View Full Version : G.I. Boots - explain this to me
10-15-2004, 10:31 AM
What's the deal? I can't figure out what the American G.Is wore in WWII on their feet. Sometimes, I see standard brown leather lace-ups and sometimes those are covered in the canvas leggings. Then other times I see boots with a double-buckled wrap-around piece at the top of the boot - resembling an Israeli military desert boot.
Which one is right, and if they are both right, what's the story on them?
10-15-2004, 02:06 PM
The GI started the war with 6" shoes worn with leggings. The next version was the 6" shoe, rough-out leather, also worn with leggings (the USMC called thier version of these "boondockers"). Later went to the boot with the bouble buckle top, basically a 6" shoe with an attached leather buckle gaiter in place of the canvas leggings. Paratroopers wore a higher boot that laced all the way up.
10-15-2004, 04:52 PM
He pretty much summed it up...
The Army wanted a switch in uniforms in 44. They wanted everyone (infantry, rangers, paratroops) to wear the new uniform. Before this there were many different types of uniforms.
Where am I going with this?
The Army issued the new M1943 uniform right around the time of Operation Market Garden. This included the new double buckle boots. Soldiers liked the new boots. If you have ever laced up leggings you will know why. The paras didn't like them and tried to retain the jump boot.
So thats why you see more then one type of boot.
Here is the Infantry uniform M1941 jacket and HBT trousers instead of wool trousers with leggins and roughout boots.
Here is the M1942 Airborne uniform with jumpboots.
Here is the M1943 uniform with double buckle boots.
hope this clears it up some.
10-15-2004, 06:12 PM
Thanks so much for the info and the photos! I feel like I can breathe again!
10-15-2004, 07:28 PM
It is very cool to have folks in this forum that can answer that question so quickly. I have no expertise in that area whatsoever, but I can attest that, for whatever reason, Marines were still wearing the 6" shoe with leggings in Korea.
My dad had several pairs of leggings leftover from his combat service in Korea, when I was a kid (in the'60's). My brother and I did our own version of reenacting with those and other bits and pieces of his USMC stuff. Of course, we managed to lose all of it over the years--stupid kids!
10-20-2004, 01:35 AM
When does a shoe become a boot? To me, all the things that the guys in the pictures have on their feet are boots, ie. they cover the ankle. To me, and I'm probably wrong here, shoes don't cover the ankle. How come to the US military, a boot is a shoe? This has bothered me for a while now.
10-21-2004, 05:05 AM
I agree that if footware goes above the ankle then it is a boot.
Alot of people use the term interchangable. Semantics i guess.
The military doesn't issue alot of "shoes". Dress shoes is the only one I can think of.
11-06-2004, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by MikeyB17
When does a shoe become a boot? To me, all the things that the guys in the pictures have on their feet are boots, ie. they cover the ankle. To me, and I'm probably wrong here, shoes don't cover the ankle. The answer may go back to pre-WWII. According to the MAFCA fashion guidelines, in the 1928-1931 period, footwear for "dress" was divided into high-top "shoes" and low quarter "Oxfords", what we now refer to as "boots" and "shoes", respectively, while "Boots of various styles were used for play, sports and outdoor work."
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