What is a Jungle Boot?

Jungle boots are a type of military boot that was originally designed for the wet, jungle types of environments. The need for this type of footwear came about when soldiers operating in the jungle setting wearing issue full leather boots realized how uncomfortable their feet were since their boots provided little cooling and not designed to dry quickly in the hot desert jungles. The use of the jungle booth is recorded as early as World War II when US soldiers needed hot weather boots that were breathable and properly suited for the jungles of Panama. The US military designed the first jungle boot that would permit water and perspiration to pass through while still providing protection to soldier's fee from the elements and stepping hazards.

Several features were added to the boot over the last 50 years. the first feature is the addition of dual drainage events on the instep of each boot which would allow water to quickly drain from the boot. This also enables airflow to aid in drying the interior of the boot within a few hours after being completely submerged in water when crossing creek beds or lakes. Another improvement to the World War II version jungle boot was the addition of the Panama sole. Standard issue military boots during World War II were originally designed for flat and dry surfaces. Soldiers in the jungles of Panama needed a sole that would perform well in in muddy rivers and slippery inclines and declines. The Panama sole was then developed which features large, sharply edged lugs which do did an excellent job of shedding muds and grabbing on to tree roots and rocks through slippery mud. The third improvement to the jungle boot was under side protection from puncturing objects such as nails or pungy sticks left by the North Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam war. Soldiers in Vietnam were reporting incidents of injuries from objects that were puncturing the sole of their boot, causing injury to there feet. The military added stainless steel shanks in the insoles of these boots to protect from those dangers. In addition to the foot protection, the stainless steel shank also provides torsional stability which is needed when carrying heavy loads or equipment. This relieves strain on the arch of the foot, therefore extending performance and marching times of troops. The military jungle boot helped influence the design of the modern desert boot that was created for use in the hot desert environment during Operation Desert Storm in the 1990s.

Since then the US military has de-authorized use of the jungle black leather boot with modern-day military uniforms such as the U.S. Air Force Airman Battle Uniform and the Army Combat Uniform. Today there are today jungle boots are still in production and manufactured by Altama, Wellco, and McRay footwear. These companies's manufacture an updated version of the jungle boot with all of the improvemed features mentioned earlier and use modern day manufacturing and materials to keep this very popular classic military boot alive today.

Other Resources:
Jungle Boots - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungle_boot