U.S. Army Field Shoes 1902 to 1917
Posted 02 October 2009 - 07:29 PM
Edited by Kration, 02 October 2009 - 07:32 PM.
Posted 12 October 2009 - 08:51 AM
Posted 14 October 2009 - 12:53 AM
Posted 16 March 2010 - 12:41 PM
Kration, those 82/85 shoes are about as rare a US footware as you can find and both are in such wonderful condition.
Figured I would add these CW ankle shoes just to include the early CW footware also. Ray
Posted 26 July 2011 - 06:06 AM
Since at least one posting mentioned reproductions, I hope that I won't get into trouble for doing so. I ordered from Cavalry Regimental Supply, which I believe is no longer takes orders. I have two pairs of what were advertised as M1904's. The first, a very sturdy pair that is now three years old and have seen much use, is actually a combination of the M1902 and M1912: four eyelets and then three hooks at the top. An odd combination, and not an M1904, but very sturdy. The second "M1904" has seven eyelets like the M1912 and looks more like the M1912 than the M1904, thanks to the illustrations.
The last pair was advertised as being M1908, but they are modelled after the M1905 almost exactly now that I have seen the illustration. A very high pair of boots indeed!
Thus, lacking originals, I'm quite content to have my M1902/1912, M1905, and M1912 boots. Now, if only true M1902 or M1904 reproductions were made, I guess that I would have everything covered since the M1917's actually don't look like all that much of an improvement to me.
Again, thank you for the detailed discussion. I can only hope that some sort of similar detail can be shown to assist in informing as to pre-M1912 overcoats.
Posted 05 January 2014 - 03:09 AM
I take a undressing a mannequin to present an alternative shoes M1902.
It was found in a home near me (Toul Sector).
Posted 24 August 2014 - 11:35 PM
For quite some time I’ve been meaning to come back and correct some of the errors that were made when I wrote this post some five years ago. I’d also like to add a handful of additional photographs. I have put all of the new information in chronological order, and referenced the page and post number to which they correspond.
Some additional information in reference to the 1882 Campaign Shoe as mentioned in post number 01, on page 01 of this thread. At the time the original post was made I didn’t have any information regarding specification numbers.
The known specification numbers for later Campaign Shoes are as follows:
Specification No. 254, adopted on February 20, 1889
Specification No. 329, adopted on August 3, 1892
Specification No. 336, adopted on March 10, 1893
Specification No. 409, adopted on August 29, 1896
Specification No. 447, adopted on January 4, 1898
Posted 24 August 2014 - 11:37 PM
Some additional information in reference to the 1887 Barrack Shoe mentioned in post number 02, on page 01 of this thread.
The known specification numbers for the Barrack Shoes are as follows:
Specification No. ???, adopted on March 19, 1883
Specification No. 181, adopted on February 26, 1887
Specification No. 250, adopted February 7, 1889
Specification No. 301, adopted on October 7, 1890
Specification No. 400, adopted on May 11, 1896
Specification No. 761, adopted on January 13, 1906
Specification No. 814, adopted on April 26, 1906
The following engraving, as well as the description of the early Army Barrack Shoe was found in an Army publication dated 1901. Based on the year the book was published, they both likely represent the 1896 Barrack Shoe (specification No.400).
Barrack shoes are issued for use in garrison when not on duty, and are much lighter and more comfortable than the leather shoe for this purpose. They are made with uppers of fifteen-ounce brown cotton duck, the toe and top of vamp being made of russet colored calfskin.
The Theory and Practice of Military Hygiene, 1901, Captain Edward Lyman Munson MD, page 317
Posted 24 August 2014 - 11:39 PM
Some additional information in reference to the 1902 Black and Russet Calfskin Shoe as mentioned in post number 02, on page 01 of this thread.
