Click any image to enlarge
Above: The superb Sidewinder boot by Magnum in MultiCam®. And yes even the soles of these boots are in
Above: The sole of the Sidewinder boot
Above: The underside of the Sorbothane Double Strike insole
Above: The BCB MultiCam® Boot Care Kit
Above: Nikwax Fabric & Leather Proof
Above: The Viper V-CAM® Boot Bag
Above: Bodyglide Anti-Chafe Stick
Above: Home Front Foot Powder
Above: Compeed Blister Kit
Above: Remember that any items claiming to be made of genuine MultiCam® will have the triangular 'hang-tag' and/or the official product label.
These are in many ways the most important pieces of kit you will ever buy. Bad boots will ruin your day, completely. So you should buy the absolute best that you can afford.
There are many boots to choose from, with prices to suit all pockets in both MultiCam® and V-CAM®, however,
if you can not afford or find a pair of MultiCam® boots that you like, then buy ones in either brown, tan, coyote or green.
Boots come in either all leather construction, or a mix of Cordura® fabric and leather. The latter tend to be much lighter, while the former are more hard wearing. For what we do lightweight boots make a great deal of sense. With one exception all boots with a printed camouflage pattern are of the leather and fabric form, with the fabric carrying the pattern. The leather-work of such boots tend to be tan or brown, and rarely green. The exception to this were the boots offered by Magnum, the Sidewinder and the Spider which were entirely MultiCam®, including the underside of their soles.
Civilian hiking boots tend to be short, while military boots are taller. This is to provide ankle support when running across trecherous terrain, and to a lesser extent to prevent igress of water and debrie. Taller boots are recommended.
Despite the advertising, Gore-tex lined boots, that is ones with a waterproof and breathable layer are not necessarily the best. They are fine as long as the water never goes over the top of your boot, but in combat that is really a given. So a boot that drains and dries quickly is often a better bet. A pair of quality water wicking socks can also make a big difference, see the Second Skinz ones made by SNUGPAK via the links below.
And of course spare socks are a must, and if you are really flush, spare boots too.
Whatever you choose, do not buy boots in black, as this colour shows up really well even at night. Once, long ago, I perished when the only thing that betrayed my position was the soles of my black boots. Make sure that even if the uppers are in a suitable color that the actual sole is not black. BTW grey is okay for soles. And please, do not assume that the mud or dust will camouflage your black soles, they won't, well at least when you really need them to! Black boots or shoes are reseved for your in-base Service Dress Uniform or SDU.
The following items can all be found at Cadet Direct, but if you hunt around, you may well find them cheaper elsewhere.
Good socks should never be undervalued, for example the Marino socks and Coolmax liners offerred by SNUGPAK, the Trekker by Bridgedale, or the British Army's 1000 mile soccks, are well worth the investment. Go to the Cadet Direct
Sock page for a selection to choose from.
One boot accessory worth their weight in gold are Sorbothane insoles, specifically their Double Strike model. By comparison to other insoles they may seem a little expensive, however they make an enormous difference, by reducing impact to the feet, and thus fatigue to the wearer. I have used them for years, and I can not recommend them highly enough. See the
Sorbothane Double Strike insoles at Cadet Direct.
To complete your boots, you can purchase hi-tech custom made MultiCam® boot laces from
at quite a reasonable price. I have these in my own boots, and I can highly recommend them. Plain laces tend to stand out against the background of MultiCam® boots, and so having matching laces makes a great deal of sence.
If you decide that you want MultiCam®
laces but can not get hold of any, be aware that many troops use 550 Paracord as an alternative.
Genuine 550 Paracord (MultiCam®) is available from the Bushcraft Store at 7p per foot. So a pair of 72" paracord laces will cost just 84p. Note that these will have to have their ends tied off as they have no metal or plastic ends, so you will need to install them in your boots first. Or, you can buy and install your own metal
Aglets, again from the Bushcraft Store. Your boot laces would then cost £2.79 and some time per pair. Or you could just buy their
Woodland Camouflage Laces at £5.95, and no work, when available.
If you do not want to use Paracord, and can only get plain coloured laces, use a mid-tone brown or green. Tan laces tend to show up rather too much, as do too dark a brown or green, and of course black.
Finally for your boots you will need a "boot care kit". Here are three items that will help keep your footwear in perfect condition, follow the links:
BCB Boot Care Kit comes in a zippered MultiCam® pouch, and contains two brushes, a cloth, a tin of brown wax polish, and a pair of MoD brown boot laces, which serves as a starter kit.
Nikwax Fabric & Leather Proof, a great addition to your kit to keep your boots waterproof. Designed for leather and fabric footwear, including those with Gore-Tex® linings.
Viper Tactical Boot Bag in V-CAM®, for shipping your wet and muddy boots to and fro. Alternatively you can acquire an inexpensive plain black
Military Boot Bag also from Cadet Direct.
Remember to air your boots out thoroughly when you get home, leave them in your boot bag at your peril, as they will grow mushrooms in double quick time.
And finally for your actual feet, a trio of real essentials:
Bodyglide Anti-Chafe Stick an anti-blister/sore prevention cream, which is not just used on the feet, but also on the shoulders and other locations where kit tends to rub.
Home Front Foot Powder a military anti-fungacide, anti-moisture talc that will keep you on the move.
And when those don't work...
Compeed Relief From Blisters (Mixed Pack) dressings for your toes, heals and the sides of your feet.