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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/14/2005 1:52:06 PM EDT
September 19, 2005

Your new boots
Two alternatives to replace boondockers

By Mark D. Faram
Times staff writer

If, as expected, the Navy adopts a new working uniform later this year, sailors will sport more than just new threads. They’ll also be issued new, high-top leather boots as well.

That means not only will dungarees and coveralls get the heave-ho, but the venerable boondocker will be kicked to the curb as well.

There are currently two candidates vying for the right to protect fleet feet.

One is a high-top version of the existing boondocker. The other is a totally new “no shine” leather style that resembles suede in look and feel, and requires no polishing or spit shine. Both are currently being worn and evaluated by those sailors wear-testing the Navy Working Uniform.

Navy officials say they don’t expect a lot of complaints over ditching the 6-inch “General Purpose Safety Boot,” or boondocker, for either of the new options.

“The safety boot, or boondocker, is a feature of the dungaree uniform today and, yes, it could have its days numbered,” said CNO-designated Command Master Chief (SW) Robert B. Carroll of Task Force Uniform.

Both new boot options are made of leather, but that’s where their similarity ends.

“The shiny leather version is really a 9-inch version of the existing 6-inch boot,” said Onder Ors, head of the Bates footwear corporation’s uniform footwear division, the company that makes the boondocker and the new high-top option. “It is actually available for purchase in the Navy Exchange today.”

Because it meets all the Navy’s safety requirements, Caulfield said, any sailor can buy it and wear the high tops today. If it is approved, however, the Navy will foot the $108 bill and issue them.

Breathable boot

The no-shine boot is spurring the most debate among sailors. Ors said it’s nearly identical to one adopted by the Marines in 2002.

“We call it Warrior leather,” he said.

The Navy, however, prefers to call it a “rough side out” boot.

But regardless of what it is called, the no-shine boot has proven to be extremely versatile, if radical in military appearance.

“The material is actually pigskin,” he said. “Pigskin is nature’s most breathable material and helps keep the foot comfortable in most environments.”

Along with breathability, it also repels water. Carroll said wear-testers have reported the boot won’t flood even if totally immersed in water for short periods.

Ors says that’s because the leather is treated with Scotchguard leather protectant during the tanning process.

“This makes this boot resistant to absorbing oil and fuel vapors, something that is actually a problem with the shiny leather boot,” Ors said. “It also gives it water-resistant properties,” though he won’t say the boot is waterproof.

Even with all its treatments, the boot is soft and supple to the touch and that, Carroll says, makes it a “joy” to wear.

“It really requires no break-in period, as do most leather boots,” he said. “Combined with the sole, it is so comfortable I can PT in this boot.”

And because it resists moisture and is more “breathable,” sailors can wear thermal socks to provide protection in colder climates.

“We are not talking about going to the polar ice caps here,” Carroll said. “But within reason, proper layering with this boot can provide a lot of protection from the cold.”

But if the boot has one drawback, Carroll said, it is the fact the suppleness of the leather lacks the ankle support the traditional leather boot provides.

The suedelike finish, however, has one very obvious appeal: There’s no need to polish it. Ors said it can be simply washed and brushed out to have a good appearance.

“A stiff bristle brush is really all you need to take care of these boots,” Ors said.

Carroll agrees, saying that wear-testers have reported spattering and spilling paint on the boot only to find that after it dries, the brush takes it right off without a trace.

Boondocker legacy

Ironically, the legacy of the boondocker lives on in the sole of both new boot options. It has the same stringent safety and improved shock absorption properties as the current boondocker.

“What sailors need to remember is the Navy, for the most part, is an industrial environment,” said Louise Caulfield from the Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility in Natick, Mass.

That’s because any shipboard Navy boot must be able to withstand rigors that normal combat boots are not subject to.

“Many sailors only think that to be a safety shoe, it only needs a steel toe,” Carroll said. “Though that is part of the story, it’s not all.”

The boot sole must also be able to withstand 482 degrees Fahrenheit for 60 seconds without melting.

“It is rubber that gives the heat absorption properties we need,” Caulfield said. All rubber soles, however, have their drawbacks. They’re not very shock-absorbing, she said.

The new soles incorporate a “dual density” sole that is mostly rubber, but is reinforced with shock-absorbing polyurethane in the heel and ball of the foot. That technology was adopted in 2003 after Navy officials noted the many foot and lower-leg injuries sailors were experiencing with an all rubber sole.