Known specification numbers for the early Black Calfskin (Dress) Shoes are as follows:
Specification No. 503, adopted on March 19, 1900
Specification 508, adopted on April 21, 1900
Specification 530, adopted on December 31, 1900
Specification No. 577, adopted on August 23, 1902
The accompanying engraving and description of the early Army Black Calfskin Shoe were also both found in an Army publication dated 1901. Based on the year the book was published, they too likely represent the 1900 Black calfskin Shoe (specification No. 530)
The United States army shoe, as adopted in 1898, appears to be excellent and satisfactorily to fill the needs of the military service. The vamp is made of calfskin, and the top and tongue of kangaroo calf, boarded and of uniform thickness. The side lining is the same material as the vamp, while the upper lining is of shoe drilling. The outsoles, top piece and heel lifts are to be required to be cut from the best quality hides weighing 18 to 26 pounds to the side. The shoe is hand sewed with silk and linen thread, the inseam being covered by a welt taken out of the insole to protect the seam and make it level for the wearer. The outsole is thoroughly hammered, is grooved one-sixteenth of an inch to countersink the stitching, and sewed with eight and one-half stitches to the inch. The shoe is issued in eight sizes and four widths; the weight two and one-half pounds per pair. This shoe is constructed of excellent material and well answers the purpose for which it is intended.
The Theory and Practice of Military Hygiene, 1901, Captain Edward Lyman Munson MD, page 316, 317
Note that the shoe has five pairs of lacing eyelets, one pair at the top and four pairs at the bottom, separated by three pairs of lacing hooks. The shoe also has a pull strap, and it appears to have no cap toe, which seems to have been a standard feature on all post 1902 pattern Army shoes.
Posted 24 August 2014 - 11:40 PM
Some additional information in reference to the 1902 Russet Garrison Shoe as mentioned in post number 02, on page 01 of this thread.
The known specification numbers for the early Russet Garrison Shoe are as follows:
Specification No. 490, adopted on September 30, 1899
Specification No. 503, adopted on March 19, 1900
Specification No. 508, adopted on April 21, 1900
Specification No. 577, adopted on August 23, 1902
Presumably early variants of the Russet Garrison Shoe (specification No. 503 & 508 ) mirrored the appearance of its black counterpart shown above.
Subsequent research has revealed that the shoe labeled as the “1902 Type Dress Shoe” in post number 03 on page 01 of this thread is in fact a U.S. Navy Black “High” Shoe circa 1913-1917. Also the shoe labeled as the “1902 Type Russet Garrison Shoe” is also what I believe to be a U.S. Navy Tan “High” Shoe, circa 1913-1917. I apologize for the error.
All regulation Navy shoes appear to have four pairs of lacing hooks, followed by six rows of lacing eyelets. They featured rubber heels for better traction on a ships wet deck.
Posted 24 August 2014 - 11:41 PM
Some additional information in reference to the 1904 Black Dress and Russet Garrison Shoes as mentioned in post number 04, on page 01 of this thread.
The known specification numbers for the 1904 pattern Black Calfskin (dress) Shoes are as follows:
Specification No. 659, adopted on April 9, 1904
Specification No. 812, adopted on April 26, 1906
Specification No.1068, adopted on ?? ??, 1910
The known specification numbers for the 1904 Russet Garrison Shoes are as follows:
Specification No. 660, adopted on April 9, 1904
Specification No. 808, adopted on April 24, 1906
Specification No. 840, adopted on September 30, 1906
Specification No. 927, adopted on January 31, 1908
Specification No. 1068, adopted on ?? ??, 1910
Both of these photos which were labeled in the original post as being the “1904 Russet Garrison Shoe”, are in fact both examples of the 1912 Russet Leather Shoe. I apologize for the error. Thus far, I have been unable to find any photographs of either the 1904 Black Dress or Russet Garrison Shoe.
Posted 24 August 2014 - 11:42 PM
Some additional information in reference to the 1904 Russet Marching Shoe as mentioned in post number 06 on page 01 of this thread.
The known specification numbers for the early Russet Marching Shoe are as follows:
Specification No. 599, adopted on February 27, 1903
Specification No. 658, adopted on April 7, 1904
Specification No. 764 and 765, adopted on July 20, 1905
Specification No. 785, 787, 788, and 790, adopted on January 6, 1906
Specification No. 809, 810, 811, and 813, adopted on April 26, 1906
The Marching Shoe was available in four different several different configurations: canvas lined; unlined; single soled; double soled; and an orthopedic sole. The four different specification numbers listed above likely coincide with the combination of features in which the shoe was issued.
