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USMC issued boots. Reference needed.

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Here's some food for thought ... for the longest time I assumed that the U.S. Marines wore U.S. Navy issued shoes. Which in the period between 1913 and 1918 were described as "black or tan high shoes". But just because I assumed that doesn't mean that was the case.

 

Anyway, the top two pairs of shoes were both described as WW I U. S. Navy Shoes. Both pairs have six pairs of lacing eyelets and four pairs of speed lacing hooks.

They both have smooth leather soles with rubber heels (which were called out for on all Navy shoes), a toe cap and white cotton duck lining. In addition, the stitching pattern and general construction of both pairs of shoes are similar.

 

The bottom two pairs of shoes, which were shown earlier in this post, physically appear to be nearly identical. However, there is no definitive proof that the shoes in the top row are Navy issued, but then again, there's no reason to suspect that they aren't. The same can be said for USMC shoes in the second row. Either way I think that both Navy and USMC issued shoes (if the USMC even issued shoes back then) would be correct for a fleet Marine.

 

I do know that the U.S. Army did away with the speed lacing hooks in 1904 because they were easily bent, lost or broken. One would assume that the Navy would have followed. However, the Navy did far less marching than the Army. I think the Navy retained the lacing hooks through WW I , as most of the Navy shoes I've seen in WW I groupings have the lacing hooks. The inclusion of lacing hooks on any pair of post 1910 military shoes automatically makes them look a lot older than they may actually be.

 

I'm not stating one way or the other what the shoes in the post may be, because I don't know. I'm just pointing out a few facts that may help to identify what they are or are not.

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Those black Navy shoes are absolutely identical to Stacy Adams Madison hightops except for the cotton lining. I have a pair in the closet right now.


Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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They are almost spot on aren't they? What numbers do you have stamped inside?

I will try to take a look tomorrow or Thursday...might have to use some alternative lighting as I recall it is hard to read. Love this post, a topic that has needed some discussion for a long time. Alec, thanks for weighing in, I appreciate the photos. The info on Navy boots possibly being worn by Marines of this time period, especially if black makes sense to me. The larger pair I have pictured were found in an antique store in Gettysburg on the square a couple years ago. I looked them over, thought they looked right to me, but came home and did as much research as I could. I thought the possibility was strong enough that I called the store and had them ship them out to me. Anyway, again, a great post.


I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after.

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Close up of the shoes

Those appear to have a cuban heel vs the traditional flat heel. One thing I have noticed for sure is the earlier boot seems to be of a narrow style and got progressively wider through time.


A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands, love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper; his hands remember the rifle.

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One thing that can really help date an early Army shoe is its shape. Is it possible to get a good, straight on profile shot of your USMC/Navy shoes?

 

All of the Army shoes made prior to 1912 had a distinctively different shape when looked at in profile. The back of the shoe was straighter the instep was lower and they had less toe room.

 

In 1908, the Army called for a shoe board to solve the Army's age old problem of sore feet. The board was tasked with designing a new service shoe that would significantly lower the excessive amount of foot injuries that were sustained while on the march. After studying the shoes of nearly every major army, measuring thousands of pairs of soldier's feet, and x-raying their feet while inside the various shoe types, the 1908 Army Shoe Board concluded that some 85% of the men were wearing shoes that were either too small or too large and that all of the previously issued Army shoes were so poorly shaped in respect to the soldier's feet.

 

A new shoe last (a last is the wooden form on which a shoe is made) was designed that radically changed the shape of both the military shoe and its sole. Anyway, the Army fell in love with the new shoe and adopted it immediately. Because the fit was considered to be superior to any other military shoe at that time, I can't imagine that the U.S. Navy and the USMC did not also adopt the shape of the Army's new shoe last for their issued shoes. In fact, the Munson Shoe last, as it was called was so successful that it was used to make all U.S. Army shoes through to the 1960s.

 

To make a long story short the shape of the shoe in profile will help to estimate their date of manufacture. Of course, this is predicated on the fact that the Navy/USMC copied the new shoes shape.

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I was just taking a closer look at the russet/cordovan colored shoes in post number 21. They too are nearly identical to all four pairs of the Navy/USMC shoes shown in post number 26. Both U.S. Navy and USMC regulations called for black and tan shoes, and I suspect that we are looking at both colors.

 

The tan shoes would be more of a neutral color when issued and depending on the color of the shoe 'dressing' (polish) used, i.e. brown, russet, cordovan or even black, the shoe would eventually take on that color.

 

Now it's just a matter of dating them and determining if they are military issue (which I think they are) and if the are Navy or USMC issued.

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Here's another photo of USMC/Navy Shoes circa 1912.

 

Note that the shoes worn by the Marine on the left look to be hobnailed! The shoes also appear to have four pairs of lacing eyelets and six pairs of lacing eyelets, as well as a cap toe.

 

Sorry to keep using Army shoes as a reference, but in the absence of solid information on USMC or Navy shoes that's all I have to go on. According to Army sources, just about any pair of Army issued shoe prior to WW I could have been hobnailed "when necessary", so the presence of hobnails shouldn't be too alarming.

 

Detail to follow.

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Here's a close up of the above shoes.

 

Also I forgot to address the post about "Cuban heeled" shoes. Those shoes definitely look as if the have a Cuban style heel. On older Army dress shoes, I've seen what look to be similar style heels, although it's often difficult to be absolutely certain, given that the shoes are rarely in focus in period photographs. The shoes in question certainly look like a regulation style except for the heels ... maybe they were purchased or re-heeled in Cuba or Haiti?

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The black shoes in post number 22, if I'm not mistaken also have Cuban style heels. Maybe the taller heels were used on an older pattern of shoe. Perhaps, the two Marines in khaki were issued older or obsolete shoes?

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They look more like British/Commonwealth officer's boots to me (circa WWI ones). The "decorative" stitching on the sides make me believe that.

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Thought I would bump this back up to see if any new information has been found or not.


Always looking for WW2 USMC militaria and WW2 Corpsman militaria. If you have any you don't want or want to sell let me know, I might be interested.

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Sadly, no new information on my end. I currently have the boots I posted on display with my 1905 Marine display.


A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands, love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper; his hands remember the rifle.

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Do you have your M1905 marine display posted on the forum? It would be cool to see it.


Always looking for WW2 USMC militaria and WW2 Corpsman militaria. If you have any you don't want or want to sell let me know, I might be interested.

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I do not…yet. ;)

I plan of getting photos of some of my stuff to post up soon. Just posted some shots of a S&W Victory model I have in my USMC aviation displays. Just now getting around to taking photos.


A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands, love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper; his hands remember the rifle.

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