US Army boots
Quality full leather or Gore-tex boots black boots are required for all US Army participants.
- No Jungle Boots
- No Tennis shoes
Fitting your boots
Boot fit is a very personal matter. Some boots which are a perfect fit for one attendee will fit another attendee very poorly.
- Above all, when looking at boots be concerned about how they fit.
- If the boots you are trying are too tight on the sides, go to a wider size, if the ball of your foot is excessively loose in the boot, then go to a thinner size.
- Make certain that the length is correct. You do not want your toes getting jammed into the front of your boot on downhill hikes nor do you want excessively long boots that do not properly support the foot.
- Once you have the basic fit figured out, lace the boots up tightly and make certain that your heel stays firmly in the heel cup when you flex your foot. Up and down movement here causes painful heel blisters, an all too common problem at East Wind.
- If the lace pressure required to keep your heel tight places excessive pressure on your plantar area, you need to unlace your boot then reverse the lace as it comes past the plantar portion of the boot and heads up. This allows you to fully tighten your heel without changing how the rest of the boot is laced.
- Keep in mind that changing sock thickness, insoles, etc can effect boot fit as well.
Selecting your boots
Remember that how your boot fits your foot matters more than anyone else's opinion. If someone is showing you a great boot but it doesn't feel right, skip it and move on till you find one that does. That said, here are a few popular options:
- The standard USGI ICW (Intermediate Cold/Wet) or "Bosnia boot" is a popular option. Early versions of this boot have a built in lining where as the later versions have a removable bootie that allows the boot to be dried out a good deal faster. Some users who want the full leather upper and Gore-Tex protection of the later boot will fit themselves to a smaller size boot and discard the liner.
- The Danner Acadia is another popular boot. It is a very solidly built boot that is fairly common on the surplus market at reasonable prices if you are willing to do some digging.
Making sure your boots are ready for East Wind.
- It should go without saying that you will want your boots to be well broken in when you hit the field at East Wind. Failing to do so not only means additional strain on yourself at the event but it also means that potential fit issues that would have shown up during the break in process will not be evident until you are already committed to using your boots. Break them in!
- Polish your boots. There are many tutorials online, do a little research then sit down and give your boots a good polish. They will keep your feet drier, they will clean up faster, and they will last longer if you take good care of them.