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Desert Combat Boots


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Surfing around, I couldn't find much clear and precise information about the  Desert Combat Boots between 1990 and 2005. In particular, Olive Drab seems to be vague and devoid of pics, while Wikipedia lists the three main patterns as 1990, 1991, and 1992 (I believe incorrectly).
Since I recently found this pair of second pattern dated 1993, I thought I'd share and welcome other members to share theirs and their knowledge.
It seems that the only one pair (or very few) of Schwarzokpf prototype was ever made (and rejected). Then, between December 1990 and January 1991 the first pattern was made. It was characterized by a sole that apparently darkened to dark chocolate as a result of exposure to heat and sunlight (although I have seen darker soles on later patterns too). Finally the pattern was revised with padded collars added, sole material fixed, and ankle reinforcements changed from nylon to suede, and this was manufactured at least until 8-1993 (not 1992, as the author of the Wiki article claims). Then the final third pattern came around until 2005, reverting to the nylon ankle reinforcements, but maintaining the padded collars (though I have detected changes in the filler material, with earlier ones being some sort of granular material, and later foam).
This all being said, it appears that only first and second patterns were distributed (in limited quantity), while third pattern came in too late (possibly even for Somalia?).

 

My pair of second pattern Desert Combat Boots:
 

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Marines of C Co, 3rd Tank Bn, 1st Marine Div, assigned to Task Force Ripper, try on newly-issued Desert Boots during Operation Desert Storm, 19 Feb 1991. It appears these are, in fact, second patterns boots.27629493_7306.jpg.7d25d474499ce8230b27ab917d30ca38.jpg

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Interesting topic to me as I still remember seeing my first pair of desert boots at Fort Rucker in the fall of 1990, and I remember thinking they were basically jungle boots but in tan. I have a pair that I'll have to dig out as I don't recall the details on them, but they are from 1990 or 1991. 

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Excellent MattS! Those are a beaut. That dark sole is something.
What material are the ankle reinforcements made off?

Looking better at the picture above, it appears then that the boots issued in the midst of Desert Storm were then first pattern boots whose soles hadn't had time to darken yet (rather than second pattern).

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The ankle reinforcement is the same nylon webbing as the collar, which is not padded and tends to chafe your calf. 

The only other pair I have is 09/02 dated and built like the 1st pattern except for the Vibram sole and padded collar which I guess makes them 3rd pattern. They currently reside in the garage.

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9 minutes ago, MattS said:

The ankle reinforcement is the same nylon webbing as the collar, which is not padded and tends to chafe your calf. 

Understood. It really makes me wonder why they went with suede ankle reinforcements with the second pattern, to switch back again to nylon with the third.
I find it interesting that the the non-padded collar is uncomfortable. I believe it. However, I've also worn jungle boots in similar constructions and never had any chafing on my calves from it.

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As I've heard, sweat caked desert sand on your lower legs has a lot to do with it. I never had a problem with jungle boots either. 

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16 hours ago, MattS said:

As I've heard, sweat caked desert sand on your lower legs has a lot to do with it. I never had a problem with jungle boots either. 

I see. That makes sense.

 

On 8/27/2020 at 4:47 PM, MattS said:

The ankle reinforcement is the same nylon webbing as the collar, which is not padded and tends to chafe your calf. 

The only other pair I have is 09/02 dated and built like the 1st pattern except for the Vibram sole and padded collar which I guess makes them 3rd pattern. They currently reside in the garage.

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I would say no, this would be considered if anything a 4th pattern, if not a new model altogether.
The 3rd pattern retain the Panama sole, and were the ones employed most commonly in Afghanistan and Iraq with DCUs until 2005 (I believe), when the new model with the Vibram sole was introduced. I have owned a few pairs of 3rd pattern over the years, but right now I don't have any handy. It would be great if any other forum member could contribute with some pics of them.

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Third pattern was used into the early 2000s, so OEF, OIF, PI, and Africa, and a few other things here and there. They didn't really last too long into the UCP era though many were still wearing older ones. There was something that I guess could be called a 4th pattern. Same upper, but a different sole with an EVA midsole. Not the Panama style lugs.

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I wish there was an edit post feature...

I left out that I was issued both styles I described. I can dig them out sometime and see if there are any other differences besides the soles though. 

As I think about it, I think I received the newer ones after 2005 though, so along with my first ACUs.

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1 hour ago, Unicorn said:

I wish there was an edit post feature...

I left out that I was issued both styles I described. I can dig them out sometime and see if there are any other differences besides the soles though. 

