USAF Has a New Boot

The Air Force has selected a new maintenance specialty boot, one that is full-grain leather but with rubber toe and heel caps, to replace the current suede version worn with the Airman Battle Uniform. The Air Force Uniform Office at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, began searching in October 2008 for a means to improve the stain resistance of the old boot, but after an unsuccessful test run, officials selected alternate materials for a wear test that began in August 2009, ultimately settling on smooth, full-grain leather as the prototype that is most “easy to clean, will not stain, and hides scuffs and wear from industrial use,” said Richard Keefer, AFUO chief. However, the preferred boot will need some revamping to meet requirements for lighter weight, better breathability, and greater traction in its sole. (AFUO report by Brad Jessmer)