U.S. Army Men's Boots

Enlisted Men's Laced Leather Boots

Enlisted Men's Laced Leather Boots Front ViewEnlisted Men's Laced Leather Boots Side ViewEnlisted Men's Laced Leather Boots Back View

Specification 9-63A (1933)

Stock No. 72-B-373 - 72-B-598-35

Allowances & Purchases

Issue: 2 pairs mandatory allowance to enlisted men assigned to mounted units, such as cavalry and horse-drawn field artillery.

Key Visual IDPrimary MaterialsFastenersColorLabeling
Knee length russet boot with lacing extending to top.Chrome tanned leather uppers, leather sole, rubber heal.From bottom: 8 pairs of eyelets followed by 10 pairs of alternating speedlace hooks and eyelets followed by 1 pair of eyelets at top.Army Russet Shade.The Quartermaster label was ink stamped on the inside right top portion of each boot.

The size tariff was included in the Quartermaster stamp and embossed on the bottom of the leather soles.
TreatmentsApprox. Contract RunPreceded ByReplaced ByCompanion Garments
Chromium-sulfate tanning process to increase leather's resistance to water.1933 to 1939.Unknown.Legging - Top Laced Leather Boots, specification BQD 59A.18oz. Olive Drab Elastique Wool Breeches, specification 8-30C.

Khaki Cotton Breeches, specification 6-65A.
(Point or touch for expanded view)
Eyelet detailEyelet detail
About half way up the boot the outside eyelets changed to hooks for easier lacing. Because the boots were used by mounted troops, hooks were only used on the outside to avoid entanglement with equipment.
Bottom DetailBottom Detail
A view of the bottom of the boot showing the leather outer sole. The stitching around the outside attaches the sole to the upper via a welt. The size was typically embossed on the bottom.
Heel DetailHeel Detail
Closeup view of the rubber heel. The heel was nailed to the boot through the circular openings. Many rubber companies produced heels for shoes and boots; in this case it was Panco. (Panther Company), a rubber product & tire manufacturer.

This cavalry boot was produced and worn in a time when breeches were a standard component of the Army uniform. They were 17 inches tall extending over the calf to just below the knee. They offered extended protection where the standard service shoes and spiral leggings were inadequate. The boot utilized the Blucher design and welt construction technique; both of which were standard characteristics of U.S. Army shoes and boots of the period. Other typical features included a dimpled toe cap and russet shade finish. The boots are easily identified by their unusual length and lacing that starts at the middle of the vamp and continues to under the knee.

The process of getting into the boots was eased by stitching the outer corner of the lengthy tongue to the inside wall of the boot. This helped to hold the tongue in place when placing the foot into the boot and lacing it up. Additionally, to assist the wearer in lacing, a series of speed lace hooks were added to the outside eyelet facing beginning just above the ankle of the boot. At first glance it may seem odd that the hooks were only applied to the outer eyelet facing. But, this was done to prevent the hooks from becoming entangled or damaged through contacting equipment that horse mounted troops were exposed to. Some earlier production boots have fully stacked leather heels. Most boots encountered, though, have the one-half rubber heal. It is uncertain when the change to a rubber heel occurred.

Quartermaster labels were ink stamped on the right inside top portion of each boot. Unfortunately, stamps applied to 30's and 40's era boots were often quite small resulting in illegible marks. Contributing to this was the fact that they were applied to the rough, porous flesh out side of the boot causing excessive bleeding of the ink. The resulting lack of contract information has been a hindrance to collectors seeking to learn more about the history of these boots.

Unit histories from pre-war years commonly show cavalry and horse-drawn artillery units outfitted with laced leather bootsHeadquarter Troop, 106th Cavalry, Illinois National Guard.
Members of Headquarters Troop, 106th Cavalry, Illinois National Guard pose for a unit photo in 1940. Troops in the front row can be seen wearing the Enlisted Man's Laced Leather Boot.
. Occasionally early 1940's photos will show motorized dispatch riders and some armored troops wearing these boots.

Production of the Enlisted Men's Laced Leather Boot was discontinued around 1940 in favor of a new simplified design called the Legging-Top Laced Leather Boot. The new design had a three buckle leather legging on the upper portion of the boot effectively replacing the lace and hook portion of the old boot. The buckle legging effectively eliminated the ponderous task of putting on and lacing the old style boots. The idea of using an attached legging top on a boot wouldn't end with the new design. Later, the idea was again used when the double buckle Combat Service Boot was adopted in 1944. The double buckle boot's integral legging system eliminated the service shoe and canvas legging combo, again saving the soldier the ponderous lacing time the canvas leggings required. The enlisted man's laced leather boot still appeared in the 1943 Quartermaster Supply Catalog, though they were noted as limited standard. Additionally, they still appeared in the tables of equipment as late as 1945 as a substitute standard for the newer legging top lace leather boots.