Boots for AROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by armydaughter, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. armydaughter

    armydaughter Member

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    Seeing the long thread in the USMA sub-forum on buying boots got me wondering if there is the same process for ROTC cadets. Do they buy boots before reporting at their school in the fall? And if so, are they basically the same choices as for USMA?
     
  2. jocomom

    jocomom Member

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    My cadet was furnished all of the equipment that he needed. They can upgrade on their own dime if they want. My DS waited until Christmas break, went to a local post, got his military ID and then went to the Exchange. He wanted eye-pro and gloves that fit a little better. He thinks the issued boot are fine.
     
  3. CadetMom777

    CadetMom777 Member

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    Getting the right boots is CRITICAL to the health of your feet. My son found out the hard way that just accepting the boots he was issued, which were probably the cheapest they could buy, was bad for his feet. After his first ruck, he got the worst blisters he had ever experienced in his life. My two cents worth of advise:

    1. If they allow you to pick your own, shop around and get the kind that work best for your feet. My son gets his through a company called Blackhawk (www.blackhawk.com). There are others. Use the company that works best for you. Don't let price be an issue. The health of your feet is what is most important. Just make sure the specs comply with what your battalion and the army require.

    2. Break them in! Where them a little every day for a few weeks before you report to make sure they are not stiff like new. Going on your first FTX is not the time to start wearing them. You will be sorry.

    3. Have a good stock of mole skin and other blister prevention aids. Even the best fitting boots can cause rubs and hot spots when you're not used to wearing that kind of footwear and/or wear them for extended lengths of time.

    4. Get the proper kind of socks for boots! Don't just grab any old sock from your sock drawer. The newer high-tech fabrics help keep the feet drier and fit snugly to prevent abrasion within the boot.

    Good luck to you in your AROTC adventure!
     
  4. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    I wear Blackhawks, but pretty much most of the boots made these days are good. There isn't some super science to finding a boot. Try some on and if it's comfortable, get it. For AROTC, if the Army authorizes the boot, you can wear it. You aren't limited to a certain few at first like USMA.
     
  5. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    For contracted cadets, they typically issue boots. All bets are off for non-contracted (walk-ons). As others have recommended, having comfortable boots is critical. Should you choose to wait to see what is issued (should happen within about 2 weeks of startup), have plenty of moleskin available. If the issued boots are acceptable, go with it. Of course, if they are not, he is behind on buying and breaking in his own replacements.

    I recommend going to your local shop and try some on - everyone has different feet (wider, narrower, tall arches, etc.) and sizes aren't necessarily consistent with what you wear for athletic shoes in all brands. If the standard issue from the unit doesn't work, mail order them that day.

    My daughter wears Nike boots. They aren't known for wearing particularly well, but she hasn't had any problems to date (2 years). She also wears Nike athletic shoes (because of the shape of her foot). She seems to feel the folks at Nike build their boots similarly to their athletic shoes.

    Depending on where your son goes to school, there are also summer/winter options. It can get even more complicated, but the point here is that you will want to educate yourselves on what is out there and available, just in case what is available to you doesn't meet the cadet's needs.
     
  6. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Exact same story with our DD... first FTX, feet torn up so badly she needed help walking the last day, then got a good dressing down by both MS1s and Cadre for not using Moleskin.

    She ditched the Altama 3LC's she was issued and picked up some Khyber Mountain Hybrid boots, which were on the USMA boot list last year (and probably this year but I haven't kept up with that). Like night and day. There are two philosophies with boots -- 1) build it like a running shoe, or 2) build it stiff to perform best on rock and other hard, uneven terrain. She has never had any issue at all with her feet wearing the Khybers. Another she considered is the Nike, but since the Khyber was on the Boot List for USMA, she went that way instead.

    She ordered hers from Patriot Supply, I think if I remember, who had a one time size exchange free of cost if the original boot doesn't fit properly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  7. cravius

    cravius Member

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    I did the Bataan marathon ruck in my Nike's, no blisters or any other problems. The first time I had worn them too. I definitely think they are worth the money, and they don't need breaking in.
     
  8. armydaughter

    armydaughter Member

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    My son's regular sneakers are Nike so I am sure it is a good idea to try those since he is already familiar with the basic fit.

    What is the style/model/color spec for the approved Nikes?
     
  9. cravius

    cravius Member

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    The Nike SFB in the desert color.
     
  10. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    So, is there an "official" list of approved boots that I can find somewhere? I'm not having any luck googling lists officially from the Army.

    Are the standard issue boots the same for battalions nation-wide, or does this vary battalion by battalion?
     
  11. cravius

    cravius Member

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    In my experience it varies by battalion, and as long as the boots are made of tan cattlehide leather and have a tan rubber outsole and plain toe, you are fine.
     
  12. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    Curious; when you mention "non-contracted", what are 3-year scholarship cadets considered? Would I be issued gear freshman year if I were in this scenario. Or would everything be on me, UNTIL I contract soph. year?
     
  13. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    It entirely depends upon the battalion. All contracted cadets get first dibs on the equipment available. I would think that those with a 3-AD would be next in line. Obviously, they need a variety of boot sizes for cadets who have different shoe sizes, so it is highly likely they would not run out before they got to you. This is a question you will want to ask the cadre at your particular unit. They should be able to tell you whether they typically have enough equipment for all their cadets.

    And of course, if you have 17EE feet, I'd advise buying your own boots. Odds are against them having them in stock. And these days with cutbacks coming, I imagine equipment budgets will not allow for much new in the way of boots.

    Once you have your own boots, you'll never go back to unit-issued boots. Even my daughter (who had a 4-year scholarship) bought her own boots after a while just to get ones that felt good on her feet.
     
  14. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    ... so are you suggesting I should just go out and buy a pair anyways over the summer?

    Since I'm new to the "boot" world - suggestions when buying a pair? Would these boots be different from hiking boots, or the same?
     
  15. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I'd wait. My son is NROTC but the boots he was issued are working just fine for him. He loves them. If you need them you can get them after you report. You'll have time to break them in wearing them to classes or whatever.
     
  16. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    I couldn't agree more.

    I have been following the "boots commentary" on nearly every one of these forums over the last week. I have to admit its hard because when I was active duty we didn't have a choice - we wore what Uncle Sam issued.

    Frankly, they were not space age material, light weight or constructed well. But they were fine. I had been an avid backpacker and knew civilians could get better boots but figured Uncle Sam gave me what he wanted me to have - and we made do.

    Which brings me to my point: if it were up to me, I would take the boots issued until I figured out the lay of the land at my unit. As I understand it, all services allow the private purchase of authorized boots now. But if my experiences are of any value, I would say that at the unit level you may find leaders who frown on mavericks. I would wait and see what others are wearing.

    As Kinnem points out (and my DS had the same experience), the issued boots are fine. My DS loved them. After a year, he bought a lightweight pair for running/ pt but now seems to rotate pairs indescriminately.

    Why not wait until you check things out at the unit? Anything you are issued will be easier to break in than the old black leather boots. Moleskin helps if you need it.

    That's my two cents...
     
  17. Moosestache

    Moosestache Member

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    My son wears a size 15 shoe and the USAF got him a pair of boots with no problems.
     

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