Military Boots Frequently Asked Questions
- What does it mean if a boot is Berry-compliant?
- What is your most comfortable boot?
- Which boots are standard issue?
- What are the differences between hot-weather and temperate-weather boots?
- How will I know if my boots are approved by my unit?
- What's the difference between olive mojave and olive drab?
- What's the difference between coyote tan and desert tan?
- What do ST, CT, and AT mean?
- What's with all this minimalist style stuff? What are the advantages?
What does it mean if a boot is Berry compliant?
A Berry-compliant boot must comply with the Berry Amendment. The amendment refers to a federal regulation passed during World War II that mandates the Department of Defense give procurement preference to food, clothing, fabrics and metals (most notably) that are made in the USA. When you buy a Berry-compliant boot, its materials are 100 percent American-made. Additionally, the boot must be manufactured on U.S. soil.
What is your most comfortable boot?
This is a tricky question to answer because a boot's comfort is unique to the individual wearing it. The first step toward picking the boot that fits best for you is making sure you wear the right size. Most boot sizes are comparable to casual shoe sizes. When this is not the case, we have made a note on the product's page instructing you how to adjust which size you should order (such as ordering a half-size up). There are also some features that make a boot inherently more comfortable, such as an EVA midsole, an Ortholite insole or a breathable mesh lining.
Which boots are standard issue?
The military uses many different suppliers, so there isn't one single standard-issue boot. If you are looking for something that would qualify as a standard-issue boot, we would suggest choosing a style that is Berry compliant.
What are the differences between hot-weather and temperate-weather boots?
A hot-weather boot will have air circulation and drain holes added to the arch. Additionally, it has a finer screen to make sure sand stays out of the footbed though no waterproof lining. Personnel should not use a hot-weather boot if they will be in the cold for any period of time.
A temperate-weather boot will have a waterproof membrane with a fabric lining that has moisture-wicking properties. It also has flame and conductive heat resistance features and is suitable to wear until the temperature drops below 32 F.
How will I know if my boots are approved by my unit?
Because we are not affiliated with the United States Military, we are unable to say for certain if a particular boot is approved for your unit. Most units will have a standard guideline to follow (i.e. must be a certain color, cannot have certain features, must be Berry-compliant, etc.). If you are unsure of which boots are approved for your unit, we suggest speaking with your commanding officer to see if he or she can offer some insight.
What's the difference between olive mojave and olive drab?
Although both colors have the word "olive" in the name, they're actually two different colors. Olive mojave is more of a dark tan color with olive undertones than green. This color is mainly used by the U.S. Marine Corps for their footwear.
Olive drab is a green color that is most often found in uniform clothing rather than footwear. If you are looking for green footwear, we would suggest finding a boot in sage green as this is the required color for the Air Force.
What's the difference between coyote tan and desert tan?
Although similar in name, coyote tan and desert tan are two different colors. Coyote tan is a darker shade of tan than desert tan. It is almost brown and is a color typically used by the U.S. Marine Corps.
Desert tan is a lighter shade of tan used by the U.S. Army.
What do ST, CT, and AT mean?
A ST designation means the boot has a steel toe. A CT designation means it has a composite toe. An AT designation means the boot has an alloy toe.
What's with all this minimalist style stuff? What are the advantages?
The idea behind minimalist footwear is that it lets your feet move more naturally. Minimal styles keep your toe and heel at a more similar height than traditional footwear. Because your foot is sitting more level, the leg and foot muscles become stronger to compensate. Minimalistic styles are lighterweight, low to the ground and have a faster feel about them.
Are there any brands that consistently run small or large?
Yes. Whenever this is the case, we have made a note on the boot's product page instructing you how to adjust your shoe size appropriately. Click the link titled "Size Chart" on the boot's page to view this note.