the collection is passed on from generation to generation. It is also very profitable, as the value of rare historical relics rises over the years.
In war relics collecting, World War II items collecting is the most popular:
Firstly, because it was the most large-scale war in the 20th century. Despite it ended almost 70 years ago, even nowadays one can find witnesses of this war. Very many families have one or more relatives who acted in the WWII. They returned home with medals, weapons, headwear, and other war equipment. Their children were raised in after-war times, when the best toys were toy soldiers, pistols, tanks, airplanes, and TV showed films about war.
Secondly, this war was ‘rich’ on malefactors, the cruelest men in the history, who awarded themselves with a lot of different medals and who were fond of extravagant uniforms. This has led to a great variety of items for collecting.
Thirdly, other large-scale wars were a long time ago and little number of relics has been left. For example, prior, after a war soldiers continued to wear soldier’s uniform as working clothes. Therefore, many textile items did not survived till nowadays, so the collectors basically can find only a little amount of metal items like buckles, buttons, and sometimes weapons.
World War II, in its turn, ‘produced’ millions of uniforms, headwear, helmets, medals, weapons, etc. and many of these items are still gathering dust in garrets and cellars all over the world. There is a lot of war photo and video records that stirs up collectors’ interest to this event. Nowadays thanks to Internet, collectors from all the countries can connect, buy, and exchange WWII items.
Footwear for Museums
Not infrequently private collections turn into city museums – institutions where artifacts and other things of historical importance are collected, investigated and made available for public viewing. Usually these are collections of one or several very active collectors who search for items for many years and can provide interesting exhibition.
Our loyal client Bruno from France is replenishing his collection actively.
Bruno has purchased several WWII type high boots at our store, for Soviet soldiers mannequins’ decoration. He has sent us several photos from exhibitions he organized with other collectors, see left links:
Other war exhibit items can be seen on the following website:
Museums with World War II exhibitions usually search for army high boots which correspond strictly to the period of exhibition. Most commonly these are high boots with ‘pimples’ sole design, which was the most popular during WWII.
The idea of investment in WWII items gained ground about 20 years ago. Interest to these items was very high in the first years after the war, but as there was a big amount of such items, they were sold very cheap or even given for free. Although, in 80’s prices on these relics started growing very fast, because post-war children, who were fond of playing „war”, grew up and started to earn money. In result, WWII relics collecting attracted not only admirers of this period, but also investors. Investors saw a great potential in buying WWII relics, because their price had tendency to grow up, and an investor could get good profit upon sale. This tendency remains nowadays as well.
Some people are so fond of shoes that start to collect them. For example, Madonna has several hundreds of shoe pairs at her house, but a famous comedian Jerry Seinfeld collects slippers. At the moment he has more than 500 pairs in his collection and all of them are white. Many people around the world, especially in USA, Canada, Austria, France, and Japan, are fond of collecting Soviet footwear. Soviet Army changed boot models very often, including details like straps, sole design, quality of materials etc., so it is interesting to find them all. Footwear collecting requires a spacious room to store the collection. Never keep shoes and boots in dusty boxes. It is very important to provide certain conditions in the room to make the collection safe: humidity level should be low to avoid mildew that can spoil boots, and temperature should be several degrees lower than an average temperature in the rest of the house or flat. Even if you do not wear the shoes, they will stale, but at a lower temperature and humidity, shoes will remain in good condition for a longer time. Where to buy shoes? Majority of people, who are fond of shoes, buy them in ordinary stores, hunting for a pair of shoes for several hours. Those who do not have much time, search in the Internet. Buying through Internet is very easy, but in this case you need to distinguish real sellers and swindlers. Before you buy any item, always check your seller, all the comments about it, history of selling and so on.
Any of us ever wanted to mount a beautiful strong horse and ride as quick as the wind to illimitable space, far from everydayness, towards the horizon. However making this wish true is impossible without a special outfit that helps to sit on a horse and control the speed and direction of running.
It is interesting that the main requirements and standards, which are observed by modern horse riders, were created several centuries ago. So what is important for a sound horse riding? First of all, high boots for horse riding. Despite the fact that for riding the horse one can use even sport shoes, it is recommended to observe rules of this type of sport, and buy high boots. In horse riding chrome knee-high boots made of thick leather are used very widely.
If a rider wants to look totally gorgeous, he may wear patent leather boots polished to a mirror shine. In general, the need to wear high boots for horse riding is not only due to aesthetics but also due to practical considerations: the foot in the boot is more stable in the stirrup, boots protect the bottom of pants from horse sweat and abrasion.