As I think about it, I think I received the newer ones after 2005 though, so along with my first ACUs.

I believe I know exactly what boots you're referring to - I own them as well. Please, if you could post both types it would certainly enrich the thread.

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On 8/31/2020 at 9:56 PM, PFC Red said:

I believe I know exactly what boots you're referring to - I own them as well. Please, if you could post both types it would certainly enrich the thread.

The worn ones are the first pair, the date inside looks like made in 1997. I was issued them in 2004.

The new pair don't have a date, but maybe someone can decipher the code.Padded Vibram sole. Don't use the darker color as they are pretty much new while the other pair are very worn and were bleached by the sun and sand. Plus a couple washings.

I also put in a picture of the "Infantry Boot, Type 2." The Gore-Tex lined, but uninsulated, rough out tan version of the boot that the USMC has been using for a few years, and that the Army adopted just a couple years before replacing all black boots and both types of BDUs.

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Your 3rd type does look like it's got many miles in them! Thanks for posting! The choice of retaining the Panama sole on the desert boots in '90-'91 (essentially truly copying the jungle boots) was a little mistaken, as the Panama sole is kind of hard and good especially for muddy terrain. Not sure why they went for maintaining it for desert too.

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6 hours ago, Spike said:

I found these last year in a thrift store while out on tour. 10R, dated 1990.

 

Look just like my pair, only 1/2 a size off!  

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I have a brand new pair still in the original box.  The box is stamped:

 

CAGE 7A945

BOOT,  HOT WEATHER 

TYPE II TAN, HOT, DRY

DLA 100-91-C-4021

A

 

5/91

 

The boots inside are stamped 11/90.  That cage code is for Altama Footwear.  I bought them right after the Persian Gulf War which I wasn't mobilized for.  I caught the next one in 2003 and got my desert boots issued that time.

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I took quick look.  The ones I was issued in Jan 2004 at Fort Bragg were dated 10-97. They still had the Panama sole like the jungle boots.   I was issued another set in 2007 after the ACU UCP came out.  They were dated Oct 2003 and had the vibram sole.   They were all great boots by the way.  I found them very comfortable.  

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50 minutes ago, 32sbct said:

I have a brand new pair still in the original box.  The box is stamped:

 

CAGE 7A945

BOOT,  HOT WEATHER 

TYPE II TAN, HOT, DRY

DLA 100-91-C-4021

A

 

5/91

 

The boots inside are stamped 11/90.  That cage code is for Altama Footwear.  I bought them right after the Persian Gulf War which I wasn't mobilized for.  I caught the next one in 2003 and got my desert boots issued that time.

That is awesome 32sbct... the date line for the 1st pattern boots keeps moving earlier and earlier

 

34 minutes ago, 32sbct said:

I took quick look.  The ones I was issued in Jan 2004 at Fort Bragg were dated 10-97. They still had the Panama sole like the jungle boots.   I was issued another set in 2007 after the ACU UCP came out.  They were dated Oct 2003 and had the vibram sole.   They were all great boots by the way.  I found them very comfortable.  

I suspect the 3rd patterns started production sometime in the second half of 1993. I wonder now when they changed the filling material in the collars. Like I mentioned, my impression at touch was that earlier 3rd patterns had a granular filler material, while later it switched to a more fluffy material. Can you tell on yours?

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On 9/4/2020 at 12:45 AM, PFC Red said:

The choice of retaining the Panama sole on the desert boots in '90-'91 (essentially truly copying the jungle boots) was a little mistaken, as the Panama sole is kind of hard and good especially for muddy terrain. Not sure why they went for maintaining it for desert too.

 

I assume that due to the rushed nature of getting desert boots produced in 1990, the government just went with the existing molds for the Panama sole instead of taking the time to develop an entirely new pattern of sole. 

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2 hours ago, MattS said:

 

I assume that due to the rushed nature of getting desert boots produced in 1990, the government just went with the existing molds for the Panama sole instead of taking the time to develop an entirely new pattern of sole. 

I was thinking they could have gone back to the Vibram sole of the early jungle boots, that design would have been ready to go

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8 hours ago, AustinO said:

Here's my pair of Wellco's, dated 4-97.  3rd pattern? Or 2nd? Great discussion thread guys. 

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Thanks for contributing. I would say this are a 3rd pattern: padded collar and nylon ankle reinforcements (plus the 1997 dated). Nice pair too! So the story that putting your blood type on the boots was bad luck is baloney?

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