This week, our friends at discuss the efforts of the United States Army to issue new “hot weather jungle combat boots” for its soldiers.

As a result of the “pivot” to the Pacific and the opening of the Jungle warfare training school in Hawaii, there is a greater emphasis on developing this new footwear. Thus, the U.S. Army has officially issued a Request for Information (RFI), which means that companies in the footwear industry can “send an information package no greater than ten pages in length describing their current product(s) and how they are made or could be modified to address the U.S. Army requirement.”

Soldier Systems warns that the new boot must not have any padding, linings, or cushioned midsole for comfort. This will avoid water absorption. Instead of a midsole, “the Army issued a Saran mesh insole insert” on their old jungle boots. This “provided cushion and helped keep the Soldier’s foot from directly sitting on the footbed in order to help keep the feet dry and increase ventilation,” Soldier Systems writes.

According to the official RFI, the U.S. Army requirements for hot weather jungle combat boots include the following:

  • 1) Durable enough to last 12 months of wear in jungle environments where high humidity and repeated submersion in water are expected;
  • 2) Quick drying and highly breathable, to allow for heat and moisture to exit the boot when worn;
  • 3) Drainage which allows for evacuation of water from the boot while walking;
  • 4) Light weight construction (under 2lbs/boot) with materials that resist water absorption;
  • 5) A Pronounced heel to allow for improved grip when walking down loose, muddy declines;
  • 6) Tread/Lug pattern that easily sheds mud and debris while walking;
  • 7) Outsoles that provide propulsion and superior traction while allowing for braking and stability moving both up and down wet, muddy slopes;
  • 8) Able to keep mud, sediment, and debris out of boot while maneuvering through water and deep mud;
  • 9) Designed to reduce pressure points and discomfort during descents on uneven, rugged terrain;
  • 10) Provide for quick break-in.

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