Soviet calf boots from factories ‘Severohod’ and ‘Skorohod’ proved themselves in military parades of horse guard. These high boots are made of black chrome leather, with soft white or yellow leather inside. The boots do not get wet and have excellent wear resistance. The boots are made using unique high quality technologies, and are sold at an affordable price. The high boots can be used not only for horse riding, but also in everyday life. The number of these boots reduces year by year; nowadays they are not produced due to a very expensive technology which would make them unaffordable for the majority of people.
Our internet store clients have already appreciated ceremonial Russian high boots, during horse riding. For example, our client Michele from USA after buying one pair of Russian chrome boots was so satisfied with their quality that returned and bought another pair, and shortly yet another, larger size pair – for her husband.
It is worth noting that the first class chrome high boots were also produced for horse riding. Sometimes these boots can be found also in our assortment.
So, the boots are on your feet, you have your spurs, whip, and harness with you, and a saddle under you. It is time to go for a horse ride through picturesque places, to breathe deeply and feel yourself united with your beloved horse.
Costume Parties and Masquerades
Costume parties are entertaining events usually carried out in public, may contain a distinctive style of dress that reflects the theme of party. These may be the holidays, show performances, flashmobs, Christmas day, as well as theaters and movies.
Soviet high boots are perfect for theme costumes, including steampunk style. Many people know this, so for example before Halloween parties, fans of transformation buy Soviet boots for their costumes, some of them decorate the boots with rivets afterwards. Also before the holiday Soviet gas masks are in favor, they can be burned or updated visually to suit the steampunk style.
Halloween is one of the oldest festivals in the world; it roots from the Celtic harvest festival called Samhain which later was transformed to All-Hallows-Even, the night before the All Saints’ Day, which is celebrated on October, 31. The legend says that during the night souls of the dead visit their former homes to get warmed by the fire. They wander around, collecting donations of food and drinks from their former family.
Along with them other dark creatures like demons, goblins, and witches come. In order not to fall prey to them, people lit candles and fires and dress up as terrible as possible - into animal skins and heads, hoping to scare evil spirits away. Hence, there was a tradition to cut scary faces on a potato or pumpkin, and put candles inside to get a kind of flashlight. Nowadays, despite the fact that many people do not remember the true history of this day, Halloween has become one of the most funny, intriguing, and mysterious events.
Soviet boots are suitable not only for holiday parties, but also for shows and theatres where people can dress up as historical or national heroes and entertain the audience. As an example, often our clients a members of the famous The 501st Legion, a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization, has bought our ‘Severohod’ chrome boots for participation in robot parade, for personal use, and for private wedding shows.
Offical 501st web site: http://www.501st.com/
High Boots for Motorbike Riding
Cruiser is a type of motorbike made for long journeys, rallies, and parties. If you have such a motorbike, you know that you may have to ride and walk a lot, and your footwear should be comfortable for all occasions.
Various models of shoes and boots for motorbiking are offered nowadays, still majority of them are suitable only for short trip in a weekend’s evening. In spite of their impressive appearance, they are unsuitable for long-term wear and long journeys.
However, if you need in all respects comfortable shoes, buy Soviet chrome of yuft boots. Historically, these Russian military boots were designed to ensure maximum comfort in a variety of conditions, with continuous wear. These characteristics made them popular among bikers and riders. Despite the boots are several decades old, they still are great for traveling and hiking.
It should be noted that nowadays many companies around the world produce high boots for bikers. Unfortunately, in many cases these are only visual copies of Soviet boots without paying attention to production process hints, and this influences both their quality and comfort. The real high-quality chrome or yuft boots were produced only in theSoviet Union. They followed the traditions of tailoring and leather processing, in accordance with the requirements for these types of boots, making them very functional and comfortable.
Chrome boots are more elegant in appearance, their leather is softer and they are more comfortable inside. The leather can be polished to a mirror shine.
Yuft or Russia leather boots are made of thick leather and are very strong, can withstand harsh conditions and protect feet from injury. These boots are heavier and seem more massive.
Most riders purchase yuft boots with rubber sole which seems more reliable. But if you are not going to walk through swamps or climb on the rocks, there is no need for a rubber sole, and leather sole of chrome boots will serve for a long time. All Soviet boots are designed for long-time wearing under the most demanding conditions.
The quality of these boots leaves behind all modern analogues, still the price is very reasonable for such quality, and majority of people can afford them.
