Boots for Beast

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Oxford22, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. Oxford22

    Oxford22 Member

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    I realize this topic has come up in the past, though I would prefer a fresh perspective.

    I've read that it is recommended to buy and break in boots prior to beast. Having never worn boots other than Magnums, my horizon is a little narrow. Anyone have any advice as to which boots to purchase, in terms of their weight, durability, climate, overall satisfaction, etc? Thank you.
     
  2. CPT_Claw

    CPT_Claw Member

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    There are many more types of boots which are deemed acceptable to the Army than when I was in, I admit, but as a Plebe your choices are more exacting (and seems to change a little every year).

    You will receive notice of the approved footwear for Beast soon enough, if it's not already in your portal and appointment materials. You will also receive a letter allowing you to go on to your nearest military post and use their Exchange facilities to make the purchase there.

    That being said, you're most importantly breaking in your feet, not necessarily the footwear, so wearing any boots and dress shoes instead of cross trainers and running shoes is a benefit. However. be nice your (your parents?) wallet and get the ones you can actually use when you arrive for R Day and for your Plebe year.

    Congrats on the appointment! Your adventure is about to begin!:thumb:
     
  3. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Of the options available to 2015 plebes the Bates M8's appear to be the best option. After trying them all on, DS went with them, and made it thru beast with no blisters. Not so for squadmates that went with the 310's, etc.

    You'll be issued a second pair. DS ended up with the older boot (310 or 290??). He won't wear them, just too uncomfortable in comparison.

    I'm aware of two other 2015 plebes who went with the M8's and also had no blisters.

    The boots are not magic, you'll want to wear them to break them in. And wear good socks. But they are the most comfortable we saw of the options. In fact, I'm thinking about getting a pair of the civvy equiv (M9)

    There may be more options on the boot letter this year.

    One other thing, you can order them through the PX system with the boot letter. They were great to work with, and especially the M8's were cheaper through them. You could get the M8's for about what folks paid for the cheaper boots at local non PX stores.
     
  4. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    There is no such thing as the "best option" in an absolute sense. How your boots wear and last depends on an almost endless number of variables, not the least of which are how you walk in them and how you care for them. Environment also plays a huge role, as does your foot shape, weight, and the conditions your boots encounter. Believe it or not, being in garrison is often much harder on boots than the field. Concrete is the enemy of boots. It eats up soles and offers no "give" so your boot eats the whole shock of impact. The next biggest enemies are aircraft and POL.

    FWIW, I've worn more brands than I can remember and more styles. As I type this, I am rocking a pair of ancient Bellvilles, which have more time at flight idle in a FARP than most LTs have in the Army. They've been on two deployments, pathfinder school, about 1500 flight hours, and several other events I won't name. Haven't worn a pair out yet. I've also had great luck with Altamas, though they may or may not have any product on the list this year.

    In the end, the most import factor is fit. Every boot will fit your arch and your heel differently, and the toe box will fit in different ways. The lacing will put pressure in different spots, and the tongue may be different than you like.

    Try on every pair. Modern boots are more like tennis shoes, so they don't need near the break-in of older styles of boot. Don't feel like you need to put a hundred miles on them to make them ready.

    Try them all on. See what works.
     
  5. dhawbaker

    dhawbaker Member

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    You might be a little early with worrying about what boot to get. The boot letter doesn't come until around March if I remember correctly. Also, you'll only get like 3 options of boots to buy for BEAST.

    As for what boot to get, try all types of the boot options West Point offers and see which ones you like the best. It's all personal preference.
     
  6. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    The "Best Option" was probably not the "Best way" for me to say that. :smile:

    Clearly, fit trumps everything. You should try them all on as Scoutpilot indicated. Also, make no assumption about what size your fav tennis shoes are. Start with measuring with the brannock device . The most common error is buying too lose and ending up with heel lift & slippage.

    When we get closer to the 2016 options I can share what we observed about the 2015 boots if they are still relevant
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  7. Oxford22

    Oxford22 Member

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    I would appreciate that.

    Thank you all for your advice so far. Indeed it's rather early, but this is all very useful.
     
  8. abeastlybeast

    abeastlybeast USMA Class of 2015

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    USMA will probably send out what is called a "boot letter" listing the types of boots you're authorized to wear for CBT. Of the options offered to my class, I bought a pair of Bellevilles. I would recommend them, I did not have foot problems during Beast. You should definitely try on each pair though to determine the best fit.
     
  9. pkneram

    pkneram Member

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    Wear whichever boot is most comfortable for you. Just because a boot doesnt cause blisters in one person, doesnt mean they won't for you. As far as the boot letter goes, it didnt really seem to matter what kind of boot you were wearing as long as they were army regulation. By the end of the first week a lot of people had switched over to the Nikes they sell in the C-Store. The big thing is to make sure you are comfortable with what you have.
     
  10. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

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    I absolutely love my Khyber (made by Belleville) which I brought to Beast and went through the whole summer without foot problems. I also have a pair of Belleville 310's that I'm not a big fan of. Its really your preference and depending on whether you are a guy or gal, that can also play a huge bit into it. Unfortunately, WP did not see fit to allow women to buy boots designed for their feet so you'll really, really want to try your's on before even more than the guys to make sure you find a good fit if you are a girl
     
  11. jasondavid92

    jasondavid92 USMA Cadet

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    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (edit). Showed up to BEAST with the Bates M8 boots, which tore up my feet, and they issue you boots plus many new cadets had boots not on the list like the Belleville 390s or the Nike boots that many end up buying. I like the Nikes because they are lightweight and comfortable. I did the 12 mile ruck in them and got minimal blistering

    Jason
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2012
  12. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    You use the term "xxxxx(edit)" at your peril. You are a cadet. Conduct yourself as one. The internet is forever. I doubt you'd write that to your Tac officer, so don't write it here.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2012
  13. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Guess that underscores the point that every foot is different, and to try all the different types.

    DS's experience was that no one was hassled over specific boots, socks, etc within reason. But it could vary by company and even squad leader.

    390's were on 2014's boot letter, so they are probably in the system. Can't remember if DS was issued 390's or 310's.

    Then again, they had stopped hassling about haircuts, but then had a surprise haircut inspection today. YMMV!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2012

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