“It is that technology that was adopted in the issue safety boot in 2003 and it has dramatically reduced the number of injuries at boot camp,” Caulfield said. “That is why the decision was made to incorporate the same sole into the boots being tested by TFU.”

One place the new boots are not being tested is on the flight decks of the Navy, Caulfield said.

“These boots are not, as yet, approved for use on flight decks,” she said.

But approval for that duty could be as simple as adding solid tread to the sole, one that will not pick up anything in the tread that could later come out on deck and cause foreign object damage to aircraft engines.

For his part, Carroll said he prefers the no-shine boot, but isn’t convinced all sailors will agree.

“Personally I prefer this boot, but many do not,” he said. “I think they believe we’ve always had shoes we can shine and we always should.”


Link Posted: 9/14/2005 2:01:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2005 3:20:21 PM EDT by DOW]
No pic?
Good for the swabbies BTW.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 3:09:02 PM EDT
My late uncle, a retired Marine SGM, told me about being issued no shine rough out boots. They had to scape them smooth to spit shine them. We starch and iron no iron BDUs, thus destroying their infra red capabilities. Watch them spit shine these as well.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 3:40:54 PM EDT

“The material is actually pigskin,”


Won't last. The Mooslems are going to complain about the 'unclean' leather. They're too chickenshit PC to not change it.

wganz

Link Posted: 9/14/2005 3:48:46 PM EDT
Actually sounds pretty good. If they get this right, I'll be pleasantly surprised.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 3:53:32 PM EDT


“The material is actually pigskin,”

Good! I can't wait to dig the heel of a pigskin boot into some Islamofascist...
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 3:54:31 PM EDT
Rough side out sounds like the way to go to me.

I just hope we can take the boot and leave the blue camies.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 3:58:29 PM EDT
Roughout is nice until you spill POLs on it. I remember Marines on HazMat duty or working in the galley aboard ship...their "new" roughout boots were ruined in a matter of weeks.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 4:34:26 PM EDT
The Navy working uniform has been horrid for a long time. It's pretty bad when they don't even want you to be seen publically wearing it.

I always thought it would be a logical choice to just issue navy blue BDU's and be done with it. Coveralls always looked ok too, I thought.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 4:38:19 PM EDT
The boonkdockers were comfortable from the 1st time you wore them to me.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 5:27:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LWilde:
Actually sounds pretty good. If they get this right, I'll be pleasantly surprised.



As I.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 5:37:58 PM EDT
I hated those boots. Comfy and ankle supporting? No way!

Hope they enforce that no polishing requirement. I hated that - competing against airconditioned office dweebs with nothing better to do than polish leather for a uniform inspection. I refused to buy Corfams.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 5:41:07 PM EDT
Pigskin? Go Navy? Sounds like something that has to do with football lol kidding
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 5:49:00 PM EDT
Found the pic:



just kidding...
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 5:49:07 PM EDT
I was shocked when I found out the dixie cup was out. What's the new working uniform look like? I didn't care for the patch pocket dungarees, boondockers were okay and I didn't mind the blue shirt...
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 6:52:08 PM EDT
"Tradition" only goes so far when it looks ghey. The USMC, AF and Army all look good in their working uniforms and the Navy guys are stuck looking like a Village People stand-in. I say "adios, dixie cup."
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 6:58:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 7:00:56 PM EDT



Matches the new uniform too.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 7:42:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2005 7:47:30 PM EDT by Valkyrie]

Originally Posted By cjklekar:
I was shocked when I found out the dixie cup was out. What's the new working uniform look like? I didn't care for the patch pocket dungarees, boondockers were okay and I didn't mind the blue shirt...



I've seen every proposed variation of the new uniforms out there. First, the suede should go. Leather being higher maintanaince is tougher and keeping them shine shows pride IMHO. Second, the digi-blue camies are horrid, the black and gray are much better looking. The camo is meant to make a better working uniform that doesnt show dirt and requires less maintaining. I say a camo should be functional. What are they trying to camo us into or from? The water? Next, the uniforms repalcing the summer whites and Johnny Cashs' is a hybrid that looks as Navy as an Air Force uniform in Kansas. There is 2 proposed variations both not far removed from what we wear now, the dreaded utilities. There is a gray shirt and black trousers and a kaki and black. The former similar to the current tilities and hard to distinguish from a distance until you see ribbons and insignia, the latter looking like a USMC uniform, I dont know the name they use. Both utilize the garrison cap(piss cutter) which is a better option than a ball cap which makes us look like a bunch of janitors at the local mall. I hope the ball cap dies a quick death as it isn't practical for me.

