Chippewa Boots in Estonia

By Eugene Econ

 

I was allowed to keep my Chips as the Army finally got rid of them from

issue.  I wore them once after I left the 10th Group when I was at the

NTC on a fall / winter rotation.  After that experience I polished them

up and put shoe trees in them and stored them.  I pulled them out about

a year ago and wore them for an afternoon.  I then repeated the process

and have not touched them since.  They were agonizing to wear.  I

remember them for their ability to soak up water and freeze solid

despite numerous coats of Snow Seal and or Mink Oil.  I think their

technology was a bit dated by the early 1980's.

 

Also have a pair of those brown insulated boots that O'Brien talked

about.  They were designed for cold wet conditions but mine never did

keep out water so they are also stored somewhere.  I think those were

first generation goretex and thinsulate inside of boots.  Funny that

when at Stewart I saw a bunch of them in the DRMO that were brand new.

I got as many as I could and gave them to the troops in my company prior

to another fall / winter NTC rotation.  They were a lot better than the

issued black boots for cold conditions.  I also have a pair of those

black Rocky insulated boots that Jim Kellogg talked about.  I call them

"Mech Boots" as they are heavy but I will say that they keep the water

out and your feet relatively warm.  I wore them last week when a unit

asked that I attend some of their training.  They have a damn flat sole

though and this bothers my feet considerably but they are great for

standing around in wet cold conditions.  Best boots I have found in the

Army are the Desert issue boots.  Very comfortable and a-lot of

support.  They soak through in wet conditions and due to the rough

leather you can't put waterproofing on them so don't wear them in cold

wet conditions is all.   Jungles are still top in the summer but they

are not that good in a hot desert as your feet will fry.  Those deserts

seem to have some sort of insulation in the sole that gives some

protection from the heat that is on the surface of the sand.

 

I doubt the Army will ever find an ideal boot for all conditions.  Can't

have insulation without the dogs frying when the temp gets above fifty.