What is it?
Throughout the course of the War, GI's can be seen wearing a number of different types of shoes.
For the infantry, the most common of these where
Service Shoes -
Also known as Service Boots. First issued in 1939. These boots where worn in combat as well as with the service uniform (Class A)
The boot was made from chrome tanned russet leather. It featured a toe cap, and the heel and tap where rubber.
The roughout boot came into circulation in 1943, but it wasn't uncommon to see these boots being worn right through to the end of the War
Service Shoes, Reverse Upper -
More commonly known as the Roughout Boot
These boots became standard issue in 1943. The toe cap was deleted and the sole was a more simple two piece design made from rubber.
The term Roughout came about simply because the leather was stiched so that the "rough" side of the hide was on the outside.
Both of these boots where worn with the M1938 Dismounted Leggings. No one unit was ever kitted out with the same model of boots. A mixture of Service Shoes, and roughout where common in the ETO.
What impression can I use this with?
Early War (service shoes)
Mid War (service Shoes / Roughouts)
Late War (service Shoes / Roughouts)
Things to note when buying
I would recommend buying boots first, as you will need time for them to break in before your first event. Remember, you will be on your feet a lot, and at times will have to sleep in them.
Replica boots will likely be good enough for what you are going to do.
If buying Roughout boots, make sure to treat them with plenty of dubbin and apply a good amount of boot polish.
Dutch issue Para boots are an almost identical ringer for the Service Shoes. They are getting harder to source (as they where first issued in the 1950/60's) but are tough and extremely durable. A worth while purchase if you come across a pair in your size
You are free to choose which pair to buy, personally I have gone for the Service boot. They are considerably more waterproof, and the toe cap provides some protection when next to clumsy GI's. They can also be polished to a mirror shine
Roughout boots where constructed with the rough hide facing out to allow for anti-gas agents to be more easily applied.
Service Shoes, Reverse Upper