The photos shown in post number 06 that are labeled as “the 1905 Russet Marching Shoe” are in fact the 1907 “Improved” Marching Shoe with a toe cap. According to recently discovered Quartermaster General annual reports the 1905 pattern Russet Marching Shoe did not have a toe cap. I apologize for the error.
Posted 24 August 2014 - 11:44 PM
While doing additional research on other U.S. Army shoes, it became clear that the high-topped 1904 Russet Marching Shoe was unacceptable for a number of reasons. All of which were briefly noted in the 1906 annual report by the Quartermaster General:
The Department has been manufacturing two styles of marching shoes – the standard and the orthopedic, double and single soles. Selection for issue of these from these two styles, whether double or single sole, is about equal in number. Many reports on this shoe have been favorable, but some criticisms of either the box-toe caps, back seam, height of the shoe, or stiffness of the shanks have been received; therefore the Department is now manufacturing a somewhat lower shoe, with seam on inside quarter, soft toe cap, and more flexible shank, which it is believed will meet the objections above referred to.
Annual Report of the Quartermaster General for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1906, page 36
The revised or “improved” marching shoe was revealed in the following annual report, in which the Quartermaster Department quietly admitted that the previous (1905) marching shoe had not been well received:
In consequence of reports received from the Army upon the adaptability of the regulation marching shoes, the Quartermaster General, with a view to rendering the shoes still more comfortable to wearers, caused samples to be made with the height slightly reduced, the tongue made of lighter and softer material, the instep measurements increased, and with toe caps.
On February 18, 1907, specifications and standard samples of improved marching shoes were adopted, since which time shoes of this particular pattern have been purchased and issued whenever certain widths and sizes of the marching shoes heretofore procured were found to be exhausted.
It is believed that the continued efforts of the Quartermaster General to perfect a shoe for marching purposes have been rewarded, and that the improved marching shoes will give general satisfaction throughout the Army.
Annual Report of the Quartermaster General for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1907, page 48
Therefore, the 1907 “Improved” Russet Marching Shoe was made slightly shorter; the thickness and weight of the leather used to fabricate the tongue of the shoe was reduced; the instep and toe area of the shoe was enlarged to prevent blisters forming, and a toe cap was added.
The only known specification numbers for the 1907 “Improved” Marching Shoe are as follows:
Specification No. ???, adopted on February 18, 1907
Specification No. 1069, adopted on ?? ?? 1910
This poor quality photo taken from a publication dated 1912, shows the height difference between the 1908 specification of the 1904 Russet garrison Shoe (Specification No. 927) and the new 1907 “Improved” Marching Shoe.
Posted 24 August 2014 - 11:51 PM
Some additional information in reference to the 1904 Russet Marching Shoe as mentioned in post number 07 on page 01 of this thread.
The known specification numbers for the 1912 Russet leather/Marching Shoe are as follows:
Specification No. 1155, adopted on August 15, 1912
Specification No. 1188, adopted on May 7, 1913
Specification No. 1206, adopted on April 30, 1914
Specification No. 1258, adoption date unknown
The following five specifications were stated here on the forum to be specification numbers for variations of the 1912 Russet Leather Shoe. Unfortunately, I cannot confirm if this is true or not. The type of leather and the tanning process which follow the specification numbers listed below all came from a 1921 dated QTMC publication on the manufacture of post WW I Army shoes and shoe lasts. Aside from the specification number, the type of leather and the tanning method, no further information was given.
Specification No. 1309, adopted on ?? ??, 1918: chrome-vegetable tanned cowhide
Specification No. 1323, adoption date unknown: chrome vegetable tanned calfskin
Specification No. 1324, adoption date unknown: vegetable and chrome tanned calfskin
Specification No. 1351, adoption date unknown: chrome-vegetable retanned calfskin
Specification No. 1352, adoption date unknown: chrome-vegetable retanned calfskin
This pair of 1912 Russet Marching Shoes, is stamped Specification No. 1206 on the white cotton duck inner lining.
Photo courtesy of the Carl Panak collection
Posted 24 August 2014 - 11:54 PM
Some additional information in reference to what I called the 1917 Marching Shoe as mentioned in post number 08 on page 01 of this thread.
First of all there was no such thing as the 1917 Heavy Marching Shoe. That name was taken from the caption of a photograph found in a 1917 Red Cross publication. That model of shoe is actually called the “1916 Heavy Marching Shoe”.
