What Boots are NOT Authorized in the Army?

Do you find yourself wondering if you’re wearing banned boots? With the updates to AR 670-1, soldiers everywhere are wondering the same thing. But did you know that actually, the updates don’t mention boots at all?

So What’s All the Boots Buzz About?

It’s about timing and seemingly random enforcement of rules. The new rules on boots we’ve all been worrying about are actually not new rules at all. It turns out they’ve been there for years, existing on paper but not actually enforced. Now, things have changed.

The Boot Police are out to judge your boots, and if they look down at your feet and see unauthorized boots, you’ll be sent home to change. BLUF: Go and purchase a pair of Authorized Boots.

Here is a list of Unauthorized Army Combat Boots

ImageUnauthorized BootsReviewAvailable From
Belleville 500 USMC Waterproof Combat Boot4.4 / 5.0
New Balance OTB - synthetic suede4.2 / 5.0
5.11 Tactical 6" Coyote TacLite Boots4.3 / 5.0
Bates Zero Mass Desert - Wolverine Warrior leather4.0 / 5.0
Under Armour Alegent - synthetic4.0 / 5.0
Under Armour ValsetzUnder Armour Valsetz - 7 inch, synthetic4.4 / 5.0wide-orange
McRae Temperate Ultra Lightweight - synthetic suedeMcRae Temperate Ultra Lightweight - synthetic suede5.0 / 5.0

New Balance OTP Tactical Men's Bushmaster 6-Inch OTP Tactical Boot4.4 / 5.0
6 Inch Ryno Gear Tactical Combat Boots6 Inch Ryno Gear Tactical Combat Boots4.8 / 5.0
Rothco 6 Inch Desert Tan Deployment Boot4.0 / 5.0
Rocky C4T Boot - synthetic suede4.2 / 5.0

How to Tell If Your Boots are Unauthorized

The following things will make your boots unauthorized:

  • the upper is made of synthetic materials…
  • the upper is made of “Wolverine Warrior Leather” (this is pig leather, which is unauthorized)
  • the upper is made of synthetic suede
  • the upper is made off synthetic leather
  • the upper is made of cow leather (authorized) but it’s rough side out
  • they’re taller than 10″
  • they’re shorter than 8″
  • the upper portion is has mesh (it must be leather or a combination of leather and non-mesh)
  • the sole is not desert tan
  • the boot is not desert tan
  • the sole curls up around the toe
  • the sole comes up behind the heel
  • the sole is higher than 2′
  • the soles are made of anything other than rubber or polyether polyurethane

For a complete list of authorized boots click here: List of Authorized Boots.

The Problem With Army Issue Boots

Don’t worry – you can always wear Army issue boots. Except, for many soldiers they don’t actually fit properly. Isn’t that why the Army allows Soldiers to purchase commercial boots in the first place? Everyone knows that proper-fitting boots are just about the most important piece of gear a soldier has.

You may have chosen commercial boots for any one of the following reasons:

  1. Every Soldier’s foot fits differently. Different brands are made according to different speculations. That’s why runners, for example, usually have a preferred brand of sneaker.
  2. Commercial boots are more comfortable. A lot of soldiers chose boots based on comfort and many of the more comfortable boots out there are made of synthetic materials (uh-oh, better read the list below). Army issue boots are leather, which is why they may feel stiffer.
  3. Commercial boots offer more support. On top of being more comfortable, Army Issue boots don’t offer the same support of many of the commercial boots that soldiers buy. Today’s soldiers carry considerable weight, so sturdy boots are essential.
  4. Commercial boots are lighter. On the other hand, many soldiers opt for commercial boots for a completely different reason: they’re more lightweight. This means they’re not only cooler but also easier to move around in, or run in.

Each Soldier knows his or her needs and preferences, and most have put considerable work into finding just the right pair. Now they’re telling Soldiers their boots may be banned.

Good Enough for Combat, But Banned!

To many, this seems a little strange, especially since the very boots that are deemed unauthorized may have been the boots that went to war on Soldiers’ feet and served them well! As illogical as it may seem, it’s still a fact: some boots are simply not authorized and you must get new ones if yours aren’t up to code.