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New spin on jungle boots: Ripstop camo

Jul. 7, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Recondo boots
Recondo boots (Bates Footwear)
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Just in time for the Pacific pivot, Bates Footwear has launched a new jungle boot billed as quick-drying and durable enough for tropical climates, according to the company’s announcement Monday.

The Recondo’s use of MultiCam-patterned ripstop nylon fabric strikingly sets it apart from the Army’s last generation of black leather jungle boots.

The boot, named for the Reconnaissance and Commando Training Course developed in the 1950s at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was developed with feedback from soldiers in the 75th Army Ranger Regiment, which tested the Recondo in Central America last winter, the company said.

“The Recondo provides a much needed jungle boot update for the next generation of our armed services,” Bates Footwear President Onder Ors said. “Based on the specific feedback we received from our development partners in the special operations forces, Bates has created the only boot specifically engineered for hot, wet and humid combat environments common in tropical regions.”

The Recondo will be available for purchase in the fall.

Recondo’s introduction, planned for ADS Warrior Expo East in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Thursday and Friday, comes as the Army is evaluating boots in this class for its first major overhaul to the footwear since the Vietnam War. The Army is now gathering data to determine what it wants in a jungle boot.

In April, the Army’s office for soldier equipment was in talks to test an updated jungle boot with the Hawaii-based 25th Infantry Division, Col. Robert Mortlock, the program manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment said at the time.

The program office was also collecting soldier feedback about the S2V Jungle boot made by Rocky Brands, and the Recondo from Wolverine World Wide’s Bates division.

That feedback, to be collected in late 2014, along with input from the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia, is intended to define jungle boot requirements — a start to the lengthy acquisition process.

The Recondo boot offers what is advertised as an exclusive lighter weight, quick drying durable leather and textile upper, which was “designed to provide the best breathability possible for the spectrum of jungle combat situations,” according to Bates’ announcement.

Its Vibram Mutant solid rubber outsole was designed with, “deeper, more aggressive lug depth for off road traction, a multi-directional leading edge that enhance slip-resisting properties, and a rounded heel for natural touch down,” the announcement says.

This sole design was also advertised as durable enough to withstand special operations forces use in hot weather, temperate weather, and mountainous environments.

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