The worst part of all of this? The United States Navy is perhaps the most easily recognized service in the entire world. Oolur uniforms are unique and carry a long lineage of tradition and here. From 300 yards away a line of service members from all over the world could be standing and a USN sailor can be picked out. These uniforms carry no sense of Naval tradtion or heratage. Glad they aren't fucking with our dress uniforms.....yet

I do agree the summer whites got to go. The Johnny Cash uniforms, for me, have always been a decent looking intermediate uniform. But in all of this, I hope the Navy decides to open up and give is authorization to wear these uniforms out in town. Currently we are only allowed out in town in service dress, summer white/winter working blues. I am not authorized to wear a flightsuit, green flight jackets, Leather G1 flight jacket, utilities(unless for short persoanl business stops), coveralls, etc otside the gate. We have more uniforms than any other service yet only four are allowed unrestricted wear in public. Go figure...

ETA: It s sad to see the dixie cup disappear from everyday uniforms. It set us apart from all the others, it made us "Navy" I rarely wear dress uniforms, an I think that is par for most sailors so it will be sad to see them disappear from the daily routine in the summer.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 11:07:30 PM EDT
Cracker jacks and whites are Navy and need to be retained.

The old dungarees weren't bad for a working uniform Heel it's a working uniform, if it gets messed up too bad. IT's a working uniform. Second choice would be coveralls. BDUs for shipboard why? blousing the cuffs to keep the bugs out? (OK after mess decks movies not a bad idea) you sure don't need all the extra pockets, we're talking shipboard

I never liked the boondockers, but I also never found a pair that fit right. I had a long narrow foot and they were all cut so that even if tied them as tight as possible the tops still didn't pull tight around my ankle.

Also who gives a rip about shining a work boot. Dress shoe, yes, work shoe NO

I wish them luck, the last time I was on a ship I nearly killed myself talking to the CO We were on an LSD (LPD?) and the vehicle ramp in the well deck. And we turned to look at something and both shoes slipped on the grating and I spun around my center of gravity and right flat on my back.
The CO asked if I was hurt and my ready wit answered"Yes, and I found a place they need to clean before the next zone inspection. Right there by the lights in the overhead."

That made about 30 years of being on ships and I still hadn't seen a shoe or boot that met all the requirements for shipboard wear. Something that won't skid on hot oily deckplates in engineering spaces, luggy soles that don't catch on ladders and kneeknockers, won't skid on cold wet and maybe icy slippery decks during unreps, won't melt in fires, etc. Let me know when you find one I'll buy a few pair.

A boondocker with a good sole oughta be about perfect, but finding that sole that goes anywhere on a ship.

Lets not pretend I wasn't above getting around the requirements. I once got challenged about wearing corfams standing quarterdeck watches in the yards. I found a pair of low quarter steel toed corfams. However, that was the only time I would wear them, otherwise corfam is about the worst material for a military shoe I ever saw. Why can't you be squared away like that, look at that shine! But he's not wearing steel toes. Oh yes he is. Where did you find those? Shipyard shoe store NOT the Clothing store.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 11:15:54 PM EDT
I'll put it simple.

A sailor is a fuckin' sailor and ought to look like a fuckin' sailor.

Bell bottom jeans, blue chambray shirt for work.

A goddam four-square sailor uniform for dress.


In the 70s they tried something else and you couldn't tell sailors from bus drivers.


Any a you bastards know how to fold a jumper to store it in your rack to press it with body heat?

This former Dogface turned Merchie does!
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 11:20:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2005 11:34:44 PM EDT by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By dport:
Rough side out sounds like the way to go to me.

I just hope we can take the boot and leave the blue camies.



Now...

If only the Air Force would change, it would be time to sell Kiwi stock, if you have any...


As for working uniforms, IMHO AF & Navy should have a common 'non-combat utility uniform' for their never-going-to-see-ground-combat folks, the Marines, Army, and any USAF/USN personell who do fight on land should all wear one common 'Combat Uniform' (ACU -> 'USCU', anyone?), and that should be it... Leave the distinctive stuff for A's & B's...

As for 'pride' and 'maintanance free' uniforms, that's a notion as dated as the 'traditional' USN uniform... Boots should be no-shine, uniforms should be wash & wear, and the regs (not just the instructions on the uniform items, but 670-1 (Army) or whatever it is in the other services) should be written to prohibit deviations.... I'm sorry, but Soldiers (Sailors, Airmen & Marines too, I'd guess) have better things to do with their time than polish boots & press/fix-up work uniforms. Again, leave all that for the A's & B's...
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 8:45:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By piccolo:
I'll put it simple.

