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How the SAF's combat boots have evolved over the decades

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  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    266,151 posts since Dec '99

      The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will be introducing new combat boots that address a major flaw in the current model.

      The Frontier boots, which have been in use for the past four years, had soles that came apart after being placed in prolonged storage.

      Here's a look at how army boots have changed over the past couple of decades.



      The combat boots prior to 1993 had toe-caps. PHOTO: MINDEF.GOV.SG 


      Weight: 950g

      Soldiers often maintained two pairs, one for daily use and the other for parade or ceremonial use. For the latter, they would often spend many hours polishing their boots in a bid to make them shiny. Besides dripping wax, the norm was to use a heated teaspoon to smoothen the boots' toe-caps, before buffing and polishing the surface for a gleaming mirror-like quality.



      The leather boots introduced in 1993 were significantly lighter. PHOTO: MINDEF.GOV.SG 


      Weight: 760-780g

      The toe-caps were removed, making the boots significantly lighter. This also meant they transmitted 30 per cent less shock to the foot, providing more protection against ankle and other injuries.

      The boots also contained an anti-microbial Polyurethane insole with built-in arch support and help counter, which helped prevent ankle twisting and offered better hygiene.

      GORE-TEX BOOTS (2002-2012)


      The waterproof Gore-Tex boots helped keep out muddy water. PHOTO: ST FILE 


      Weight: 730g

      The waterproof Gore-Tex material kept out muddy water from entering the boots, a common complaint among soldiers out in the field as water got trapped inside while crossing river obstacles or staying in the rain for a prolonged periods.

      The outsole was also suitable for jungle operations.



      The Frontier boots were lauded for being lighter and safer, but had a major flaw. PHOTO: ST FILE 


      Weight: 705g

      The SAF-customised Frontier boots were hailed as being lighter, safer and more comfortable for soldiers when they were introduced in 2012, with the SAF studying more than 20 models over three years.

      They consisted of a leather upper, a polyurethane midsole, and a rubber sole.

      Among the improvements: two perforated holes on the inner side of each boot to drain out water, a new outsole design for better agility to move in the confined spaces of urbanised areas and nylon material that dries up within an hour when wet.

      The boots were also said to transmit up to 20 per cent less shock to the feet.



      From left: The Magnum, the Altama and the Wellco Peruana. PHOTOS: MINDEF 


      Weight: 900g (ACB) or 700g (ECB)

      The ACB, which is designed for durability will be constructed with directly moulded soles, while the ECB - for active manoeuvre units like infantry, commandos and guards - will have a fully stitched cupsole.

      The ACB comes in two models - Peruvian brand Wellco Peruana and US brand Altama - and they have synthetic breathable material that allows quick drying, as well as a sole suitable for jungle use.

      The ECB, made by US brand Magnum, has an outsole that can be used in both jungle and urban terrains. 




  • DroneMission's Avatar
    8 posts since Dec '16
    • Had one of those toe-caps, good old days of buffing and polishing the surface. I remember having to pad it for long marches.

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