As service members know, the Army has no shortage of rules and regulations. Chief among them is the AR 670-1 manual, which details all regulations related to appearance and grooming.
What Boots are Authorized in the Army?
In 2014, the AR 670-1 was updated; these updates cover a wide range of topics. While issues related to women’s hair were a major news story in the civilian world, the majority of servicemen and women I spoke with were far more concerned with the rules surrounding footwear.
People were rightfully worried their favorite pair of boots would now be considered unauthorized. After all, a quality pair of boots can be difficult to find. So, under the new regulations, which boots are authorized by AR 670-1?
Understanding the New Requirements
First, let’s take a look at the rationale behind the updated rules. The Army is shrinking, from 570,000 soldiers to a current force of about 490,000. Since fewer soldiers are needed, enlistment standards can be bit tighter.
Overall, most of the updated AR 670-1 rules are related to the higher enlistment standards, and many of these rules relate to new recruits. Fewer previous criminal offenses will be allowed. Fewer visible tattoos are now allowed (although most current soldiers will be grandfathered in).
However, along with enlistment regulations changes, the Army also used the update to address some other issues. Among these are various gear-related specifications designed to modernize its soldiers.
A Comprehensive list of Authorized Boots
We did the heavy lifting for you and put together a broad list of popular AR 670-1 compliant army combat boots for you. Each combat boot of quality grade is included in the list. Click the link below to take a look.
As we all know, the Army never lacks for detailed instructions. All AR 670-1 boots must have the following characteristics:
• A height between 8 and 10 inches;
• Leather made from tan, flesh-out cattle hide;
• A plain toe and sole which match the color of the upper;
• An outsole made from rubber or polyether polyurethane;
• A sole which does not exceed two inches in height (when measured from bottom of sole);
• A sole which does not extend up the back of the heel or over the top of the toe; and
• An upper made of leather or leather and non-mesh fabric.
On top of these, Unit Commanders are allowed a fair amount of discretion. If you have any questions about a particular boot, ask your command. Over the years, I’ve heard all sorts of stories about both very restrictive and very relaxed Unit Commanders.
Before you buy anything, have it approved by your Unit Commander. Here’s a tip: Learn the rules and how they might be an issue with your boots. Plenty of commanders have stories of troops that had their request denied because they failed to properly understand the AR 670-1.
Major Manufacturers of Compliant Boots
Belleville – This Illinois-based manufacturer has been created boots for the Army and Navy since prior to World War I. One of their most popular models is the NWU smooth boot 360st.
Garmont – This Italian manufacturer has been around since 1867. They make a wide range of footwear, from hiking shoes to climbing shoes to military boots. They have four types:
• Garmont T8 Bifida Boots Review– Garmont’s signature boot, designed for hiking and climbing across most types of terrain. “Bifida” is the type of sole, made by Vibram.
• Garmont T8 NFS (Need for Speed) Boots Review – A slimmer, faster version of the Bifida. Designed for mobility.
• Garmont T8 Extreme – This boot is designed for cold weather use. Provides support for periods of long standing and the carrying of heavy loads.
Rocky Boots – As the name implies, this Ohio outfit specializes in footwear designed to handle rough terrain. The lightweight c4t is a popular choice.
*The brands mentioned above are just a few examples of companies that we believe make quality authorized boots.
Finding the Right Size
Finding the right size is vital. You want a snug, secure fit. However, you also want enough space to allow your toes to breath and move a little. You don’t want your toes to push against the boot. Any minor irritation can turn into a major discomfort after even just a few miles.
So, how do you find the correct size? Every manufacturer tends to size just a bit differently. As part of my job, I talk to people all the time about their military boots. There are a few generalizations I can make. Garmont typically fits “true to size.” Rocky Boots can sometimes run small.
For me, I’ve found great success when I’m able to try on the boot. When I find something I like, I make a note of the size then I use that info to help me shop online, where I can usually find the best deals.
PRICING FOR AUTHORIZED BOOTS
Generally speaking, AR 607-1 compliant boots will be priced anywhere from $140 to $200. You can definitely find some quality boots in the $150 range. Whenever possible, I try to order directly from the manufacturer. Most major manufacturers have a pretty straight-forward return policy. (For instance, in the case of Garmont, you can return the boots up to one year after the purchase date.)
Boots You and the Army can Agree On
So, which boots are authorized in the Army? Many more than you might think. There are a variety of options for specialized needs such as mobility, cold weather, and climbing. There are also plenty of general purpose boots, too.
A quality boot will help you carry your gear and protect your entire body from injury. Remember to double-check the AR 607-1 requirements, and you should be in good shape. I wish you great success with your new, compliant boots!