A sailor is a fuckin' sailor and ought to look like a fuckin' sailor.

Bell bottom jeans, blue chambray shirt for work.

A goddam four-square sailor uniform for dress.


In the 70s they tried something else and you couldn't tell sailors from bus drivers.


Any a you bastards know how to fold a jumper to store it in your rack to press it with body heat?

This former Dogface turned Merchie does!



A voice of reason in the wilderness!
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 1:03:56 PM EDT
Bring back long hair and tar so the jumper flap once again serves its original purpose!




Originally Posted By piccolo:
I'll put it simple.

A sailor is a fuckin' sailor and ought to look like a fuckin' sailor.

Bell bottom jeans, blue chambray shirt for work.

A goddam four-square sailor uniform for dress.


In the 70s they tried something else and you couldn't tell sailors from bus drivers.


Any a you bastards know how to fold a jumper to store it in your rack to press it with body heat?

This former Dogface turned Merchie does!

Link Posted: 9/15/2005 1:04:57 PM EDT
This is worthless without pics!
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 1:08:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By piccolo:
I'll put it simple.

A sailor is a fuckin' sailor and ought to look like a fuckin' sailor.

Bell bottom jeans, blue chambray shirt for work.

A goddam four-square sailor uniform for dress.


In the 70s they tried something else and you couldn't tell sailors from bus drivers.


Any a you bastards know how to fold a jumper to store it in your rack to press it with body heat?

This former Dogface turned Merchie does!



Wholeheartedly agree. Like you said, they changed the uniforms before and that crapped out. Leave the damn dungarees alone. Leave the dress blues/whites alone dammit.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 1:15:35 PM EDT
Most important questions;
1) Are they sturdy?
2) Are they comfortable?
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 1:25:20 PM EDT
How many times is the Navy gonna do this.......it didnt work the last time and the Coast Guard did the same damned thing wasted time and made us look like a bunch of carpenters........CG work uniform in the late seventies was blue Dickies!!.........they went back to the Bell Bottoms and Chambray shirt at some point...I can't remeber when!........just a big waste of time and money.............. let Sailors look like Sailors!!
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 1:29:21 PM EDT
I love hearing sailors whine.

Link Posted: 9/15/2005 1:39:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
I love hearing sailors whine.




Spoken like a true REMF pogue.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 1:55:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Valkyrie:
Leather being higher maintanaince is tougher and keeping them shine shows pride IMHO.







What about painting rocks?


Trimming the grass near the curb with scissors?


Turning the rocks over from the summer side to the winter side?
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 2:01:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By VooDoo3dfx:
www.pulpvintage.com/pics/items/12000125A.jpg


Matches the new uniform too.



Link Posted: 9/15/2005 2:20:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 2:22:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LARRYG:

Originally Posted By piccolo:
I'll put it simple.

A sailor is a fuckin' sailor and ought to look like a fuckin' sailor.

Bell bottom jeans, blue chambray shirt for work.

A goddam four-square sailor uniform for dress.


In the 70s they tried something else and you couldn't tell sailors from bus drivers.


Any a you bastards know how to fold a jumper to store it in your rack to press it with body heat?

This former Dogface turned Merchie does!



Wholeheartedly agree. Like you said, they changed the uniforms before and that crapped out. Leave the damn dungarees alone. Leave the dress blues/whites alone dammit.



I just wish the dress whites were cotton instead of polyester.

Other than that, yes leave the uniforms alone.

I do think the boots would be better though.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 2:58:26 PM EDT
Say goodbye to the old boots--->

Link Posted: 9/15/2005 3:58:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By npd233:
Say goodbye to the old boots--->

www.news.navy.mil/management/photodb/webphoto/web_040724-N-4308O-019.jpg



About your sig line................you need to add:

Drivers, don't lollygag around in the left lane and stack up traffic for miles.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 4:09:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By VooDoo3dfx:
www.pulpvintage.com/pics/items/12000125A.jpg


Matches the new uniform too.



Thats phukin funny.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 5:08:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Maynard:

Originally Posted By Thekatar:
"adios, dixie cup."




I hated that fucking dog dish.



What are you guys talking about? I am still using that damn hat. When is it supposed to go?
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