The only known specification number for the 1916 Heavy Marching Shoe is Specification No. 1237, adopted on March 20, 1916
The 1916 Heavy Marching Shoe was hastily devised and adopted because the 1912 Russet Leather Shoe, which during 1916 was the Army’s regulation field shoe, was literally falling to pieces during the U.S. Army’s campaign in Mexico to capture Pancho Villa.
Some 250,000 pairs were manufactured and as far as I know, the shoe was never heard from again until America entered into the Great War.
For more detailed information on the 1916 Heavy Marching Shoe, please visit the following post:
The photo shows a pair of 1916 Heavy Marching shoes that turned up in France which have been re-soled and worn in civilian life. Originally the shoe would have been russet-tan in color. It also would have had olive drab shoe laces, as well as a hobnailed soles and a steel heel plate. The black finish on this example is the result of multiple applications of black shoe polish. The original russet color can be seen on the toe cap of one of the shoes. The olive drab shoe laces have been replaced long ago with black laces, as have the hobnailed soles and steel heel plates to complete the gentrification of what were once military shoes.
Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:28 AM
Posted 25 August 2014 - 05:07 PM
As near as I can tell, from the 1880s until 1900 enlisted men were issued two types of shoes – the Campaign Shoe and the Barracks Shoe
In 1900 enlisted men were issued three types of shoes – the Campaign Shoe, the Barracks Shoe, and the Calfskin Shoe
In 1902 enlisted men were issued four types of shoes – the Campaign Shoe, the Barracks Shoe, the Calfskin Shoe, and the Garrison Shoe
In 1904 enlisted men were issued five types of shoes – the Marching Shoe, the Barracks Shoe, the Dress Shoe, the Garrison Shoe and the Gymnasium Shoe
(Note: at this time the name for the Army’s field shoe was officially changed from Campaign to Marching, and the name for the Army’s dress shoe was changed from Calfskin to Dress.)
At some point between 1907 and 1912 the Barracks Shoe was abolished, reducing the number of enlisted men’s shoes from five down to four.
In 1914 enlisted men were issued two types of shoes – the Russet Leather Shoe, and Gymnasium Shoe. The marching, Dress and garrison Shoes were all officially abolished in 1914, or when existing stocks had been exhausted.
As far as I can tell the 1916 Heavy Marching Shoe was never issued Army wide. It was however, issued to members of the Punitive Expedition in Mexico and to National Guardsmen who served along the Mexican Border in 1916. It was later issued to Doughboys served overseas in France in late 1917 and early 1918.
I agree, the names used to describe the pre WW I shoes can be very confusing.
Due to the fact that the Army had issued a number of different shoe types, i.e. dress, garrison, marching, campaign, barracks and gymnasium up to 1914, the enlisted men often used the name of an obsolete shoe when referring to a current issue shoe depending on the particular duty for which it was worn.
For example, if the 1912 Russet Leather Shoe was brilliantly polished and worn for a formal or dress formation, the men called it a “Dress Shoe”, when the same shoe had been oiled to make it waterproof for field service, it was often referred to as a “Campaign”, “Marching” or “Field” Shoe. When the same shoe was worn for barracks or garrison duty it was commonly known as either a “Barracks” or “Garrison” Shoe. Sometimes the term “Camp Shoe” is encountered. This is just a type of lightweight shoe, such as the barracks Shoe or Gymnasium Shoe that was worn when the soldier was off duty in camp.
Sometimes both the troops and the Quartermaster department/Corps used either the material, texture or the color of the shoe to further describe a particular shoe. Hence terms such as “Calfskin”, “Cowhide”, “Rough”, “Smooth”, “Tan”, “Russet”, and “Black” often show up as part of the name.
I hope this explanation helps.
Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:18 PM
This is basically an on-line essay...
I am sure this forum page will become the "go-to" link for future members..
Perhaps it could be pinned to the forum?
The photos are just fantastic, all of these boots look so strong and made of high quality components...
Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:16 AM
Here are some scans of photocopies of engravings from a 1907 Quartermaster Department publication.
First is the Black calfskin or Dress Shoe
Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:17 AM
Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:20 AM
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