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WWII Army Officers Dress Shoes

Discussion in 'WWII' started by PADDY, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

    I'm not a big Timberland fan, but these old ones that are lined with glove leather just seem to have that old beat-up vintage feel to them. I reckon if Indiana could get them he would grab them! but...it would be his 'last crusade' if he tried! grrrr!!!

    Look great with the old flying suit, but also stand well with the K-1 pinks (trousers).
  2. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

    A flanking shot of those old US Timberlands...

    That leather over the past decade has had chunks out of it, so many things the elements can throw at it and seems to shrug it's leather shoulders and take it in its stride.

    Not the sort of footwear Imelda Marcos would have in her wardrobe...thank goodness!!! lol.
  3. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Finally, those old fashioned English brogues...

    What is it about the English and saddle leather that just seems to reek of 'class' and ageless 'style' guys..?

    These are nealy 20-years-old and just get better and better. Look great with my USAAF uniform, and the brogue pattern just adds a bit of style to the military feel of things.

    Made by LOAKES, alot cheaper than the likes of Churches..et al...but hand crafted and look the biz!!

    Look as good with slacks as with your cavalry twills, for both the town and country gent..!

    So what do you think..?
  4. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Not quite the Ritz...but the footwear goes well with AAF flight suit!

    If you study old photos of flight crew during WWII, you will notice that there was some personal preference and discretion used when choosing the footwear.

    Anything from the standard issue rubber and leather ankle length, zipped US flight boot, to the 1936 pattern sheepskin shin length RAF flying boot with the strap to the front.

    But I am aware of some US fighter pilots, and notably TEXANS (what is it about Texans who felt that when Texas decided to declare war on the Axis forces, that it was helping the USA out!! lol, Holly, you can help me here!)...But some Texans wore their high length cowboy boots. In fact when one of them service with the RAF Eagle Squadron, on meeting HRH. King George VI, he asked permission to not only wear his cowboy boots, but also to have a title on his shoulder (which other countries serving with the RAF had, ie: France; Poland; Czechs...etc) which would say "TEXAS!"

    But as long as footwear scraped in, within the prescribed regulations, then it was often worn.

    This pic shows my footwear with an original 8th AAF flight suit (which was common wear during the conflict in the E.T.O (European Theatre of Operations) and the Far East (although due to the heat, it was often a cotton version, this one is wool). Can still pick them up on Ebay.
  5. The Wingnut

    The Wingnut One Too Many

    I've a pair of '36 pattern RAF boots that go well with just about any AAF ensemble. Not the best for dancing, though, so I switch to a beat up pair of Navy-issue Corfam Aviation Browns. These are the low-quarter, plain toe oxfords that are still issued for on-base wear with Navy khaki uniforms. Why they can't be worn off-base, I have no idea.

    I do have a pair of near-mint brown combat boots that have yet to even be broken in...in fact, I'm unsure of their current location, probably buried in my steamer trunk, down at the bottom. They saw duty on the History channel in some sort of documentary, when I got them, there was nary a scuff on the soles. I took care of that problem pretty quickly. A few more dubbings with mink oil should darken and soften them up properly.

    I really need a digital camera.
  6. Retro Grouch

    Retro Grouch One of the Regulars

    Those Texans are a squirrely bunch. LOL

    The following quote is from a friend who died in Iraq this year. It might give a little insight to the Texas persona.

  7. jake431

    jake431 Practically Family

    I get compliments on the russet service shoes all the time too - and always from women, who have no clue and could care less about the WW2 particulars. Can't beat that! The funny part is my friends, "cool" guys, loved to make fun of them until they realized women like them so much. Now they just scratch their heads.

  8. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    HPA Shoes

    Now that I've had my (Buzz Rickson) russet Low-Quarter Officer's Shoes from HPA for awhile, I can say that they've become my favorites. Very comfortable, they take a shine well and I get a compliment or two. A pair of those russet service shoes might be a good next buy someday.
  9. Holzkopf

    Holzkopf New in Town

    This reminds me a lot of the "to wear khaki, or not to wear khaki" debate. :p
  10. MudInYerEye

    MudInYerEye Practically Family

    My father, who was in the Army for twenty years, told me that when he first joined up (1961) older officers were known as "brown shoe army". This was not a term of affection.
  11. This is what I was told and I have firm belief this is correct.