High Boots for Everyday Use
Soviet boots are perfect for everyday use, and we have loyal customers who buy military boots exactly for this reason. For example, our client Bernard and his twin brother from France have bought chrome, yuft, and soldiers’ boots for walking long distances. Bernard and his brother are 70 years old, and daily walking help them keep themselves fit. Our client Paul from Netherlands has bought a number of Soviet kirza and yuft boots for walking. Our client Juha who is fond of yuft boots, has bought winter models of Soviet boots, expensive fur Air Forces, and yuft boots with felt boot-tops, to use in harsh Finnish heaths.
Soviet chrome high boots with sizes till 41 (UK8.5) are popular in Mongolia, a huge number of boots was taken there after the war. Mongolians use them for everyday walking and for travel on a horseback.
If you live outside the city and especially in a heath or desert, these boots are essential, they are wearproof and suitable for off-road and marshes. The only trick is to use foot wraps in place of socks, as they do it in the army, in order to protect feet from corns. Footwrap is a piece of warm and durable fabric for wrapping the leg that is used instead of a sock. If you do not have foot wraps, put on several pairs of socks.
Foot Wrap Tricks
A foot wrap should be wrapped around the leg very tightly in order not to unwrap while running or walking. Wrapping should start from the toes, and wrapped only “out”, and not “inside”. If everything is done correctly, the foot is wrapped in two layers of fabric that retains heat better, and even if leg gets into water for a short moment, only the outer layer becomes wet. Footwraps are of two types: summer and winter ones. Summer foot wraps are made of woolen cloth or cotton, winter – of baize or fabric made of 50% cotton and 50% wool.
How to define the quality of boots?
Real Soviet boots are of the highest quality and made exclusively according to GOST (State Standard of the Soviet Union).
It is important to note that formerly boots were made with leather inner sole and in fact, these boots are highly valuable, especially because they can be repaired and a sole can be easily replaced, so one can walk in them for decades. Soldier's boots never have zippers. If the size of boots is correct, you can put them on and off with minimal effort. Soviet boots have a very large range of sizes, including different wideness of boot-tops.
High Boots for Army
At all times Russian footwear was one of the best for war purposes and many wars confirm this.
Army: Low Boots or High Boots?
First of all, if a soldier wears army boots, he needs socks. It is impossible to wear boots with footwraps. On the other hand, high boots can be worn both with socks and footwraps. ‘Where’s the problem?’ you may ask. Imagine that it is war time. If soldiers wear boots, they need socks of different sizes to suit each one. Socks fray faster than footwraps, and one needs to change socks immediately, if they become wet. Wet socks and feet can cause not only corns, but also can be the cause of catching cold. Now imagine how difficult is it to organize socks supply process in war time for all the army.
Footwraps, on the other hand, do not have size; they can be made in a couple of minutes, just take a piece of any cloth. If footwraps become wet, one needs only to take them off and to wrap from another end, so the feet will be warm and dry again, while the wet side will dry on the ankle. Thus, using footwraps, a soldier depends on suppliers much less. Also for suppliers it is easier to find the necessary amount of cloth for footwraps than necessary amount of socks.
Another advantage of high boots is that a high boot can protect the leg almost to the knee from burns, injuries, and any other damage. High boots also protect against moisture: try walking on wet grass early in the morning in simple boots and you feel that your pants are wet to the knees. So high boots protect against such problems as wet pants, moreover, you will be able even to force a deep puddle or a shallow stream.
It takes much less time to put on high boots than army boots. Very useful is also lack of strings which tend to tear.
In Russia, in the period of Peter the First rule and till the end of the 18th century soldiers and officers wore shoes, but high boots were available only for cavalry. High boots were very prestigious, but also very expensive, because amount of leather necessary for one pair of high boots was enough to product five shoes. Nevertheless, in the beginning of the 19th century, soldiers started to use high boots as well, and system did not change till nowadays, except for a little period during the World War I, when there was a lack of material for footwear.
If a soldier has to wade through mud at a landfill, overcome different obstacle zones, jump on tank armor, and repeat all this week after week, high boots are the best choice.
Of course, U.S. boots seem more elegant than Soviet high boots. Still do not judge about the boots only by watching a couple of smash-hits with Schwarzenegger or Stallone.
U.S. soldiers know that the price for wearing boots can be too high. In “A Soldier’s Story”, the memoirs of US General O. Bradley, from December, 1944 to January, 1045 US soldiers fought in Europe in army boots. At this time besides combat losses, about 12,000 soldiers had to return to the back land because of feet rheumatism.
On the other hand, there are cases when army boots are preferable, mostly in situations when ankle fixation is necessary, for example when parajumping or cross-country running.
