Breaking boots in?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by UnpaidMaid45, May 5, 2010.

  1. UnpaidMaid45

    UnpaidMaid45 Member

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    Has anyone heard of soaking your boots in water in order to break them in? A cadet told my son something along these lines when he went for his overnight visit.

    On the other hand, I have also heard that it is not necessary to break the boots in, only the feet.

    Also, any tips on getting a good base shine on the low quarters?
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Do not break the boots in by soaking them. That was a good technique in the days of the basic black leather combat boot, like the kind we were issued ten years ago. Today's boots are more like big bad sneakers than like the combat boots of yore. Break them in simply by wearing them.

    The key to a good shine is simple: hard work. You need to build your shine with many many many many very thin layers. Simply touch your shine rag to the polish. Don't gob it. Also, after you build a solid base of Kiwi, use Lincoln Wax for a final shine. Remember, THIN LAYERS.
     
  3. www

    www Member

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    Believe it or not, there are Youtube videos on shoe shining.
     
  4. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    Spit shine! I taught myself how to do this for my CAP cadet shoes and it looks great so far. I'm still teaching myself the best way to shine it though. But if you ever see an experienced person shine it this way it looks like glass. It is sort of confusing and difficult at first but I would recommend it.

    As said before, boots can be broken in just by wearing them around. I also have the old tough black leather boots of back when - these are pretty tough and I can see how soaking them came into play. But I would just wear the boots around, like for errands or whatever.
     
  5. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Let me add a caveat here: don't worry about shining the shoes beforehand. As cadre, we only let new cadets wear pre-shined shoes on R-day. After that, we made everyone start with their issued shoes and shine them together. Shoe shining was a part of training and a way to occupy new cadets while you spoke to them on different topics. Frequently, we'd sit the squad in the hallway and make them shine and let them ask questions as a way to gauge mental health and stress levels, and build important professional rapport with our new cadets. Don't waste time shining them...the cadre has plans.
     
  6. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    I don't recommend soaking them at all. Just wearing them around until they are comfortable will be enough.

    As far as shining goes, I recommend using wet cotton balls. Like Scout said, don't shine them before hand but I suggest bringing a bag of cotton balls to Beast. Everyone develops their own method of shining their shoes and finds what's best for them. I could never get a good shine until I tried the cotton ball method, but there are a variety of different ways that it can be done.
     
  7. Ben Kline

    Ben Kline New Member

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    I can totally tell your looking forward to CBT.
    My problem, is that I am reticent to start breaking in my low quarters before I shine them. I remember back in young marines they told us to never wear a new boot without cleaning/shining it first because the leather pores will get clogged with dirt.

    I'm actually debating wearing these out to dinner tonight right now! But from what you said earlier, it appears like this won't matter. Thanks for the information.
     
  8. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    BTW, I was just at the "Cadet Store" on Friday (14 May) and the official word on the "new" Nike lightweight combat boots is: they are not authorized this year for New Cadets. Don't waste the $87.00 on them!

    That are nice though....
     
  9. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Not quite sure how you can "totally tell" that, since I was cadre eight years ago and made use of the past tense in my post for that reason.
     
  10. Ben Kline

    Ben Kline New Member

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    It just sounded like you were looking forward to this years batch. I know you can only lead as a firstie once, but I assumed you might have been a TAC or something.
     
  11. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    You would be well advised to be less concerned about how much you think I am looking forward to an event in which I have no part, and begin mentally preparing yourself for what will be a new and shocking experience.

    The majority of your leadership will be cows, not firsties.
     
  12. Gray Hog

    Gray Hog USMA Alumnus

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    There is a difference between using polish to protect the leather and using it for appearance. You should always keep leather clean, properly treated, and protected. This includes cleaning them off and putting on a fresh coat of polish occasionally while you are breaking them in. Personally, I recommend breaking in at least two pairs, by the way.

    It would also not be a waste of time gradually building up a heavy base and working it into a mirrored (spit shine) finish on at least one pair that you are breaking in. Even if you are not allowed to wear that pair during CBT, you will be allowed to wear them once the academic year starts. Stepping into the first full-company formation during Reorgy Week wearing a pair of shoes that someone can see their face reflected in will make a good first impression with the rest of the upperclassmen (who didn't see you during Beast).
     

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