    Prier to WWII in the 30?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s shoes was black in peace time. Soon as WWII hit, the shoes went to brown for the Army and Army Air Corps. I think this was the same for the USMC.

    In pre war uniform the enlisted and officer visor caps had black bills the neck tie was also black and so were the shoes. About 1942 it changed to Brown. It was brown till about 1947 I believe. By that time the Army Air Force (Previously known as the Army Air Corps from WWI to 1942) became its own branch of the service. Thus, changing their uniforms from OD green or Pinks and Greens to the blue uniforms with black shoes.

    I wear brown with my WWII uniforms except my Navy Blues.

    Hope that helps,

  12. Are you sure the pre-WW2 shoes were black, Root?

    The reason I ask is that I have a pair of the WWI enlisted infantry boots and they are brown as are all officer and cavalry US boots during that war.
  13. Black for peace time and brown for war time. I ment WWI as well. Sorry about that.

  14. MudInYerEye

    MudInYerEye Practically Family

    Asked the old man about this matter. According to him, black shoes and boots were Nineteenth Century blue uniform fare and were phased out with the introduction of khaki uniforms, thus brown shoes and boots becoming the norm. Apparently, this continued throughout the Korean War, when eventually sometime in the late 50's black shoes and boots re-appeared. However, throughout the entire Twentieth Century black shoes were always worn with Army dress blues.
    Again, this is second hand information.
  15. Sources for low-quarter russets


    Just joined the forum and this is my first post. I am working hard to assemble several AAF uniforms and have nearly everything I need except the Class A winter tunic (I'm a 46L!) and the low quarter russet shoes.

    I noticed in one of these posts that someone indicated that current USN aviator shoes are a pretty close match. Try as I may, I can't find an online source for these. Anyone know how a civilian can score a pair of 13D's??

    None of the regular WWII reenactor sources are carrying the low quarters at present and I am trying to keep the price down to under $100.


    PS: My avatar name is Zemke Fan, which you WWII buffs will recognize as having two meanings: (1) I think Hub Zemke was THE leading group commander in the ETO; and (2) one of his tactical breakthroughs became known as the Zemke Fan.
  16. grant

    grant New in Town

    Hey Zemke Fan,
    Have you read the book ZEMKE'S WOLFPACK by Hub and Roger Freeman? Awesome book about Hub and the 56th FG. I collect original AAC photographs and recently bought a photo of what I thought was just a section of early P-47 razorbacks flying over Connecticut. Turns out it's an early photo of Zemke leading his section when he was wing commander of the 61st FS prior to shipping out for England. Pretty cool.

  17. 56th Group screenplay in the works

    Yes, I have. It's a great book. Other aces of the 56th also wrote good autobiographies including Francis Gabreski (Gabby) and Robert Johnson (Thunderbolt!). I am finishing a screenplay based on the material in all of these and some other works. It's a GREAT story. And, the working title is "Zemke's Wolfpack."
  18. Prairie Shade

    Prairie Shade A-List Customer

    HI YA Zemke: Here I am in another section of the Lounge. We have talked about russet low quarters and am still looking BUT I thought I would tell you about the USN AViator shoes. I have had a pair for 10-12 years, they have rubber soles and they are the Bates type lightweights. OK, but not what I really like. How to get them, well they used to sell to Civilians if you were a good talker, but not now. Find yourself a navy man and have him order them for you, or look in Navy towns at Surplus stores, or just buy some good ones when we finally find them. Keep looking!!!!!
  19. ltedge

    ltedge New in Town

    As a Naval Aviator I can tell you that up until a few years ago, brown shoes or boots in the Navy were authorized only for Aviation Officers and Chiefs to be worn with Khaki, Aviation Green or Flight Suits. Now all Naval Officers and Chiefs are authorized to wear them with Khakis regardless of job. Most non-aviators, however, still wear only black shoes out of principal, although there are quite a few that have made the switch.
  20. ltedge...

    Where would one find the modern brown shoes and boot issued to Navy presonel? Or, is it private purchases. When I was in the Marines in the early 80's I don't remember any of the Cheifs or Airedales wearing brown leather.

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