In conclusion, when choosing army boots or high boots, one need to think about the region where the footwear will be used, time of the year and particular characteristics of a mission. It is the same as choosing a weapon, use right one at right time and right place.
Footwear for Hiking
It is very important to choose right footwear for a hiking trip. In the city we always have the possibility to go home and change our shoes, but there is no such option in a trip, and unsuitable footwear may turn your journey into a continuous hell. In order to minimize inconveniences: corns, sprains, and strains, use our recommendations of footwear selection and care during the trip.
Good footwear for a trip is a pair of worn in boots with ribbed sole. The boots should be 1 – 2 sizes larger than your usual size, so that you can put thick wool or terry socks on, and an additional felt insock, if needed.
Never go hiking in new boots. One easy tip how to wear in your boots: put on thick socks, then new boots, and heat them with your hair-dryer. Then walk a bit, and after your boots cool down, they will fit perfectly. You can also use any spray for shoe stretch that is available at your place.
Russian high boots are also a very good choice for a trip. They are strong and light, dry quickly, and their rubber sole will not slide. They are high enough to walk through shallow mountain rivers. Also they are easy to put on when the temperature outside is under 0°C.
How to Choose Boots for Fishing?
These are requirements for your fishing footwear:
If any of these rules is not about your boots, you will not get any pleasure from your fishing trip. When choosing a pair of boots, think about all places you use to travel for fishing, it will help you to find the footwear that will suit the majority of situations.
How to Choose Boots for Hunting?
It is quite difficult to find good quality footwear for hunting, especially winter. A hunter should not feel any discomfort of wet legs or corns. He has to feel only excitement and concentrate on the process of hunting the animal. Footwear for hunting is the most important among the entire hunter’s outfit. It should meet not only several specific requirements, but also weather conditions and climate of the region. Footwear for hunting should be light and strong, waterproof and do not cause perspiration. It must protect and fix the ankle and do not cause corns.
Five tips of right hunting footwear:
Footwear for Mushroom Pickers
Mushroom picking usually demands a lot of walking, so the footwear should be maximally comfortable. Other important characteristic is waterproofing because even in a very dry and hot weather you may have to move through a wet ravine or a spring, or marshy land.
Avoid too narrow shoes or any totally new footwear, because you will get corns and spoil your leisure time.
The best choice for mushrooming is a pair of well-matching rubber high boots with not too high or too low boot-top. We recommend taking another pair of socks with you in order to change them if feet get wet.
Footwear for Paintball and Airsoft
Proper footwear for strikeball or paintball is an important question for participants. Its choice depends on the playground. For example, in some paintball grounds which are well-groomed and are situated in a dry pine forest, people have played even in flip-flops. But usually the most functional footwear for this purpose is army boots or mountaineering boots. They will save the feet from dirt, dampness, and possible injuries.
If there is no such “paintball boots” in your wardrobe, do not worry – you can use running shoes, sneakers, work boots. In the rainy weather – rubber boots, in winter - Soviet soldiers’ boots or felt boots. Perfect paintball boots should be tough, but do not rub or press. They should have a good ankle fixation to save from injuries, and be waterproof as the conditions may be extreme like puddles or springs right in the best position. Suitable footwear is very important for the victory. For the best result, take a spare pair of boots and socks with you. You will definitely appreciate them after a sharp battle!
Footwear for Treasure Hunting and Metal Searching
Every man read a book about brave treasure hunters who went over the sea and the mountains, with a map with a red X mark showing the place of the treasure. As a rule, it was boxes, bowls, or any other containers, full of gold coins and jewelry.
Treasure hunting is a search for treasure or valuables. In his or her childhood, almost everyone dreamed of finding treasures. Nowadays, when modern equipment is available, treasure hunting is a common hobby. Some people are lucky, some are not, but everybody has a chance! Treasure hunting is a very gambling game, and sometimes prizes are quite impressive. Anyway you always get a lot of fun during the process!
To avoid false reaction of metal detector, we recommend putting off watches, rings and bracelets, as well as clothes with metal buttons and rivets on the sleeves, as well as footwear with metal details.
Clothes should not be too free, in order not to cling to protruding nails, twigs, roof pieces, log wells and so forth. Footwear should be light and waterproof, a good choice is rubber boots, army boots or any Soviet high boots.
Mind the weather when choosing what to wear on. Think about warmer clothes in autumn or winter. Despite the process is active, the weather conditions can be quite bad, with rains and strong cold wind, and such conditions can last for a long time. Headwear or a hood is necessary. Some people use cammies, but nowadays it is considered that these clothes draw local people attention too much.